farmall A distributor timeing

Fri May 30, 2008 10:49 pm

i took apart the timing gears on my 1947 farmall A distributor and dont know how to re-time it. it will not get spark at the plug but will get spark if i put the plug wire in to the (coil?) and ground it to the engine. help!!

Re: farmall A distributor timeing

Sat May 31, 2008 8:54 am

Did you remove the distributor from the engine? If you only removed the rotor and cap, my guess is you do not have the rotor button snapped onto the shaft. The shaft has a flt on it and button will not "seat" until it is turned just right. Take the cap off and try turning it and pushing in on it at the same time.

Re: farmall A distributor timeing

Sat May 31, 2008 10:03 am

Pt #1 cylinder at TDC. insert the dist with the rotor pointing at the location of the #1 plug wire if the rotor were inplace. This should give you a shade tree mechanic way of fixing it. I don't have a manual but this way has worked for me on many different engines through the years.

For timing I shut the key off or remove the battery wire to the coil. I loosen the dist enough that I can rotate it. With an ohm meter from ground to the terminal on the dist I rotate the dist till the reading goes from a reading of short to open circuit. Lock her up and you have the cold timing to start. B e careful and slow and it generally is right on the mark when checked with a timing light. The timing light will show if the advance is working so it is useful in two ways.

Re: farmall A distributor timeing

Sat May 31, 2008 11:31 am

Daniel H. wrote:Did you remove the distributor from the engine? If you only removed the rotor and cap, my guess is you do not have the rotor button snapped onto the shaft. The shaft has a flt on it and button will not "seat" until it is turned just right. Take the cap off and try turning it and pushing in on it at the same time.


i took apart the gears that are behind the rotor, so now when the points close the rotor isnt touching the cap

Re: farmall A distributor timeing

Sat May 31, 2008 10:08 pm

Distributor - are you sure this distributor is not a magneto. I haven't seen all of the different distributors but I don't know of one that has internal gears.

From a book "How to Restore Tractor Magnetos" H4. At the top of the rotor gear, where the rotor fits, a C and A are marked. When you assemble the drive gear to the distributor gear, be sure to line up the marks on the gears.

Re: farmall A distributor timeing

Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:46 am

I did the same thing 2 weeks ago. (I think) If you have a mag, and you cleaned the points, you could have gotten the mag out of time. I worked on the B for an entire day after cleaning the points. I was so frustrated, then realized that just because the shaft and cover match up does not mean it is correct. Those gears are not a 1 to 1 ratio. when the shaft makes a complete turn, the rotor does not. Make sure the #1 is at tdc on the compression stroke. Then remove the points cover from the mag, and make it point at the #1 wire that should do it. After pulling the B up and down the road to get it to start, once I got it in time it started on the second turn of the handcrank :oops: