"i think i shorted out the resistor. can that happen"
Yes that CAN HAPPEN
Know what resistor you shorted?? Ignition Ballast Resistor (stand alone device somewhere between IGn switch and coil) or Light Dimming resistor (located on back of light switch)??
Did it short across itself i.e. became by passed orrrrrrrr did one end get shorted to frame ground???
Ifffffff you shorted across an Ignition Ballast she will run but the coil will get very hotttttttt and could eventually burn up and the also the points get burned,,,,,,,,,Iffffff the input (from Ign switch) of the Ballast got shorted to frame a wire would melt or a fuze would get blown,,,,,,,,Iffffffff the output (to coil) of the ballast got shorted to frame she wouldnt run and possibly some smoke due to an overheated ballast..
So yes it can happen and the consequences depends on which resistor was shorted,,,,,, and on which end,,,,,,,,,,,and to where
Their job is to drop voltage (say 12 to 6) and limit current to the downstream LOAD, be that an ignition coil (like a 6 votl coil on a 12 volt tractor) or the lighting circuit for DIM operation.