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Lesser Known Classics Discussion Forum

Ditch Witch R40

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08-27-2011 22:15:33

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I have a '70 model Ditch Witch with a Continental gasoline engine. I use this tractor sporadically down South here on my place & it generally starts & runs well.

Recently, the machine felt like it was running hotter than normal & would eventually kill on its own. Only after letting the tractor cool down for 10 to 20 minutes would it start again & run fine until it would kill again, while feeling like it was very hot. Now our summer has been extremely hot & this temperature thing is based on my past 6 or 7 years of working this tractor as the only guage that works is the oil pressure & it has remained consistent. The oil & coolant levels are ok. The rear main seal does leak more than I'd like but still not severe.The tractor runs good in all other respects.

I'm thinking that it may be a vapor lock problem but & if so why would this start suddenly without any changes to the engine?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


P.S. Also, does anyone have experience repairing or adjusting the "crowd control" drive mechanism (used for crawl mode) on these old Ditch Witch trenchers? Mine has started chattering when you push the hydraulic control lever forward or aft & I noticed a little slack in the drive chain. Again, any help is appreciated

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08-29-2011 07:08:09

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 Re: Ditch Witch R40 in reply to pilot199, 08-27-2011 22:15:33  
Does your engine have a magneto, or distributor.
Someone has already suggested and overheated
coil. The same applys to a magneto. Quitting
when hot, but starting again when cooled down
is a "classic" magneto problem.
Magneto coils, points, and condensers are still
readily available, even from Y/T. You don't look
for engine make and model, but rather, Magneto
make and model.

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08-30-2011 10:18:47

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 Re: Ditch Witch R40 in reply to greygoat, 08-29-2011 07:08:09  
Greygoat, it has a distributor but I appreciate the suggestion.


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El Toro

08-28-2011 17:10:11

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 Re: Ditch Witch R40 in reply to pilot199, 08-27-2011 22:15:33  
Have you checked for fire to your plugs? If the fire is weak or no fire your coil is probaby the culprit. It could be a fuel problem if the engine is running lean. Make sure you're getting a full flow of gas from the tank to your carburetor. If the carb has a main adjustment sc/ew you need to open that. Hal

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08-28-2011 20:54:15

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 Re: Ditch Witch R40 in reply to El Toro, 08-28-2011 17:10:11  
Hal, thank you. I have had some charging problems in the recent past. Maybe that's going on again. I'll check that out.

Appreciate the suggestion.


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