In Reply to: Re: 8n 12v conversion posted by Luke on October 09, 2018 at 18:48:21:
From my experience, I've only found three reasons to convert an N to 12v:
1. You need to run 12v equipment (sprayers, pumps, lights, etc)
2. You have a simultaneous failure of the v/r & generator or battery & the cost to replace those parts is close to or exceeds the cost of a conversion
3. Your N has poor compression (like less than 90 lbs) and you do not want to rebuild it
If an N is hard to start in cold weather (or any weather) you should find out why & fix it! These tractors have low compression, low HP engines and will start just fine on 6v.
The plain and simple reason for 12 volt starting systems in tractors and cars can be summed up in two words: increased compression.
In order to increase horsepower, the automotive industry increased engine compression. And you need a faster spinning starter to deal with increased compression.
Has the compression in your engine increased?
There is nothing inherently 'wrong' w/ a 12v conversion. The problem is that there are about 6 different ways to convert the tractor to 12v, all of them work, and an infinite number of ways to do it wrong. If you have a basic understanding of tractor mechanics, you can buy a quality kit & do it correctly. Or, you can buy an alternator & fabricate brackets if you are skilled at that sort of stuff. Of course, if you have a basic understanding of tractor mechanics, you could just as easily fix the problem that you are trying to cure with the 12v conversion. Most problems we read about w/ 12v conversions are as a result of folks getting in over their heads trying to fabricate a conversion, using inferior kits or using kits w/ directions written in Chinese, or buying tractors w/ "Bubba" conversions and now the new owner is stuck with trying to figure it out.
And no tractor, 6v or 12v , will start or run very well if you neglect the basics like keeping the air filter and fuel screens clean and setting the points and timing at least once a year.
Now before the 12v advocates give me a spanking, let me add that lots of folks have 12v conversions & are perfectly happy w/ them because the conversions were done correctly. 12v is also more forgiving of poor grounds/weak cables, etc than 6v, so keeping everything "clean, bright & tight" in the system is not as critical. 12v gives you twice as much current & a faster spinning starter. And, because 6v headlights are 35w & 12v are 55w, the headlights are brighter.
You will spend probably $250 for a kit and new 12v battery. If you install it correctly you will have an easy starting tractor for a long time. And, the 12 conversion will have just about nothing to do w/ the good performance. What will make the real difference is the new wiring, cables, clean grounds & new battery.
All four of my N's are 6v & they all four start the first time, every time, no matter what the weather. You will find that to be the case with folks who live in a lot of places much colder than VA. Plenty of 6v tractors start just fine in MI, NY, WI.....and have been doing so for years. Because they have the correct size cables, good batteries, & clean, bright & tight grounds & connections. And, the correct gaskets in the distributor.
So, if 1000ís of old N series tractors start and run year around on 6 volts, why canít yours?