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This has absolutely nothing to do with home inspections. If you want to boot the thread, Mike, that's fine. Though, in my defense, I guarantee that the subject isn't likely to elicit hard feelings and result in fistfights. I only post it here because I suspect that Messrs. Patterson & Fabry have some relevant expertise.

Every spring for the past 16 years, I've had to do battle with my 1949 8N to get it to start. The battle lasts two weeks every time. It doesn't matter what I do to the beast, after two weeks it just decides to start. The catch is, I have to do *something* to it for 14 days straight. Usually, that involves replacing plugs, plug wires, coil, condenser, distributor, etc, etc and giving it a useless crank or two.

Understand that I can do all that on the first day and she won't start unless I go out and pet her for 13 more days.

This year something different happened. When I opened the fuel line, gas poured out of the carburetor in a pencil-thin stream. Ah-ha! In a flash of brilliant deductive reasoning, I figured that the float must be stuck, so I whacked it with a hammer. The gas leak stopped, but the sucker still won't start.

Now I'm wondering if the problem isn't electrical at all. Perhaps after sitting through the winter, the carb is just gunked up and needs to sit in fresh gas and be stirred around each day for two weeks before cleaning itself up.

Having never rebuilt a carb, I'm loath to start now.

Anyone have any ideas?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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As long as it takes to get it started, I'd guess you're simply purging the float bowl of old gas and water (through condensation) that has collected while it sat.

A carburetor has an acceleration piston or diaphram that actually injects fuel into the manifold. Until you've removed all of the old fuel by vacuum through the jet or through pushing the pedal, it's trying to start on that old possibly contaminated gas. Next season start by removing the carburator from the manifold and turning it upside down to drain out the float bowl before you try starting it and I bet you'll have success.

Carburetors are pretty tempermental. I used to rebuild them. It's not bad. If you ever were into building models, you can rebuild a carburator. The kits usually come with pretty good directions. Just be exacting on the measurements and adjustments. The kit usually even comes with the guages necessary to make the adustments.

I'm sure Chad may have some better ideas guesses and suggestions. I'm just a shade tree machanic.

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No Problem,

At least it isn't religion, politics or nonsense.

I'd guess a stuck needle valve, water in the gas and oxidation on the points. If you are letting it sit around for six months at a time you really need to pass a piece of clean paper between the points to remove any oxidation and then drain the tank and float bowl and fill it up with fresh gas before starting it. Alternatively, you could top up the tank before you put it away, drain any water off the bottom of the tank in the spring (don't they have a little bleed valve on the bottom of the tank?) and drain the float bowl before trying to start it.

Another thing that can happen with an engine when it is left too long without starting is half of the piston rings can end up sticking in the compressed position after sitting for so long and they have to be freed up before you'll get adequate compression to fire the engine off.

When I was younger, if we had to store a vehicle for long periods of time we'd disconnect and cap the fuel line, drain the float bowl and then disconnect the coil wire,take out the plugs, pour about a 1/4 cup of Marvel Mystery Oil into each cylinder and then with the plugs screwed in loosely, only about a turn, crank the engine over a few times to distribute the MMO all over the pistons and cylinder walls. Then the engine was ready.

When we came back to start in the spring, the first thing we'd do was take out the plugs, place a rag over both cylinder banks to catch the spray and then crank the engine over without plugs in to lubricate the cylinder walls. Then we'd put in fresh plugs, pass a piece of paper through the points, reconnect the fuel line, drain any water out of the tank, reconnect the coil wire and crank 'em up. They'd smoke like hell for a few minutes but always kicked right off as soon as the float bown was full and the carb was aspirating okay.

FWIW, it's been about 31 years since I made my living twisting wrenches so my advice could be totally off the wall. After all, in those days we'd pour a cup of water directly down the carburetor with the engine racing in order to break carbon loose in cylinder heads. Don't know why, it's what the old timers taught us. Anyway, you need to take my advice with a grain of salt.



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It very well could be the Float Needle Valve and or the Fuel Strainer if it is a TSX-241 A/B/C Carburetor. I think this is the standard 8N carburetor. We had many problems with the float needle, mostly when she sat up in the garage for a good length of time. My brother started putting an additive into the fuel Stabil(SP)and this really helped.

Mike has some other good idea.

Ya know Jim, she just might like your gentle touching and the whispering of sweet nothings in her fender wells.

FYI to all, I'm not really a tractor expert. But my brother and I restored a 51 8N to show condition. We, well now its mostly him take it to shows around the country. It was also used in the movie My Dog Skip.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif F8N1951.jpg

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Until I saw the picture, Having no idea what an 8N was, I thought you guys were talking motor cycles. I glad Scott posted the picture so I don't have to ask.

I have an old Kobuta, not as old as your 8N, I still work it (front end loader and backhoe).

Anyway, as far as storing the 8N for long periods, I know when I store my boat for the winter, I put stabilizer in the gas, and while running I spray engine store in the carburator. In the spring it starts right up, smokes like crazy for a while, but I know that the cylinder walls and etc. have been protected.

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For what it is worth - I have a can of Marvel Mystery Oil from 1950. It is such a thing of beauty, that I have kept it around for years.

We have a Jubilee that requires a pull start every year, then starts just fine after the "pull" for the rest of the year.

'course it ain't as purdy as Scott's 8N, but we are proud of the mud! We keep the nose polished and everything else can get dirty.

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I LOVED stuff, Les. It's still available today and for years I used to use it in every way recommended. I was even putting it in the gas tank. Both vehicles went well over 200,000 miles. (which has more to do with religious service that Marvel Mystery oil, but at any rate...)

It's cool stuff.

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Thanks everyone. Before I try opening up the carb, I'm going to try Chad's teaspoon of oil in each bore. If that doesn't do it, I'll go for a carb rebuild kit.

Steven, every year, usually around May, I tell myself that I'm going to go out there and start her up once a month through the winter. It just never seems to happen.

I'd have made a lousy farmer.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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