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Ford 9N, 2N & 8N Discussion Forum

Starter solenoid

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Author  [Modern View]

02-11-2020 13:43:25

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After an extensive tune up, my 1952 8n ran about five minutes and stopped dead, like a switch was thrown, not like a fuel issue. The battery was new and well charged. My first thought was the ignition switch. I jumped the switch and it started right up.
Disclosure: My thumb starter switch was disconnected when I bought the tractor almost 14 years ago. It works off a "turn to start" keyed ignition switch. I replaced the solenoid (because I had one on hand, and also the ignition switch. It still would not work unless I jumped the ignition. With the key turned to ON, I could touch the end terminal of the switch with one end of the jumper, and touch the metal housing of the switch with the other end of the jumper and it would fire right up every time. But it would never start just by turning the key. I thought maybe the new switch was bad so I put on an older one I had laying around. It did not work at all. I put the new one back on but now it would not start even when I jumped it.

But now... it will start by jumping the solenoid! I hate electrical issues! My buddy, also an 8n owner, who can fix EVERYthing, couldn't figure it out. Using his volt meter, everything seems to be drawing current as it should. I'm going to order a new solenoid and hope that will fix it.
It's a 12 volt system without the thumb starter. It has the turn to start, four position ignition: ACC, Off, ON, Start. Just as it's always had. So, exactly what solenoid do I need? I've read comments on the 12v solenoid saying it didn't work because it was a 12 + signal, instead of a 12 - signal. I'm not sure what that means. I can use your guidance. And yes, I know it should have the thumb starter reconnected, but it doesn't for now, and I need to get it running.

Thank you!

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02-16-2020 07:07:26

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 13:43:25  
there is now
an indicator light that taps off the wire going to the coil.... In this forum, after reading all the problems with leaving the ignition switch on, I decided that my short term memory leaves a lot to be desired and I needed a reminder too. Here is an after market 6V LED I found for my 8N51.

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Pete in Holland MI

02-12-2020 07:51:24

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 13:43:25  
Having issues with my Jubilee years ago that eventually was diagnosed with a faulty ignition key switch, there is now an indicator light that taps off the wire going to the coil. This way, I KNOW there is power going to the coil, AND, if the key switch is left on. It's just a small red clearance light mounted next to the key switch.

Highly advise......

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Tim PloughNman Daley

02-12-2020 03:07:11

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 13:43:25  
Incorrect wiring is the most likely culprit. There is no fuse in the N electrical system. Only the headlight switch has a fuse and lighting kits were never a factory installed items -only a dealer optional accessory. Ignition switch isn't OEM style so start there. Starter motors don't care if 6V or 12V. Just because a battery is 'new' does not mean it tests good under load. Have it bench tested at a shop. Simply applying a battery charger means nothing if specific gravity is not met and it won't hold a full charge under load. New batteries, cheap brands usually, can be junk out the door. Get the battery tested, and while no power applied, get the correct wiring diagrams and follow exactly -no shortcuts -so that means get the correct ignition switch and the neutral safety starter switch. Test wiring thru continuity, not a test light or by wire colors. Did you remove the Voltage Regulator from the circuit? Using a 12V coil or an OEM 6V? If 6V, you need to add an inline, ceramic 1-OHM resistor in the circuit. With a 12V coil it is not used. Remove the lights and switch to take out of the circuit. They can be connected when other electrical issues are fixed first. Don't sacrifice safety for negligence and urgency for a 'I need to get it running now' mentality.


Tim Daley(MI)

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R Geiger

02-11-2020 19:00:42

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 13:43:25  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeIf the thumb switch is still there and works it would be an easy fix , just install correct solenoid and run the wire to switch. Install a NAPA ign switch that is just a two terminal one. If you need a new thumb switch they are easy to replace, in my book it would be quicker than trying to figure out what you have now. JMHO good luck with whatever you do!

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Den N Ms

02-11-2020 17:29:37

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 13:43:25  
Kenster,In the immediate future you may be walking around with a cast on your ankle/foot or not walking at all from it running over you a loved one or someone else!

If you need it right now just jumper the bad switch with a wire and alligator clips.Then fix it right for your SAFETY and later diagnostics of future problems that we can help you with.Not some ham fisted cobbled up mess. Be Safe,Please fix it Right!

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02-11-2020 16:28:06

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 13:43:25  
I understand, but that won't help in the immediate future. I need to get it running now.

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R Geiger

02-11-2020 15:11:20

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 13:43:25  
would be a lot simpler if you just went back to the original starter switch and 3 terminal solenoid. oh and safer also!

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02-11-2020 14:53:26

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 13:43:25  
I tried to edit the above but editing is not allowed and I don't see a way to delete.

After I wrote the above, I went out and tried to start it. This time, with the key on, it would not start but it WOULD start when I jumped the switch. So, I guess this new switch was bad out of the Chinese box. Imagine that. I'll go get another one and try that.

I'll report back but I'm open to other thoughts in the meantime.

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Colin King

02-12-2020 13:00:37

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 Re: Starter solenoid in reply to Kenster, 02-11-2020 14:53:26  
I think you're on the right track. However, fixing your wiring is going to be your safest and most reliable long-term solution and with the help of the wiring diagrams and the folks on the board, it won't be too hard to accomplish.


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