There are two recent post discussing this topic. I will relate my experience. I own 6 Ns with front mount distributors. I purchased two of them and drove them around evaluating the mechanics for several weeks before I discovered that the ballast resistor had been by passed. Of course I rewired them correctly but the coils survived and are in fact still on the tractors.
I do not recommend this for a long term situation, but a few minutes for diagnosis is not going to hurt anything.