I'm Miss Information

Turn your FLYWHEEL!! But, my real name is Meli...
    Here is a question I received in my email - a GOOD question, I might add...

chris wrote:
Hello Meli,
    What is the easiest way to start an early styled Model B when turning the flywheel? Mine is a 1939 with the flywheel start on the side. Perhaps you can give me some pointers. Thank you.

    Well, it's kinda like starting an old lawn mower. It might go, and then again, it might NOT! You probably already KNOW some of this, but you ASKED:
    You want to make sure the fuel valves are open - the one on the sightglass/filter and the one that selects which tank has gas in it. Open the throttle about halfway, or a little more, and close the choke. Open the compression-release valves on the cylinders. The valves are obvious on the early styled tractors; on the ones after 1947, they are underneath the cylinder block. (On the unstyled B's, the are NO compression releases).
    Make sure the tractor is in neutral and the clutch is disengaged, then start turning the flywheel in the forward direction. Now... unlike a lawnmower, you don't have to spin it FAST. There is a recoil mechanism in the magneto that produces a hot spark no matter HOW slowly the flywheel turns. The INSTANT the engine fires, OPEN the choke, otherwise it will flood. If it DOESN'T fire right away, and gas starts spraying out of the compression releases, open the choke anyway, and keep trying. If you don't smell any gas, try it with the choke half closed. It's trial and error, you know! When it starts, close the compression releases, and adjust the throttle to a suitable fast idle until it warms up a bit.
    Every one of these babies has its own "quirks" and if I started YOURS up a few times, I might be able to tell you how it LIKES to be started. If it DOESN'T start, it's because everything is not "perfect". Don't forget, the thing is over FIFTY years old!!
    If it won't even "pop" at ALL, there are three things to check: Spark, fuel/air mixture, and compression.
    The first thing to check would be the spark. If you don't have a BLUE spark that can jump a 1/8" gap or better, it's probably never gonna start.
    Next, check the carburetor and be sure it is COMPLETELY clean inside - all of the hidden passages. Make sure there is nothing obstructing the flow of fuel TO the carburetor.
    The THIRD thing is the compression. If you don't have enough compression to make the engine difficult to turn when the compression releases are closed, then it is probably time to rebuild the engine. Poor compression can be caused by bad valves, worn rings, worn cylinder walls, or ALL THREE!

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