Ford Tractor 601 801 12 Volt Conversion
Posted by: Julia
On: 15 Agu, 2014
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Ford Tractor 601 801 12 Volt Conversion
The big surprise for many is that the 6 volt starter, solenoid, switches, ignition coil, points, and most of the wiring can remain. This is because these components are insulated well enough to withs...
Ford Tractor 601 801 12 Volt Conversion
The big surprise for many is that the 6 volt starter, solenoid, switches, ignition coil, points, and most of the wiring can remain. This is because these components are insulated well enough to withstand a lot more than 12 volts. The starter will NOT spin in reverse when you change from positive to negative ground. It is a series-wound motor and will spin in the correct direction regardless.
All Light Bulbs will of course need to be replaced with 12 volt bulbs, but the only other item that must be protected from the higher voltage is the ignition coil. Some people will prefer to buy a 12 volt coil instead of trying to figure out how much resistance to add to the ignition circuit to protect the 6 volt coil while still providing a good hot spark. Some believe a 12 volt coil delivers a hotter spark. In some cases that might be true, but it has more to do with the wiring than the coil itself. Properly wired, the spark from a 6 volt coil is every bit as HOT as the spark from a 12 volt coil. Either one will knock you on your butt if you get careless.
A recent question came up asking if there was any difference in the wiring for headlights in a negative ground system vs a positive ground system. YES! If you wire the headlights wrong, they become light suckers and will try to suck all the light out of the room! Oops, sorry about that, I really should restrain myself. No, the bulbs won't turn into "black light" bulbs either. With the switch ON, current flows, and the lights glow. If you are changing some of your bulbs to LED type, polarity often does matter. If the LEDs are not reverse-current protected, hooking them up backwards can ruin them. Better LEDs are reverse-polarity protected, so if they don't work you just reverse the wires at the bulb.
CAUTION! Buying a "12 volt" coil is no guarantee that you are actually getting a 12 volt coil. Some of the "12 volt" round can coils and perhaps ALL of the front mount "12-Volt" coils are actually designed to work with the original ignition resistor on these tractors.
My first 12 volt conversion worked great, but it was too much of a departure from the original wiring. I didn't have much to base it on, the wiring on my tractor had been patched and taped together numerous times. So I pulled all the old wiring off and started re-wiring it from scratch.
I have extensive training in AC and DC systems, I have designed and in many cases built everything from go carts and race cars to power and generator systems for high-rise office buildings. I have done both residential and commercial electrical work, and have been working on just about every type of vehicle there is, for over 30 years.
I could easily re-wire one of these tractors myself. What I didn't think about was the next owner of my tractor or anyone who might use the information I provided on this page to re-wire their vehicle. Shame on me! This ground has been thoroughly plowed so many times over the last 40-plus years that nobody should do a 12 volt conversion from scratch. All you will be doing with your custom wiring job is creating a problem for the next person to work on your vehicle, unless they can read your mind to see exactly what you did. Here's a link to my hall of shame photos titled "How NOT to Rewire Your Tractor":
Please, stay as close as you can to the original wiring, or simply buy a new 12-volt wiring harness.
A new tractor wiring harness is CHEAP! It is probably one of the least expensive upgrades you can do for your vehicle. The low-end bargain main tractor harness will run you about $25. The high-end "Just Like Original" main harness may cost $50 or more. The low end harness will usually be put together with crimp-on connectors. The high-end harness should have soldered connectors protected with heat-shrink, so it is completely waterproof. Either harness will work much better than many of the "self-wired" jobs I have seen. The cheaper harness will obviously not last as long if it is exposed to weather.
NOTES TO THE DIAGRAMS
All of my diagrams show the light circuit connected ahead of the ignition switch for two reasons. One reason is so you can use the lights with the engine off and not cook the coil by leaving the ignition switch ON. The second reason is to reduce the amount of current going through the ignition switch.
The 3-wire 12 volt conversion diagrams show a diode that can easily be soldered in-line and protected with a piece of heat-shrink. This diode allows use of the original 2-wire ignition switch and does not require adding an indicator light. If you prefer, you can substitute a 3 to 5 watt incandescent bulb in place of the diode. Automobile side-marker lights typically use a bulb that will work. As you can see from the diagrams, the best (simplest) solution is to use a 1-wire alternator.
My 12 volt conversion diagrams have two major differences from many of the "professional" conversions. One is the Ammeter wiring mentioned above. My 3-wire diagrams show a connection for the "voltage sense" No.2 terminal on the alternator. Most other conversions connect a short jumper directly to the BAT terminal on the alternator. It will work that way, but I believe in most cases, that short jumper is a waste of time. Many rebuilt Delco 10-SI alternators should revert to internal voltage sensing when the voltage sense terminal is disconnected, so jumpering the voltage sense terminal to the alternator output is redundant.
"MOST" 10-SI alternators should revert to internal voltage sensing, and work with the No.2 terminal not used. However, there are more than a few different designs of the internal regulator used in theae alternators, so there is absolutely no guarantee they will all work the same way. If you have left the voltage sense terminal empty, and the alternator does not charge, before doing anything else, connect a jumper from the No.2 terminal to the BAT terminal, and try it again.
I believe it is important to make the external voltage sensing connection as close as possible to the accessory terminal, so the alternator senses and reacts to system voltage rather than alternator output. There is already a pair of small generator wires in the 8N harness that go all the way to the dash, why not use them to properly connect the small terminals on your new alternator?
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