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Ford 9N, 2N & 8N Discussion Forum
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12v Battery, 6v System?

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Irish_Jake

07-15-2017 16:48:59




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I just bought an 8n, and for all the world it appears to have a 12v battery in an original 6v system. I've verified the battery is 12v, and the generator looks original. Any idea how that could be the case? Tractor starts and runs fine. Can a 12v battery run a 6v system, or is it possible the generator has been re-wound?




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Irish_Jake

07-18-2017 09:29:27




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
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I hear ya, and I understand the hidden costs involved with restoring an old machine. That said, I thought about all that before I chose a tractor to get into. I value the simplicity of older tools and equipment, along with the robustness with which they're built. I have a wood shop as well, and my table saw, for instance, is actually a few years older than this tractor. From both a practical and nostalgic standpoint, I value what comes with these older items.

My goal is to do a quality, but not show-level restoration on the tractor. Get it running back at 90% of original and clean up the paint a bit. Then it will be used for snow plowing & maintenance on 60 acres of rolling Michigan forest & trails. Is it the best tractor in the sub $10,000 range for doing that? No, but it should be good enough for what I need and I'll enjoy working with it and on it.

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W_B

07-18-2017 07:57:24




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
What Ultradog said. I have a 9N and an 8N, but you won't see me putting much if any money into them, other than what it takes to keep them going. Any major (expensive) breakdowns or rebuilds needed and they are then parts tractors or will become someone else's problem. I bought a modern SCUT (sub-compact utility tractor) with a hydrostatic transmission and steering, live hydraulics, live PTO and a loader with the same h.p. as the Ns a few years back, and that convinced me the Ns are nice little workhorses that aren't all that nice to work with by comparison. Not that I won't continue to use them for chores they are suited for. If I replace them, the 1000 series (2000, 3000 or 4000) or next generation beyond those will get my money.

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TheOldHokie

07-16-2017 18:05:01




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
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Don't mind Jesse - he's a great source of real engineering knowledge but after a couple decades or so of the same 6V vs 12V stuff over and over here a little short on patience :roll:
Just pay attention and use your brain. The idea that you own a multi-meter and apparently know what it means is a massive step in the right direction ;-)

TOH

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JMOR

07-16-2017 15:25:45




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeThat's fine too. Just learning & finding good parts.



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Irish_Jake

07-16-2017 15:23:40




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
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Sorry, didn't realize it was a touchy point around here. Once I find my multimeter and work out exactly what's happening as is, I'm leaning toward staying 6v for original. This is going to be a working tractor, but I'm also going to be restoring back toward factory stock for the most part. She's burning some oil right now so an engine rebuild is on tap for this fall.

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Ultradog MN

07-18-2017 04:33:31




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-16-2017 15:23:40  
If you are Positive that an N is all the tractor you will ever want or need then go ahead and rebuild/restore it. But know this before you start:
With an engine overhaul plus all the other mission creep that goes into a "restoration" you will quickly spend yourself into the price range of a much later tractor. Yes, you will have a pretty tractor but it still won't have the features and options that say a Hundred or Thousand Series will likely have - more gears, live hyds, live pto, power steering, differential lock, much better hudraulics, more hp from an OHV engine, etc, etc. To each his own of course.
But I would much rather have more features than more pretty.

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JMOR

07-16-2017 15:21:37




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeTrying to create a sh..., I mean fire storm are ya? There are as many opinions on this as there are people, almost. Forget all the nits and if not interested in originality, it is much easier to keep modern alternators working than generator/electro-mechanical voltage regulators, most especially for the novice.



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Irish_Jake

07-16-2017 15:13:47




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Can anyone point me toward a good discussion / guide to the benefits and downsides of 6v vs 12v?



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Tim Ploughnman Daley

07-16-2017 07:37:01




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Original FORD's used a 6-volt/positive ground electrical system -has to do with hotter/better spark at plugs. A lot of fellas slap 12 volt batteries in them, negative grounded, and they work, spins the starter faster, brighter lights, and can run yer 8-track player now. If you wanna add a 12 v battery -go all the way and convert to an alternator too but do the hook-up correctly -see JMOR's Wiring Pictograms. Then contact me -email is open and I'll buy your old 6-volt generator too.

Tim *PloughNman* Daley(MI)

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TheOldHokie

07-16-2017 03:52:20




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Also pretty clean looking work so it would appear previous owners were not a bunch of ham handed nabobs ;-) I was going to fix the image links but they are full resolution - one of those little techie things Photobucket took care of for you.....

TOH



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JMOR

07-15-2017 21:34:28




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
OK, you have the resistor. Standard "looking" early 8N generator.

Generator could be converted to 12v? Place a voltmeter across battery terminals & measure voltage. Start & run at speed for 3 to 5 minutes while monitoring battery voltage & if it rises by a volt or more, then it is charging. Same or lower means it is not charging.



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Irish_Jake

07-15-2017 21:26:46




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Bleh, can't edit so I'm replying to make those images link -

http://dropshare.artisandm.com/2017-07-15-23.59.06.jpg

http://dropshare.artisandm.com/2017-07-15-23.59.39.jpg

http://dropshare.artisandm.com/2017-07-16-00.00.06.jpg

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Irish_Jake

07-15-2017 21:16:32




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

New and ignorant, but learning and generally quick with engines.

Here's what I've got - battery, generator, and what may be a resistor up near the battery, but looks nothing like the electronics resistors I'm used to. Multimeter is currently hiding from me somewhere so I haven't been able to poke around with that yet.

http://dropshare.artisandm.com/2017-07-15-23.59.06.jpg

http://dropshare.artisandm.com/2017-07-15-23.59.39.jpg

http://dropshare.artisandm.com/2017-07-16-00.00.06.jpg

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tractorguy2

07-15-2017 20:53:36




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Here we call that a 'farmer conversion' very common to find a 12 volt battery in a six volt system. Farmers use a battery charger once a month to charge battery. A six volt generator won't charge a 12 volt battery.

It will be very hard on the six volt regulator. Odds are the regulator will need replaced to make a six volt battery charge again. I'll also bet the battery cables will need replaced. Not because of the 12 volts. Just because they are 60 years old and wore out.

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teddy52food

07-16-2017 07:35:28




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to tractorguy2, 07-15-2017 20:53:36  
I have a Farmall B with a 6 volt generator that I can use a 6 or 12 volt battery in. It has a magneto for ign. It has a belly mower (sickle) that I use a 12 volt winch to raise. If I don't need the mower I put a 6 volt battery in it. It charges 1/2 at 12 volts. Generator is a 3 brush with a diode instead of a regulator or cut out.



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JMOR

07-15-2017 18:35:01




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeIf resistance selection is done correctly, then it reduces coil & point current back to 6v levels and all is well. Who knows, on a r-e-a-l-l-y l-o-n-g shot you might have a 12v generator and regulator!



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Ultradog MN

07-15-2017 20:08:00




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to JMOR, 07-15-2017 18:35:01  
"Who knows, on a r-e-a-l-l-y l-o-n-g shot you might have a 12v generator and regulator!"

That was my thought:
New user so we dont know how much he knows about visually IDing N generators.
Maybe a 12v generator/VR off an 801D or somesuch. If he could post a photo there's guys here who could ID it from looks.
I would take the generator in and have it tested btw. They could tell you if it is 6 or 12v and if it works. Go from there whether he's going to go the rest of the way with one voltage or the orher.

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Irish_Jake

07-15-2017 18:09:09




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
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Seller actually mentioned finding a resistor, previous owner put the battery in. I'm not sure where to look for it here. What impact would that have?



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JMOR

07-15-2017 17:56:58




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeUnless the coil has been changed, it is being "stressed", but may live, at least for awhile (same for points). Another possibility is that he has added a resistor in the coil primary wire, but I wouldn't bet on that.



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Irish_Jake

07-15-2017 17:36:39




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Will it hurt anything like that, or can I just wait until the batter dies and replace it with a 6v?



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JMOR

07-15-2017 17:04:20




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 Re: 12v Battery, 6v System? in reply to Irish_Jake, 07-15-2017 16:48:59  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeIt is likely that seller just stuck that battery in there to sell it and it will run like that for many hours as starting is infrequent & ignition draws little current, but sooner or later it will be dead & need re-charging, as the generator is just keeping fan belt tight.



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