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Ford 9N, 2N & 8N Discussion Board

Re: 8n died


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Posted by Bruce (VA) on May 20, 2013 at 06:11:59 from (24.125.80.178):

In Reply to: 8n died posted by brucePa on May 19, 2013 at 16:58:02:

" but think it may be a coil'

I don't think so.

I think you have a troubleshooting problem: you are just replacing parts until you blindly find what's broken or you run out of money.

This is why a coil problem would be very unlikely.........

Coil problems are difficult to diagnose. For starters, round coils are pretty robust & square coils arenít (because of the difference in insulation used), but neither one will hold up to a poorly done 12v conversion that allows too much current to the coil or leaving the key on (see tip # 38). Too much current creates heat which melts the insulation. Insufficient resistance in a 12v conversion will do the same thing. Rarely do coils just ďgo bad.Ē

As others have said, there are a few ways to see if a coil is bad, but itís not possible to determine if a coil is good w/o some expensive testing equipment. If you detect a dead short or high resistance in the coil w/ an ohm meter, itís bad. If itís cracked, itís bad. If a sidemount coil w/ battery voltage to the primary will not jump a ľĒ gap from the secondary wire to the block, itís bad. But, here is the hard part: even if you do not detect a short, even if it will produce a spark, even if itís not cracked, that doesnít mean the coil will work when itís hot & under a load. So, itís a process of elimination. If the tractor starts & runs fine for 30 minutes or an hour then cuts off & refuses to re-start, and you checked for spark at the plugs & it had no spark at all, AND you have the correct voltage at the coil thatís a good sign that you have a bad coil. Let it cool off, restart it & if you have a good spark, odds are itís a bad coil. But, even then, you might end up w/ a spare coil on the shelf!

Bottom line.......coils do go bad, but I'll venture a guess that 75% of new N coils sold today are sold to folks who do not understand how to diagnose a poor spark problem or how a coil works. So, for those who donít know any better, in a no spark situation the first suspect is usually the coilÖÖand, more often than not, it isnít the problem.

Or as one regular around here humorously suggested: "Well, it is like this...I don't know or really understand what that black thing does & I am suspicious of the unknown, so I think the problem is the black thing."


Do you have battery voltage across the points when they are open? Verify the gap on the points at .025. Then, dress the points by running a piece of card stock or brown paper bag through them. New points sometimes have an anti-corrosive dielectric coating on them & old points can corrode or pick up grease from a dirty feeler gauge or excessive cam lubricant. (I always spray my feeler guage blade off w/ contact cleaner.) Make sure you have voltage across the points, as in past the insulator on the side of the distributor. That is a very common failure point on sidemounts, along w/ the attached copper strip. It's hard to find a short there because it is usually an intermittent . So 'wiggle' the insulator & the copper strip a bit when you are doing your checking. If you find the short there, the Master Parts catalog lists everything you need on page 154. You can make the strip and you could also make the insulators as well. But, somethings are just easier & in the long run cheaper to buy. Get the strip, 12209, screw 350032-S, 12233 bushing & 12234 insulator & just replace it all. If you just replaced the rotor & lost spark, put the old one back in. Insure that the rotor fits firmly on the shaft & that the little clip is there. Make sure the distributor cap is not cracked & doesn't have carbon tracks. Check continuity on the secondary coil wire. Make sure it is firmly seated in both the cap & the coil. In fact, replace it temporarily w/ a plug wire. Next, remove the secondary coil wire from the center of the distributor cap, turn the key on & crank the engine while holding the end of the wire 1/4" from a rust & paint free spot on the engine. You should see & hear a nice blue/white spark. If not, you have a bad coil or condenser. Just put the old condenser back in to eliminate that as a possibility.

Post back w/ results; I'll be interested in what the problem was.



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