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1949 B

magneto or distributor?

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Bryan Smith

02-26-2002 10:44:16

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I saw a 1949 B this week with what I thought was a Fairbanks-Morse magneto. On closer inspection there was a coil connected to the magneto/distributor. It has the normal "square" appearance of a magneto complete with the grounding/cutoff tab on the side. Is this a magneto or some type of distributor that just looks like one? No reason to believe it's not original, but I never thought a magneto was supposed to have a coil. The coil is connected by a coil wire coming out of the top of the body of the magneto/distributor (doesn't come out the back end like the spark plug wires).

Also, the coil is bolted to the hood hanging upside-down inside the hood near the magneto/distributor. Is this the normal mounting procedure? I know what a "normal" setup for a B and a CA is with a Delco distributor (or whatever brand it is) since I have one each, but this is of course different.

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Kiwi Pete

02-26-2002 21:43:08

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 Re: 1949 B - magneto or distributor? in reply to Bryan Smith, 02-26-2002 10:44:16  
I have an Allis B tractor that was like that..the lucas magneto had no interior just a shell and was hooked up to a coil..I found it easy to repair thanks to info gleaned from this site. you may find it easier to replace the whole mag like I did with (in my case) a fairbanks morse magneto. there is a chapter on this site in "research and info" on the Left hand side of the screen if you go there and click on "articles" and then scroll down to "maintenance and mechanical information" there is a chapter on magneto timing which is excellent...
Seein as you are in that area it may pay to check the governor as well (just take the cover off) and see if they havent altered that as well...
regards Pete

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Bryan Smith

02-28-2002 12:05:11

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 Re: Re: 1949 B - magneto or distributor? in reply to Kiwi Pete, 02-26-2002 21:43:08  
Pete, I haven't been in the governor at all (or any governor all mine seem to work fine). What would you think would be altered and what should I look for? Thanks!

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Murray Dunn

02-26-2002 17:57:09

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 Re: 1949 B - magneto or distributor? in reply to Bryan Smith, 02-26-2002 10:44:16  
I have added a coil to a magneto to make into battery ignition. Has always worked for me. I presently have a Farmall Cub I have done this way

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Steve in N.J.

02-26-2002 12:46:53

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 Re: 1949 B - magneto or distributor? in reply to Bryan Smith, 02-26-2002 10:44:16  
It very well could be a magneto that you saw there. If it says Fairbanks/Morse on it, it's a mag. I have a 48 B with a mag but sometime during it's life (before I bought it) the coil must have gone bad inside the mag, and an external coil was mounted to the engine block with a hole drilled threw the mag cap for the coil wire to fire the plugs. The mags do have a coil, but like I said it's inside the mag. Sounds like what you saw there is a "home brew" setup. It worked, but it's not original. I'm restoring my B right now and I removed the bolt-on coil and put a new coil back inside the mag like it came originally. Those kind of setups do make you scratch yer' head though....

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Bryan Smith

02-26-2002 13:11:01

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 Re: Re: 1949 B - magneto or distributor? in reply to Steve in N.J., 02-26-2002 12:46:53  
Many thanks - that makes sense. Now to buy Neil Yerigan's book on restoring magnetos ....!

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