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Harry Ferguson Tractors Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

TO-20 won't start without jump

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gene zick

02-23-2014 12:30:37

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I have a 1951 Harry Ferguson T0-20. I just had my starter rebuilt. The starter had some teeth broken, I checked the flywheel starter ring gear it looks okay. The tractor is generally started by engaging the gearshift. When I do this nothing happens. I can jump the starter off the battery and it will start and run. I have checked the wiring but don't see anything loose or broken. I am not sure where to go from here. Could this be an electrical issue or perhaps the ignition switch? The battery is brand new. The battery was negative ground when I got it. Any thoughts. Thanks

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Bob (Aust)

02-24-2014 12:41:09

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 Re: TO-20 won't start without jump in reply to gene zick, 02-23-2014 12:30:37  
Richard's advise (second post above) is correct and likely your problem.

The only other possibility may be dirty or corroded contacts in the switch. You could take it apart and clean it or may need a new switch.

Warning: when you take out the bell housing starter switch make sure you tie the gear shift link up with wire. Don't let it drop down into the bell housing.

Bob in Oz

'53 TEA20

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Jeremy in DE

02-23-2014 14:39:00

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 Re: TO-20 won't start without jump in reply to gene zick, 02-23-2014 12:30:37  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

It may be a long shot, but I'll share my experience with my '51 TO30. It would be an easy fix if it's your problem. My tractor quit starting for me with the gear shift--it wouldn't turn over at all. But when I jumped the starter from the battery it started almost immediately.

I thought the starter switch might be bad, but first I pulled the wires off the switch. I polished everything up really cleanly and covered it all with dialectric grease. It now turns over rapidly and starts easily.

I converted it to 12 volts some years ago. Many talk about "clean and bright" connections for the 6 volt tractors, but it's also true for 12 volts.

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Richard L

02-23-2014 13:22:37

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 Re: TO-20 won't start without jump in reply to gene zick, 02-23-2014 12:30:37  
You can try loosening the 4 bolts that hold the starter button plate and move it forward and backward with someone on the tractor trying to engage the shift lever with their foot on the clutch, I also recommend locking the brake pedal on the right side. Hopefully it is just this simple.

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02-23-2014 15:49:21

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 Re: TO-20 won't start without jump in reply to Richard L, 02-23-2014 13:22:37  
If your jumping the starter then your eliminating the gear shifter if its like a 20 and with key on.

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02-24-2014 06:32:39

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 Re: TO-20 won't start without jump in reply to 2tractors, 02-23-2014 15:49:21  
If it's the same setup as a TO30, I had a situation where the cotter pin failed on the starter linkage. Do a search on Starter button linkage and you'll find a post from May of last year with good pictures of all the inside stuff to give you an idea of what's going on in there

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