I just got through converting my 1957 workmaster 641 to 12 volts. I bought a 12 volt battery, lights, coil, and voltage, regulator and had the generator converted to 12 volts. I put everything back just as it was, but switched it to negative ground and ran the negative wire from the new coil to the distributer. I cranked it and it cranked like a brand new tractor. Never in 30 years has it started like that. But the ignition (charging light?) did not come on. The battery shows 12.5 volts and the large wire on the generator only showed several volts with the multimeter. The voltage regulator felt warm and I think it smelled a little hot. The generator repair shop told me they had already polarized the generator and voltage regulator for me.
I hooked everything up the same way it was before except for I made sure the coil was hooked up as the generator man told me. Positive to the coil and negative to the distributer. I am not sure how it was hooked up because the old one was too dirty to read.
Prior to all this it was not charging and I had replaced the voltage regulator. It seemed to charge very briefly with the ignition light brighter than I ever remember it before. I also had switched the battery to a positive ground because I was told this was proper and would make the oil or voltage regulator or something last longer. But I am pretty sure we had always had the battery hooked up with a negative ground for many years. I was actually suspicious that maybe the voltage regulator I had installed was a 12 volt regulator because it was blue like the 12 volt one I have on it now and the old one was black and because of the way the ignition light seemed so bright and it did not charge (work) for long.
Thatís the long story any ideas. I am thinking maybe I need to find a diagram and then trace all my wires. I am sure I hooked everything up the same way except for the coil, but I wonder if maybe I could have crossed something the last time I worked on the charging system. I am also a little confused about the positive ground thing. I had always hooked the battery up negative ground until I replaced the voltage regulator and was told to reverse it back to a positive ground, but if it had always worked before should I have done that and does it have anything to do with my problem now that I have converted it back to a negative ground system with the new 12 volt components?