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Ford 9N, 2N & 8N Discussion Forum

Re: ''''42 front distributor problem/question

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Author  [Modern View]

06-19-2020 19:47:40

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Was the base plate replaced with aftermarket?

There were some aftermarket plates produced with the alignment out of whack.

The closest you could get to perfect timing was indeed at the fully advanced setting.

So if you're following the static set-up for gap and timing and it comes in (close, anyway) at full advance, it is probably an aftermarket plate from the faulty batch.

I've been down that road as well....

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Tim PloughNman Daley

06-20-2020 04:09:49

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 Re: ''''42 front distributor problem/question in reply to HarryVanderpool, 06-19-2020 19:47:40  
I seem to have lost you -where is this post from? I disagree though. Failure to get front mount timing set right is mainly due to a bad set of breaker points. There are but three reliable brands I found. ECHLIN used to be one of the few reliable brands but no longer are unless they fixed the problem recently. A year ago I spent a week with my late friend, Farmer Dan Howe, and we went thru a dozen or so front mounts to rebuild, time, and set correctly. What we discovered was that all the *ECHLIN sets were junk –points were off location and couldn’t be gapped right. Lot numbers on the boxes were all over the place and purchased from different suppliers so we don’t know how long they had been like that. What we concluded was there are only three reliable point brands made today. They are: Standard Ignition (Blue Streak); CNH (Case-New Holland); and TISCO. The latter uses the plastic rubbing block but proved reliable, and the other two use the OEM type phenolic rubbing block. ECHLIN also has the phenolic block and that was one reason why they were a good choice.

Part numbers:

Standard Ignition (Blue Streak) – FD-6769X
CNH – 87744524
ECHLIN CS-35 (*see note)



4. ROTOR: ECHLIN - #FA-300 or STANDARD INGNITION - #FD-104, TISCO KIT Includes rotor.


6. 6V COIL: IC670

# ICR40


9. SPARK PLUGS: AUTO-LITE 437 (216) or CHAMPION H12 (512)


ALL are USA made (except ECHLIN), at least the ones we tested. The TISCO kit contains the condenser, rotor, cam lube, and reusable a .015” feeler gage for gapping the points. The last set of TISCO points I used in my own 8N lasted me over 6 years and could have gone longer. NAPA sells all the front mount parts and all Made in the USA. I know you know this and are doing everything right, but I am just adding to this post for the record and so others can see who don’t know. Expect to pay $16 +/- a buck for the reliable brands. You need to pull the distributor off the tractor and rebuild on your bench to rebuild and test properly. Timing the front mount is specified al the manuals. Farmer Dan had fabricated a timing gage years ago and a few others have copied and produce one nowadays. The gage makes it faster and easier to set the timing with but you should know how to set it without a gage. Reinstallation is the one place that can get wrong. If unit is mounted 180° off, at first power it will bust the aluminum base and render it useless see pictures. Finally, Spark Plug wiring can be mixed up sometimes. The firing order on the Ford Tractor 4-CYL engine is 1, 2, 4, 3 CCW on both front and angle mount distributors. It is easy to get #3 and #4 plug wires reversed.

Tim Daley(MI)

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