1951 MC crawler ignition question...

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PossumFarms
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1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by PossumFarms » Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:13 pm

I've been working on an old 1951 MC crawler and trying to revive it after sitting a while.

It appears that I have no spark! It won't even pop off with ether. I pulled a plug and grounded the outside and cranked it and there is no spark on the plug.

So I bit the bullet and replaced the coil, cap, rotor, coil wire and plug wires. And put in a fresh pair of plugs, properly gapped.

Went and tried to start it up - same thing...

1.5 ohms across the coil - so its' good. I get 4.5-4.8 volts to the coil from the ignition switch on a 6v positive ground system. Which is about right - I think! IS THIS RIGHT???

The ONLY thing I haven't swapped out yet is the points and the condenser... Just because it ran last year. And now it won't. It's about to get converted over to electronic ignition once I get it running and moved over to the barn... I just need to get it running long enough to get it over to the barn so I can do some more work on it!

Anyone have any hints?

I am going to try changing out the condenser and the points tomorrow. I didn't have time before the sun went down tonight. Ran out of daylight. And I need daylight to see the timing marks and stuff - not to mention be able to see to adjust the points!

Bill

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shinnery
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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by shinnery » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:13 pm

I would check the voltage on the other side of the coil. If you have the same 4.5 volts there the points are open and not closing. If no volts there the points are closed and not opening or you have a short somewhere. Condenser may be shorted???
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Stan Disbrow
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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:22 am

Hi,

There is no drop in voltage to the coil on a 6v system. Should be full battery voltage. Which should be 6.3v or so. You shouldn't have that much drop at the coil input. There's a problem somewhere.

Run a jump wire from the negative battery post to the coil input. Run a jump wire from the coil out to the points. See if you have spark then. I suspect ign switch and also the crimped on ends on the wires (and maybe the wires themselves).

My 58 420 has a voltage drop thru the Ign switch so I ran bypass wires and a toggle switch long ago rather than change out that rotary switch.

Once you get sparks, you can undo the jumpers one at a time and figure out where the problem is.

Stan
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Have: '58 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 inside manual blade
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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by Jim B » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:52 am

X2 on what Stan posted. First thing you need is full battery voltage at the coil when the switch is on. Also check to see that it doesn't drop when the starter is cranking.

Clamp your test light lead to the coil post the lead to the distributor is on (do not disconnect the distributor lead), and ground the probe. If the points are working it will flash when the engine is cranked over with the switch on. If it stays on steady the points aren't closing if it doesn't light the points aren't opening or you have a ground between the coil and points.

I have seen point contacts oxidize while setting (even just over the winter months) which prevents them working correctly. I usually fold a dollar bill up and use it to polish the point contacts if they don't start. Often that's all it takes. I scrape the posts in the cap and the rotor button tend it they have build up. Unless there was visible damage to the cap rotor and coil, I would have changed points and condenser before changing the parts you changed, they are key to making a spark. I recently got a 2020 wheel tractor going that had set for at least 10 years (no one knew when it last ran and the owner had passed). I only changed the points, condenser, plugs, and rotor button and it started (fresh gas as the tank was dry). The rotor fell apart was the only reason I changed that.

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PossumFarms
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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by PossumFarms » Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:09 am

Thanks for the tips guys!

I left out that I put brand spanking new battery cables on it too! The cables themselves weren't corroded or anything but the battery post connections were just kind of boogered up and the rusted bolts on the battery were next to impossible to turn - so I slapped a couple of Oreilly's battery cables on it. Positive to the ground and negative to the starter solenoid. I even went so far as to put the RIGHT length of cables on it! So they aren't too long and the extra wasn't out flapping in the breeze anymore... (pats self on back)

The only big reason I haven't diddled with the points is, I can't find my feeler guages! :oops: I probably had three or four sets of feelers at one time in my big toolbox. But I can't find ANY of them now! And... I haven't set points on anything since about 1979-1980ish... LOL My favorite set is the set that my dad used to use on his Porsches and MG's back in the 1950's and 60's. I know it is with his Snap-on "Whitworth" socket set for his old MG's - I can't find that either! Which sucks 'cuz that 1950's era Snap-on 3/8 drive socket wrench was my absolute favorite ratchet and it was tucked away so my son wouldn't lose it/destroy it...

Now I can't find it... Most people have a "tool box", I am weird... I am a tool nut (I don't borrow nor lend tools) and I live on a farm and have four generations of inherited tools in a LONG ROW of free-standing roll around tool boxes. Which makes finding ONE little tool a general pain in the butt! Was it in MY tools, Dads tools or grandpa's tools? Or my wife's dad's tools, or her grandpas tools? OR is it in my son's tools? It's a long standing joke in our family - when you can't find something - "I know where it is, it is in the barn!" Meaning it is lost in a black hole somewhere between here and the next galaxy...

Thanks again for the tips guys! I will attack it again today and try your methods. All I need to do is get it from the overgrown grassy parking lot over to the blacktop next to the barn so I can tear it down a bit more and do some much needed maintenance like replacing the ancient belts that are literally falling off of the tractor! I hate working over grass - if you drop a little screw or something - good luck finding it in the grass!

If you want to check out the progress of my little project, here is a play list of mine over on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... 7hIadGrk2V

One more question - I read somewhere on the Internet that you should never use "50/50 Anti-Freeze Coolant" in a "Thermosiphon" engine that doesn't use a water pump. I had never heard that - is this true? If so, I am guessing I need to go find some distilled water and not use my well water in it - right?

Thanks again guys!

Bill

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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by Lavoy » Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:35 am

Run the antifreeze, don't worry about it.
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fundytides
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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by fundytides » Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:34 am

New battery cables? Did you the heavier 6V cables or just regular 12 v cables. You can get a voltage drop with the lighter cables
have 40c 4 roller crawler, 1927 Ford T Touring car, 1931 Ford A Roadster, 1951 Standard Vanguard Saloon. Never a dull moment!

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PossumFarms
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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by PossumFarms » Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:09 am

Good question - either 2 or 4 gauge, I don't remember.

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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by Jim B » Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:08 pm

Very good point from fundytides. Best to use 0 or 00 cable for 6 volt systems. 4 is definitely too light, 2 is marginal. You may need to go to an equipment dealer or heavy truck shop and have them made. JMHO
Jim

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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by PossumFarms » Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:41 pm

Good point on the heavy duty cables... Bigger cables would definitely help - knowing what I know about power systems...

Somewhere around here I have some 0 gauge stuff for commercial telecommunications UPS systems that has a lot of super fine copper wire in it. It's more flexible than automotive stuff and has an outdoor rated coating that's good up to 600 degrees meant to tie together big banks of lead acid batteries in racks. Maybe I will go find some tips and warm up my 1920's era soldering iron and torch and go to town... :D It would be a fun project in and of itself.

I am headed out into the parking lot with a little slip of 1500 grit sandpaper and go see what I can do with those points! I will keep you guys posted...

Will it start?!? Third time's a charm right? (First time in a year)

Bill

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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by PossumFarms » Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:06 pm

It is ALIVE!

Finally! LOL It moved under it's own power!

https://youtu.be/3NYGkVJ8pFA

Now that it is over by the barn I can work on it easier!

Thanks everybody!

Bill

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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by dtoots1 » Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:50 pm

so it would sen...your battery cables the answer!!!!

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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by Jim B » Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:52 pm

Good to see it ran and moved. From the sound when you tried to turn left the left steering clutch is stuck/rusted and not releasing, so the engine lugs as you pull back into the brake.

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PossumFarms
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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by PossumFarms » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:09 pm

Jim B wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:52 pm
From the sound when you tried to turn left the left steering clutch is stuck/rusted and not releasing, so the engine lugs as you pull back into the brake.
Yep, exactly what I was thinking... I am not looking forward to breaking the track and diving off into that final drive unit - but it needed doing before I got it. The JD dealer broke it free and said it needed to be worked when I brought it home last year. He said the brakes are pretty much shot on both sides, but they worked! I am hoping Lavoy can get the CORRECT parts for me down the road... I noticed a bushing missing on the right side where the lever kind of flops around coming out of the housing too... When I break the tracks I figure I will do both sides and they will be DONE!

But I aint looking forward to that chore... Never done it before... But it will move better when I am done with it!

Bill

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Re: 1951 MC crawler ignition question...

Post by fundytides » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:37 pm

Looks like a fun project. Some of the same stuff I went through with my 4 roller crawler when I rescued it from under a tree with a seized motor. Had to do a motor rebuild along with all the usual stuff in the finals. You say in your video that it doesn't show any oil pressure. If removing the gauge doesn't show any flow/pressure, I have seen the pin in the oil pump drive gear shear off. Easy fix unless you have skid plates to remove to get the old pan off. Good luck!
have 40c 4 roller crawler, 1927 Ford T Touring car, 1931 Ford A Roadster, 1951 Standard Vanguard Saloon. Never a dull moment!

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