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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Default using up ignition points on 8N

    I have a 1952 Ford 8N that I use for general chores around our small horse farm. When I mow pastures with a 5 foot PTO driven Brush Bull mower I've noticed a consistent decline in how well the engine runs. It will start out running smooth with good power but soon starts to miss and die out, picking up power briefly only to just get so bad it eventually stalls out and won't start. I've finally isolated it to the quality of the ignition points - they are pitted. So when it starts to run rough I'll quit mowing to go file and regap the points to .025 inches. (My manual says .024 to .026.) That seems to cure it for a while. Then I replace them until I have to mow again - so I'm on my 4th or 5th set of points in two years. Other lighter uses with this tractor don't end up like this - I'm assuming it has to do with the amount of power the mower takes. Any ideas? Ignition advance? Carburation? Governor? Thanks in advance (no pun intended).

  2. #2
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    7,171
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    Northwest Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    Have you changed the condenser? It as been a long time, since I worked on points, but I believe that will be your solution.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    8

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    The tractor came with the farm we bought about 4 years ago. It was pretty neglected. So about three years ago I started working on improving the tractor, starting in the ignition area with new plugs, plug wires, new distributor cap, new rotor, points, condenser. Since then I think I may have changed the condenser once with one of the new points. But who knows, maybe the condenser I installed three years ago was the wrong model. The points are costing me $10 a piece (locally) so the condenser is worth a try. Thanks for the suggestion. BTW, I probably put 10 to 15 hours a month on it, March through October.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    46,366
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    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    Wow.. you are getting raped on those points. Tisco points cost about half that. For that price you could get some mustang points from napa.. vented and all.

    As you've found.. a filed breaker contact is only about 80% of new.. and that's if you are using a very fine very clean ignition hone, and not a plan file or (gasp) emory paper.

    Do you have any play int he distribuitor shaft? Check points gap on each lobe.

    Also.. is this still on the oem style coil? Makes sure you are using the 6v coil specified for that tractor, and not a 12v coil.. cuts your sparkies down.

    Also, have you checked the electrical contacts back at the ignition switch and terminal block? If it is an old switch, that can drop some volts and reduce spark intensity. Next time it dies, jumper the ignition switch.

    You say the points are burning.. that's classic bad capacitor and thermal breakdown... Only other issue would be wrong voltage.. I.E. 12v on a 6v coil.. etc.

    Are you using metal core spark plug wires, and not the modern resistor/anti-radio static wires? Also. .many people like to jump a heat range on the oem plugs. OEM was champion h10 or al 216.. we like champion h12 ( champion seems to foul out easier ) or AL 437

    Soundguy

    Soundguy

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    20,950
    Location
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    I agree with Soundguy, you are paying way, way too much for points.

    Another thing that Soundguy hit on that should concern you...
    If the tractor has been converted to 12 volts and they are still using the 6 volt coil, you need a ballast resistor in-line with the 12 VDC coming to the coil. That will limit/reduce the amount of current through your points and keep them from burning so quickly. Normally, if you use a new 12 VDC rated coil, the ballast resistor is not needed, but I had one on my old Jubilee with a 12 volt coil and the electrical system still worked just fine.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2003
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    3,373
    Location
    Goffs Corner, KY
    Tractor
    IH 2444

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    Some coils have the ballast resistor built into them.
    Ben

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    Wow. Good stuff. Thanks, guys. I was hoping for this kind of information. I knew those point prices were high. It's my local independent auto parts dealer, usually pretty good on most stuff. The first batch of tuneup stuff I bought was from ford8n.com and his whole distributer tune-up kit (points, rotor, condenser) was only $14.95.
    OK, bear with me while I address Soundguy's questions.
    1st. I do use an ignition file but it has seen better days and needs to be replaced. So my contact is probably 60%!
    2nd. I've thought about play in the dist. shaft. I'll double check that. I did check point gap at each lobe this last time but that was on points that have been filed at least twice.
    3rd. The coil is what was on the tractor when I recieved it. But considering how it was maintained who knows what it is. Simple enough to replace. This is still a 6v system, BTW.
    4th. I replaced the ignition switch about two years ago but I can double check the terminal block for corrosion, etc.
    5th. Replaced plug wires with a set from ford8n.com several years ago, but I don't know if they are metal core or not. I'll check. Question - metal core is preferable? Also cheap enough to replace. Same thing with the plugs.
    Thanks again, guys. I appreciate the feedback.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2004
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    1,401
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    Georgia

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    Metal core is a must, also with the Tisco points they have a file guage in the box and are least half that price. If you find a local tractor shop that carries the TISCO line of aftermarket parts you can buy a whole kit with plugs, condensor, points, etc. for not too much $.

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    Thanks for the reply.

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( 1st. I do use an ignition file but it has seen better days and needs to be replaced. So my contact is probably 60% )</font>

    NAPA, ignition hone.. 1.99$

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( 3rd. The coil is what was on the tractor when I recieved it. But considering how it was maintained who knows what it is. Simple enough to replace. This is still a 6v system, BTW.
    )</font>

    Ok, I'd replace it unless you absolutely knew what it was. A new tisco coil from TSC costs about 10 bucks., HAd it been a 12v system I'd have recomended the NAPA IC14SB.. etc.

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( 4th. I replaced the ignition switch about )</font>

    Doesn't hurt.. I've had lamp switches die in 1 year.. and my tractors stay int he barn when not in use. A small amount of corosion kills current transfer.

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Question - metal core is preferable)</font>

    Definately preferable. These old beasts oporate on such low high voltage that you can't effectively use a resistor wire on a stock setup. Perhaps if you had a 12v system and electronic or transistorized ignition module.. then resistor wires would be fine.. in any case, it is mostly for radio interference.. etc. TSC sells a uni-kit for 20$

    I know we are spending your money.. so far about 40= bucks.. but if it fixes the problem.. it will be worth the investment. Also.. personally, I like the autolite 437's as opposed to the champion h12.. don't pay high $$ for a bosch plug or a dual electrde gadget either.. NGK makes a good plug too.

    Soundguy

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    157
    Location
    Sebastopol, Ca.
    Tractor
    Kioti LK3054XS TLB, Ford 650, Ford 2000 Industrail w/loader

    Default Re: using up ignition points on 8N

    Are you sure it's Ignition , When it stalls hook up a dwell meter on the dist. side of the coil should be around 42 deg. If so, look into the fuel system. My ford 650 will mow all day at 1500-1600 rpm, but if I run it up to pto. 540 it will run around 35 min. then hydro-lock the fuel line from raidant exhaust heat. If I let it sit for 10 min or so, same time it would take to file the points, It will cool and start right up and keep going. Also, look into the fuel tank at the fuel line pickup screen, if this is the problem, you will see the fuel bubble up from there. I should fab. a heat shield for it, just haven't yet. good luck, Gary.

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