Adding an Hour Meter|
by Steven Gussey
This article tells how I added an electric hour meter to my 1942 Farmall H after rebuilding
it. I wanted to keep an accurate maintenance schedule for my rebuilt
engine and the implements I use with my tractor, but the H was never
available with a tach-hourmeter and a factory type hourmeter is over $250.
This system can be installed for under $35 and works
First, I bought a waterproof hourmeter from JCWhitney that will operate on anything
from 4 to 40 volts DC. Other hourmeters need more than 6 volts.
For the power wire on the hour meter, run a wire from either ammeter terminal.
If your tractor is positive ground, run this wire to the (-) negative side of the meter.
If your tractor is negative ground, run this wire to the (+) positive side of the meter.
Next, you need a SPDT (Single Pole,
Double Throw) toggle switch. I bought mine from Parts Express. The
schematic of how the switch works is on your right.
note, these instructions are for a MAGNETO
equipped tractor. If you have a distributor, read
the paragraph at the bottom of the
simple: look at the diagram on your right. One wire goes from the switch to a
ground, one goes to the negative terminal on the hour meter, and the last
one goes to the grounding terminal on the magneto. When you flip the
switch it ungrounds the magneto and grounds the hourmeter, allowing the
tractor and hourmeter to both run. Below is a picture of where I mounted
the meter on my H.
the meter under the rear gas tank support so it is out of the weather a
little more. It is supposed to be water proof, but I didn't want to find
out the hard way. Also, down there no one can see it unless they look for
It would be easier to mount there if I didn't have a belt
pulley in the way.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR DISTRIBUTOR EQUIPPED
You don't need the toggle switch. Assuming you have a
positive ground electrical system: wire the negative side of the hourmeter
to the power side of your ignition switch (the wire that goes to the
Negative ground systems: wire to the positive side of the
hourmeter to any wire that is powered when the switch is on (tractor
For the power wire on the hour meter, run a wire from either ammeter terminal. If
your tractor is positive ground, run this wire to the (-) negative side of
the meter. If your tractor is negative ground, run this wire to the (+)
positive side of the meter.
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