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IH 444, Fordson Dexta
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I am so pleased with how well my IH 444 runs with refurbished carburetor (full rebuild kit, quite nice with new seals and bushings). After careful adjustment, the engine fires right up and idles around 400 - 500 RPM. Ah, so nice to flick the throttle lever to "idle" and have it reliably go quiet (wearing muffs) while fiddling off-tractor. Let's go do some actual work with it! Almost done with the task of rounding up several piles of old fence posts. But wait, I think it just stopped running, the rain flapper is closed. Hmm, now doesn't want to restart. Well, it's a hot day and coolant temp has been climbing without really stabilizing. Let's go get some more gas just to make sure it has enough. Maybe this slope has uncovered the fuel tap.

Now it has lots of fuel and time to cool down. Making sure the fuel valve is open (that's what usually gets me a minute or so after starting), try again. No joy, so we'll have to get intentional about diagnosis. Pull a spark plug, not fouled or flooded, how about spark? Hmm, nothing at the spark plug and nothing at the coil. Voltage to coil is mostly nothing, but a few erratic blips of +12V. Fiddling with ignition and feeling for loose connections under the dash (hard to reach!) seemed to "kind of" restore electrical power. Hey, it just fired up! Let's get it back to the garage and check what is going on under the dash board.

I pulled the dash board off and immediately noticed the problem in the photo. It was easily rectified by trimming the square corners on the bracket for clearance behind the switch and replacing the heat-shrink tubing on the wire. Although the tractor was missing a lot of parts when I got it, it did come with this bracket and ignition switch, so I didn't think about interference when I redid the instruments with Stewart Warner units and rewired "everything". Apparently, I moved the hole for the ignition switch a bit when I filled, smoothed and painted the plastic dash panel.

The tractor ran fine today to finish rounding up old fence posts so the fix seems to be a success. We'll see what happens next...
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