HiYa Newbie. First, forget about a model year, as some things don't add up. The important thing is to know what setup you have - early N's used the 6V/POS GRN system with the Front Mount Distributor. After April, 1950 they went to the Angle (side) Mount Distributor. Some tractors have been switched over to 12V and many of them are and have been done incorrectly. 92-1/2% of all non-starting issues are due to incorrect wiring, 12V jobs mostly, but either way, 6 or 12 if not done right will cause grief. You say "it has a front mount distributor with a canister coil near the battery". Huh? The front mount coil is mounted on the top of the unit itself. A "canister coil" would indicate a Side Mount but it wouldn't be mounted by the battery. It's in front of the engine near the side mount unit. It would be on the RH side of engine. If affront mount, was it mouthed correctly? If you get the cam tangs off 180 you will destroy the unit aluminum base. Front mount point gap is .015", side mount is .025". Spark plugs at .025". Firing order is: 1,2,4,3 regardless if front or side. The best investment you can make with your new Ford Tractor is to get copies of all the Essential Manuals. If you don't now the how's and why's of the OEM system, guessing is not an option. Read first before you do damage to the tractor, or worse, to yourself. Simply buying new parts, and/or switching to 12V and not testing first is not logical. Get a VOM and set it to Continuity. Leave your test light for your AC house outlets. 6V uses a generator and voltage regulator and the front mount only uses the ballast resistor. 12V requires discarding the gen and VR, replacing them with an alternator, and ballast resistor used with the front mount on both the 6V and 12V setups. If coil is 6V, need an in-line 1-OHM resistor, if coil is 12V no need. You seem to be mean well and are on the right track so here's some info to better understand til you get your own manuals. See if this helps.
FORD N-TRACTOR FRONT MOUNT & SIDE MOUNT:
FORD OEM BALLAST RESISTOR -USED ONLY WITH FRONT MOUNT DISTRIBUTOR:
HELP: The LH resistor Terminal Post connects to the COIL Stud Terminal Post as you face the back off dash. OEM Wiring is RED.
EXTERNAL 1-OHM CERAMIC RESISTOR - USED ON FRONT MOUNT AND ONLY IF COIL IS 6V:
CORRECT FORD 8N ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS - 6V & 12V:
BEFORE S/N 263844:
AFTER S/N 263844:
FIRING ORDER, 1,2,4,3 CCW:
*PICTOGRAMS courtesy of JMOR
OEM 8N WIRING(6V/POS GRN) AFTER S/N 8N-263844 WITH ANGLE (SIDE) MOUNT DISTRIBUTOR:
FORD FRONT MOUNT DISTRIBUTOR – WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MOUNTED 180° OFF:
FORD 8N TRACTOR ESSENTIAL OWNER/OPERATOR/PARTS/SERVICE MANUALS:
Tim *PloughNman* Daley(MI)
|*9N653I* & *8NI55I3*|