Re: 6 volt alternator

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Posted by Tim Daley(MI) on January 26, 2018 at 07:13:07 [URL] [DELETE] :

In Reply to: 6 volt alternator posted by AL CT on January 25, 2018 at 21:01:53:

I concur with Jerry (Ultradog)on just going full tilt boogie doing a proper complete 12-volt conversion. I'm a 6-volt man myself but don't totally condemn 12-volt conversions, if done properly, and so many are not. One only has to read the daily posts on these boards to see 99.98% of non-running/non-starting issues are related to hackmaster 12-volt jobs. There use to be 12-volt generators too, but if I had a tractor I used everyday I would probably install a 12-volt system with EI. When I go to car shows, I always look at the electrical systems first. I almost never see any antique Ford with the original electrical system -they will have a 12-volt conversion done. Most of the time it is because the owner does not know how the correct wiring should be on a 6-volt system. I see some 12-volt jobs with EI too that have issues as well. Mostly it is because they are wired incorrectly. When I see a vintage model like an early 9N and the owner has restored it correctly; meaning 6-volt/positive ground with the correct generator and voltage regulator (on early 9Ns) or cutout (on late '39 on up models) I know he has done his homework. Units like the Model T using the wood ignition box cornfuses guys/rebuilders that they just go to 12-volts for ease and convenience. I've worked on so many Ford Tractors with badly done 12-volt jobs that every time I get a new one I think I've seen them all but then another comes in and surprises me. One guy had two voltage regulators hooked up to his alternator, wondered why it wouldn't start. "I keep charging the battery..." I have not worked on anything with a 6-volt alternator, have seen them, my old Ford Tractor mechanic buddy has a half dozen of them as well as some 12-volt generators. When he gets an old Ford N in to refurbish (he doesn't restore) the first thing he does is to install a 12-volt battery with an alternator. The vintage car guys feel more warm and fuzzy with 12-volts, and that's fine. At the end of a weekend show and it's time to load up to go home, they don't want any hiccups. That being said, I have seen many fellas with their jumper cables out too. I just don't see any need to go with a 6-volt alternator, do you? Next time you are at a show, ask the guys why they are using a 6-volt alternator. There are several N-Owners here who also have vintage cars, Bruce(VA) for one has a Model A but he still keeps it 6-volt. Like I said, at shows, I'm always looking at electrical systems. Why? Curiosity mainly, but when I find a '37-'40 Ford model, especially the DeLuxe Model used the same VR as the early 9N tractor. I have yet to find one still 6-volts though. If someone can explain any advantage to using a 6-volt alternator, please do. Meanwhile I'll keep my N's at 6-volt, and fix the ones that come in with bad 12-volt jobs. If I ever did do a 12-volt conversion to one of my N's, I'd add EI and do it right. I think electrical systems scare a lot of guys simply because they do not understand the principals involved. Going to 12-volts is often the thought pattern because that is what they have in their newer car or truck or it is what a mechanic told them to do because he doesn't know either.

Tim Daley(MI)

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