Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:05 pm

I am converting a 59 over to 12 volt and I have a question about the generator. Should I have it rebuilt to 12 volt specs, or I have a cub cadet starter generator and was wondering if that would work on a cub. Anybody ever tried it? It would give a similar stock look and I know the cadets were 12 volt but was wondering if it being a starter generator if that wouldn't work? I'm lost on that. The other option is to just put a new alternator on it but I was kinda trying to keep an "original" appearance if I could at a similar cost to the alternator. Any suggestions and help greatly appreciated. Thanks

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:40 pm

The rotation on the Cub Cadet starter/generators (S/G) with Kohler engines is counter clockwise. This shouldn't make any difference if the S/G is only used as a generator. However, you will need a voltage regulator. Most of the S/Gs are only rated at about 15 amps, max.

Total cost, the single wire alternator will be the least expensive conversion. Probably considerably less expensive than having the 6 volt generator converted to 12 volts and purchasing a voltage regulator.

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:51 pm

For the cost of having a 6-volt generator converted to 12-vots, you could probably overhaul the system as 6-volt and be good for the next 53 years.

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:36 pm

Chris:

What is wrong with your 6 volt setup? Why is the conversion to 12 volt necessary? It is always best to fix what is broke before one decides to change anything.

Image to what Jim said :

Jim Becker wrote:For the cost of having a 6-volt generator converted to 12-vots, you could probably overhaul the system as 6-volt and be good for the next 53 years.

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:47 am

As Eugene stated, a cub cadet SG turns the wrong way. I never tried to generate in the oposite direction but there is a directionality to a generator so I don't think it would generate well spun in the wrong direction.

Some 6 volt generators will output 12 volts if connected to a 12 volt regulator. I expect that is mostly with the 3 brush generators but it may be worth a try to see how many volts will come out of your generator with the field grounded and the "A" terminal disconnected. Don't do it for long if it is a 3 brush generator, no more than a few seconds.

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:09 pm

I will just replace the generator with an alternator. Reasons for converting are brighter lights, common ignition parts that I have on hand, and you just can't beat the quickness cranking of a engine on 12 volts. When it's cold out side with snow on the ground I want something to crank up and not have the slow turning issues. While the 6 volt will get it done and has for years, the 12 volt is just quicker and simplifies things in general.

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:58 pm

Chris D wrote:you just can't beat the quickness cranking of a engine on 12 volts. When it's cold out side with snow on the ground I want something to crank up and not have the slow turning issues. While the 6 volt will get it done and has for years, the 12 volt is just quicker and simplifies things in general.


I can't speak to the other issues but If everything is healthy there are no speed of starting issues between 6 and 12 volts.

Al

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:50 pm

Chris:

I agree with Al as well. Ellie starts on the first pull of the starter, probably doesn't spin for more than a split second I guess. In the winter she might have to turn over 2 or 3 times on the coldest of days - which would be in the -20 to -30C/F range.

I was curious about the temp and snowfall in your area so googled the zip and then the snowfall values. This is what I found..

Cumberland County, VA, gets 43 inches of rain per year. The US average is 37. Snowfall is 13 inches. The average US city gets 25 inches of snow per year. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is 100.

On average, there are 210 sunny days per year in Cumberland County, VA. The July high is around 88 degrees. The January low is 25. Our comfort index, which is based on humidity during the hot months, is a 47 out of 100, where higher is more comfortable. The US average on the comfort index is 44.


Seems that the coldest temps you get is around -4C. That is a shirt sleeve day for most of us. Your Cub should have zero starting issues if your electrical system is in good shape. Again it all boils down to maintenance. Converting to 12v without fixing the underlying problem will still leave you with the underlying problem but a whole new set of things that will have to be disassembled again to ensure the grounds, terminals and connections are all in pristine condition.

My 12v vehicles are more difficult to start in winter than my Cubs are. Of course though, that is JIMHE

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:02 pm

less maintenance, more reliable and less expense with the 12 volt and alt. If done properly and that is pure fact. If you want to keep yours 6 volt that is all well and good.

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:05 pm

as a matter of fact I wish more would keep them 6 volt, larger market for the 6 volt generators that I take off :D

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:55 pm

The quality of 6 volt batteries is horrible. I have two that are only 3 years old that will not maintain 6 volts for 24 hours after charging. Today I replaced a 12 volt battery that was put into service in 2001, that is a good reason to switch as the price of a new battery is about the cost of the change over. Since I'm having to hand crank the engines anyway, I may as well convert the distributors to mags. Those "after market" hurricane lamps will come in handy after dark :bellylaugh:

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:03 pm

Lurker Carl wrote:The quality of 6 volt batteries is horrible.



Not seeing that either. I'll have to look but off the top of my head, my newest 6 volt battery is about 5 years old.

I buy DEKA brand batteries regardless of the voltage. The quality so far has been excellent and they are affordable.

Al

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:21 am

Chris, PM sent your way.

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:53 am

Boss Hog wrote:less maintenance, more reliable and less expense with the 12 volt and alt. If done properly and that is pure fact.


That fact can be backed with the statement if 6 volt starting, charging, regulating, and storage battery systems were superior, they'd still be in use today on modern equipment, cars, trucks, and buses.

With that said, as many have also stated, 6 volt systems work, which is also fact. I have one myself in good order.

This is why antiquated six volt systems still work: Properly maintained storage batteries, cableing of original sizing clean and corrosion free and a functioning charging system regulated as was originally designed.

Meet the above criteria and you will enjoy years of quick starts as originally enjoyed by the original owner half a century or more ago.

When working on customer owned six volt equipment, I find it nearly impossible to convince owners to buy a new battery. Everybody wants the old one charged claiming to take care of it later or find another to swap it out with it with if it fails at a later date.

Proper maintenance will not stop time which sacrifices the lead plates (any lead acid plate battery). When the specific gravity and or load test fail, don't charge it, replace it.

One reason people are quick to convert is they or the previous owner milked more than 3 times the normal lifespan from their storage battery, leading to the associated failures of both the starting and charging systems.

Had the battery been replaced when needed, the starter wouldn't have melted and the voltage regulator wouldn't have been cooked either. Pay now or pay later.

Re: Converting a 6 volt cub to 12 and have question

Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:36 pm

This could go on, and on, and on, and on, and on. Just as it has in the past. It is your discretion to change to 12 volt. While it is surely less expensive to buy parts for a 12 volt system because of mass production, it is no easier or harder to maintain than a 6 volt system. As a matter of fact other than parts prices, I would say the voltage of any system is completely irrelevant as long as it is designed properly and maintained properly. Having said that, if it takes more that 1 revolution to start the tractor you have other things to consider. If it wont start at all, then grinding away on the starter will cause damage to any voltage system.