Got a chance to work with the tractor a little bit today. One thing I had forgot to mention orginally was it had already had new plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, points, everything looks new. Stopped at NAPA and bought all this again, removed the plugs, plug 3 was what I would call sooted, 4 was wet and sooted, 2 and 1 were both sooted. They still look new with the exception of the soot. I removed each one and cleaned each one with sand paper, checked the gap, they were all .28, and removed the distributor cap, again, it all looks new, but I did take some sand paper to what I assume is the rotor, sorry but not real mechanically inclined. It did allow me to get it started, although not what you would expect. Tested it on incline and it did seem to do a little better so after parking it, I let it run while I worked on some other stuff around the building. It still sounds like it's not firing on all cylinders, and it finally died just sitting at a little above idling RPM's.
I guess I could replace the above listed, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the soot would signify. Also, this evening, when I tried to start it again, it wouldn't start, so I removed the plugs again. Number 4 was clean as a whistle, with a little gas on it, plugs 3,2,1 were all sooted and dry. Again this allowed me to get it started, but it died on me before I was able to return from the hilly incline where I've been testing it. Ran out of time, so I thought I would post this much. I'm a little leary of turning the distributor to set the timing, something I've not done before, but I don't think I can make it much worse, since it's so hard to start and not usable so far. Suggestions appreciated along with patience!!!