Old tractors with 6 volt systems. - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > Country Living Forums > Shop Talk

Shop Talk Get your mechanical questions answered here!


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1  
Old 12/29/09, 06:23 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: maine
Posts: 1,164
Old tractors with 6 volt systems.

Anyone else run an old tractor with 6 volt battery ?
My 4 yr old HD commercial Napa battery(650 ccc) is getting due for replacement,
wondering what anyone else has found that they've had good luck with, and has a lot of cold cranking power. Running a 51 JD M.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12/29/09, 07:10 PM
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,313

I have the Deka battery dealer to have 6 volt batteries dropped off by his supplier when I need one. I always get the highest amp battery that will fit my battery box. I also use the large 6 volt battery cables and not the flimsy 12 volt ones used on cars.

__________________

Agmantoo
If they can do it,
you know you can!

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12/29/09, 07:29 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,341

I've had excellent service from Batteries Plus http://www.batteriesplus.com/store_l.../state/ME.aspx
6 volt batteries in my little AC G.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12/29/09, 09:04 PM
travlnusa's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: WI
Posts: 1,244

I have a 1957 Case 311 that is still 6 volt. I have needed it to start at temps as low as -25, and it has always fired off for me.

I have the biggest cables I could get on it, and each year I take off both ends of both cables and clean them no matter how good they look.

Current Fleet Farm battery is 5 yrs old now.

My generator died so replaced it with a 6 volt, pos ground alternator built by a local guy around here.

__________________

Remember the good times, for they are fewer in number and easier to recall.

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12/29/09, 09:36 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 2,124

I know this is not recommended,

On my old MM "U" tractor I got sick and tired with messing with the 6 volt batteries, I finally put a 12 battery volt in it and put a one wire GM alternator on the tractor, figured I have the starter rewired if I ever fired it, ran it for about 12 years with the 12 volt battery and it started really nice, (some other things went wrong with it and finally parked it). (I was usually ended jumping it with a 12 volt unit so I figured putting one on it would not be much worst for it).
hardly ever had a starter or battery problem after that,

IF you try it do it at your own risk,

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12/30/09, 07:26 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: WI
Posts: 2,180

My 1940 vintage Ford 9N is still 6 volt, the battery is 8 to 10 years old and is what I picked up at Fleet Farm years ago. If it is tuned up well, good properly sized cables and clean connections, I see no need to change to 12 volts. And maybe I am just lucky but I never seem to have any problems with batteries lasting less than 5 years in any vehicle no matter the voltage or age.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12/30/09, 08:06 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,072

Some folk use an 8 volt battery with a 6 volt system for more oomph. I swapped the charging system, ignition system, and bulbs of my old truck and the starter never did burn out. Spun the engine so fast and produced a hot enough spark that it barely turned over before it was running.

I'm not the purist that many are and know what works best for me. I, too, used the one wire GM alternator.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12/30/09, 08:09 AM
HermitJohn's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,553

I have no problem with 6V systems but facts are facts. 6V batteries have become hard to find, expensive, and usually had lot time on shelf after coming from factory since demand for them is minimal. And this does matter since batteries havent been shipped dry for lot years now, so sulfations sets in during that shelf time. 6volt generators also crazy priced to rebuild and not great output. Though you can find special 6V alternators if need be, though why bother keeping 6V if you got to convert brackets and such anyway?

I go with whatever makes most sense dollar wise. I even convert vehicles that come with high dollar 12V alternator to be able to use cheapest 70s era GM alternator when original gives out. Spending hundreds of dollars for some exotic alternator that doesnt do anymore or last any longer than a cheap GM alternator makes no sense.

__________________

"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" -Dorothy

"Well, then ignore what I have to say and go with what works for you." -Eliot Coleman


Last edited by HermitJohn; 12/30/09 at 08:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12/30/09, 08:19 AM
HermitJohn's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,553

Oh and I wouldnt bother paying extra for one wire alternator. We arent talking rocket science here. On standard GM alternator there are only 3 terminals you use. You run wire from battery positive post to B+ terminal. Then run a really short jumper wire from B+ alt terminal to the F terminal (field windings), then run wire from ignition to D terminal with a small marker type bulb spliced in. On old tractor I just mounted a cheap aftermarket weatherproof "cab marker light" on "dash". Acted like idiot light in a car. Also reminded me if ignition had been left on when tractor wasnt running.

__________________

"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" -Dorothy

"Well, then ignore what I have to say and go with what works for you." -Eliot Coleman

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12/30/09, 08:27 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: maine
Posts: 1,164

Thanks for the input.
I agree, with these 6 volt systems everything needs to be up to snuff electrically speaking.
I've got as big cables as i could find around here 0/1 or 0/2, suppose to have 0/0 i think.
Maybe should look a lil harder. I've been all through it w/ new wire included so not looking to convert at this time, it starts ok with a decent battery in it.
I think i'll invest in a battery tender same time as new battery, hear good things about them for small amount of pocket change.
I think gel batteries are the kings of power but cost twice as much.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12/30/09, 04:09 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 10,769
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsy View Post
Thanks for the input.
I agree, with these 6 volt systems everything needs to be up to snuff electrically speaking.
I've got as big cables as i could find around here 0/1 or 0/2, suppose to have 0/0 i think.
Maybe should look a lil harder. I've been all through it w/ new wire included so not looking to convert at this time, it starts ok with a decent battery in it.
I think i'll invest in a battery tender same time as new battery, hear good things about them for small amount of pocket change.
I think gel batteries are the kings of power but cost twice as much.
Some of the old 6v starters, do not always function well, when they get 12v.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12/30/09, 04:44 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: maine
Posts: 1,164
Quote:
Originally Posted by plowjockey View Post
Some of the old 6v starters, do not always function well, when they get 12v.
Burn up the voltage regulator too.
I jumped it once or twice with 12 volt truck back before i knew what i was doing, got to be careful with these 6 volt systems not to put too many volts in them, LOL.
Looked at the cables again ...1/0 , can only get one size bigger.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12/30/09, 10:42 PM
Rocky Fields's Avatar
Failure is not an option.
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,623

Remove the caps and make sure the water inside the battery is up where it should be. Use distilled water to top it off.

__________________

It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required. - Winston Churchill

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12/31/09, 08:06 AM
alleyyooper's Avatar
keeper of the bees
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,866
Talking

Never ever had a problem finding a 6V battery. Local TSC store has row after row of them in different sizes and the local batterys plus store has a bunch too.
I have refused to buy a lold tractor to restore just because it had the 12V conversion.
Lots of old tractor clubs in this area.

Al

__________________

Garden View Apiaries. Where the view is as sweet as the honey.
A member of SEMBA & MBA.

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12/31/09, 08:30 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: maine
Posts: 1,164

Plenty of six volt batterys around here too.
I'd like to get the red top Optima, it would fit the box kitty cornered and has a whopping 800 cca @ 0 deg.
But the price is a bit to chew at nearly $140- $150 , you do end up with a long life battery though.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12/31/09, 08:39 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: S.E. Ks.
Posts: 5,942

The only real danger in putting a 12 volt in a six volt car or tractor is the coil.
if you have a 6 volt coil you better put a resister inline before the coil or you risk it blowing up and they can make a big boom

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12/31/09, 09:55 AM
HermitJohn's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,553
Quote:
Originally Posted by PyroDon View Post
The only real danger in putting a 12 volt in a six volt car or tractor is the coil.
if you have a 6 volt coil you better put a resister inline before the coil or you risk it blowing up and they can make a big boom
A new 12V universal coil is like $10 at any parts store and unless it has internal resistance, you will need a ballast resistor which is another $2 to $3.

Or you could set up a crank trigger and use an early pre-computer HEI ignition module. Or you can use an 80s Ford module from computer car and set it up so points trigger the module. Either way then use external HEI coil or simular from 80s Ford. Dont need ballast resistor with either of those setups. And you get a very nice spark that should make starting much easier.
__________________

"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" -Dorothy

"Well, then ignore what I have to say and go with what works for you." -Eliot Coleman

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12/31/09, 10:07 AM
HermitJohn's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,553
Quote:
Originally Posted by alleyyooper View Post
I have refused to buy a lold tractor to restore just because it had the 12V conversion.
Al
Each to their own, but if tractor was in otherwise good condition for good price, worrying about it having a generator and original mounting bracket seems kinda trivial. Are those old generators and mounting brackets now going for hundreds of dollars or something? To really restore an old tractor probably going to have to replace all wiring anyway so cant see the big deal, just rewire it and make it 6V original again if thats what you want.

And to anybody converting to 12V, stick the old parts in a box in a shed out of way in case sometime down road somebody wants them when they buy tractor from you.
__________________

"What would you do with a brain if you had one?" -Dorothy

"Well, then ignore what I have to say and go with what works for you." -Eliot Coleman

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01/03/10, 09:12 AM
In Remembrance
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,072
Quote:
Originally Posted by HermitJohn View Post
Oh and I wouldnt bother paying extra for one wire alternator.
It has probably been 6 years or so since I converted my 1949 Chevy and I bought a rebuilt 60 amp one-wire GM alternator for it. Cost $42 if I remember correctly. I think they had 40 amp ones for less but using it to pull trailer with lights and brakes at times I opted for the 60. Not sure what comes on autos anymore but with all of the electric stuff probably ones larger than that.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01/03/10, 09:47 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: maine
Posts: 1,164

How much difference in resistance from 0/0 battery cable to 1/0 cable ?
I think this tractor is suppose to have 0/0 but all i could find was 1/0.
Will it turn over better with the 0/0 or not make much difference ?
thanks

__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:46 AM.