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  1. #1
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    Farmall Super C

    Default Super C Distributor/Ignition

    I mentioned in another post that my SC would cut out a bit sometimes idling and under a load...pulling my 2-12" moldboard plow. Another symptom was the SC exhaust was very sooty. It spat black specks all over the hood especially when I first cranked it. The Zenith up-draft carburetor has only one tuning screw. I monkeyed with that a bit with no success. I surmised that the timing was off and that it wasn't efficiently burning the fuel. The problem I had was that at some point in this tractor's lifetime, the TDC "pointer" had been removed. I could see the marks on the crankshaft fanbelt pully but there was no reference marker on the frame of the tractor. I was told that this "pionter" consisted of a bracket that was bolted to the front of the block near the hydraulic pump. I finally asked a retired IH mechanic to take a look at it. He noted that my distributor had some "play" in the shaft which was typical. In order to compensate for this, the previous owner had to open the points a good bit...in fact way outside what the service manual calls for. He also noted that inside the distributor, there was a good bit of metal shavings. He recommended that I replace the points first and see how well we could tune it. I should note that my SC has been converted from a 6V to a 12V system...and it does not have the magneto system. The distributor is purely stock (same as when it was a 6V). Here is a photo of the inside of the distributor with the shavings.
    Super C Distributor/Ignition-52_superc_distributor.jpg

    I'll update you on the outcome.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    ifthe dizzy bushing are wore so that points gap is irregular.. it's gonna be a bear. incorrect points gap leads to lots of other issues.

    those shavings will cause problems of their own.

    i se ethe rubbing block and cam are desert bone dry.. they should have some cam lobe lube on them.. and I'd find out whats been rubbing the shaft where it's polished shiney..

  3. #3
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    Massey 180 Diesel

    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    Could very well be, that under the breaker plate, and governor weight guard, one of the springs could be broken, on the dist. gov. weights, making the shavings. If that is all the damage that would be done, it would be a somewhat inexpensive repair. A new set of springs run about $24.00. That could very well explain some sluggish response also. I found rebuilt distributors online for $259.00 and up, with a $100.00 core charge.

    As far as the timing... There should be timing marks on the flywheel. If it is halfway clean inside the clutch housing, you can see them through the hand hole in the bottom of the clutch housing. You'll need a nice bright light to see it. If the lower clutch housing cover is still there, there is a pointer on the inside of it.
    When I am working on a new one ( new to me...), and need to set the timing, I normally clean this timing mark pretty well, then if my paint pen hasn't dried up, I mark it with either white, or yellow, so it's easy to find, if need be again. Unless it has already been done. Back in the day, I kept a pack of modeler's paint brushes in the tool box, for this specific reason. There was usually a can of some color around to suit my purpose.

    With the flywheel timing mark dead on, I will loosen the distributor just enough, so as to rotate. Depending on how good my hearing is that day, I will either remove #1 plug, and ground it out, where I can see the spark, or just pull the #1 wire out of the cap, and listen for a snap of the spark. This all done naturally.., with the ignition switch on. Doesn't take but 30 seconds or less, if you're all ready to go. Just don't forget to shut the switch off, then snug it down.

    I've attached a picture I got doing a search for the timing marks. Sorry if it is not too high of quality. My repair manual is at the other farm, and cannot scan that particular picture.

    Hope this helps..!!



    Super C Distributor/Ignition-ih-flywheel-timing-marks.jpg

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    Here is an exploded view of that distributor. Note part #15, which they call the cam, the rotor button attaches to. It slips down over the (#18) distributor drive shaft. And it doesn't show any bushings in the housing to be replaced.

    I'm guessing the shiny spot, is just where the bottom of the rotor button has been riding.

    And, yeah, I looks plenty dry. Guess they didn't know what that little red capsule (or used to be) was for.

    Super C Distributor/Ignition-super-c-distributor.gif

  5. #5
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    Farmall Super C

    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    DJ54,

    You are dead on the money! I took the distributor out and tinkered with it most of the morning. Yes, one of the spings had come off (looks like many years ago) and was totally demolished. All the metal flakes came from the under-side of the breaker plate where the mangled sping had no where to go. The "play" we saw in the cam shaft was "rotational play" due to the lack of spring tension on the weight arms. I am very surprised at how well this tractor ran with this major failure in the distributor.

    No wonder the tractor ran so inconsistently!

    I scored a used distributor from a bone yard up the road for $50. The housing is not as good as mine, but is in good condition for a 60 year-old part, and good enough to run . I'll give it a try tomorrow.

    Yeah, as far as the timing mark through the hand hole, I'll take a look again tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    yep.. that 'play' rotation is your advance.

    looks like a cheap fix, and it will take load better now!

    DO clean and lube the rubbing block.

    ml1 is the lube from napa if your points didn't come with a capsule of it.

  7. #7
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    Massey 180 Diesel

    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    As Grandpa' used to say... "A blind hog finds an acorn every now and then...." LOL... Glad that is all is was, and got you a reasonable fix.. Your're going to love that lil' tractor..!!

  8. #8
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    Farmall Super C

    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    I don't have the SC back running yet. I believe it is due to my inability to set the time. As mentioned earlier, the bracket, on the front of the engine, that has the timing mark on it, is no longer there. I was able to find the timing mark on the fly-wheel. Someone had already smeared white paint over the marks so they were visible. So now I've lined er up on TDC and adjusted the distributor cap to align to the rotor button.

    The problem I ran into was the rotor button still has rotational play...I'd say about 5 to 10 degrees. Upon further inspection I noticed the flat side (up in the rotor button) was worn on one of the corners. This was allowing the button play. I'm on my way today to get a new button and cap...might as well. I'll let you know if I can get this thing started again.

    I'll also post some photos of my original distributor which may be of interest to some.

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    i've used masking tape as a way to make a loose rotor button stay put and snug. if you don't find a new one.. try that. past that you will get some shaft rotational play from the advance..e tc..

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Super C Distributor/Ignition

    I knew I had the timing set pretty much spot on, but I couldn't get the SC started. I resorted to pulling each plug and cleaning with a brass wire brush. After reinstalling the clean plugs, she fired right up and ran smoothly for a bit but then started cutting out again. All plugs were sooty and dry. So I still have either an issue with the points or carb. She's running too rich. I still plan to check the compression, but since the plugs were dry, I'm thinking that is not my problem. I suppose it is possible that the carbon in the chambers is residual and may burn off over time. I noticed that after a bit of cranking, the zenith carb leaked pretty badly. Looks like the fuel is overflowing out into the short intake hose that is connected to the oil-bath air filter. I'm no carb expert, but from what I've read this seems to be a float issue. Looks like I'll be tearing into the zenith soon.

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