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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Jan 2013
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    10
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    Mekinock, ND
    Tractor
    Ferguson TO-20

    Default 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    Hello All,

    I first have to admit I am no mechanical genius, so I'll do the best I can. When I try to start the TO-20, there is one "click" and then nothing. The battery is good. I'm hoping its not the starter as that appears to be a fairly expensive part. At this point, I'm just looking for some initial troubleshooting ideas so I can rule things out. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Jerry/MT's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    1,963
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    Western Montana
    Tractor
    New Holland TD95D, Ford 4610 & Ferguson TO-30

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    Do you have the OEM starter actuation through the gear shift lever? If you do, the switch on the bell housing may need adjusting or replacement.
    Also check the chasis ground for the battery. make sure it is "bright andf tight", i.e. the connection is clean and has good contac. make sure that the starter is tight to the chasis and that the contact area on the flange is "bright and tight". Make sure your battery connections are "bright an tight" and your cables are not corroded internally. Using jumper cables connect the battery ground terninal to the starter retention bolt. Connect the other jumper to the other battery terminal. Make sure the tractor is not in gear because you will be bypassing the safety feature. Now touch the battery lead to the stud on the starter motor. If the engine turns over the starter is good and the problem is in the cables connections, cables or starter switch.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2011
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    413
    Location
    vermont
    Tractor
    Hurlimann 435, Fordson E27n, Bolens HT-23

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    There will be no "safety features" on that tractor! ;-)

    But consider
    It's not that the tractor won't start, it's that it will not turn over with the starter. It may very well start with a pull in gear or if it had a hand starter (It doesn't)

    But

    Your saying the battery is good, is not sufficient. How is it good? NEW and charged? Has it started other engines? Have you measured the voltage while the starter is activated? (should be 6.2V when not called on, and dropping to 4-5 V when the starter system contacts are made.

    Are the battery terminals making good contact? Clean and tight? Can any of the connections be moved by hand? (bad)

    The "click" is the starting solenoid. Hearing only the click is a sure symptom of either a bad battery (low charge) or poor connections.

    There is even the possibility that the contacts within the solenoid are bad. Have you tried "clicking" 100 times to see if one time it "catches? (I have that issue with the bolens Solenoid, I just live with it, It always starts, I just don't know when ;-)

    Me?

    I would go through EACH connection between Ground, Battery, Starter solenoid, and starter to be sure everything was clean and tight (ther fact that you get the "click"confirms that the Key/ starter button is working.

    I would also suspect the battery.
    Check the voltage!


    Sometimes, if the starter has not been used in a while, it helps to give the starter motor a jog using the methods Jerry has described. I just use jumper cables.

    You can jump a 6V starter motor with 12V from your car or truck,, but don't let any lights, or the regulator remain in the circuit! Disconnect the big wire from the tractor to the starter motor or the Smoke will leak out!

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Jan 2013
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    Mekinock, ND
    Tractor
    Ferguson TO-20

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry/MT View Post
    Do you have the OEM starter actuation through the gear shift lever? If you do, the switch on the bell housing may need adjusting or replacement.
    Also check the chasis ground for the battery. make sure it is "bright andf tight", i.e. the connection is clean and has good contac. make sure that the starter is tight to the chasis and that the contact area on the flange is "bright and tight". Make sure your battery connections are "bright an tight" and your cables are not corroded internally. Using jumper cables connect the battery ground terninal to the starter retention bolt. Connect the other jumper to the other battery terminal. Make sure the tractor is not in gear because you will be bypassing the safety feature. Now touch the battery lead to the stud on the starter motor. If the engine turns over the starter is good and the problem is in the cables connections, cables or starter switch.
    I checked all connections. The only thing that appeared out of the ordinary was the lead on the starter, that connection was slightly loose so I tightened it. I also cleaned the battery connections thoroughly and gave the battery a full charge. Upon trying to restart, I no longer get that thud click sound. Nothing happens but there is a small amount of smoke that comes out from the starter lead. I'm afraid to even ask if this means the starter could be bad as that is not a cheap part.

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Jan 2013
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    10
    Location
    Mekinock, ND
    Tractor
    Ferguson TO-20

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    This tractor was converted to 12v by the old farmer I got it from. Would be nice to get a tractor guru around here to show me a few things. I'm trying with my limited knowledge and definitely appreciate you all's input. Hopefully I can get a few more years out of this tractor then get something more modern that is within my budget!

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Jan 2013
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    10
    Location
    Mekinock, ND
    Tractor
    Ferguson TO-20

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    I have to ask what probably is a dumb question. The starter looks like it could possibly be a 6V one based on what I'm seeing for replacements. If that is the case, why would it have started/run this whole time? Is that even possible?

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2011
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    vermont
    Tractor
    Hurlimann 435, Fordson E27n, Bolens HT-23

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    As I tried to include in my previous post. A starter motor built for 6V will work with 12V. (Not so much the other way however)

    A starter motor is a brush type device that can stand a lot of current. But...OVERHEATING is the killer of starter motors, and 12V will push amps that can heat the windings in a very short period of time. IF the engine was difficult to start, and the starter was applied, cranking for say 30 seconds continuous, the starter would need a cooling off period to avoid "burning out the windings.

    It could be a case of bad brushes just as well.

    Just take the starter apart and see what it looks like inside. Nothing to loose.

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    Quote Originally Posted by CalG View Post
    There will be no "safety features" on that tractor! ;-)
    well.. it did have a neutral interlocking starter switch...
    souNdguy

    sent from my NOKIA LUMIA

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Jerry/MT's Avatar
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    Western Montana
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    New Holland TD95D, Ford 4610 & Ferguson TO-30

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    [QUOTE=CalG;3729607]There will be no "safety features" on that tractor! ;-)

    The OEM tractor had a transmission lever actuated starter switch that prevented the engine from starting when the tractor was in gear.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Mekinock, ND
    Tractor
    Ferguson TO-20

    Default Re: 1950 TO-20 Won't Start...

    I know its been a little bit, but I replaced the starter with a new one. The engine is turning over slowly, but still no joy. The battery cables are pretty beat up, so they'll be replaced. The battery is fully charged. Is there anything else I should be looking for? Who knows, I just may have to attempt a tuneup. I would assume I'd be best off replacing the spark plugs, rotor and points? I haven't ever done points before, but it doesn't look overly complicated. I guess this is how one learns...by doing. Of course any inputs from you veterans would be much appreciated. All wires and connections have been cleaned and thoroughly looked over. There are no broken wires and all connections are tight. I'll be able to do more with this on Thursday and will provide an update then.

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