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  1. #1
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    Default Jump-Starting a Ford 801

    Well, I've never posted in the vintage tractor forum before. But, here I am. My friend has a Ford 801 tractor with the original six volt electrical system. Recently, he jump started the tractor with his truck (12 volt system). He said the starter spun extra fast but all else seemed fine.

    Have other folks done this?
    Will this damage the tractor electrical system?

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jump-Starting a Ford 801

    Yes and no.. depends on how he did it.

    I have a bunch of tractors... mostly 6v electrics... 3 of them fords.

    When you jump a 6v tractor, like a ford with a 12v system, here is what 'we' ( me and the guys on the ford 'N' sub at ytmag) tell people.

    First.. make sure tractor is in neutral.. so you don't kill yourself or someone else.

    Then.. that 801 should still have an ignition switch.. just on / off.. for the points ignition.. and also have a big 'thumb sized' starter switch.. probably on the tranny cover plate or lower steering column.. unless it has been changed out.. etc.

    You want to keep the ignition of the 6v system isolated from the 12v car battery... 12v on a 6v ignition coil will smoke it. ( The older front mount ignitions used up untill 1950 on the ford 9n/2n/8n used a square 4.5volt ignition coil and a ballast resistor.. to make it work on 6v. Later 50' 8n's and up thru at least the NAA ( 1954 ) and probably 6xx and 8xx series used a side mount distribuitor, and side mount real 6v ignition coil... no need for the ballast resistor. The 4.5v coil was real alergic to the 12v... killed them fast... the 6v coil was a bit tougher, and I've seen lots of 6v jumped with 12v withou any damage.. heck when i bought my 8n.. the owner jumped it off his truck.. 12v battery to 6v battery... no problems.

    Anyway.. just try to avoid a battery to battery jump. Instead, jump directly from the trucks battery to the starter.

    ( Note: these early fords... al the 6v models, were positive ground.. meaning the positive battery cable went to the block / frame.. while the negative cable went to the starter solenoid / starter. )

    Hook up your trucks negative jumper cable to the big stud on the starter.. try to keep the teeth on the nut.. not the soft copper stud... if you mess up the threads.. it is a bit hard to work on.. while the nut is easilly replaceable. Next place the positive jumper cable to the radious arm.. that runs right by the starter.. ( the one fixed to the front of the running board.. etc.. not the steering arm )... this immediatly makes the starter turn over... so double and tripple check the tractor is in neutral so you don't get ran over.

    By hooking up the positive to the radious arm last.. that is where any sparks will come from.. thereby not damaging the starter stud.

    A quick note... The starter used on these early fords only spins one direction... no matter what polarity... you could have actually hooked up the starter negative ground.. wouldn't make a bit of difference.. that is a nice feature... as you can convert these tractors to 12v negative ground, and not mess with the starter at all. In fact.. unless the starter is already 'broke'.. no one upgrades to a rebuilt 12v starter... the 6v just spins faster.. though you do want to limit cranking time.. as it does heat the little 6v starter up.. But usually the faster starter rpm starts the tractor right up.

    One thing.. when doing this, make sure the tractors ignition switch is on.. thus supplying power to the points.. but don't touch the big thumb starter switch... this keeps the 6v / 12v isolated due to the starter relay not being engaged.

    One thing... You must have some charge on the tractors battery to power the points.. even weak 4v is enough for a spark.. especially since the genny will( should / may.. depending upon condition ) start kicking out a few volts even at starter rpm.

    If the tractors battery is slam dead.. ya gotta charge it a little or replace it.. but don't jump battery to battery with a dead 6v... will draw lotsa current.. may burn up rinky dinky jumper cables.

    Sorry so verboase.. just wanted to completely answer your question.

    So far my 1954 ford naa is fine with its old weak 6v starter running on 12v via an alternator that has been there for years. I didn't even get rid of the 6v ignition coil.. just got the common ignition resistor like for a mopar.. commonly called a 12to6v dropping resistor.. etc.

    Soundguy

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Jump-Starting a Ford 801

    Mrwurm,

    Soundguy covered it extremely well, but I just wanted to add, my dad has an 800 and we have jumped it off a 12v tractor a number of times, with no ill effects. But for darn sure that starter whirls at a good clip. I assume an 801 and 800 are quite similar.

    Nick

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Jump-Starting a Ford 801

    Great answer Chris. I'll print it and pass it on to my friend. Thanks.

    Thanks, Nick.

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