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Re: IH 300 Utility Starting Issue

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Ben Pung

03-03-2013 10:10:55

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OK, here's the update. Taking the info on this thread, I went out to check for spark. I pulled a plug and tried grounding it to the engine block and seen no spark. So then I took the wire that goes from the ignition coil to the distributor cap and pulled the end out of the cap and tried grounding that and getting a spark, but didn't get spark there either. So at this point I'm thinking the issue has to be the ignition coil itself, the generator, or the voltage regulator. Is this accurate? How can I narrow down the culprit? I'm an electrical idiot so I'm not sure the best way to test these parts...

I also cleaned out the air cleaner, pulled the plug in the carb and let gas run through, and messed with the choke and the main metering needle and they seem OK as far as I can tell.

Another side note. Why would stalling the tractor out cause this to all the sudden happen? It was running fine until I stalled it trying to pull my truck out of the mud. Then this...

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Mark Robke

03-03-2013 14:59:26

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 Re: IH 300 Utility Starting Issue in reply to Ben Pung, 03-03-2013 10:10:55  
I too have a 300 utility, 6 volt system,7300 hrs+. The wiring is origional (cracked insulation, etc). It will frost the carb too in cool damp weather and runs better after the frost melts. But it always starts right up to 10 above. I change the points and plugs about every 2-300 hrs. It is cold natured and likes the choke, but it will run smooth and pull right out of the barn if I partially choke it. So first of all I wonder if your choke closes fully when you pull the cable out and opens fully when you push the cable in. You can observe this externally with the lever on side of carb, or remove the intake hose.
Secondly take a test light (or volt meter) and measure voltage at battery side of coil with key on. If no voltage you have lost power (voltage) from key, if ok check distributer side of coil at the points inside the cap; open and close points with a screwdriver, without grounding out the points, hold the coil wire 1/4" from block and if all is well it will spark when you work the points with screwdriver and your test light on the points go off and on. You can have a bad coil. You can have a bad condensor which will ground out the points. Your points can be out of adjustment. They set at .023 on high part of the lobe. The points rubbing block has to be on the flat part of distributer lobe to make it spark with screwdriver. You also can have a bad rotor button which won"t let the spark go thru to each terminal inside the cap. It is not generator or voltage regulator related.
As far as why = coincedence?
I hope this helps ; I don"t type well and understand things way better than I explain them.
Good luck, MARK.
p.s. I have had bad points before, brand new.And bad condensor.

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Ben Pung

03-04-2013 05:04:39

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 Re: IH 300 Utility Starting Issue in reply to Mark Robke, 03-03-2013 14:59:26  
Thanks Mark. I want to make sure I'm clear on the testing procedure for the ignition coil.
So on the battery side of the coil, I just turn on the key and use my test light to touch the wire coming to the ignition coil (touch the black test lead to the block, red test lead to the connection on the coil). If it's on, I have power. Is it possible that I have power, but not enough? do you know what the volt meter should read here (or a rough range)?

For the distributor side of the coil, I'm not clear on how you are saying to test this. Can I just take my tester and again touch the black lead to the ground, then quickly touch the little arm in the distributor cap that spins and makes contact with each point? If I get a reading when I do that, that means power is coming through the cap and getting to the points right? I just cont confused when you were describing jumping the points with a screwdriver. I'm not sure what you mean. Can you try and clarify?
Thanks a lot for the help.

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Mark Robke

03-06-2013 16:54:39

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 Re: IH 300 Utility Starting Issue in reply to Ben Pung, 03-04-2013 05:04:39  
Ben, since you have a 12 volt system you may have a resister inline from key to coil, if the coil is origional 6 volt,if it is 12 volt no resister. the resister could be open (voltage in none out). What I meant about the points was you can make the coil spark by opening and closing the points with a screwdriver- key on. The points open and close and you should see a spark when you open and close points or while cranking engine with cap off, in neutral. You have to have a 12 volt test light to check voltage from keyswitch to coil. you could check voltage to points if they are open. A bad condensor can short points to ground = no spark. You cannot check the rotor button (which you called little arm that rotates inside cap for voltage : you would need to check it for continuity with an ohmmeter. Let me know if any of this helps or if you get it running.

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Mark Robke

03-07-2013 05:41:52

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 Re: IH 300 Utility Starting Issue in reply to Mark Robke, 03-06-2013 16:54:39  
Ben,there is a thread above : no spark at points; read John T"s link to troubleshooting ignition; it"s very good and should help you.Mark

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Ben Pung

03-09-2013 12:04:59

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 Re: IH 300 Utility Starting Issue in reply to Mark Robke, 03-07-2013 05:41:52  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

OK, I wanted to give an update on this. You have all been very helpful and I really appreciate the advice. I had my neighbor come over and help me last night. He's way better mechanically than I am, plus I had a hard time trying to check spark when turning the key myself. So he came over and we started with spark. Was getting 12V to the coil. Points looked good. Rotor button looked fine. Turns out I was getting spark out of the plug. Either I wasn't getting a good ground or couldn't see what I was doing when I tried it myself.
So, we verified that the choke was opening up when I pulled out the knob. Cranked on it and still got nothing. So we took off the air intake hose and blew a bunch of starting fluid into it and cranked the crap out of it and it eventually started. I let it run for a couple hours and moved the throttle around. I added some liquid heat to the gas so I wanted to make sure that was all run through the system. I pulled it into the barn and let it set over night. This morning I went out and tried it and it fired right up. It's like 50 degrees today, so it's not a good test of if the cold is part of the problem. But, I have no idea what happened last weekend. Maybe something was stuck in the carb and I just happened to run out of gas when I tried to pull my truck by coincidence? I don't know. I know that it appears to be fuel related so I'm going to get a carb kit and will go through the carb either this summer, or sooner if it craps out again on me. So, long story short, my theory for the moment is that something was stuck in the carb and got blown out of there once we got it running using starting fluid. If anyone else has another theory I'd love to hear it.

Thanks again for the help.

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03-03-2013 10:43:32

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 Re: IH 300 Utility Starting Issue in reply to Ben Pung, 03-03-2013 10:10:55  
Ben, I also have a 300 utility. About twice a year it will just stop like you turned the switch off. If I clean the points with some contact cleaner, it will start right up and run good for another 6 months or so. At one time I would replace the points when this happened but found out that just cleaning the points would be just as good. I also have a 350 & 450 gas and these don't do that. Only difference is the 300 is still an original 6-volt tractor. You get no warning when this will happen as it starts and runs real good the rest of the time. Anybody else know why this might be happening? Al

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