Tuesday, July 12, 2005, 11:27 PM
I got her running!

I got a new battery, hooked it up, and tried to start it on the off chance that it would fire. Nope. Checked for spark and nothing. Since the seller said he took the distributor out and messed up the timing, I found a procedure online for setting it. Emily and I went over there and spent a while trying to find TDC and all that and finally gave up, still with no spark. Not knowing much about distributors, I talked to my Dad and Grandpa for advice. The next day I went back over armed with my new knowledge to try to set the timing. I hit the starter button to turn the engine over to where I could see the timing marks and nothing happened. Then I noticed that I'd left the ignition switch on overnight. Oops! I took the battery out, along with the distributor, and went home to charge it. I was about to hook my charger up to it when I remembered I was dealing with a 6 volt battery, and my charger is only 12 volts. It's always something, isn't it? I went out and got a 6 volt charger, charged it, and that evening I looked through the distributor to make sure everything was in order. I sanded the points a little and gapped them properly and checked a few things with my continuity tester. The next day turned out to be the hottest day of the summer so far. I'm not a fan of warm weather. However, when you're working on a tractor, it keeps the mind off the heat and the bugs. I got the distributor installed to where I thought it was correct, got the battery hooked back up and hit the starter button, and still nothing! No cranking at all. Right when I was ready to give up, Dennis, the fella I'm buying it from, came out to see what I was up to. I couldn't figure out what could have happened in 24 hours to mess up the electrical system. The first thing he did was the first thing I should have done - jump over the starter relay. That made the starter kick, so we knew that it and the battery were good. There's one wire going to the starter button which had to be the culprit, but again, how could that switch or wire have gone bad overnight? Dennis took the mounting screw off and as soon as he did, the wire connector fell off the wire. I guess maybe I pulled it when I was messing with the battery. We put a new connector on and we were back in business. I pulled a plug wire off and held it near a head bolt and eureka! Spark! After a few minutes of cranking and trying various amounts of choke and throttle, and slightly adjusting the distributor settings, she fired up! What a feeling. It was short lived, however, After about 30 seconds, she sputtered and died. We took the fuel line off and found that no gas was getting to the carb. I noticed that the fuel level in the sediment bowl was right up to the top of the glass and no higher. The in-tank fuel filter was clogged. We took off the sediment bowl assembly and cleaned it and finally got gas flowing to the carb. When we took it out and the gas drained out of the tank, though, I was concerned by how rusty it looked, and I had just put fresh gas in the day before. I had forgotten to tighten the distributor adjusting screw, so I guess it rotated a bit and we couldn't get it started again. I decided to start over from scratch to make sure everything was correct so I pulled the whole thing out and reset it according to the manual. After I did that, it took about half a second of cranking and she started right up again! I was pretty proud of myself for nailing the timing right off the bat. With it idling I tried adjusting it and found that my original position was the best. "Well," I said, "should I take her for a spin?" The loader was resting on a wood block, so we tried to lift it up to remove the block but it wouldn't go. After we added some more hydraulic fluid the loader worked perfectly - up and down, fast and strong. I hopped on, put it in gear, and took off! I drove a lap around their garden and just before I got to where I wanted to park it, it sputtered and died. Fuel line clogged again! That problem definitely needs to be addressed. We drained it, and again, the gas looked really rusty. We pulled the hood off and got the tank off and I brought it home to clean it out. I've been researching ways to clean a rusty tank and found a bunch of methods. The one I settled on was a combination of things I read about. I put a gallon or so of vinegar in there along with some roofing nails and I'm letting it soak and shaking the nails around. I already poured out some of the vinegar and it looks more like hot chocolate now. The problem with this method is you have to really shake it a lot, and I don't have the time or especially the endurance to do it. You're actually supposed to strap it to a tractor and plow the field for a day or two, or put it in the back of your truck for a month or two to let the nails shake around and do their thing, but I don't have time for that so I'll have to try another method. I read about using some toilet cleaner called "The Works" to remove rust so I think I'll try that tomorrow after I take it to the car wash and use the pressure sprayer to try to knock off any loose stuff. Then I need to find a way to seal it.

So that's where she stands now. The engine runs, but the tank needs to be cleaned and I'll need to change the oil and that sort of thing before I try to drive it home. Did I mention my plans to drive it all the way home? Why not, right? It makes a better story that way. Especially if I break down. :)

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005, 11:25 PM
Just before noon I asked Delia if she wanted to take a ride. "No. Home." I said "You don't want to take a ride?" She said "Home." Then I said "Do you want to go see the tractor?" "Gack-gur!!" "You want to take a ride to see the tractor?" "GACK-GUR!!!"

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005, 11:22 PM
She's mine now!

It doesn't run, however, the guy said nothing happened to it other than he just stopped using it and it sat. He took off the distributor to clean and when he put it back he messed up the timing. First thing I'll do is to get a battery and see if I can get it to pop. The sheet metal is relatively straight. Shouldn't be too hard to pound it out a little. The front grille is missing but that's it. The biggest problem is someone painted it yellow! The tires look new.

I also snagged a Ferguson to go along with it! When I pulled in I saw it sitting in the brush and asked about it. I thought it was another 8n but it's a Ferguson. It was in a garage that burned down and they pulled it out and it's sat there ever since. It's quite rusty and all the rubber is gone, but the sheet metal is actually pretty good (no grille though). I asked him if he'd sell it too and he said I could just have it if I can manage to pull it out of there. He gave me a new set of tires that will fit the rims off the Ferguson that I can then put on the 8n.

Now I have to find a trailer to get it out to our land. If it ran I'd just drive it, but that still wouldn't get the Ferguson home.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005, 11:20 PM
There's a nice looking unrestored Jubilee parked in town in a parking lot. It's got a loader though the bucket isn't there. No blade, but there's some sort of accessory on the back. I stopped in at the three businesses that are right near there and none of them know who it belongs too. There's also a really cool Jeep pickup truck next to it, so apparently someone is selling them or at least temporarily storing his toys there. The guy I bought my Indy from, Trader Craig, has a show on the radio every morning where he reads free ads for people, so I figured maybe he had an ad for it. I missed the show this morning so I stopped in at his store. He wasn't there but I asked his wife about it and she called him for me. He said something about a '52 8n with a loader and blade. I knew that wasn't this one, but I asked the price. "$1500 and it supposedly needs a little work." Whoa! Forget the Jubilee! I figured that had to be wrong though since every Ford I've heard of around here has been $2300 or more. Anyway, he said to stop in at the radio station and look through his pile of ads, which I did. "1952 Ford 8n with front loader, back blade, and tire chains. Needs minor work. $1500. Call after 5."

So now I'm sitting here trying to get work done while visions of tractors dance in my head, waiting for 5:00 to roll around. The lady at the radio station (who we know) said she thinks the ad has been on for a while, so hopefully I can haggle a little.

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