N Board Forum - Expanded Thread Page

Subject: tractor cab; battery

[Back] [Return to Top of Forum]

Rich    Posted 11-14-2020 at 17:03:41 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • tractor cab; battery
  • I'm new to the group and a new 8N owner, and there's plenty to learn! First: this may be the first 6V system I've had: the battery was kept on a maintainer in the fall/winter by the previous owner, which I continued doing. But then I forgot to put it back on recently and the battery went nearly dead. It did charge back up but the engine turns over with not great power, more slowly, I think, than when the weather was warmer. Maybe the oil isn't the right viscosity, or maybe I'm expecting too much from a 6 volt battery system. The battery that's in there looks like it has some years on it - would a new one turn it over stronger or is the system just generally slower? What's a good battery brand to get? Also, I bought this to plow snow and I'd like a cab for it. I've looked at them online and some on you tube. I'm thinking of building a wooden one-has anyone seen/know of any good plans? Or a decent universal fit to buy which isn't super expensive? Thankyou.

    Rich    Posted 11-15-2020 at 10:49:39 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • Tim- I just saw your cab info-thanks!. The reason for wood (and plexiglass) is because of the light weight and I would want to make it so that it could be disassembled/taken down after winter.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 11-15-2020 at 08:25:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Tractor Cab
  • Regarding your comment on wanting to get a tractor cab. There were a few supplier (Ford never actually built one) for the N-Series Tractors. Look in our MANUALS forum under 'Accessories'. One linked below is the SteelCraft Cab, originally made for the 9N but will fit 2N and 8N as well. I just sold mine, but they often pop up on auction web sites and tractor ads. I never saw or would want one made of wood except Eddie The Wood Burner (see pic) from Da Yoopers, or the Monty Python Rabbit... ; > ) . As a newbie you should be concentrating on more important things right now anyway. Your tractor, your time and money, so your decisions.

    <

    <

    <

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 11-15-2020 at 06:23:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • First, welcome aboard the NTC –best source for vintage Ford tractors you will ever find. As a newbie, have you got copies of all the ESSENTIAL MANUALS in your shop, barn, or on the coffee table? They are the most important tool investment you can make. Read religiously. You want to focus on the do’s and don’ts and safety so you don’t break anything, especially yourself. Do not start buying any new parts willy-nilly and just begin replacing them. All Ford components were designed to be rebuilt over and over. That is your first choice over buying any new aftermarket component since all are made in Cheena now and are mostly cloned junkers. Next, just because your battery is 6V it doesn’t mean the electrical system is wired correctly for the Ford OEM 6V/POS GRN system. The 6V system works just fine, any lack of ‘power’ is due to something else going on like fuel or compression. The 6V/POS GRN system is the #1 most misunderstood feature on old Fords. The #2 most misunderstood feature is the front mount distributor. Ford N-Series Tractors used the front mount distributor from 1939 thru 1950. It requires removing to your bench when doing a tuneup. Points are set, timing is set manually –no timing light is used – and unit is tested before mounting. It is only mounted one correct way but if unit is forced down 180° off, it will bust the aluminum base and result in junk. You need to determine if you have a front mount or the later angle (side) mount system. It matters.

    The battery is the 'heart' of the electrical system. Have the battery tested at a reliable shop. Specific gravity must be met, checked with a good hydrometer or, preferably, a test machine. A weak or dead battery is often the culprit in non-starting tractors/vehicles. The constant discharging and recharging of a battery will deplete its life span quickly. Bargain house units have a reputation of only giving 2 years or less of life so invest in a good brand (INTERSTATE, DEKA, DURACELL/East Penn) GP1 6V AG or GP25 or GP 35 12V battery. The best investment you can make to ensure a long battery lifespan is to buy and use a float charger. NOTE: A basic battery charger is not a 'float charger' nor is a trickle charger. Simply charging a battery does NOT mean it is good. It must maintain a full charge under load, meet the specific gravity specs by testing with an hydrometer or bench tester at a shop. When the vehicle is idle, i.e not running, you keep the float charger connected so it will maintain a full charge so it is 100% ready to go when you need it. Keep it connected if tractor is idle for 10 days or more. I just keep mine on every time when idle and use the DELTRAN BATTERY TENDER units –reliable and guaranteed. Your local trusty starter/alternator/generator shop guy can bench test the battery, generator or alternator, ammeter, voltage regulator or cutout, ignition switch, Period preventative maintenance is the key. Check wiring belt tension often. If your generator does not have a belt tensioning bracket, it will not keep the belt tight and thus will not keep the battery charged.

    The OEM Owner/Operator Manual, the MPC’s, and I&T FO-4 Manual all have electrical info, including rebuilding and maintenance. Our HOW-TO’s forum has tons of information with many D-I-Y projects. Remove the battery and take to a good shop to be tested under load on their machine. If bad now you can go and buy a new one as described above but do NOT install it until you have verified the entire wiring setup is correct and you are ready. Here’s a taste of some manual info while you wait for your copies –available at Dennis Carpenter or Just8Ns. We have some in our MANUALS forum and offer DVDs on our Donation page. Get a copy of Bruce(VA)'s "75 Tips for N-Owners" in our How-To's forum and a copy of "WIRING PICTORGRAMS by JMOR", also in the forum, or, see link below. Need additional help? I rebuild carbs, distributors, starters, generators, and more. My email is open.

    FORD TRACTOR BATTERY INFO:


    BATTERY TENDER JR (6V) BY DELTRAN:


    FORD 8N TRACTOR WIRING DIAGRAMS:






    FORD 8N TRACTOR WIRING & TIMING AFTER S/N 263843:


    FORD 8N TRACTOR ESSENTIAL OWNER/OPERATOR/PARTS/SERVICE MANUALS:

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Bruce(VA)    Posted 11-14-2020 at 17:07:18 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • The original 6V battery is Group Size 1 - 9-1/8 (L) x 7-1/8 (W) x 9-3/8 (H).

    I own 4 6v 8N’s and 2 6v 1929 Fords. All use the same battery, a Deka, model 901MF (made by East Penn) or the Duracell equivalent, Ultra BC1.


    I always run the vehicles to operating temp every 3 or 4 weeks if they haven't been used. To make sure the battery doesn't discharge, all now have hard wired Battery Tender float chargers. (And that will extend the life of any battery because it stops them from discharging.)

    I also keep everything "clean, bright & tight", use the braided strap & 00 gauge negative cable.

    So, in addition to it being a well made battery, doing everything else right gets me on average, 8 years out of a battery. I have one battery that will soon be 12 years old.

    I like the idea of a gel battery…..as in the Optima’s. But, my Model A friends tell me that the newest versions, made in Mexico, are no where near as reliable as the ones made 10 years ago. As further proof of that, Batteries + Bulbs no longer stocks them . Further, being a gel battery, they require a higher charging voltage so the average charger will not work on them.


    Got a Batteries + Bulbs store near you? They sell Duracell 6v batteries.....also made by East Penn. $82 w/ exchange, 640 CCA and Battery Tender 6/12v float chargers ( DBT022-0209-DL-WH ) for $85.

    Rich    Posted 11-15-2020 at 10:42:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • Well I think that I got lucky, for now, as the battery charged to about 6.23 or so and seems to be holding so far. (BTW I've never seen anything about the Batteries/Bulbs Store anywhere near my area-I'll check online. I do know that the nearest Deka dealer is 50+miles away!) Does it matter any going with a dedicated 6v maintainer or go with a 6v/12v? Ans is it better to go with just a maintainer or a charger/maintainer (I've seen a bunch online that do both).I do have a separate 1 amp charger (that's what I used to charge the battery). (Thanks for all the responses and great info). PS- nobody said anything about tractor cabs - doesn't anyone want to think about snow yet? - lol).

    Rich    Posted 11-15-2020 at 10:45:11 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • PS- it started right up, first time, with the correct charge.

    Dead Eye Dave    Posted 11-15-2020 at 06:11:13 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • Batteries eh? Well, the members here seem split on that issue. Keeping it original as in a restoration requires a 6 volt system. I noted that my 8N was turning slowly, even after following all the tips,with the 6 volt so I changed to a 12 volt system. But, my tractor is a worker not a show tractor. I kept all the 6 volt parts that I removed in case someone ever wants to put it back to original. The 12 volt works for me. To each his own. Dave

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 11-15-2020 at 06:57:19 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • HiYa Dave-
    Been reading your stuff for years. Yes, one of the features of a 12V system is that it will spin the starter faster. That is a plus when you have a worn engine. The 6V POS/GRN system has worked fine for over 75 years so like I said above, often if you have a slow or non-starting tractor, chances are there is something else wrong like a fuel, compression issue, or an incorrect wiring setup. There's nothing wrong or shameful about a 12V/NEG GRN system, or a 6V POS/GRN system for that matter, as long as it is wired correctly for whatever you choose to use. FACT: 99.98% of all non-starting issues are due to mucked up wiring regardless of whether they are 6V or 12V. many 12V switch out jobs get done incorrectly and often result in the same or worse situation.My early 8N was my restored 'show' baby but also my 'work' tractor and I had special items on it just for that, but as stated, it also was my show tractor, having OEM parts put on just for when she got all gussied up to take to town out dancing. I have never switched out to 12V even when I had a worn engine but if I were to have an N just for a workhorse today I'd consider going to 12V. Whatever setup you have, do it right. In our HOW-TO's, as you know, under ELECTRICAL, is JMOR's WIRING PICTOGRAMS. Since no other Ford N Tractor manual exists on wiring you N for 12V, Jesse has put together this fine document showing all the correct ways to do so for every model year from '39 thru '53. Just wanted to post for others. FWIW & FYI: As stated, one of the major causes of non-starting issues is in the wiring and the battery needs to be addressed first, charging system second. Whether 6V or 12V, if the generator or alternator belt isn't maintained at the correct tightness with a tension device, it will not charge the battery no matter what. Lack of belt tension is often the cause of battery discharge. Keep it on a float charger when not in use.

    Tim Daley(MI)


    Dead Eye Dave    Posted 11-15-2020 at 08:03:27 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • My 1952 N had a completely rebuilt engine when I purchased it. I switched to 12 volt negative ground using the JMOR pictograms and have not had one bit of trouble. That was eight or ten years ago and my battery is still going strong. Starts on the first turn, needs little choke and runs at 50 pounds oil pressure pinned when at operating speeds. At idle when warm I am at 30 pounds. I understand that the 6 volt system works and this is why I kept all the parts and pieces. I check this site every morning and depend on those members here who are so unselfish with their time whenever I have an issue. Dave

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 11-15-2020 at 08:36:18 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: tractor cab; battery
  • Yep, you are one of the ones who did t right. Keeping a float charger on it when not running will prolong the battery life for many years -ten and longer typical. When a battery discharges, it loses electrolyte that can't be replaced. Discharging and recharging are what depletes battery life. I'm glad you had the foresight to keep the original 6V parts to pass on if you ever sell it. Post some pix sometime of your 8N...

    Tim Daley(MI)

    [Back] [Return to Top of Forum]


    Top