Correct Generator for 12V Conversion

I have just purchased a non-running 1952 To-30 S/N 75045 with the Z129 S/N 314140 and I’m trying to figure out the Delco Remy Generator (1100326) it has on it. Did these come with a 12v generator but a 6v ignition system? June 10, 2015.

Delco generator #1100 326 is the OEM generator for 1955-1957 Chevrolet Bel Airs, 6 and V8 engines. Therefore it is likely this generator was a salvage generator from one of those cars. The generator was never used on any Ferguson or Massey Ferguson equipment. It is possible the drive pulley from the original generator was mounted on this generator in order to use the original fan belt. Someone apparently converted your TO-30 to 12 volts.

To operate correctly the voltage regulator should have also been changed. Most voltage regulators have the voltage and ground printed on the back. You may be able to find that printing on the back of the voltage regulator. The regulator should say, “12 volt negative ground” to work with this generator.

A 12 volt battery would be wired with the negative terminal connected to vehicle ground (chassis, castings, engine). The coil could be a 12 volt coil as there is no difference in the outward appearance between 6 and 12 volt coils though most have the operating voltage printed on the bottom or side.

The ignition coils used on these tractors should be the type with an internal resistor. The coil used on a 1955-57 Chevrolet would have also had an internal resistor. The coil resistor has nothing to do with changing the coil operating voltage from 12 to 6 volts. When wired for a 12 volt negative ground system, the positive terminal on the primary side of the coil should be connected to the wire coming from the ignition switch and the negative terminal should be connected to the wire going to the side of the distributor. There is no difference between the 6 volt distributor originally used on the Z129 engine and the 12 volt distributor used on the later model TO-35 tractors with 12 volt negative ground systems. The points and condenser are the same. The original 6 volt starter could be used if you are careful not to crank it too long so it overheats. Most 12 volt starters used on the TO-35 tractors with Z-134 engines can be installed on the Z-129 engine, so it is possible you could have a 12 volt starter. If you have the Delco model number I should be able to tell you if it is 6 or 12 volts. The original TO-30 gear shift operated starter switch will work with a 12 system without modification. Your TO-30 came from the factory with a 6 volt positive ground electrical system. The positive battery terminal would have been connected to vehicle ground, (chassis, casting, block). The back of the voltage regulator would have 6 volt negative ground printed on it. The 6 volt coil would have been wired with the negative primary terminal connected to the wire coming from the ignition switch. The positive primary terminal on the coil would have been connected to the wire going to the side of the distributor.

FYI It is possible to convert a 6 volt TO-30 or TO-35 to 12 volts and make it look original by using TO-35, 12 volt electrical components (battery, generator, voltage regulator, coil and for the TO-35, starter solenoid, but that does not appear to be the case with your tractor.

It is also possible to convert a TO-20 from 6 to 12 volts and make it look original by changing the generator field coils and armature as well as the voltage regulator and coil. You may also have to reverse the wires on the ammeter If the tractor is equipped with lights, the bulbs should be changed to 12 volt bulbs.

If you install a 12 volt battery and are satisfied with the operation of this electrical conversion it will probably work satisfactorily. If you wish to make your TO-30 look original you will likely need the correct generator, voltage regulator, ignition coil and possibly the starter. You may also need to change the bulbs if the tractor is equipped with lights.