Just had to post this. Everyone who enjoys and uses these old gas tractors will eventually have a tractor that will not start. I jumped on my 6 volt, side distributor 8N last night. I just wanted to use it to pull the 3000 away from the shed, so I could close the doors. The 8N cranked for more than the usual 2 seconds with no fire. Made sure I turned the key on, yep. Tried again, still no fire, and now I smell gas.
Step 1, pop distributor cap remove rotor and crank engine. Yes, the points are working. While the cap is off, file points to make sure nothing got squished between them. You might not think a spider carcass is a good insulator, unless you have had one get squished in there. I still don't know how a spider could get inside the distributor. Didn't see any bug guts this time. Put cap back on, pull a plug wire, hold it near the plug terminal, turn key on, and crank engine. Darn, still no spark.
I was in a hurry, so gave up on that tractor and jumped on the 2N. It fired right up and did what I needed to do. Next weekend I will figure out what is wrong with the 8N. One of the coil terminals seemed to move a little when I reached in there to see if the wires were broken or loose. I know it isn't the connection to the points. That thru-distributor contraption was replaced with a simple wire and grommet a couple years ago. Since my "ignition on" dash light is still working, the problem seems to be the wire to the coil, or the coil. I'll use a voltmeter to make sure the key switch is showing 6 volts.