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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    104
    Location
    Golden, IL
    Tractor
    B2150HSD, JD3020

    Default Farmall H, need help getting it running

    Finally got around to pulling the old H out of the shed and into the shop to get it running, and I need some help from those who've gone there before.

    When it runs, it runs ok, but I've heard others that sound much smoother. It's a bear to start. I've had it running and heated up, shut it off and immediatly tried to restart and it won't. Five minutes later it's hooked up to another tractor to tow start it and it goes off instantly. Other times, we have to drag it around for 50 feet before it lights. Liberal quantities of ether shot into the carb intake (air cleaner coupler hose disconnected) don't help.

    The fuel system is cleaned out from the tank through the carb, new gaskets, needle and seat. Occasionally it will still flood just sitting there. Used to do that everytime, so we've made some progress.

    Ignition is magneto. We have new cap, rotor and wires coming. The timing seems to be close, probably a little late..(after TDC). Makes an ok spark at the magneto wire, but at the plug it's not all that strong.

    What spark plugs do I put in? I don't know if the ones in it are right or not. If there is a heat range, I'd go hot since it seems to burn a little oil.

    I set up the carb by the manual...idle open one turn and then set main. It will idle very slowly and responds to sudden throttle opening ok, but when running at what sounds to be about PTO speed, I can open the main needle 4 turns and it doesn't make a difference. There is a pretty definite roughening if I close the main needle beond a point, but there doesn't seem to be any point it goes too rich. Is this normal? Where do I set it?

    Found out by accident that the starter turns the correct direction no matter which way I hool up the battery (+ or - ground). Dealer swears it's a permanent magnet motor. This doesn't add up. What's going on?

    Manual calls for distributor grease. Where do I find that?

    Manual says that engine serial is on the side above the distributor. Is there another place that they put them? Dumb question I guess, but it will save me the trouble of cleaning all the gunk off the engine right now.
    Craig
    Golden, IL

  2. #2
    Silver Member willfick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    195
    Location
    Midlands of South Carolina
    Tractor
    1946 Farmall H, !967 Ford 3500D TLB

    Default Re: Farmall H, need help getting it running

    I'm at work and can't even pretend I have answers to all your questions right now. I'd have to be home even to go see what plugs are in mine. (That covers me pretty well, eh?)
    I'll just recommend this site: www.farmall-h.com
    I think he covers most of that. Good luck, and keep us up on how it's going.
    Wm

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    1,924
    Location
    NH seacoast & Coos County
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45S

    Default Re: Farmall H, need help getting it running

    Have you checked the compression? Probably need rings if it starts only when cold. MikeD74t

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    1,660
    Location
    Northern VA, USA
    Tractor
    Mahindra 6000 MWFD, 2 1950's Farmalls, 1974 Farmall 140, 1967 Mf 135Delux

    Default Re: Farmall H, need help getting it running

    Adjust the valves...very simple process..BobG in VA

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    104
    Location
    Golden, IL
    Tractor
    B2150HSD, JD3020

    Default Re: Farmall H, need help getting it running

    Will: great link, thanks

    Mike: I've never used a compression tester. I have one, it came with the tractor in a can of mostly junk parts. Found a link to detailed instructions on compression testing from Will's link so I just need to know what numbers I'm looking for.

    Bob: I haven't messed with valves. I see the procedure in the manual and it looks pretty simple. Maybe I'll try it.

    Meanwhile, we have timed the magneto and put new cap rotor and wires on it. Haven't gotten to new plugs yet, forgot them last week in town. Had to remove the whole magneto unit and slip the drive gears a few teeth to get it to fire on the timing marks. That improved the starting a lot, but it's still a little less than reliable. Have put half an hour or so on it and had to clean out the carb bowl again. I'll get an inline filter in town tomorrow.

    There's still no good mixture adjustment. It will idle very slowly and take sudden application of the throttle, so it seems that the idle mix is ok, but I can open the main needle 4 turns without it roughening at full throttle. At that point the needle is getting pretty loose feeling and I quit. There is a fairly well defined roughening when closing the main needle. At best, it runs erratically, like it's about to run out of gas, but it keeps on running. There is no carb adjustment I can make to smooth it out. When it's running at a fast idle it seems like one cylinder is firing at half power half of the time. The impression is that I can hear the crack from each cylinder in the exhaust, and one randomly goes poof rather than crack. Same impression at full throttle, but can't hear the individual cylinders, just a blip in the engine sound. Maybe new plugs will fix that, or maybe a sticking valve?

    Another quirk is that in the shed I can run it against the brake in 5th gear and it will lug down to almost stalled and come back instantly when I push the clutch in. If I take it on the road, or across the lawn it runs noticeably rougher than against the brake.

    So I have a tractor that starts most of the time, hot or cold; runs rough when sitting still and rougher when moving, but it keeps on running.

    Anyone have any thoughts?
    Last edited by CraigM; 08-03-2010 at 04:18 PM.
    Craig
    Golden, IL

  6. #6
    art
    art is offline
    Super Member
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    Apr 2000
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    6,128
    Location
    central New York
    Tractor
    all makes and models

    Default Re: Farmall H, need help getting it running

    If you are spraying either into the air cleaner and it doesn't fire that you have no spark!

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1
    Location
    iuka il
    Tractor
    farmall h

    Default Re: Farmall H, need help getting it running

    im new to this i hope you all can help i just bought a 1948 farmall h thats already converted to 12 volt my question is can you still use the crank start on the tractor

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    1,660
    Location
    Northern VA, USA
    Tractor
    Mahindra 6000 MWFD, 2 1950's Farmalls, 1974 Farmall 140, 1967 Mf 135Delux

    Default Re: Farmall H, need help getting it running

    Sure can...Farmall engines will usually fire up on the 2nd crank if they are in decent tune...6 or 12 volt won't make a difference on a hand crank start... BobG in VA

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