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electronic ignition for Ford 8N

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RickWoods
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Has anyone put an electronic ignition on a Ford 8N?
I have had trouble keeping points set and thought about trying one.
Also..how hard is it to install one?
 
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Tom N MS
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

OOPS too late-you have now opened a can of worms and even hit the stroke out button for some folks on this forum.
 
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JMOR
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

RickWoods wrote:
(quoted from post at 21:05:28 10/10/10) Has anyone put an electronic ignition on a Ford 8N?
I have had trouble keeping points set and thought about trying one.
Also..how hard is it to install one?
just follow the instructions.........as they say on TV, "a caveman could do it".
 
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Bruce (VA)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you are having trouble keeping the points set, you are using cheap points, the hold down screws are worn out (see tip # 37), the cam isn't lubed, or you have worn distributor bushings. EI will solve the cheap points & worn out screws, but it isn't going to fix the bushings.

The EI debate comes up here w/ such frequency that you would benefit from doing an archives search on the topic so that you can make an informed decision based upon factual information. Generally speaking, you will find a few facts, a lot of opinion, & some BS (ď my EI system doesn't have any transistors... ď) . You will also find factual information that isnít the least bit relevant to installing EI on a 23 hp, 60 year old tractor. (ďthe automotive industry went to EI 35 years agoĒ) Unfortunately, you will find some replies that skip over the factual arguments & go right to name calling & insults. If you find it amusing to watch someone make a public a$$ of themselves, you will be entertained by the ranting.



Once you parse out the BS & ill-tempered rants, there are specific factual pros & cons for keeping a points system and for using EI on an N. What it really comes down to however, is your use of the tractor & your ability (or interest) to perform maintenance on the tractor. Points require annual maintenance & replacement usually every 4 or 5 years. The EI unit itself does not have annual maintenance requirements.



Iíll offer my rationale for keeping the points in my Nís; if our experience & situation are similar, then perhaps EI isnít the answer for you either.



Knowledge. I was probably 13 or 14 when I learned how to change a set of points; that was in 1962 or 63. Every car I owned up until 1976 had points. I can fix them or change them & I have the tools to do it; I understand how they work & understand the need to use quality parts. But, while I understand how EI works, I do not have the tools or knowledge to fix it when it breaks. When it stops, it stops. You aren't going to get it going again w/ a finger nail file, screwdriver & a dime to set the gap. Even as frustrating as points can be at times, worst case scenario is replace them for $16 and continue work. Not so w/ that EI unless you have some hi-tech testing equipment & the skills to use it. Donít use the reliability of the EI on your car or truck as a benchmark for longevity on your N. Your carís ignition system was designed for the EI & uses far different materials at much closer tolerances than your 60 year old tractorís ignition system, designed for points. There are many specific & valid reasons that vehicles today use EI & most of those reasons are not applicable to a 23 hp, 2400 rpm 60 year old tractor engine. If you think an EI on these Nís is foolproof, then do that archive search I suggested. You will see many examples of folks who are not pleased to spend $135 for something that will fail & can't be fixed by the average-Joe tractor owner. And, I'm also amazed at some of the EI owners around here who will constantly tell us how infallible EI is every time the debate comes up but are strangely silent when a unit malfunctions.



6v System. All 4 of my Nís are 6v & I havenít had a reason to convert them to 12v. And, because of the precise voltage requirements of EI (it wonít work below 5.2v) EI on a 6v system is just a problem waiting to happen.



Maintenance. I keep my 2 front distributor & 2 side distributor Nís well maintained. Contrary to what some folks will tell you, EI will not cure a bad rotor or cap, worn plug wires, a bad ballast resistor, an ill-fitting coil or any other typical ignition problems found on these old tractors. The EI is only going to be as good as the system itís installed on. All you get by putting an EI on an N w/ these problems is a poorly running N w/ an EI instead of points.



Consequence of error. If I hook up the battery cables backward on my points system nothing happens to them. Reverse polarity on an EI and it fries. If I leave the key on & the points are closed, I melt the points & probably the coil. Thatís a $40 mistake. If you leave the key on w/ EI, thatís a $150 mistake.



Cost. I can replace a lot of points for the cost of EI. And, in my case, Iíd need to convert the tractor to 12v, so thatís a total cost of around $235.

EI does not give you higher spark voltage, eliminate all maintenance on your ignition system or give enough of a horsepower boost to cause the tractor to do wheelies. It replaces the points. Thatís it. It will not correct or overcome other problems in the ignition system. While it may give you more HP or improve fuel economy, both would be so insignificant as to be hardly noticeable on a 23 hp engine. If you canít set points or donít care to do it, or you donít want to spend the 30 minutes or so a year to check the gap & lube the cam, then you will be happy w/ EI. And, the EI unit itself will be maintenance free. (but the rest of the ignition system wonít) You will spend probably $235 for an EI kit & 12v conversion. If you install them correctly you will have an easy starting tractor for a long time. And, the 12 volt conversion & EI will have just about nothing to do w/ the good performance. What will make the real difference is the new wiring, cables, clean grounds & new battery.

The key advantage to EI is that you do not need to gap & lube the points every year & replace them every 4 or 5 years or. If you perform annual maintenance on the points & change them every 4 years or so using quality parts, you will see no difference whatsoever between a points ignition system & EI on an N.

The key disadvantages to EI on an N are initial cost, nearly impossible for the average N owner to repair, will not work w/ low battery voltage, & easily damaged beyond repair by polarity reversal & other common mistakes.

Bottom lineÖÖÖ.this is the question you need to answer: ďIf tens of thousands of other Nís operate just fine on 6v and points, why canít mine?Ē
50 Tips

 
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Tom N MS
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:00 am    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I wouldn't do it..My Dad has had a 2N for 35+ yrs and has probably installed 5 or six sets of points. Anyone not willing to do that needs to consider getting some other kind of tractor. Mine has just had one set since I got it in Sept 04, but mine just sits in my way. It is never used, just cranked occasionally.
 
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NOXJohn
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I put E/I in my 1949 front mount 8N after converting to a 12 volt system for other reasons. I don't think E/I works very well with a 6 volt system. There have been several reports of not starting if battery voltage is just a little low. No such reports for 12 volt systems. The installation was straight forward and not complicated. The wiring schematic they give you is correct but confusing. It took me 1/2 hour or more to figure it out after laying the wiring harness on the tractor. I converted the coil to a real 12 volt round can no resister needed. See below for previous topic on square can coil modifications to convert to round coil. I used a 3 ohm Flame thrower coil and set the plugs at .030, if I remember correctly. That gives you a little better spark. Most likely does not help any but sounded like a good idea. It has been 2 years now and around 100 hours on the tractor. It still runs great. The E/I did away with that annoying idle miss that I could never get out when it had points. I love my tractor but hate that front mount distributor. Good front mount points are getting difficult to find and pulling that distributor once or twice a year was a pain. The $100 for E/I was worth it to me not to have to mess with it for several years. However, as others have said when E/I dies it is dead. I keep a spare set of Blue Streak points just for the time when the E/I does fail. I will buy another E/I when that happens but figure the longer I wait the lower the price will be and the better the quality will be. Most likely that is wrong also but you need a plan. If you have any problems with the installation call the manufacturer, number on paper work. They are very helpful and knowledgeable.
 
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Ultradog MN
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

NOXJohn has it right!
Why anyone would continue to use points in those blasted front mount distributers is beyond me.
Some guys believe writing lengthly posts extolling the virtues of points will make their desirability a fact. It is not a fact - even if they make it rhyme, set it to music and have a pretty girl sing the song, points in a front mount will still remain a goofy, antiquated business at best.
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:24 am    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

it's REALLY not that hard to pull the dizzy, install the points and slap it back in.

if the parts are good.. you might have to do this every 4-5 years at most.. changing them that is.. perhaps a cleaning yearly if it is a low hour use tractor.

IMHO.. yearly miantenance on a tractor is no big deal. just give em a look while the oil is draining.. it's not that hard???

soundguy
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

ps.. you might want to check yer pc again.. it's still sending out random emails..

soundguy
 
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jon
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Bruce (VA) wrote:
Bottom lineÖÖÖ.this is the question you need to answer: ďIf tens of thousands of other Nís operate just fine on 6v and points, why canít mine?Ē

Exactly.
Putting EI in a 60 year old tractor is like having breast implants put in a 60 year old women.
At some point you might orta get a newer model if you can't handle the original. Wink
 
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TheOldHokie
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

jon wrote:
(quoted from post at 15:32:35 10/11/10)
Bruce (VA) wrote:
Bottom lineÖÖÖ.this is the question you need to answer: ďIf tens of thousands of other Nís operate just fine on 6v and points, why canít mine?Ē

Exactly.
Putting EI in a 60 year old tractor is like having breast implants put in a 60 year old women.


IMO many 60 year old women could benefit greatly with breast implants.....

TOH
 
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JMOR
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

TheOldHokie wrote:
(quoted from post at 18:32:14 10/11/10)
jon wrote:
(quoted from post at 15:32:35 10/11/10)
Bruce (VA) wrote:
Bottom lineÖÖÖ.this is the question you need to answer: ďIf tens of thousands of other Nís operate just fine on 6v and points, why canít mine?Ē

Exactly.
Putting EI in a 60 year old tractor is like having breast implants put in a 60 year old women.


IMO many 60 year old women could benefit greatly with breast implants.....

TOH
Now you are really talking "mission creep". Twisted Evil
 
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Ultradog MN
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:02 pm    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Maybe that's the answer.
Skip this silly board and skip these silly Ns and stick to better tractors.
 
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Ken(Ark)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

RickWoods wrote:
(quoted from post at 21:05:28 10/10/10) Has anyone put an electronic ignition on a Ford 8N?
I have had trouble keeping points set and thought about trying one.
Also..how hard is it to install one?


The 12v neg ground EI units works good , SO does a good set of points .

I have found that most guys already know what they want , that is to stay 6V or convert to 12V , same with the points verses electronic ignition .

I don't pay your bills and you don't pay mine so I'll be happy with what ever you choose . Either way we will help you keep your N purring .
 
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jon
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: electronic ignition for Ford 8N Reply to specific post Reply with quote

TheOldHokie wrote:

IMO many 60 year old women could benefit greatly with breast implants.....

Yea but I'd rather invest in 2-30 year olds. Laughing
 
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