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Subject: Remmoving 8n dist

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jhill52    Posted 02-28-2017 at 12:23:39 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Remmoving 8n dist
  • I am working on an early 8n. It has a front mount dist and a Ford loader. I have worked on lots of tractors but never a front mount 8n. I have noe spark and i want to replace the points. Do I need to remove the loader to remove the dist? What else needs to come off?

    Rustyal    Posted 02-28-2017 at 20:18:54 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Remmoving 8n dist
  • Just 2 bolts hold the front mount distributor in place. Remove the 2 bolts and wires. Simple. Unless something is in the way.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 02-28-2017 at 17:23:27 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Remmoving 8n dist

  • Is the tractor with the original 6-volt/positive ground system or has a 12-volt convulsion be done or EI added? Wiring pictograms can be found in our HOW-TO's, subcategory ELECTRCAL. Do you have an I&T F-04 Manual or a 8N Operator's Manual? You can get the tune-up procedure in those. We also have a ton if info here in our HOW-TO's forum, like this document -click on LINK. What Bruce said below, as well as his 75 Tips for N-Owners, you can copy the text and paste it in a WORD document then save to your computer for reference, print off a copy and take to the shop. Now, since I have XXXXL hands, I found it easier to first loosen the generator, then slip the belt up over the fan out of the way and drop the generator down out of the way. You don't need to take the generator (or alternator if 12 V) completely off just move clear so you can get your paws in there to work. Before doing anything, I first disconnect the battery ground strap so there's no accidental shorting out. Then I will clean off dirt and crud with compressed air. Blow out the spark plug wells real good to as you may want to put new plugs in as well. Loosen the single wire fastened to top of coil. I find it easier to leave the coil mounted to the top of the distributor and remove it when I get the unit on my workbench or kitchen table, but some fellas prefer to pull the coil before removing the unit. Remove the 4 spark plug wires from the carb cap nipples. May want to mark each one with a strip of masking tape so you don't get them mixed. Take a 1/2" combination wrench and loosen the two hex bolts neither side of the housing, then remove the unit from the tractor. New points are gapped at .015" so get those installed and set first. Install new condensor. Check wiring, then set timing last. The manuals detail how to set timing but nowadays there is fella here who makes and sells a little application gage specifically for setting the timing on these front mounts. His Name is Dan Allen and goes by the handle TOH (The Old Hokie) and has a web site, windy ridge farms, you can find in our LINKS. It makes setting the timing faster and easer and worth every penny. Be sure you get the correct gasket kit too, p/n 9N-12104 -there are 4 gaskets required and a new rotor as well.

    Essential Ford 8N Manuals:

    Front Mount Distributor Gasket Set; p/n 9N-12104:

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 02-28-2017 at 17:26:01 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • ...here's the LINK to setting the timing...

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 02-28-2017 at 16:55:42 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Remmoving 8n dist
  • You will likely find it easier to get the distributor out if you take the belt off and get the generator out of your way. On my 2N, which does not have the original generator on it, that means removing the generator.

    I personally remove the distributor and coil as one package. Either way.

    Also would suggest you mark plug wire 3 and 4 as it is very easy to cross those when you re-assemble it.

    I am not able to answer your question regarding removal of the loader.

    Good Luck,


    Bruce (VA)    Posted 02-28-2017 at 12:32:35 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Remmoving 8n dist
  • " Do I need to remove the loader to remove the dist?"

    Probably not; can't say for sure because it depends on the loader model & pump mounting.

    The front distributor was designed to come off of the tractor to replace/adjust the points. To do this, remove the wire on the coil, remove the coil bail, remove the distributor cap & take the two bolts off. The base of the distributor has an offset tang & can only go back one way unless you really force it on.
    The first thing you need to check is bushing wear. If the shaft has any sideways movement AT ALL, the bushings must be replaced. (see below)
    Next, look at how the points & condenser are set in the distributor before you start pulling it down! Turn the tang & observe how the points open & close. If this is your first time doing it, draw a sketch! Make sure you are using quality points. I use only Wells, Blue Streak or Echlin brand points (* see below). Be careful not to ground the tip of the condenser wire to the body of the distributor when you replace the points. Do not break the little copper strip that go to the points. (If you do, make another out of the old set of points). Check the insulator w/ your meter. If it's bad, replace it with a Hillman Group square .375 license plate screw, Item # 138916, model #881189. Also, make sure the condenser wire does not go through the same opening in the distributor as the coil pig tail. The condenser wire goes through the opening on the top right.
    Look at the old points; are they burned, pitted or misaligned? Check the point gap, .015 on all four lobes. Make sure the blade is at a perfect right angle to the points. You want to feel just the slightest bit of drag when you pull the blade through the points. Set the points on the high side of the cam and ensure they align correctly. Make sure you have the star washers under the screws on the points. If you need to replace the 8-32 X .19 fillister head screws, ensure that the new screws do not interfere with the advance weights. Dress the points by running a piece of card stock or a brown paper bag through them. New points sometimes have an anti-corrosive dielectric coating on them & old points can corrode or pick up grease from a dirty feeler gauge or excessive cam lubricant. And, don’t forget to lube the rubbing block w/ cam lube; not Vaseline, not bearing grease, but cam lube . (** see below).
    If you are using quality points and cannot get the gap to open to .015, chances are you need to replace the bushings.
    Now, set the timing. Get a meter or test light, a 21/64” drill bit (*** see below) & a metal straight edge. Put the distributor face down w/ the condenser on the left & the timing plate lock screw on the bottom. Look at the end of the shaft: it has a narrow side & a wide side. Make sure you can tell the difference. Now, place the drill bit in the bottom mounting hole (this will be your reference point for measuring). Next, place a straight edge on the wide side of the tang on the shaft as shown in fig. FO83 in the picture. Rotate the shaft CCW (as viewed from rotor side OR CW as viewed from back/tang side) until the straight edge is ¼" beyond the outside edge of the drill bit you stuck in the distributor mounting hole. At this distance, the distributor points should start to open (get your meter/light out now & check). If not, loosen the timing plate lock screw and turn to advance or retard the timing (move the plate down to advance timing, up to retard). Remember, each one of those little hash marks represents about 4° of timing. Keep adjusting until you get the proper ¼" setting. (if the plate won’t move, you might need to remove the big C clip to loosen it a bit) As you’re adjusting, eliminate backlash by turning the shaft backwards (CW as viewed from the front) and bring the shaft forward (CCW as viewed from the front) to measure your setting. This ¼" setting will get you static timing at top dead center.
    As you can see from the picture, this particular distributor needed to have the timing advanced by about 8° (two hash marks) to achieve the ¼” measurement.
    After you set the points & timing, do a continuity check before you put the distributor back on the tractor. Before you start, make sure your meter/light works.
    With the distributor still off the tractor, follow these steps:
    1. Coil off, cap off, points open. One probe on the brass screw & the other on both sides of the open points. On the side closest to the cam, you should have continuity. Not on the other side! If you do, you will also have continuity everywhere because the points are grounded.
    2. Coil off, cap off, points open. One probe on the brass screw & the other anywhere on the body of the distributor. You should have no continuity! Now, rotate the tang on the distributor....as the points open & close, you have continuity (closed) and lose it when they open.
    3. Put the coil on the distributor, cap off, points open. One probe on the lead on the top of the coil, the other on the cam side of the open points. You should have continuity!
    4. Coil on, cap off, points open. One probe on the lead on the top of the coil, the other anywhere on the body of the distributor. You should have no continuity!
    At this point, I just put the distributor, coil & cap all back on the tractor as a unit. The reason I do this is because it is real easy to get the cap or coil misaligned trying to put it back together, one piece at a time. The result is something gets broken or you get a ‘no spark’ problem.
    It's possible to put it back on wrong & break it. Look at the slot on the end of the cam shaft. Whatever angle it happens to be, turn the distributor tang to match it. Make sure you can tell the wide side from the narrow side on both the cam & distributor! (close counts). Place the distributor on the front of the engine, gently push it in place & slowly turn the distributor body until you feel the tang slip into the slot. Rotate the distributor body until the bolt holes line up. Hand tighten the two bolts until the distributor body is flush with the timing gear cover.
    Double-check your firing order & plug wires. It’s 1-2-4-3, counterclockwise. It’s very easy to cross 3 & 4.
    And finally, do not forget to remove the distributor on an annual basis (more often, depending on use) to check the point gap and re-lube the cam.
    * NAPA part numbers:
    · Points: FD-6769X
    · Condenser: FD-71
    · Rotor: FD-104
    · Cap: FD-126
    ** Distributor cam lube:
    ** Distributor cam lube
    *** Rather than the drill bit, a jig made by Dan Allen (The Old Hokie) will make this task quicker & more accurate.
    **** Unscrew the plate hold down screw & remove the C clip to get the plate out. Remove the shaft & weights. The weights should freely move.
    There are three ways to replace the bushings in a front distributor:
    1. Buy new bushings (part numbers 9N12120 front & 18-12132 rear). Press
    out the old ones, press in the new ones and ream to fit. CAUTION: do not try this unless you have a press & know how to use it. If you break the base, a new one costs $130. If you bend the tower which holds the front bushing, a new plate will cost you $30.
    2. Take the new bushings and distributor to your local machine shop.
    3. Send the distributor out for bushing replacement if you do not have a local machine shop.
    Make sure your distributor isn’t worn out; check the wear parts with a micrometer and compare what you have to the factory specs (below).
    Factory Specs:
    Shaft top .4367 / .4370
    Shaft Bottom .8625 / .8630
    Cam Flats .789 / .791
    Cam Lobes .869 / .871
    Base Tang .177 / .178

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