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Discussion Forum

Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running

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03-15-2003 16:12:26

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Was out working my '61 601 for about an hour today and shut her down to attend to a few other things. Hopped back on 45 minutes later, fired her up no problem, was warming up at strong idle and after about 30 seconds she just went dead. It was like the fuel supply suddenly was cut off.

Has power and cranks over strong just doesn't fire (yes I have plenty of gas in the tank!). Where should I start? Thoughts, ideas and suggestions are appreciated as I have piles of manure to move, a driveway to blade, gravel to spread...and on and on and on.....help!
Thanks, John

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Afternoon update-JohnCT

03-16-2003 12:18:04

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 Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to JohnCT, 03-15-2003 16:12:26  
OK, I think I have narrowed it down (thanks to all the great advice). I cleaned and re-tightened all the connections first. Then used a "light meter" on the ignition coil and it is sending juice to the distributor. Next, removed the spark plug wires held them to the block and am not getting any spark what so ever. So it seems to me that I have reasonably narrowed it down to the distributor.

Now, being a rookie at this I need help with the next step. Several comments mentioned removing the cap and cleaning the points with 600 grit when they are in contact and re-adjusting the points. As this is my first ever effort getting into a distributor how exactly do I clean the points with sandpaper and how do I adjust them? Also, when pulling the cap are there any special items to note on the procedure? I do have a shop manual and IT manual, but it is still not clear.

Round II!!! And thanks again everyone for all the help....we are making progress and I am learning. John

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03-16-2003 14:37:39

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 Re: Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to Afternoon update-JohnCT, 03-16-2003 12:18:04  
Scott, you can call me at 603-466-5776 New Hampshire).

But, you're well on your way.

Cleaning the points is easy.

Pull the ground or easiest to reach cable from the battery or disconnect one wire from the coil. Just to be safe.

Remove the Dist. cap. unclip the clips. Check for wear. If worn, acquire a new cap and rotor from NAPA, the one with the brass contacts inside and not the aluminum ones.

When you remove the rotor, look inside it, or on the shaft and make sure you don't lose that small spring steel clip.

Lift the dust cover.

Inside you will see the breaker points either open or closed.

Doesn't matter if they are touching or not, but I find it easier to pull them open a tad if they are touching, fold over some 600 or finer grit paper, slip them between the point contacts and lightly move the paper back and forth, but be easy. The nickel coating on the points is micro thin. But, if you go to all of that trouble and the points look dirty or worn might was well replace them. But the cleaning should get the tractor to fire up if they are slighlt dirty or burned.

Also, replace the small condensor in there too. It could be, that that has gone bad and not the points. Nonetheless, both are easy to replace and your I&T Manual, or Ford owners manual or shop manul will cover the finer points (pun not intended) of installing and setting the gap. But you will need a gauge set and check for the correct gap according to the manual.

Avoid removing the Dist to do this. Because you will have to make sure that you have the rotor in the same position as it is now. Otherwise, you could mess up the timing. And that's another long message.

Call me if you need to.

Good luck. Tom

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phil (va)

03-16-2003 08:39:30

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 Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to JohnCT, 03-15-2003 16:12:26  
Six volts NEGATIVE you say.... hmmm. Not the norm. I don't know what that might cause, but I think it could be an issue. Anyway, others have given lots of good advice. I'm going to jump in with a quick guess that it might be the consensor, which is cheap and easy to replace. Something to try real quick.

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03-16-2003 06:29:59

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 Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to JohnCT, 03-15-2003 16:12:26  
Now that you know it is in the ignition, one easy check is to remove the distribitor cap, cut on the key, and take a voltmeter and see if you have 6/12 volts depending upon your voltage system from ground to the point contact If yo do turn it over looking at the points. See if you have any fire at all when the points make and break. this should be easy since the tractor is in the barn and should be pretty dark. If those points get off just a thousand or two she just won't fire. Mine done similar to yours and just died. I found it was the points had opened up a couple of thousands. . After adjustment, If no spark check voltage leaving the coil to the distrubitor. If voltage is present it could be where the wire goes into the distributor, and it could be shorted to ground. If no voltage check the voltage to the input of the coil. If votage is present it is the coil. If no voltage is present check connections at altenator, and keyswitch, and isolate it from there. Not much to those of electrical systems so should be easy to check..

Also my tractor is notorious for points getting out of adjustment during really wet weather. Usually a clean up with fine sandpaper, and adjustment will get her firing right up.

Good luck.

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03-16-2003 03:13:27

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 Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to JohnCT, 03-15-2003 16:12:26  
When I've had sudden shut downs it was always electrical. Gas problems would be a loss of power, surging, then deadness.

A simple light/voltmeter will help you trace where the current stops.

A couple questions:
1. state of your wiring? old? new?
2. 12V or 6V?
3. test the current flow into the distributor after you have tested the spark at the plug by holding it to the block and see if it is sending a nice blue 1/4" or better arc. ? There is an insulator that protects the main wire from the coil into the distributor. Check to see that that is not grounding out. Sometimes points just go bad too. Try some 600 grit wet/dry paper and lightly rub the points when they are in contact once or twice and check your gap. Could be points went bad or they slipped.

Post results and will help you take it a step at a time to get that manure pile moved.

Next step is to trace it back from the coil. Do the sort-of obvious and double check your connections. tighten and clean.

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03-16-2003 05:12:28

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 Re: Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to Tom, 03-16-2003 03:13:27  
Thanks all for the quick help it is very much appreciated and very much needed-I am heading back to the barn shortly to begin troubleshooting.

Tom, very helpful post! To answer your questions:
1) Most of the basic wiring is old however, the coil and coil wiring is newer and the distributor and distributor wiring/spark plug wires are newer.
2) 6V negative ground (yep, negative).

As you mentioned I think I will start with the obvious and check, clean and re-tighten the connections at the coil and distributor. Will report back on my findings a little later this morning. Thanks again for everyone's help..John

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03-15-2003 20:02:57

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 Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to JohnCT, 03-15-2003 16:12:26  
sorta sounds like what our naa does when the float gets stuck on the carburetor, just a few taps on the side of the carb with a screwdriver handle or a block of wood usualy fixes it. i see it says CT after your name so i assume your from connecticut, just wondering where in ct, i live in northfield, a small town in the northwest corner of connecticut

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David Donaldson

03-15-2003 16:38:16

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 Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to JohnCT, 03-15-2003 16:12:26  
three things that make a gas engine run: Spark, Fuel and Compression.

A sudden stop like that will either be spark or fuel. A bit of quick start into the carb will let you know if it is fuel. If she does not fire up for a couple of seconds on quick start, then it is spark. If it does, fuel is your problem.

Good Luck

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03-15-2003 17:56:03

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 Re: Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to David Donaldson, 03-15-2003 16:38:16  
Back up from the barn (where the tractor is stuck) and the quick start fluid did nothing. So from that, if we can conclude it is not the fuel and is the spark, what might I look at toubleshooting next??

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Ron in PA

03-15-2003 18:38:18

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 Re: Re: Re: Flat Out Just Dead Stopped Running in reply to Update-JohnCT, 03-15-2003 17:56:03  
Pull a spark plug from a cyclinder and rest it on the block. Crank the started and look for spark. If there is no spark find out why there is no spark. IT could be the points are not adjusted properly or burnt from leaving the key in the on position inadvertantly. Could be the distributor cap is cracked or the rotor is bad (cap and rotor are replaced at the same time). Could be the spark plug or coil wire is arcing. Could be the coil is bad. Could be the ignition key is bad...could be a wire in the "run" cycle is not attached properly.

Could be anything. Seeing how it cranks, ran until a point, and so on. I would say it is wiring or electrical related.

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