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Order Ford 861 Parts Online

861 no spark

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Author  [Modern View]

06-26-2016 21:22:27

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Used the tractor last week-end, started/ran fine. Today turns over normally, but no spark.

6 volt sys, points were opening and closing normally but grimy looking changed point and condenser and set points. Copper strap looked fine at the distrib. Have 5.5v at + term. checked coil wire ohms were abt 8000 but flexing could get it to 24000 so changed that. Really wanted to cut one field so tried what I could think of.

Is there something obvious I'm missing here? There was quite a downpour the other nite, barn was being worked on so sat outside.

More info on request, too tired to think anymore.

Thanks for ideas/opinions,


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06-29-2016 20:40:26

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 Re: 861 no spark in reply to Fjordman1995, 06-26-2016 21:22:27  
Took apart the distributor and cleaned and polished checked for grounding and reassembled. Cleaned all connections, just regular maintenance really but after putting everything back together the engine sputtered a little but wouldn't run. So I went to check for spark at the plugs.

remover #1 and it was fouled really wet with gas and some oil. held it near the block and cranked, no spark. pulled the rest out and they were all at least moist. That was the first time I cranked it today. Returned from the parts store with 4 plugs, gapped them, put them in and cranked it up. Took longer than normal but it started up. (yea).

Still doesn't start right but will check timing and dwell tomorrow.
Thanks to all for the help,


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Sean in PA

06-29-2016 06:38:06

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 Re: 861 no spark in reply to Fjordman1995, 06-26-2016 21:22:27  
Check the small wire from the coil where it goes through the hole in the side of the base of the distributor to get to the points.

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06-27-2016 09:16:21

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 Re: 861 no spark in reply to Fjordman1995, 06-26-2016 21:22:27  
As sound say check your battery it is low if you only get 5.5 volts at the coil. Once you have a full charged battery pull the distributor cap off and dust cover. Turn the ignition on and open and close the point by hand using something plastic so you can watch and listen for a spark. No spark at the points mean you have bad or dirty points and a short in the distributor. You can also pull the ignition side wore off the coil turn it on and watch for a spark there when you touch the wire on and off. If you pull the center wire from the distributor cap while to touch that coil wire on and off you should get a good blue/white spark the jumps a 1/4 inch gap. But all that twill tell you is that you have a short or the points are good. But if you turn the engine so the points are open doing what I just said again will tell you if you have a short because if you get a spark with the points open you have to have a short some place

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06-27-2016 07:58:31

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 Re: 861 no spark in reply to Fjordman1995, 06-26-2016 21:22:27  
5.5v at the points? your battery is DEAD or you have some bad connections.

should be bat volts.. and that should be about 6.3v on a good battery.

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Larry NCKS

06-27-2016 05:07:58

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 Re: 861 no spark in reply to Fjordman1995, 06-26-2016 21:22:27  
Dry the coil out or replace it.

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06-27-2016 21:05:56

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 Re: 861 no spark in reply to Larry NCKS, 06-27-2016 05:07:58  
Thanks for the reply. battery now at 6 volts, cranking with coil wire out of cap and holding near the block, there was spark some red some white but both were weak. When checking the points for short, with points closed, opening and closing didn't result in any spark, but with small screwdriver to open and close there was a spark when touching the cam on the dist shaft.

cranking the engine with cap off there was a little spark while opening and closing. Is there a common point to short? the stud and copper strip looked ok.

More tomorrow


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06-28-2016 21:04:11

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 Re: 861 no spark in reply to fjordman1995, 06-27-2016 21:05:56  
Took the stud/copper strip connector out and it looked fine. reinstalled checked with ohm meter continuity seems ok. coil impedance was about 1.6, hard to read while swinging at mosquitoes. Is there anyplace besides the stud/copper strip that can short? Like under the breaker plate?

Try again tomorrow. more Black Flag, too. Thinking bout towing it back to the shop.

Thanks for the ideas,


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06-29-2016 14:52:16

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 Re: 861 no spark in reply to fjordman1995, 06-28-2016 21:04:11  

Stick a test lamp inline.. Shows when you have current flow

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