Question about Ford 8N Tractor

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1952 ford 8N tractor will not start. New plugs, wires, distributor and coil. Engine turns over but no spark comes to spark plugs

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A coil wire can be bad. My 52 8 N at times would not start, otherntimes no problem. On one of the no start mornings I began to check wires. Found that the coil wire from distributor to the coil had a bad end. One end of wire was perfect, the other end was bad. The brass plate covering the bad end had become defective and was broken and was blocking connection with the distributor. I took a small wire and cleaned out the wire connection in the top of the distributor . Several small pieces of the corroded brass plate were removed , coil wire reinserted and old tractor started immediately. I still need to get a new coil wire but that was the problem

Posted on Feb 19, 2013

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Posted on Nov 14, 2009


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Cant get 8n to run. starts but misses. new plugs, crb,distributor, coil, tank shut-off, ign switch, ceramic resister, ballast resister, fresh gas, but has power to ign switch whether on or off.

If it starts but misses meaning it runs but not on all cylinders?.....then,
Are the spark plug wires in the correct firing order?
Are the spark plug wires in good shape?
Is there compression on all cylinders?
If a valve is bad it won't fire smoothly.
If you pull the plugs are any black with carbon?
(a black carbon coated plug will not fire,especially with a 6 volt system)
Is the distributor car attached fully and correctly?
When the distributor cap is off,is there any side play in the distributor shaft?
Is the point gap correct on the points?
Start the tractor cold and feel the spark plugs,the one or two that are colder than the others are the missing cylinders,if two are cold you could try switching those spark plug wires with each other,in case they are mixed up,and if two are missing are side by side you could have a head gasket leak between cylinder problem.
TIP 1, the BEST THING to do on a Ford 8N is to convert it to 12 volts neg ground.Add a alternator,(76 chev pickup alt fits good) leave the starter as it is (it does care if it's positive or neg ground or 12v) and add a 72 dodge ignition resistor in line to a 12 volt coil.(unless your new 12v coil does not need a resistor)
This set up will increase your fuel economy,add power and start instantly in any temp.
TIP 2,you can use unleaded fuel in a Ford 8n as it already has hardened valve seats.
BUT 10% Ethanol fuel is BAD,it can be used, but shut off the fuel at the tank and let the tractor carb run dry before shutting it off if you are not going to use the tractor with in a few days.

May 21, 2017 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have a 1952 ford 8n new wire harnes when i hook up hot wire from voltage reg it clickes is it supposed to do that

It is the field coil energizing. Normally it should not be energized. Double check how you have the ignition switch wired..

Oct 23, 2012 | Ford 8N Tractor

1 Answer


I just had to do the same. I removed grill and hood. Disconnect upper radiator hose. Remove radiator mounting bolt under left side (as you're looking at the front) and loosen the right mounting bolt. Radiator swings to the right to allow access to the distributor and coil. Lower radiator hose can stay connected as long as it will fold on itself without damaging. Remove the coil and distributor cap. Check to see that the rotor turns when cranking the engine over, to eliminate that potential firing problem. Then remove the whole distributor to replace points and condensor. It's a lot easier. Be sure to check gapping on all four lobes.

Jun 03, 2010 | Ford 8N Tractor

1 Answer

8n (front mount distributor)seems to be frying coils, one day working just fine, next doesn't spark at all, New condenser, plugs, wires, rotor,points, distributor cap. Replaced coil last time seemed to...

Had the same problem, but was my fault for bypassing the ballist resistor (my bad). Anyway, I fried the coil. Read all the posts and bought new 12 volt coil (it has been converted before I got it 13 years ago). New points, condenser, cap, rotor. Now it is just my timing is a little off, but I have strong sparky but not enough to fry my coil again.

If anything, keep the ballist resistor. it is needed to drop the voltage to the coil so it doesn't fry.

Jan 12, 2010 | Ford 8N Tractor

2 Answers

No spark at spark plug center of Coil

2000 ford escort ZX2. 4cyl . No spark at the spark plug. Wires are good.

Jul 23, 2009 | Ford 8n,9n,2n, Tractor Starter With Drive

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Have new plugs, wires, cap, coil, rotor points, condensor. Still no spark

Check for power getting to the center top connection at the coil.
Are the points opening?
Are they fully closing?
Check for a grounded connection/wire in the dist?
Be very careful how you set the coil onto the dist.

Jul 12, 2009 | Ford 8N Tractor

1 Answer

Ford 8N wont start

It sounds like the conversion was more trouble than it was worth. I won't claim to have the solution to your problem having never worked on an 8N, but I was wondering about the capacity of the points and condenser in the distributor. If the condenser is not 12 V also, it might be causing the points to melt which would keep from getting a spark at the plugs. Check the condenser for voltage rating and also check if you are getting a spark at the plugs by unscrewing a plug, reconnecting the high tension lead, and hold the edge of the plug against the block while cranking using thick leather gloves, insulated pliers, rubber, or other non-conductive material to keep from getting shocked.

Jul 10, 2009 | Ford 8n,9n,2n, Tractor Starter With Drive

3 Answers

Ford 8N will not start when hot

This sounds like a bad fuel pump to me. The only way to be sure is to check the fuel pressure when cold, probably around 45 PSI. Then when it get hot it will drop way down to 10 or 15 PSI. Check the pressure if you can, or change the fuel pump.

Jun 12, 2009 | Ford 8N Tractor

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