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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to convert my 2010 generator system to an alternator system. According to the shop manual the 2010 is a positive ground system. However, since I bought mine in '97 it's been a negative ground. What should someone have done to change it from positive to negative ground? What am I looking for to see if it was done right? Is it as simple as swapping leads?
 

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Don't simply swap leads, you are asking for trouble. One thing that comes to mind is the amp gauge, you will have to reverse those terminals so it will read correctly. Also voltage regulator should be considered.
 

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Do the leads match up with the actual positive side of the battery? Reason I ask is that a completely dead battery can be reverse charged.

I think that the starter motor would crank the engine in reverse if the battery leads were just reversed.
 

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Read this:
http://www.ytmag.com/articles/artint131.htm

Snippet from the article:
Starter

The starter will be unaffected by the change from positive to negative ground (it will rotate the same direction) and generally will tolerate the increased voltage, assuming the starter is in good working condition. Like other parts on an older tractor, starters were designed with considerable safety factor and as a result they can be run on 12 volts without damaging the windings. A common practice is to use the starter as is, and rewind it for 12 volts when and if it ever needs major repair. As with any vehicle, it’s best to avoid sustained cranking and the starter should be given ample time to cool between starting attempts if excessive cranking is required. When converting to 12 volts, it’s a good idea to check the starter drive and flywheel ring gear to make sure they are in good shape since the additional “kick” of 12 volts will put more stress on these components. Also, if the starter is dragging, now is the time to repair it because the additional voltage will only aggravate the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do the leads match up with the actual positive side of the battery? Reason I ask is that a completely dead battery can be reverse charged.

I think that the starter motor would crank the engine in reverse if the battery leads were just reversed.
Everything is hooked up as if it were a negative ground system. I guess someone did it right before I got it. I'm looking at replacing the 22 amp generator with a single wire Delco 64 amp alternator. The voltage regulator will go away, so I'm tring to figure out where to run the single wire from the alternator so that I have lights, battery charging, etc. The 2010 didn't have an amp meter, it used an idiot light off the voltage regulator.
 

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The 2010 has always been 12 volts. The question at hand is concerning the polarity. As Carl mentioned, a battery can be charged in reverse, so I would check the battery with a voltmeter to see if it has the correct polarity. freebird mentions an ammeter, but I don't recall any 2010's having one from factory so that shouldn't be a problem. The voltage regulator needs to be polarized to make the generator charge in the correct direction. If you change to an alternator, you won't be using it anymore anyway. I would say that if the battery polarity is correct, there should be no problem swapping in an alternator. I would recommend a single wire delco for ease of installation.
 

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Does this help?
 

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dirtgeezer
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Are you sure it isn't supposed to be a negative ground ,,,anyway? I would think it is. I haven't seen a positive ground anything since around 1955. That is about when Ford joined the rest of the automotive world. Well GMC did have some positive ground trucks way back yonder in time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you sure it isn't supposed to be a negative ground ,,,anyway? I would think it is. I haven't seen a positive ground anything since around 1955. That is about when Ford joined the rest of the automotive world. Well GMC did have some positive ground trucks way back yonder in time.
the factory manual says it's a positive ground. A friend of mine has a 2010RU and we had to reverse the polarity on the baler knotter fan when he borrowed my baler because his is still 12v positive ground.
 

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Kevin:
I also have a JD 2010 that I have converted to Alternator and negative ground. I used the old generator output wire to charge the battery. You can simply leave the old regulator in place and pull the "gen" wire off the regulator and place it onto the "BAT" terminal along with the wire that is there. This effectively takes the regulator out of circuit and just makes it a terminal board. Using a one wire alternator, that should do it. I assume someone already changed the polarity of the ignition coil.
I didn't go the one wire alternator, but used the older style with a regulator and managed to place that regulator in the same location as the old regulator with some wire changing. DO NOT polarize an alternator, though.
If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them. I don't normally follow the threads here, so email me personally.
NOTE to all those that think EVERY manufacturer did the negative ground update: John Deere, in all their glory, did not do that until they brought out their 4020, somewhere around 1963!!! Can you imagine a 24 volt positive ground system??? That is what was used on the 4010 diesels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cyrus,

Thanks for the information. I'll keep the offer of email in mind. I'm sure I'll have questions. What was the reasoning behind positive ground?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The 2010 has always been 12 volts. The question at hand is concerning the polarity. As Carl mentioned, a battery can be charged in reverse, so I would check the battery with a voltmeter to see if it has the correct polarity. freebird mentions an ammeter, but I don't recall any 2010's having one from factory so that shouldn't be a problem. The voltage regulator needs to be polarized to make the generator charge in the correct direction. If you change to an alternator, you won't be using it anymore anyway. I would say that if the battery polarity is correct, there should be no problem swapping in an alternator. I would recommend a single wire delco for ease of installation.
I have read a lot about single wire vs. three-wire conversions. Frankly, the three-wire seems easier since it basically uses the same wires with a few terminal changes. Everyone I have asked about a single-wire conversion don't know how to power the coil or the other side of the starter. (See Wingnut's sketch in the original reply to post). I'm told that sketch is of a three-wire system. What happens with a one-wire conversion when that one wire goes to the battery. What powers the starter and coil?
 

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maxtor
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I have a 1961 D15 Allis Chalmers that is a 12V positive ground and about to switch it to a negative ground. It is from factory positive ground. I am going to use a one wire Delco altenator and wire method. Eliminate the voltage regulator and run thru the ammeter. Guess have to switch sides with the ammeter to get the correct reading. I have looked at a few ways to switch but still come back to the one wire method. Simple and not much changing involved. End up with the charging wire connected to the battery side of the solenoid eliminating the need for a wire directly to the battery.

Are you sure it isn't supposed to be a negative ground ,,,anyway? I would think it is. I haven't seen a positive ground anything since around 1955. That is about when Ford joined the rest of the automotive world. Well GMC did have some positive ground trucks way back yonder in time.
 

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Cyrus,

Thanks for the information. I'll keep the offer of email in mind. I'm sure I'll have questions. What was the reasoning behind positive ground?
All JD tractors that came from the factory with a generator were POSITIVE GROUND. Only reasoning is the 2 cyl tractors stated out positive ground and JD engineers didn't switch battery grounds until alternator was introduced on JD tractors.
 

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maxtor
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i have a 61 D15 Allis that is a 12V factory positive ground. the D14 which was built in the late 50's were 6V positive ground. the D15 was just an upgrade of the 14 with a 5hp more engine and just a few changes here and there. the D15 series II also came out with a positive ground with 3 more hp than the D15 and optional diesel.

All JD tractors that came from the factory with a generator were POSITIVE GROUND. Only reasoning is the 2 cyl tractors stated out positive ground and JD engineers didn't switch battery grounds until alternator was introduced on JD tractors.
 

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Like other parts on an older tractor, starters were designed with considerable safety factor and as a result they can be run on 12 volts without damaging the windings. A common practice is to use the starter as is, and rewind it for 12 volts .

2010s are all 12 volts or 24 volts. Regardless, the lower voltage the starter is designed for - the heavier the windings. So over-volting a starter is rarely a problem. I've probably done hundreds of change-overs and run 6 volt starters on 12 volts with NO issues and no re-wiring. A 6 volt starter is designed to crank on 4.5 volts. Hook it to a 12 volt battery and it cranks on 9 volts and does so a lot faster.
 

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Electrons have a negative charge, so the theory was that electricity flows from the negative post.
Yes, and it's a "theory" because it has never been proven. The "electron theory" guesses at the opposite flow of the "Hole theory." Proponents of the "Hole Theory" often designed positive ground systems.
 
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