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Antique Farm Tractors with Rubber Tires Vintage farm tractors on rubber tires with various implements. Ford, John Deere, Oliver, McCormick and more.

Antique Farm Tractors with Rubber Tires

Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?


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  #1  
Old 11-07-2019, 11:16:30 PM
RD58 RD58 is offline
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Default Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

Hi all, I am pretty new to the ford tractor and I’m having an issue with low power on acceleration and overall bad running. I have already rebuilt the carb and the previous owner put all new ignition on (I bought the tractor only a few months ago). I have since cleaned the points and the distributer even though they are new and double checked firing order. This thing has me stumped. It’s got 88 psi compression which is ok by the manual I have. The very odd thing I have found is that 3 of my spark plugs appear rich and carboned up and one appears clean and white. (See attached picture)
Any ideas or help on this issue will be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:37:52 PM
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ulgydog56 ulgydog56 is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

follow it back from the plug, first ground the plug and see if your getting spark rotate plugs (bad plug) then rotate wires (bad wire) if good its in the rotor or cap also smell for raw gas in that cylinder. always start at the beginning and work your way back, process of eliminaition….
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:15:49 AM
RD58 RD58 is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

Thanks for the advice I just went out and put all 4 plugs on the wires and grounded to check for spark. I have nice bright spark on all plugs. The tractor seems to run smooth at idle when cold. Could a plug fail with temperature? I’ve got a set of plugs on order for it. I’ll try swapping around the plugs to see if the problem moves with the plug.

Thanks again
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:02:23 AM
gootsch gootsch is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

You may have a vacuum leak leading to the clean plug.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:50:36 AM
Russell Walker Russell Walker is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

I would be looking for a intake valve stuck closed on cyl. with clean plug. or just not opening for some reason.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:52:43 AM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Walker View Post
I would be looking for a intake valve stuck closed on cyl. with clean plug. or just not opening for some reason.
I have to agree! that clean plug appears to me is not getting fuel, run a compression test on all 4 cylinders. I would almost bet you are going to get a very different reading on the cylinder with the clean plug!
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:13:11 AM
Oldtech Oldtech is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

If you have 90 ish pounds compression on all cylinders thats not your problem. How about a restriction in the air cleaner that us choking it. Try running with the air pipe off.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:05:18 PM
RD58 RD58 is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

Thanks guys for the reply’s. I should have clarified in the original post I got roughly 88 psi on all 4 cyl. The oil is a bit dirty but didn’t have water on the dipstick and is not milkshake colored. I will drain the oil today to double check this and report back. On the idea of a vacuum leak to the cyl with the clean plug, how would I check for this? Is there a way to do it on the tractor? Also I have tried running with the air filter disconnected and there was no change.

Thanks again for all your help
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:19:58 PM
Tracy T Tracy T is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

just a thought, check the compression on the suspect cylinder after it has got up to operating tempature. if a valve is adjusted too tight after everything expands it may be holding a valve open just enough that its not seated when hot. I am not compleatly up to speed on the N series ford but check for a mouse nest or what not in the airway to that cylinder.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:59:16 PM
VossD VossD is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

To find a vacuum leak squirt some oil on the intake manifold by the cylinder that is miss firing. Starting fluid will work too, it should cause it to rev up. You should see the oil sucked in. Since the two branches of the manifold feed two cylinders each more likely a tight or bad valve.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:40:16 AM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

Or a bad valve spring... probably exhaust valve spring...

How's the coolant? With the engine warmed up and running, do you see bubbles appearing in the coolant? Is it holding coolant, or loosing it?
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:26:36 AM
slip knot slip knot is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

Check the firing order on the plug wires. Pretty easy to get them off time when doing a tune up on a front mount distributor if you’ve swapped out the cap
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:33:30 AM
CharlieB CharlieB is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

A key piece of information here is that the engine runs OK when cold, but misses on one cylinder when hot. It might be that you have either one or both valves valve hanging open only when the engine is hot.
If both valves are hanging open, there would be a direct connection between the intake and exhaust manifolds that might account for a bad fuel/air mix, no power, and all the crud on three of the plugs.
Bet you ran the compression test when the engine was cold? Might try a compression test on the dead cylinder when the engine is hot.
If it fails, one fix for sticky valves is to dump some auto transmission fluid into the cylinder and spin the engine a few times with the starter motor to get the ATF to the valve guides. Let it soak for a couple of days. The detergents in the ATF tend to soften carbon/crud. Sometimes works, and saves pulling the head off.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:10:44 PM
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FWurth FWurth is offline
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Default Re: Ford 9N running on 3 cylinders?

Had a neighbor years back that proudly bought a rebuilt 8N for his 3 acre ranch. Rebuilt motor and new tires and paint. He got along good till the first real cold snap and he wanted to plow snow. The thing wouldn't run period. I got called in to fix it. After some checking I found the valves all sticky with some molasses type oil. Seems he changed the oil and added a healthy dose of good old STP! He took the advertising to heart and dosed it good to protect his new toy! The stuff was so stiff that the valves moved ever so slowly and the starter barely could turn the thing. After a good thinning with fuel oil and fresh proper oil, we had it going just fine. And schooled him on the proper care of his beast.
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