dwillis4

Hand (crank) starting the H and 4-Series

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Even though my 1942 W4 has electric start capabilities, I'd like to hear YOUR recipe for hand (crank) starting your H or 4-series McCormick.

I'd just like to be able to develop a method that works reliably for cold start specifically. Most likely you have a different recipe for warm start too. I'd like that also.  I THINK there's probably some sage advice for where to set the governor control, choke, how many 'pulls' ( or lifts) and then turn on the mag for one more pull.

What procedure always seems to work for you?

Thanks,

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The generator om my 48 H died a year or better ago, some day I'll fix it.... It is so easy to hand crank so that's why I've procrastinated on fixing the generator.

FIRST AND FOREMOST!!! MAKE SURE TRACTOR IS IN NUETRAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mine is a magneto which makes hand cranking easy. Mags are same spark spun  fast or slow.   With switch off, tractor cold; set choke full and crank 2 full revolutions.( if cold out , say below 50) Maybe 1 turn is enough if warmer out.  Set throttle to around 2/3rds. Also make sure gas is on, ask me how I know.....;)  Move choke to 1/2 position, position crank handle so it engages the pulley at 6:00 . Pull up on crank, just pull up on it not like your trying to lift the tractor just pull up from 6:00 to 9:00. 1/4 turn if no fire repeat. In good tune an H ( or others) should be running. Never crank the handle all the way around or push down on it. Warm is the same without choke. That's my method anyways.

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Part of the qwik-attach bracket Dad made for the loader blocks the use of the crank on the Super H.  A manual start involves a log chain and the M or my pickup will work in a pinch, and either Wifey or Son..  I have 2-3 cranks stashed around the shop. Never used one in the past 63 years, never plan on using one.

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Park it on a hill and release  brake and put in gear pop the clutch when get speed up . To many close calls hand cranking , never wrap your thumb around the cranks. Kick backs are violent. 

The generators cost way less than e room visit . 

Good luck 

 

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Put it in neutral.  Check to make sure it's in neutral.  Open ignition switch.  Make sure it's got enough throttle.  Check for neutral.  Choke.  Check for neutral (haha) Thumb on the inside of the crank (not wrapped around it).  Crank.  If it pops off and dies take off choke.  (check for neutral again, haha) Crank it again and if it's a good tuned tractor it should start by now  

 

Or you can just use the electric starter like most normal people. :D

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39 minutes ago, 560Dennis said:

Park it on a hill and release  brake and put in gear pop the clutch when get speed up . To many close calls hand cranking , never wrap your thumb around the cranks. Kick backs are violent. 

The generators cost way less than e room visit . 

Good luck 

 

I love hill roll starts.  

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I've already used my tilt bed trailer as a hill when unloading my F-14 at a tractor show..............Hey, I live in the flatlands of Northwest Ohio. We have hunt around for a hill. :lol:

Pretty much agree with what Tom H said, however:

"The ability of this engine to start is directly proportional to the number of people watching me crank it"

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1941 H with a mag and no working starter since about 1950.

Turn on the gas and the switch. Check for neutral, open throttle about 1/2 to 2/3 and pull choke.

Turn over once and shut off choke. May need two turns over if cold. With choke off a couple cranks and it will run.

Hot out and been running, turn on the switch and crank it up. No choke needed.

People look at me like, "What the heck are you doing?"

The crank on the H has never bit me. If it does, the timing ain't quite right.

PS: When it starts you will notice you forgot to take the can off the muffler. It reminds you.

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Not an H but my F-20 (no other options but the 'hill start' method)

Cranking when temperature is over 40 degrees -

Gear shift in neutral, gas on, set magneto to retarded, choke on, 2 pulls of crank. Gas should drip from carburetor, choke to off.

Third pull of crank engine will start (OK, sometimes it takes 4 pulls....)

To start F-20 when temperature is below 40 degrees, wait until things warm up to over 50, then use the above procedure. ... :)

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1 hour ago, drglinski said:

I love hill roll starts.  

ME TOO,! got so I catch the paint can that covered over the muffler from rain. The exhaust blow it straight up and if it timed it right i caught it . Didn't have to get off the tractor to pick it up ? Bonus points. Thunder!   Farm kids have so much fun ! See you had to catch it or if it fell to the ground the tire would run over it and crush it. Dad would ask what happened to that paint can over the muffler? I HAD TO CATCH IT ,IF I WAS TO LAZY TO TAKE IT OFF before Did the hill start

i think I had the Farmall C in high for best receptions. 

Coach use to say throw  the football anywhere in my direction and I would catch it! He did know how I could do it !  but it was easy from Farm Practice  LOL no problem had to maneuver a 3500 lbs tractor going in high gear and catch a can in the air  ! lol ,in one hand lol

thanks  great memories, 

cranking a tractor all bad,memories  all bad for me , forget it , I won't let the kids do , 

i had the farmer up the road teach me to use my leg to cranks those Allis Chalmers silage blowers . They were notorious for kick backs, and breaking arms. .   Rocky said use your leg  has way more power to crank with.  And took the energy of the kick back or really reduce the kick back I use to crank the Farmall sc with My leg ,put my foot on the crank stand on the wide front if no hill available . Crazy 

i dont recommend cranking period ! 

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I once had a farmer come in with a freshly set wrist ask  for  points and cap for his Super H yep it got him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

h

 

 

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1 hour ago, 2+2 Guy said:

 

"The ability of this engine to start is directly proportional to the number of people watching me crank it"

Exactly what I was thinking.  

 

1 hour ago, 560Dennis said:

ME TOO,! got so I catch the paint can that covered over the muffler from rain. The exhaust blow it straight up and if it timed it right i caught it . Didn't have to get off the tractor to pick it up ? Bonus points. Thunder!   Farm kids have so much fun ! See you had to catch it or if it fell to the ground the tire would run over it and crush it. Dad would ask what happened to that paint can over the muffler? I HAD TO CATCH IT ,IF I WAS TO LAZY TO TAKE IT OFF before Did the hill start

 

Smashed my fair amount of cans and you are absolutely right Dad would want to know why the can isn't round anymore.  

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Apart from checking that the the tractor is in neutral, make sure that the fuel is on and the ignition switch is out.  My 1941 W-4 does not like too much choke and once it statts it wants it off straight away.  I only ever pull up from 6 o'clock, the H-4 magnetos do not have a spark return, apart from the impulse coupling.  I had a good kickback on the Super A and since have been careful with H-4 magneto fitted tractors.  The F-4 magneto on my O-12 starts with the the magneto set about half way between shorted and full advance so kickback is pretty unlikely.

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The F-20 or the F-14 on rubber start in the cold with one or two revolutions full choke mag in the middle setting. Great starting tractors. We can roll start the F-20 as it has a road gear attachment but it crank starts so well we never need to. The 22-36 on the other hand is a little more stubborn and involved but it needs some engine work. it has some big pistons man!

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11 hours ago, 560Dennis said:

Park it on a hill and release  brake and put in gear pop the clutch when get speed up . To many close calls hand cranking , never wrap your thumb around the cranks. Kick backs are violent. 

The generators cost way less than e room visit . 

Good luck 

 

Ha-Ha....  The guy that lived on the farm that my folks lived on 34 years farmed with a nearly new Farmall 400 gas.  Had an H too I think.  Steep but short hill from the driveway down into the barnyard.  The 400 with it's WEAK 6-volt electrical system got parked heading down that slope every day & night when it was being used.  Even short stops like lunch it was parked on the slope.  He only got one chance at getting it started but it was a Good one!   Used that same slope a couple times when the starter in the Super H was bad or battery was low.

I have a STRONG aversion to pain. No cranking tractors, no broken arms.  I'll crank a misearable 2 cylinder Deere because the totally exposed flywheel won't bite.  But no cranks.  Dad wouldn't even crank the C-60 on his 50-T baler or the C-113 on the 55-T,  crank attached to the drive pulley right at jaw height.

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A friend used to put a piston on the exhaust pipe of his 22-36, not a good idea! One morning, still dark, he forgot to remove it and started her up. Went around the side to advance the spark and "caught" the piston with his headbone. When he woke up the sun was shining and the old tractor was purring away, all warmed up and ready for the day's work.

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This is one bad exiperence cranking the Farmall C with a set of SC Fire creators Pistons. 

The C stalled on flat land , this crank did not have a roller handle ! I crank 360 rotation with fire craters ,MISTAKE! 

It kicked back so bad it ripped the calisis off the palm of my RIGHT hand ! I had strips of skin  where my calisis were.  I cryed end ,it hurt so bad ! 

1. DO NOT  CRANK WITH THUMB  OF HAND AROUND CRANK . IF KICK BACK, THE CRANK WILL RELEASE WITHOUT THUMB IN WAY , THE OTHER WAY THE THUMB GOES WITH THE CRANK ,OUCH , 

2. DO USE A CRANK WITHOUT A ROLLER HANDLE , UNLESS YOUR POSITION THE ENGINE FOR TIMING. MUST HAVE THE PUSH BUTTON OFF POSTION. IF YOU DO AND IT KICK BACK IT RIP YOU HAND FROM THE FORCE. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE 

3. DO NOT CRANK MORE THAN A 180 DEGREE ON A FARMALL ,PULL UP CCW FROM 180  to 0 (top) ! No 360 rotation ! 

4 . Keep your FACE out of crank rotation , expensive mistake ,  my brother reminds me his friend cranked our hit and mis engine and the  crank spun off and slit his forehead open , my Mom was sure mad at my brother .  Or worse yet , the people at hit mis enterprizes told me he knew a guy that had to have a lot of dental work done cause the crank , it hit him in the jaw, DONT CRANK HIT AND MISS ENGINES 

 

 

Moral of the story , 560Dennis does not reccommend cranking ! 

Safety first always 

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i dont know how the farmers would have got any work done if they didnt crank their tractors before starters came out.  the number one thing is to make sure your timing is set to the factory specification. any advance from spec's will result in a kick back.  i have a lot of tractors i crank from the w-12, w30 to the wd40 , which is the stiffest one to get that 461 cid engine moving.  pretty much every time it is running on the 3rd pull.  plus i crank w4's w6's and wd9's with no problems at all from kick back. i actually cant get them to kickback as i have tryed from everyones stories . i have my timing set and know my tractors and trust my crank. someones else's tractor is a totally different thing, as you dont know where the timing is set . i have experienced that also. i have heard many people say i timed it by ear... well that tractor WILL KICK you . the W4 is a piece of cake to crank.

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I have hand started my wife's H a few times just to see if I could do it or while I was working on it before paint when I had the charging system off. It is a distributor ignition but I just turn on ignition, little throttle and flip it over from the crank facing down and roll over compression like any of my hand start tractors. Usually a flip or two and it is running. Nothing special. In summer I don't use any choke, winter I flip it with the choke until it starts then adjust to keep it running. That seems to be individual to each tractor so that is just knowing your machine how much choke it likes; it seems most of these old tractors have their own personality. They aren't hard engines to crank when tuned right, even mine with a distributor starts easy with the crank.

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I do not like tine cans to cover exhaust pipe, too dangerous, if it lands on someone or on paint work. I use a polycarbonate jar that cam with yeast in it. fits top of pipe, is very light weight and has rounded corners so cannot hurt anybody or paint, also very cheap.

My_W-4_1941-f.JPG

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