N Board Forum - Expanded Thread Page

Subject: 9N Timing Adjust

[Back] [Return to Top of Forum]

raski    Posted 02-06-2021 at 07:41:13 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • 9N Timing Adjust
  • I will be installing a new distributor on my 9N. I have Old Hokie's jig but I am somewhat confused with the timing adjustment. I set the point gap to .015. I have read to leave the two point hold down screws loose during the timing adjustment.That's what has me wondering. I thought you secure the points after setting the gap and then loosen the big screw accessed from the side to move the advance mechanism just so that the points begin to open, then tighten up that screw. I use on ohm meter w/ audible to indicate when the points just open. Am I doing this correctly?

    Jock (OR)    Posted 02-08-2021 at 15:14:25 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • Original distributors, including internal parts, can be easy to time if the replacement parts are made correctly. Not so with replacement (imported) distributors and internal parts.

    I bought an 8N a few years ago that from a person who hired all repairs done. His repairman had installed an imported distributor, and I found that it was impossible to get it to time properly. The main bushing was loose, and in replacing it I discovered that the housing was bored to a metric size! The proper part number bushing was too loose in the housing. Not only that, but the point plate was made of die cast metal, not steel. The pivot pin for the movable point was improperly located so the point faces would not line up properly, and if the points were set for .015, there was not enough travel in the timing adjuster to set the timing correctly. This was with a set of the older NAPA CS-35 points made while they were still good. I ended up enlarging the holes in the fixed point and bending the movable point arm to properly align the point faces and get them to open at the proper time.

    I have since purchased a used distributor that still has the original parts in it. I'll be rebuilding it and keep it as a "hot" spare. I have a 2N (bought new by my grandfather in 1945) in addition to the 8N, and I'm teaching my son how to deal with this issue when I am no longer around. We'll probably scrap the imported distributor when the main bushing I had to make for it ever wears out.

    I have a Onan-powered lawn mower, and found a solid-state modification that uses the points for timing, but reduces the current through the points to a tiny amount. This means the points last virtually forever, and rubbing block wear is the limiting factor. This modification has been miniaturized to where it just replaces the condenser and has protection built in in case the key gets left on. I'll try to find out if anyone has used this on a front-mount Ford.

    As an aside, the front mount points are the same as 1936 to 1948 Ford Flathead V-8's. The V-8's use two sets of points, so if you order a "set" for a V-8,you get two sets for a "N." I haven't researched it, but I'll bet that the V-8 guys have been dealing with the same issues, and may have more information on alternatives.

    raski    Posted 02-09-2021 at 07:05:16 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • Thanks Jock. Great information.You are right about the aftermarket distributor. Mine is an aftermarket but the box says "made in USA". I noticed that when I got the timing set, the adjustment was far from its center point and was towards one extreme. I guess the main thing is it is timed.
    A few years ago, the ear of my original distributor broke because the bolts loosened over the years. My brother welded the ear back on. Although he did a great job and it lined up on the engine, it was not exact and could not be timed properly. I set it as close as I could but was still far off. The performance of the tractor was hampered and I decided to finally fix it right.

    WayneIA    Posted 02-08-2021 at 17:53:16 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • I don't believe the flat head V8 had two set of points as standard. I think there was some after market dual sets available .As to how that worked.?????

    Jock (OR)    Posted 02-09-2021 at 03:47:52 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • They did indeed have two sets of points. See the link for a parts diagram. Ford used dual points in order to get the amount of dwell they desired with twice as many cylinders to fire in the same amount of time.

    I was mistaken about the point sets being two sets of N points. There are two movable points that are the same as the N, but only one of the stationary points is the same. The second one is a mirror-image because of the mounting point.

    My apologies if I misled anyone.

    WayneIA    Posted 02-09-2021 at 04:54:48 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • I apologies for my memory loss, but back in the fifties & sixties a SUN(brand name) electrical machine was used to set up all distributers, front or side mount, at the Ford dealership (car & tractor) I worked at back then, and I sure do not remember any dual setups Maybe I never saw a "42 Ford

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 02-11-2021 at 15:38:32 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • Mom bought a '42 Ford which I drove many miles. Guess I never changed the points in it. I owned a '39 Ford but apparently never changed the points in it either. Also owned a '41 Mercury which I drove to Alaska and back. Never changed points in it either. I certainly do not remember dual points.

    Jock (OR)    Posted 02-14-2021 at 14:39:02 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • According to the Ford 1928-1948 Parts Book, every V-8 from 1932 to 1948 had dual points. I would call that an authoritative source.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 02-08-2021 at 06:21:31 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • The method Harold mentions below no longer works due to junky points being made from Cheena nowadays. They no longer will gap to .015" and no amount of plate adjusting will fix that. I’ve tried a point file also to no avail. ECHLIN used to be one of the best brands to get. It had the phenolic rubbing block and quality tungsten plates. STANDARD IGNITION/BLUE STREAK (USA), p/n FD-6769-X are still best quality with similar specs. CNH was making some USA points, p/n 87744524, with identical specs. My last visit (SEP 2020) to my local CNH dealer told me that part no longer exist and they couldn't locate any replacement. Huh? Not even the standard Ford number came up. CNH has been going downhill for 25 years and now it is even worse. Next choice would be the TISCO set, p/n ATK6FF (B16213), and has the plastic rubbing block but good plates and can be gapped and set with no problems. They seem to last a long time as well. The point kit includes the rotor, condenser, cam lube, and a .015" feeler gage for setting the gap with. The gage is a handy device and can be used over and over so save it. The price on a set of Front Mount Points is $16 +/-. TISCO can be bought at JUST8Ns. For a CNH set, call first. Blue Streak can be found on ebay but their sellers will vary from $16-$66 so be cautious. Blue Streak can be found at NAPA but demand the STND IGN part number. They may try to sell you the ECHLIN brand (p/n CS-35) so avoid these. Summit Racing may supply the Blue Streak points. All the Ford Front Mount parts can be found at NAPA, and most all are Made In The USA. Here’s a part reference list:


    FYI: *ECHLIN/NAPA POINTS #CS-35 - No longer any good quality-wise.

    CNH: #877445424
    TISCO: #ATK6FF –includes rotor, condenser, feeler gage, & cam lube.

    2. CAP:


    4. ROTOR:
    ECHLIN - #FA-300 or STANDARD INGNITION - #FD-104, TISCO KIT Includes rotor.

    5. GASKET KIT:
    SPAREX #S.60308

    6. 6V COIL:
    # ICR40


    AUTO-LITE 437 (216) or CHAMPION H12 (512)

    10. CAM LUBE:
    ECHLIN: ML-1

    Tim Daley(MI)

    raski    Posted 02-08-2021 at 07:18:25 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • Thanks Tim. Lots of good information. I concur about the cheap points. I couldn't get them set down to .015. Good thing I have two sets of new Motorcraft points which I got at a garage sale a few years ago for five dollars for both sets.

    HCooke    Posted 02-06-2021 at 18:41:00 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • My experience, Just set the points to .015 with the timing mark in the center and you will be so close the rest doesn't matter.

    JMOR    Posted 02-07-2021 at 03:55:05 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • Again, absolutely!

    raski    Posted 02-06-2021 at 15:51:48 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • Thanks for responding. Sounds like I was doing it right. It just didn't make any sense to leave the screws for the points loose as I have read.

    JMOR    Posted 02-07-2021 at 03:53:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • Absolutely!

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 02-06-2021 at 10:33:49 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • Here are some methods of setting the front mount distributor points and timing. The OEM FORD Operator’s Manual; Bruce(VA)’s method using a 21/64 drill guide, all else the same per Ford manual; an aftermarket ho-made timing gage; and, not shown but the CLYMER/I&T FO-4 Manual is basically the same as the Ford OEM Manual; and none say to leave the point locking screws loose. Why would you do that? It defeats the purpose of setting the gap and locking them in place. Bruce(VA) has the testing procedure as well. NOTE: Tangs must mate with cam shaft on engine,,,or else....





    Tim Daley(MI)

    Bruce(VA)    Posted 02-06-2021 at 08:15:15 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 9N Timing Adjust
  • " I have read to leave the two point hold down screws loose during the timing adjustment. "


    [Back] [Return to Top of Forum]