Question about Ford 8N Tractor

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12 volt 8n ford will not fire, no spark at first plug

I get 12 volts to the resistor before the coil, 10 volts across the resistor but no volts to the coil. The resistance of the wire from the resistor to the coil is negligible

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Take the wire off the coil and check the wire for voltage.while it is disconnected.
If there is voltage now....... the problem is in the dist or coil.
Pull the dist and check for something grounding the system.
Are the points opening?

If there was no voltage in the resistor to dist wire....install a new wire.

TIP. Be careful how you set the coil onto the dist.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Cant get 8n to run. starts but misses. new plugs, crb,distributor, coil, tank shut-off, ign switch, ceramic resister, ballast resister, fresh gas, but has power to ign switch whether on or off.


If it starts but misses meaning it runs but not on all cylinders?.....then,
Are the spark plug wires in the correct firing order?
Are the spark plug wires in good shape?
Is there compression on all cylinders?
If a valve is bad it won't fire smoothly.
If you pull the plugs are any black with carbon?
(a black carbon coated plug will not fire,especially with a 6 volt system)
Is the distributor car attached fully and correctly?
When the distributor cap is off,is there any side play in the distributor shaft?
Is the point gap correct on the points?
Start the tractor cold and feel the spark plugs,the one or two that are colder than the others are the missing cylinders,if two are cold you could try switching those spark plug wires with each other,in case they are mixed up,and if two are missing are side by side you could have a head gasket leak between cylinder problem.
TIP 1, the BEST THING to do on a Ford 8N is to convert it to 12 volts neg ground.Add a alternator,(76 chev pickup alt fits good) leave the starter as it is (it does care if it's positive or neg ground or 12v) and add a 72 dodge ignition resistor in line to a 12 volt coil.(unless your new 12v coil does not need a resistor)
This set up will increase your fuel economy,add power and start instantly in any temp.
TIP 2,you can use unleaded fuel in a Ford 8n as it already has hardened valve seats.
BUT 10% Ethanol fuel is BAD,it can be used, but shut off the fuel at the tank and let the tractor carb run dry before shutting it off if you are not going to use the tractor with in a few days.

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1 Answer

I have 1952 ford 8n and will run 5 minutes then start missing and hesitating could the coil be getting hot? Its 6 volt coil with internal resistor but tractor was converted to 12 volt.


try replacing the coil with a straight 12 volt coil and not a resistance coil as the missing could be from a overheated coil
if the coil is at fault then when the engine starts to miss then then coil would be hot to the touch

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2000 Ford Contour SE 1.3 firing order No spark, it starts then shuts off


if it starts then you have spark and the correct firing order . If it doesn't keep running after it starts then the problem may be in the resistor that cuts the 12 volts to 7.5 volts for the coil . Check the operation of that resistor.. Check the voltage at the coil when the key is in the run position.

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The issue is spark yes/no. The color is not really relevant. Any spark will usually fire the mixture.

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Ford 9n converted to 12 volt alt still 6 volts at dis. runs rough till i jump 12 volts to coil and then it runs good. Will this damage coil and points?


If you are doing 6 Volts at the distributor you must either have Resistor wiring or a separate resistor in the system. They make both 6Volt and identical 12Volt coils for your unit.

You will eventually burn up a 6Volt coil if you use 12Volts on it. There is an aftermarket company which has Antique supplies. Carpenter(Maybe John) has supplies for Tractors, cars and trucks that are earlier models.

Do a Web search using his name and marry it to Tractor parts, etc.

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What does the ignition coil do?


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1 Answer

8n (front mount distributor)seems to be frying coils, one day working just fine, next doesn't spark at all, New condenser, plugs, wires, rotor,points, distributor cap. Replaced coil last time seemed to...


Had the same problem, but was my fault for bypassing the ballist resistor (my bad). Anyway, I fried the coil. Read all the posts and bought new 12 volt coil (it has been converted before I got it 13 years ago). New points, condenser, cap, rotor. Now it is just my timing is a little off, but I have strong sparky but not enough to fry my coil again.

If anything, keep the ballist resistor. it is needed to drop the voltage to the coil so it doesn't fry.

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Have a look at the coil and its supply lead, standard it has a 9v coil and a resistor wire in the harness, this gives trouble ar resistor wire is odd and will not solder or weld and its expansion when hot loosens crimps! If you put 12 volts into a 9v coil it overwhelms (magneticly) the windings and gives a poor spark, also burns the points.

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Ford 8N will not start when hot


This sounds like a bad fuel pump to me. The only way to be sure is to check the fuel pressure when cold, probably around 45 PSI. Then when it get hot it will drop way down to 10 or 15 PSI. Check the pressure if you can, or change the fuel pump.

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