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Discussion Forum
:

850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick

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scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs

05-30-2001 02:59:46




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everytime it rains, i can almost predict that my 850 won't start. i'm tired of it. i like rain, thats what i am not tired of we need it. but i don't know why, everytime we get rain the 850 wont start up. i open the distributor cap, pull off the dust cap and i look inside the bottom of the distributor and theres a small amount of water each time. my dust cap has the gasket too!

just where does it come in?

when i remove the cap, condensation is inside the cap, on the condensor so i clean it off, dip the end of a paper towel underneath the plate to soak up the water, and spray a little ether on the points to make sure they are dry.

then i take 600 grit paper because my points are always grey after 8 hours of work and are not shiny and I lightly sand the points to remove any potential rust

this is getting old. eventually it will start up, after replacing points.

what is wrong with my tractor?

I have a 6V system.

I can't tell if the generator is not working and it's the battery running down too. I am going to put a new set of point on today, and if the spark is weak...maybe I have two problems bad generator and bad point system.

Tony Jacobs - how do these 6V systems go bad? in your article in the Newsletter you say that you replace the 6V with 12V conversion when they start to go bad. Is mine going bad?

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ????

Scott(AL)

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greg

05-31-2001 17:59:15




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
And if all this doesn't work, don't overlook the post connection out the sidewall of the distributor. This will corrode and wick moisture in, and provide a voltage drop in ign primary circuit causing weak spark. Chased one down for a week before I found this problem. Same symptoms, especially the paper towel to sop up the water in the dist trick. One guy's experience.



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paul

05-31-2001 00:43:42




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
It is possible for water to be in your crankcase, and it condenses up through a worn distributor shaft. Since you mention it acts up when it's rainy, this is probably not your problem.

I'd try the new cap & condenser, that sounds like the cheap route & will hit the problem more often than not. Be aware, more than once a new condenser has been bad for me - kinda like thermostats....

For the record, the 960 I have works well in Minnesota on the standard 6v. We've rebuilt the starter twice, but I learned to drive on this tractor 32 years ago, and it gets a lot of use, especially in winter.... Many recommend converting to 12 volt, but I like the original stuff. The other 4 gas tractors I have & use are also 6 volt.

--->Paul

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Mark H, Ont

05-30-2001 18:34:43




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
Do a complete tune up, cap, rotor, wires and plugs. While you're at it, it soesn't hurt to make sure the sediment bowl is clean, as well as your oil bath in the air cleaner. I used to put 40 to 50 ford tractors and trucks away each fall for my grandfather, all 6 volt, and with a battery charge in the spring, 95% of them would start with no problem. Some would need a tune up kit, and we'd sometimes have a coil or 2 give up. I realize a lot of people seem to be biased against the slow cranking of a 6 volt starter, but with good compression, and good ignition system, they will start as reliably as todays vehicles. My 541 starts in less than 3 seconds of cranking, with little or no choke, day in and out, and the tractor lives outisde in the elements, warm summer, and snowy winter. In the last year the only starting problem was due to a bad connection at the starter, I removed it, cleaned it, and re-connected it. Problem solved.

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Jerry D in NC

05-30-2001 10:27:19




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
When was the last time you gave the old girl a real full tune up changing the distributor cap, rotor button and condenser as well as points. The moisture is getting in through the cap somehow and the best fix for that is a new cap, they are fairly inexpensive. The condenser is there to soften the arc for the points so if the condensor is bad then it is not absorbing any of the current inrush from the points when they make and break. This will also cause weak spark. Start with a full tune up and clean all of the connections as others have said and see what problems remain.

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tom fischer

05-30-2001 16:30:47




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 Re: Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to Jerry D in NC, 05-30-2001 10:27:19  
Yup, need a new cap and rotor. The cap get porous with time (like 10 years), and the moisture comes right through. (When you have trouble starting up in rain, the cap is too old) While your at it, spring for a new set of ignition wires.



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C.W

05-30-2001 09:16:27




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
I just put electronic ignition on my 4400 and am happy with it so far.I wonder if the water might be condensation?Maybe not since you said when it rains it won't start,but it's a thought.



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Paul P

05-30-2001 06:59:12




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
Scott,

I to have an 850 with 6 volt positive ground system that was hard starting in wet weather. I converted to electronic ignition, and the problem has gone away. It may be my imagination, but the tractor seems to have more power. It starts alot easier now.

WD40 will displace water. You may want to try coating the inside of the distributor with it.It should help. You could also wrap the distributer wth a plastic bag and rubber bands. As for where the water can get in, I would predict it is coming from the cap.

If the tractor is turning over well, then the battery must be in good shape and the generator is functioning. As for the amount of spark, the coil is where you will get the spark from. I would start there if you have weak spark.

Best of Luck,
Paul

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ken in wisconsin

05-30-2001 06:23:55




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
I would start with a thorough cleaning of all electrical connections. "Clean, bright, and tight". I recently replaced most of the wire end connections on my 860 (6 volt) and I know it starts better, winter and summer. I mean really disconnect each connection, and wire brush the mating surfaces. I noticed some of the wire end connections on mine were tight, but were only holding a few strands of the copper wire. You can usually find enough slack to sacrifice the 1/2 inch of wire you will have to remove to get to good wire to put on a new "crimp on" end. I know this all sounds simple, but it does make a difference. I was at the point where I was going to go to electronic ignition, but have decided not to do it for now, since everything seems fine.

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Joe

05-30-2001 05:29:49




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
I had a similar problem with my 1963 Ford 4000, but not as severe. After I replaced the old points that had been in who knows how long, I was having to put in new points or at least sandpaper them about every week or two. I recently converted to 12 volt and electronic ignition. So far, am very happy with it.



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TomG

05-30-2001 03:55:50




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 Re: 850 won't start after rain and going through points faster than I can shake a stick in reply to scott(AL) to skilled electric people and tony jacobs, 05-30-2001 02:59:46  
I don't know the tractor. In general, I'd replace the condenser and check to see if the resistance through the lines and primary coil circuit is within spec. Some manuals give resistance values for the coil primary and any in-line resistors. If the distributor has a vacuum advance, you might check the diaphragm. A ruptured diaphragm would create an intake manifold leak. That could make the tractor hard to start and might draw air, or whatever, through the distributor.

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