Old, this tractor came with land I bought. It had been sitting in the open for at least two years according to the previous owner. Battery was stonecold dead, battery cables and connection points badly corroded, gas tank nearly empty and the liquid was viscous, points dull. I cleaned everything up, purged the gas tank, lines, and carb with fresh non-ethanol gas, replaced the battery and installed new cables. It started on the first attempt in about five seconds. Mowed two, two-acre pastures all last summer with no problems.
Last Fall, preparing to mow for the last time, it started with great quantities of black smoke, running roughly; then it wouldn't start at all. Checked spark first with the nice gap detector and it jumped 5/16, so dismissed spark/electrical problem and concentrated on gas. Gas drained well from carb tap, nothing else seemed amiss. Concluded the float had failed; Royse rebuilt it. Installed and got same results. Thought fuel must be contaminated, drained some and it was good gasoline. Have tried lots of things, rechecked spark last week (tractor is in the mountains, 4 1/2 hours away, still outside but now has good canvas tarp..., few intervals to work on it) and there was no spark at all. Points were probably .010 or less, installed new at .025; still no spark. Had replaced coil earlier with no change at that time based on local mechanic recommendation.
Looking at parts diagram, there is a distributor shaft spring thing in the pictures that is not on this one, it's function seems to be to hold the dust cover down when you take the distributor cap off, but not sure. But I don't think this would be affecting much. I do note the dust cover and distributor cap seem "loose" compared to others I have worked on..., a lot of rotational play and the right clamp is very hard to snap on, almost as if the cap isn't fully down. So I was going to take the whole thing out to check it better in a place I can work on it, and maybe do an EI conversion as one of my 8N's has (with great results). Help me if you can, thanks, Jim