[Healeys] dead

Bob Spidell bspidell at comcast.net
Tue May 4 20:47:12 MDT 2021

Of some use, maybe:

I have an old Ford 851 tractor; early '50s vintage, 6V positive ground. 
It has a new battery, and after a spell on the charger it will 
start--grudgingly--then once, when I pulled the charger off after 
starting it died. After another charge, it would start but would die if 
I tried to lift the hydraulic buck rake, or tried to drive it away. I 
checked charge voltage at the battery, and at a fast idle it would only 
show 6V. I had the generator rebuilt, and installed a new VR. Boom: good 
start, 6+ volts and plenty of juice to both move and operate the buck rake.

Conclusion: Coils provide a fixed ratio voltage increase, based on input 
voltage. On this tractor, 6V--a charging generator should provide almost 
7V at a fast idle--was enough to start and idle, but didn't provide 
enough spark under load. I'm usually skeptical of coil failures, because 
they have no moving parts and nothing to wear out, and my BJ8 with over 
200K miles still has the original coil as does my BN2 (AFAIK) but it's 
an easy and cheap enough 'fix' to attempt. It's also possible all the 
previous 'fixes,' along with a new coil, put this engine 'over the top.'


On 5/4/2021 3:18 PM, Mike Sinclair wrote:
> A month ago, I wrote regarding my BJ8 which just suddenly quit.  
> Hagerty brought it home.  Diagnosis:
> It takes fuel, air, and spark to combust.
> Lots of fuel
> Spark
> Pretty sure there is air.
> Checked all the voltages, all per spec.
> Changed condenser, no improvement.
> Rotor and points are new.
> Someone suggested the cutoff switch in the boot might be bad.  Checked 
> the wire, and it wasn't even connected.  Disconnected this wire at the 
> coil and using my trusty ohmmeter, both ends went to ground.  Aha!  
> Intermittent ground!  Fired it up; a little reluctant but it started 
> up and seemed to run ok.  Drove around the block a few times, came 
> home and patted myself on the back.  Next day took it out for a little 
> longer run (2 miles) and it began to whimper badly 1/2 mile from 
> home.  Nursed it home.
> Thought about it (a lot) including the fact that it has always been 
> very hard to start when cold, and even then runs poorly for a few 
> seconds before it catches.  Decided that maybe even though there was 
> spark, maybe it wasn't strong enough.  Bought a new coil.
> After installation, if fired up much easier, and runs great.  Have 
> been taking it on increasingly longer test runs and it seems fine.  I 
> hate to say it is cured, but seems to be.
> Thanks to all who replied with helpful hints.
> Mike
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