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Harry Ferguson Tractors Discussion Forum

1953 Ferguson TO-30

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11-23-2019 15:02:56

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Hi all, first off I've always been able to get my tractor running, but this problem has me stumped. I've owned it for 10 years now and it started acting up last summer. It started choking itself out and running very rough being choked like it was. I parked it after I installed the back blade for this winter and it will chug, but not completely run. I've removed the carb and cleaned it all out, cleaned the fuel tank and bowl, replaced the fuel line (hose), installed new points & condenser, new plugs, cap & rotor, 6v coil and it has great spark. I also converted over to a 12v system, which doesn't have anything to do with it not starting, but wanted to just through it out there...It seems to me like it's just not getting enough fuel because when I crank it and let off, the fuel spills out of the carb throat onto the ground. I spray it with either to dry it up, but it does the same thing. I have the idle air and fuel needle set at 1 1/4 and 7/8 like the book says. It's never ran on 7/8 and I've always had to open it to at least 3 turns over the years. I am completely stumped now. All I can think of is there might be something wrong internally like burnt valves, but I'm not an internal engine specialist so that's just a guess. The very last thing I tried was to remove the carb and spray either directly up into the intake manifold where it would at least try to start on a couple cylinders so I know it will run, I just don't know where to go from here. Yes, I know I'm redundant, I'm sorry :)

Anywho, any help would be appreciated and I will offer payment if you get this thing running. I will pay through Paypal or whichever you'd like to use.

Thank you in advance,


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12-02-2019 12:09:49

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 Re: 1953 Ferguson TO-30 in reply to funguy4649, 11-23-2019 15:02:56  
Thanks for all the help. I just so happen to check the oil bath and it was completely dry so I filled it with oil and the tractor started right up. After some carb adjusting, she runs like a top! I don't know if that is the correct reason for it not starting, or it was just a coincidence. I am honestly still stumped, but don't really care at this point cuz I can now plow my driveway again! Yay!!

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11-24-2019 14:59:07

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 Re: 1953 Ferguson TO-30 in reply to funguy4649, 11-23-2019 15:02:56  
Welcome Thomas!

The fuel draining back after a failed start is normal.

How is the distributor? Any side play in the shaft? If there is, the points will not stay set. They can do strange things, the gap may look good, then change when running. Points are always a source of problems, the new ignition parts are not good quality.

You say it has a 6v coil, did you mean a 12v coil? Be sure it does have the correct coil, or coil/resistor combination. Some coils marked as 12v still require a resistor. If you have an ohm meter, the correct resistance across the coil primary terminals, out of circuit, should be around 3 ohms. The wrong coil will cause short point life or weak spark.

Have you tried a test run with the air cleaner disconnected? There is a wire mesh element inside the canister that needs cleaning, it is often overlooked. It could also be clogged with mud dobbers or mouse nests.

A simple test of the engine integrity is to disconnect and ground the coil wire, open the throttle, hold your hand tightly over the carb, have an assistant crank the engine through. You should get a strong, steady vacuum, and your hand wet with gas.

If pulsing vacuum, very little vacuum, there is a serious vacuum leak, or a valve problem.

A quick compression test, pull the coil wire, open the throttle, listen as you crank the engine through. You should hear each cylinder load the starter equally as it spins through. An irregular sound, a cylinder that spins through with less resistance is an indication of low compression. If suspect, follow through with a real compression test.

Have the valves been set lately? If low compression shows up, take a look at the valve train, look for bent pushrods, broken valve springs, stuck valve, check the valve lash.

Hope this helps, I prefer cash over Paypal! LOL

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11-23-2019 21:31:26

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 Re: 1953 Ferguson TO-30 in reply to funguy4649, 11-23-2019 15:02:56  
On the bottom of the carb is a drain plug. Pull it off, turn on the gas and the gas flow should look like a "cow pissin' on a flat rock". You have three in-line filters. One inside the tank, in the form of a stand pipe, One at the top of the glass fuel bowl and the last one in line inside the brass fitting going into the carb. You can also make yourself an external float check tool.
Remove fitting from bottom of carb. Install barbed fitting. Attach clear plastic hose to barbed fitting. Hold open end of hose up. Turn on gas. Gas inside hose will rise to same level as inside the carb. Should be below the mid-lines of the main carb body. Setting timing. Point gap effects timing. If you have a timing light, you can statically line up the timing marks on the flywheel. Clamp a flat edge to the front bolster about 1/4 inch away from front pulley. Paint a line on the front of the flat edge and another mark on the front pulley. Start the engine. Loosen and turn the dist so the paint lines align on the front pulley as they were when you painted them.
Your timing is now set without standing on your head.

Go play, let me know.

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16-30 oilpull

11-23-2019 15:33:23

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 Re: 1953 Ferguson TO-30 in reply to funguy4649, 11-23-2019 15:02:56  
sounds like it's getting to much fuel that's why it is acting choked. Your float valve in the carb is not stopping the flow of fuel. Either a bad valve or bad float or it is not set a right level or it is sticking in the carb bowel. take carb off and turn upside down and see if you can blow in gas line. If so float valve is not holding.

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