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Tractors Big ones, small ones, old ones, new ones, buying, using, fixing...you get the idea.

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Old 11-18-2016, 09:01 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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Default tractor troubleshooting help requested

my ford 641 tractor has been giving me some trouble. it used to start up right away, now its getting colder and it takes a while for the motor to fire, the battery doesn't hold a charge and all I hear is a clicking sound. I put a second battery on it to jump start it and that usually works, but now that isn't starting up right away and despite the jump battery being full charged after 3 or 4 times trying to start the motor slows down and doesn't fire (unless its a warm day or sun been warming it). its a gas engine and I only use premium ethanol free gas in it.

what might be the problem, I know I need to change the battery but am kinda broke right now, wondering if there may be other problems associated with it. I can have a mechanic look at it but again, broke right now so trying to figure out what it needs.
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:15 PM
StockdaleDave Male StockdaleDave is offline
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Maybe I am misreading your post but it seems like you're having a couple of separate issues. What do you mean by it's takes a while to fire? The engine turns at speed but takes a while to start? Or is the engine is turning over slow? Those old Fords liked good grounds and a good blue spark. A low battery will cause you to have too low a voltage for the coil and points to work. Me I'd check the charging system, make sure the battery cables are good, the battery is good, and connections are clean and tight. I'd pull a plug and ground it against the head to see if you have a bright blue spark when the engine is turning over. If you have good spark I'd check the fuel filters. Mine has 3. Make sure the points aren't pitted/burnt.
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:38 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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thanks for the reply, fixed it yesterday. slow to fire meant it didn't fire when the starter turned the motor, it was slow and struggling, low power, like when you turn the key and its trying but not starting. gave up on the jump battery since we have unprecedented weather this weekend, sunny and in the 60s, great for getting work done. pulled my truck up along the tractor to jump with that but had the same result. the tractor battery was no good, and my jumper cables were not providing much power (cheap junk kind). truck had the same effect as just a battery. swallowed my pride and borrowed some money from a friend and bought a new battery, started fine after that, I thought it was something on the tractor or the batteries, didn't realize the jumper cables were doing nothing until I tried the truck as power source to jump.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:01 PM
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CountryGuy CountryGuy is offline
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Did you check to make sure your alternator is charging at correct voltage? If not and that is the root of the issue, you'll kill your new battery in short time.

Other thing, I don't know what weight oil you use or what "cold temps" are but you might want to consider a lighter weight or a part or full synthetic oil for winter months to allow things to turn over easier. Also you might want to get an oil pan heater to warm things up. You mention money being tight, I knew a guy that made his own from a heating pad and some insulation to help warm up his old 8N that was a lot cold blooded once got below 40.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:42 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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When I had trouble starting my tractor, I got an oil pan heater and a battery blanket. In really cold weather, I keep them plugged in all the time, but in normal winter weather or if I don't think I'll be using it much, I just plug them in about an hour before I use them and everything seems to start fine. Also, as to the battery, I have sometimes found that the battery can "go bad" (I assume it is due to rugged use on tough terrain but I don't know for sure) and if I just disconnect one of the battery terminals to bypass the battery, things start just fine--maybe a short in the old battery that drains the current?
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:18 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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the tractor had some problems before when the coil needed to be replaced, the battery housing had metal up against both terminals (not original battery). the battery that came with tractor was about 10 years old, and was being ground out by the bracket holding it in place. the coil was changed months ago but I didn't remove that bracket till 2 weeks ago.

been starting perfect since I put a new battery on it, though I found an oil leak while it was idling (used a wagon to gather firewood and unloaded it into the truck to deliver to someone buying 20 cords of poplar firewood) found an oil spot under the tractor afterwards. checked the oil and it still said full so it wasn't leaking for too long, looks like a gasket around one of the bolts is leaking (and the oil need replacing). for the moment I am just putting a tarp on it and going to work on it after I get paid for that firewood.
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Old 11-26-2016, 03:17 PM
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It doesn't take long for an new battery to become
"old." --especially if it isn't being used regularly. A cheapo ($10 at Wallmart, or $5 at Harbor freight) float charger is great insurance to provide prolonged life to a battery. Keep it connected at all times that the vehicle is parked-- summer and winter-- heat is hard on the battery too.Yours wasn't holding a charge- that's proof it was long over due for replacement.
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