My dad's 1953 Ford Jubilee finally started today... thought some of you might enjoy hearing the ordeal, and what we went
through to get it to this point...
He hadn't used it for several months, and we got a record amount of rain this spring and early summer here in Nebraska.
Somehow, water got into the carbureator (it sits outside). When he went to start it, of course, he sucked the vile stuff into the
intake manifold and cylinders. But at that time, all he knew was that it wouldn't start. Months later, he finally decided to check it
out. By now, the water was breeding mosquitos as it had been in there for quite some time. His first clue something was wrong
was when he took off the air intake tube, and water spilled out. So, he took the carb off, and the same story, except it was
rusted to the max. So his first step was to rebuild the carb. That went fine. I brought to his attenetion that the cylinders were
probably corroded, and took a plug out to check... sure enough, the plugs had little beads of rust on them (I imagined the walls of
the cylinders looking the same way.) Not wanting to tear the entire head off the thing, but not wanting the cylinder to get
scratched when it turns over, I thought the best thing to do would be to squirt some life (oil and WD-40) into them, just to add
Dad put the carb back on, and tried to start it up. Nothing... not even a pop. So, thinking back to my school days, I thought... well,
does it have spark? Checked a plug and NOTHING. So, he replaced the points (extremely pitted) and condensor. Still nothing. Then
he thought that the switch he had rigged up might be blown. So he left it for a few more weeks.
Today, I went back out to see if he had any progress, and he had bought a new rotor, distributor cap, and that black plate &
gasket below the cap (don't know the name)
The guy he got the parts from said that when the switch was on, and the points are closed, there should be power to the
distributor... and that by opening the points, you should see a spark- when you do this, hold the coil wire away from the ground,
and you should have a nice crisp blue spark. Well, when we tried that, we had no spark. Obviously, there was no power to the
coil! So I got dad's ampmeter, set it to the 9V BAT setting, and checked the wire from the switch. Nothing. Checked the other end
of the wire... it read 6V! So it must be the wire! Took the nut off (lies between the battery and the steering wheel (under the
RPM/hour counter) of the connection, and tested it again before I removed any wires. NOW, there was power on BOTH ends!
When I tighten the nut, there is no power to the wire. So I don't know what the deal is there, but we can figure that out later- the
main thing was, now we could test the spark again!
Opened the points and the spark jumped. Checked the spark out the end of the coil wire, and it was pretty orange. I assume that
this means the coil is weak.
Put everything together to see if it would start. Dad cranked it over, and it started on the 1st turn! But it ran real rough. By
pulling spark plug wires, we found out that the #4 cylinder is dead. There is spark there, but no firing taking place. Changed the
plug and it didn't make a difference. So we're assuming that there is no compression- maybe a valve is stuck open? Tomarrow
I'm going to get a compression guage from my grandpa and see what the cylinders read.
I get shocked thru the boot of the spark plug wire when I take it off. And I'm holding it back from the mouth too! Is that normal,
or should dad think about getting new plug wires???
I'm wondering if the water and rust corroded the valve stems so bad that they are stuck open, thus no compression. Guess the
compression guage will answer that question.
Any other ideas, dear readers???
Sorry for rambling, but I'm kind of excited that it finally started today! Maybe some of you are having similar problems getting
Any ideas how the water got in? Dad's had other tractors (8n?) sit out and has never had a problem!