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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Aug 2012
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    Ohio
    Tractor
    1952 Ford 8N

    Default 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    This Spring, I took my 1952 Ford 8N (I have owned this 8N for about 5 years) to the local New Holland dealer for some maintenance work. At the time, the 8N was running, I had recently changed the oil, filter, plugs, points, condenser, but I was concerned about the transmission, hydraulics, and needed my old Brush Hog repaired. They also replaced my carburetor with a rebuilt. They tuned it up, changed all fluids, and fixed my brush hog.

    The work was done to my utmost satisfaction, though the entire job cost me about $1,200.

    Two weeks later, because of my stupidity (I admit I was tired), the tractor was back in the shop because I smashed up the front end and punctured the radiator and did other damage by hitting a tree. Don't ask why, because I wasn't thinking. Anyway, this cost me $1,000 to get it running again.

    So, after I got the tractor back, I was brush hogging my 4 acre field at the back of the property and the tractor just stalled and I couldn't get it restarted. It still hasn't started.

    My wife told me the budget says I cannot take the tractor back to the New Holland Dealer this year. I must fix it myself.

    OK, the tractor is a 6 volt negative ground (the negative wire on the battery is connected to the frame).

    I have made the following repairs: I replaced the coil, the spark plug wires, checked the carburetor (gas flows through the carb), and had to replace the fuel line from the sediment bowl to the carburetor because I stripped the threads on the elbow and the nut holding the fuel line in place. I have checked for spark at the coil, from the spark plug, and the spark plug wires (all 4), No spark what so ever (yes, I had the key turned on - did that before). My battery is a year old. Last winter wasn't too bad in Northeast Ohio, though I had a trickle charger attached to the tractor all winter.

    I think my problem is somewhere between the positive side of the battery (starter, solenoid, generator, or the wiring). I do not know where to start, what to check, or how to check it. I am a bit concerned about the wiring. The wiring is a mishmash of different kinds of wire - some looks like it's for a tractor and some looks like it came from household electrical wiring. I think the tractor has been rebuilt once, but I do not know when it was done or how extensive the repairs were.

    I have not touched the points, condenser, or plugs, because they were all changed a month ago (or so - repairs #1).

    I personally think something shorted out and that is the reason I cannot get any spark. The engine will crank and crank and crank but never a spark. Prior to the stalling, all I had to do was turn the gas on (sediment bowl), put the tractor in neutral, turn the ignition key on, choke for a second, and press the starter button and she purred like a kitten. Now nothing.

    I saw a used 10 year old New Holland Diesel but the boss said NO.

    Can someone give a skinny old guy some direction on how to get his tractor started (without going back to the Dealer)?

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice (or constructive criticism).
    Rick

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    Welcome to TBN neighbor, Medina Tractor is expensive.Check to see if your getting power to the coil. Hopefully Sound guy will come on.
    Should of posted in the Ford forum. Murph
    Murph ------------

  3. #3
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Frederick County, VA
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    I thought all 8n's were positive ground. If your wiring is in bad shape I would put a new harness on it. They are not that expensive. Save yourself from a fire. Wiring Harness, Ford 8N with Side Distributor - 0236562 | Tractor Supply Company Do check the wiring at the coil. Do you have a hot wire going to it? Are the points in good shape? Do you have a PTO overruning clutch?

  4. #4
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    And the best part is there is a TSC in the great city of Medina
    Murph ------------

  5. #5
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Frederick County, VA
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    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    Quote Originally Posted by murphy1244 View Post
    And the best part is there is a TSC in the great city of Medina
    If it is like the one around here your are lucky if they have a cat1 top link pin.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    The store is pretty well stocked and a second store is not far away.
    Murph ------------

  7. #7
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    Step 1: Take the distributor cap off and turn the engine over and make sure the distributor is turning.
    Step 2: Check the point gap it needs to be .015", you can use a match pack to get close. Turn it over til the points open. If they don't open adjust them.
    Step 3: Check the points to see if they are shiny or have a tip burned on them. If they have a tip burned on them clean with fine sand paper or emery cloth
    Step 4: Make sure you have a hot wire going to the coil (with key on) on the + side

    By now you should have found your problem if not it is possibly the coil. Let us know what you find or if you have questions.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    Bump For soundguy or whodunit.
    Murph ------------

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    OMG.. 2200$ for maintenance and small repairs! e-gads!


    ok.. won't crank or won't start?

    if won't crank.. check bat, cables and terminal ends..

    if won't start.. roll her over and check for spark at a plug. if no spark.. hotwire coil and check again.. if none.. regap points...

    once you get spark.. if still no run.. try some start fluid into mouth of carb with breather disconnected. if this gets her started but she stalls.. it's fuel.

    post back with more details.. like side or front mount.. etc

  10. #10
    New Member
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    1952 Ford 8N

    Default Re: 1952 Ford 8N won't start

    She cranks, but won't start.
    I checked for spark at the plug (all 4) nothing.
    hotwire the coil: the positive side of the coil (wired to the generator) to the starter? alligator clips on a wire?
    OK. my 8N is (1952) Negative Ground, 6 Volt, Side mount distributor, wiring: old.
    Just a question about the points: while running (and the tractor was running strong for about two hours when it stalled), could the points just fail?
    I just don't see any spark from the coil.
    I'm just frustrated.
    Thanks for your help,
    Rick

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