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8n Electricals

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03-03-2003 10:48:11

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I have a 1949 8n in which the battery has died. I have been jumping it lately but was told by a friend that my battery is hooked up with neg. ground, not the pos. ground I thought was the norm. I contemplated buying an 8 volt battery or converting to 12 volts. I do not use the tractor frequently so far ( every 2-4 weeks ). But will work tractor more frequently this summer for skidding logs, bushogging or whatever. My friend will convert it for me fairly cheaply. Should I convert to 12v or stand fast with 6v. ? Thanks in advance. P.S. What gives with the neg. ground the way mine is hooked up, did the later models go away from the pos. ground.?

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Dell (WA)

03-03-2003 11:49:14

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 Re: 8n Electricals in reply to Dean, 03-03-2003 10:48:11  
Dean..... ...its not unusual for a well meaning, but miss-informed shadetree mechanic, to install a replacement 6 volt battery negative ground like in their Belch-Fire V-8.

Yes, 6 volt N-Tractors were originally and should still be "positive ground". If'n ya convert to 12 volts, your 12 volt alternator's internal solid state gutts absolutely DEMANDS negative ground. Understand?

DO NOT 8 VOLT, its a BAD IDEA. And unless you know how to "adjust" your 8N voltage regulator, you'll be runnin' round with a discharged 8 volt battery. The OEM 6 volt frontmount coil doesn't like too many volts and will puke its gutts. 8 volts not good idea.

Starter don't care positive or negative ground. Generator don't really care positive or negative ground as long as the voltage regulator was "POLARIZED" for whatever the battery ground is. Sparkie coil does care, incorrect coil polarity can loose upto 40% of your sparkies.

Since you seem to have a non-chargeable battery issue. Make certain that your generator/voltage regulator are correctly "polarized" for whatever you decide your 6 volt battery ground is. 'course it never hurts to do it like the factory, positive ground.

To polarize your 6 volt 8N, spark-arc your BATT and ARM terminals at your voltage regulator. (they're side-by-side).

As to wheather to convert to 12 volts, do a search of the N-Board archives. Read'em and weep.

I'm a 12 volt advocate for the right reasons. That said, I haven't found the right reason for my eazy starting '52 8N, and I know how to do it right, the first time. In fact I know 7-ways to do it right.

Remember, the 6 volt mantra: "keep'em clean, bright, and tight" and don't be fer usin' enny of them thar wimpy ferrin made k-mart battery cables. Gettcha sum 'arry chested 'merrican made thick as yer thumb 1/0 battery cables. And amaze yerselfs how eazy yer 6 volter starts..... ..Dell

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03-03-2003 11:34:04

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 Re: 8n Electricals in reply to Dean, 03-03-2003 10:48:11  
AFAIK, all N's were shipped 6v, pos grnd. Don't know why someone would make it 6v negative ground... odd.

A few things to keep in mind... many of us here still have stock 6v electrical systems and run fine.. even with 2-3 lights. If you are switching to 8 or 12v to help starting.. you are just hiding problems.. better to correct those than to cover them up.....as they will resurface.

About the only reason I can think of to go to 12v.. is if you need to run 12v powered devices...

Some things to look for.. (1) is your current battery a 6v or has it already been 'patched' with an 8v battery? If 8v.. that 6v genny isn't going to do a good job of charging it.

If you are going to stay 6v.. might as well go back to pos grnd. There are some ignition characteristics that you will want to ask Dell about.. that is.. correct polarity and hookup of the coil, etc..

You will have to repolarize your genny as well... then you can check everything out.

Might do yourself a favor and have that battery checked.. or if you have a specific gravity tester do it yourself.

If you are concerned about jumping.. remember you can still jump your 6v tractor off with 12v.. just hook up on the starter side of the solenoid or switch.. and don't hit the thumb button.


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03-03-2003 12:11:23

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 Re: Re: 8n Electricals in reply to soundguy, 03-03-2003 11:34:04  
SouNdguy, Thanks for yours and the other responses. The current battery connections are not the best. And although the old N runs well the wiring looks old and possibly suspect. I was considering replacing the main harness just to freshen the wiring. The key switch has been bypassed and directly wired to the solenoid. The attempts at jumping will occassionally require hitting the starter button and as often may jump without depressing button?

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03-03-2003 11:23:52

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 Re: 8n Electricals in reply to Dean, 03-03-2003 10:48:11  
They were all originally pos. ground, can be polarized to be neg. ground.

12 volt starts better because you have more juice and more crank, but starting shouldn't be a big deal with 6v. You might be better off looking into why your battery went dead. Was it lack of charging or just spent?

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Jim Cox (SW Missouri)

03-03-2003 11:21:19

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 Re: 8n Electricals in reply to Dean, 03-03-2003 10:48:11  
If the generator was replaced in the past (i'm sure it was) someone could have repolarized it for NEG ground and hooked up the battery that way, just cause they were familiar with it. Id' have to wonder if the right VREG was involved in the switch. You would need a hundres-series style (i think. Help me out Dell ???) for neg ground, and the generator would need to be wired for that VREG internally. As far as 6V 12V, either one is gonna be some work from where you're standing. Id' go back to 6V to keep things simple, but there are decent 12V kits out there as well, look at the link at the top of this page just to the right of 'parts'. I personally think old iron looks better without modern aluminum, but that's an opinion. No more than you use the tractor, i'd keep it 6V so when you don't use it anymore, it will have more appeal to other buyers
Jim Cox
Starter Rebuilder Guy

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03-03-2003 12:39:48

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 Re: Re: 8n Electricals in reply to Jim Cox (SW Missouri), 03-03-2003 11:21:19  
Nice generator site, very good info in it and much well presented data and drawings. Good to have you as an electrical pro on the site. You would not believe the flammable E-Mail I received in the past for just suggesting that there were A and B wired generators. Some experts even said that A and B refered to regulators part numbers only!

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