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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi from Germany to this great Forum,

7 years ago I got a 1949 B from my dad as a present to our wedding (he imported it from the US without me knowing...we are living in Germany). It started and ran "OK" for the first two years but then I had to move to another city far away. The tractor stayed at our family farm and wasn't touched for 5 years now. When I came back recently and wanted to start it - nothing! The tractor has a 6 Volt system, coil and distributor, electric start. No magneto as I see it. I bought a new battery and got to a point where I could trace a spark on the coil, the distributor cap and all the way to the spark plug sockets, but NOT out the plug. So I purchased new spark plugs (Champion D21). Some other sort (Autolite 388) are still in the mail. So I put in the Champion D21 and still no starting. Difference to the first attempt however, I can hear a very very silent "puff" out of the exhaust pipe while trying to start it. Didnt have that with the old spark plugs. So - are the D21 plugs alright or might that already be my problem?

Meanwhile, while waiting for the other sort of plugs to arrive, I cleaned the fuel supply lines a bit, changed the fuel in the tank, cleaned the sediment bowl....looking down the spark plug hole it seems there is fuel coming to the pistons. It seems wet. But at the moment, no starting.

As said, it started before and nobody fooled around on the tractor. It was just sitting. What could be the reason for it not to start anymore?

Any hint appreciated,
Philipp

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You seem to be on the right path. Make sure you have a good blue spark on the plugs. A mild yellow spark will not be enough to start.
From sitting for five years two things pop into mind. One-- clean the passages in the carburetor. Two-- check the air intake stack for mud dauber nests.
You can squirt a small dab of starting fluid into the air intake and if you get it to start on that you know it's more a fuel issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi BigDaveinKY,

thanks for the reply. You say "make sure to have a good blue spark"... but how would I do that? Just by trying another spark plug or what impacts it? Good tips, I will check the carb and the air intake. I could already spot rests of a wasp nest underneath the very top of the air intake "cover".

I tried a lot with spraying starting fluid into the air intake but this didnt help it. So assume fuel supply is not the issue... right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi there, me again,

with some more questions and findings :) So, turns out I do now have a spark on both spark plugs. I would say it is somewhere between a with and blue spark...not too massive though. But still, only a very mild "puff" from the exhaust when trying to start it. I will clean out the carburetor one of these days. I usually see people soaking the single pieces in a bucket - What liquid should I soak it in??

Then another point, regarding the air inlet stack and air filter:

  • Is there a way to get that "green air inlet stack" to come off? How do I clean that pipe from the inside? seems like one big piece to me..
  • Attached some pictures of the air cleaner. The bottom of the filter element looks really ugly I think. How do I best clean it? And can I clean the inside of the filter element somehow as well?
  • In the bottom pan there should be oil, right? It is dry as it can be.... :-( Which oil goes in there? Can I use regular John Deere Plus50-2 ?
  • In general, when it comes to oil, can I use regular Plus50-2 for the engine and regular HyGuard for the Hydraulics?

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Thanks a lot,
Philipp
 

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If you're getting a good spark then you may have a fuel issue. Give the carburetor a good cleaning with carb cleaner then blow out the passages with compressed air.
John Deere used to sell a "cleaning kit" that included a certain sized drill bit for cleaning the passages, but I don't know what size.
Soak your air intake filter in a good cleaner-degreaser then brush away as much as you can and finish by blowing it out with air.
Use 10w-30 or straight 30w in your engine and air filter cup, and 90w or 80w-90gear oil is what is specified for the transmission and rear end.
 

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This suggestion may not help you. I typed it yesterday but for some reason it was not posted. it was still on my phone this morning.


Pull a plug out and ground it to the engine. You may need a helper to turn over the motor for you. Watch for the spark at the plug to see its color. One other thought is to check to see if the plug wires are connected in the proper firing order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Guys, thanks for your answers.
Yes, Jim, that is how I have been checking for a spark. Hold the plug to ground surface on the engine and check the spark. My B is not a hand start so I could do it alone, simply using the starter. And I did get sparks on both sides. The plug wires have never been unplugged at the distributor cap, so guess they are fine. How would I know at all if they are in the right firing order? I do see the writing on the big flywheel where it says "LH exhaust open" and "LH firing position" (or something like that) where the punch marks are. the spark on the left should ignite when the punch mark meets the corresponding marking on the tractor, right? I find it at about 2 o clock when standing in front of that flywheel...

thanks :)
 

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If you determine that you have spark, and have fuel, and it still only puffs smoke, the next thing would be determining whether the valves are opening and closing properly. A valve can get stuck when an engine has been sitting for a while, and cause it not to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you determine that you have spark, and have fuel, and it still only puffs smoke, the next thing would be determining whether the valves are opening and closing properly. A valve can get stuck when an engine has been sitting for a while, and cause it not to start.
Oh, I really would like to avoid tempering with the valves and stuff. Yesterday night I took the carb apart and flushed it through. There was no sign whatsoever for it to be really clogged up. I did not get out all the brass plugs but all the ones I got where clean and free.
Is there any chance that another spark plug will bring me from not starting at all to success???! I have an Champion D21 in now and will get Autolite 388 and 386 delivered end of next week. Last time it did start, years ago, It had Autolite 386 in it. Or will just the spark not make that much of a difference? I have a spark today but it is not super big and blue. Just a little white one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As I try to eliminate more potential causes and issues on the tractor, I want to take the hood of to disassemble the air intake. Stupid question but: how do I remove that steering wheel??! I have the big nut taken off. What now?
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A gear puller and your favorite penetrant first. Heat may be needed too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Help! Now we are talking...! Taking out the steering wheel all of a sudden doesnt seem like a big priority anymore ...

I last week took the carburetor apart, cleaned it and put it back together. Also, I finally received new spark plugs today. Put them in and attempted a start: Different behavior of the tractor now: First it did not really crank but I could here fluids flowing around...then it started cranking, different than before, like it is working against more resistance somehow...and the noise out of the exhaust was much more noticable than before. Ok, so far so good.

I then noticed 2 things:

1. Fuel appeared all around the right hand side (in driving direction) of the carburetor. Not sure if it pushed out of a sealing, the RHS needle or else...

2. When I took out the RHS spark plug in order to check its condition, fuel ran out of the spark plug hole. A lot of it. The cylinder really was full of fuel. The spark plug looked new, like it never fired. The one on the LHS was blackened and proper wet, so it also got a lot of fuel I think.


So, what is the most likely cause my RHS cylinder flooded?? wrong assembly of the carb after I took it apart?

thanks !!

Philipp
 

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The float could be faulty or be rubbing the inside of the carb, have the wrong setting, or the needle and valve could be faulty. That would be my places to start. If you remove the float, shake it to see if there is gas in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Update: I let it crank a couple of times without spark plugs in and fuel was just pouring out that whole with every crank.
Question: is there any other way I can help that flooded cylinder to get dry(er) again??

Also: To my surprise I realized that the fuel tank is empty! So it drained itself into the cylinder...also fuel went right into the crank housing. A lot of it. Guess I need to do an oil change since all I have in there now is super liquid oil aka fuel.
And here I have questions: I opened the oil level check nut and an entire bucket of oily fuel fuely oil drained out. Is the 7 quart oil level really supposed to look that „empty“ inside the crank case?!? 😳



I also realized that my load needle was out way too much. Would that be a reason why the tank would drain? Cause the float seemed in top shape when I had the carb apart and I didnt tamper with it. Just put it back in. (update: I just took the Bowl of the carb in order to check the float. Tested its function by plugging the fuel inlet and pouring fuel into it. The float went up smoothly and once it was up, it did not allow any more fuel to enter. The little inlet I was pouring into was overflowing. So assume it wasn’t the float that caused the flooding? But how would the fuel pass by the float? I am confused. )

I have the needles now as follows: Idle 1.5 turns away from closed position. Load 2.75 turns away from closed position
 

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