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How to time an 8n ford tractor

Andy F. Some friends of mine have an 8N-B ford tractor. I'm not really sure of the year but if I had to guess it would be a 48 or 49. It has a side mount distributor and is out of time. How do put it in time? I assume that the number one cylinder has to be at top dead center but after that I have no idea. Where should the rotator button be pointing and are there any markers on the distributor itself that would help?


Bob G The side mount distributor is timed as follows:

Set points to 0.025" gap when rubbing block is not on a cam lobe.

Find compression stroke on #1 cylinder. the front one next to fan. use finger in hole when cranking over.

remove timing cover on flywheel housing. looks like a spoon. use a screw driver to turn engine over by using the flywheel teeth. locate marks when coming up on compression stroke. set on 4 degree mark to the pointer. 8Ns have these marks but 9N and 2Ns do not. there are also two sets of marks 180 degrees apart. make sure you are on compression stroke on #1 cyclinder.

at this point the points should be just starting to open. if not rotate loosen bolt and rotate top of distrbutor until the points just start to open.

you can further check the timing and advance with a timing light. at idle it should be 4 degrees BTDC 1200 RPM 9 to 11 degrees.

by the way the side mount distributor came out in middle of 1950. earlier model has the distributor on the fornt of the egnine and setting timing is completely different

Good luck

Dennis Bob G.

I was having a little trouble timing my 8N when I came across your reply to Andy F. I decided to try your method and as I was reading it, I thought to myself " surely he didn't mean to say, set points to 25 thou when the rubbing block is not on the lobe". I tried that method as I wasn't sure that I was missing something. No joy. Then I set the point gap to .025" gap on the lobe and viola. runs perfect. Was that what you meant or was that a typo?

Cheers - Dennis

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