that depends on how the tractors is wired. more then likey its the 6 v set up to make 12v at the starter, then yes you can run it with one 12v battery. if its wired for 6v then it wont work. take a volt meter and go around and check things like the lights, starter, ect ect. ive seen some put 12v to the starter when cranked then the rest of the tractor will be 6v for things like the lights, horn that kinda stuff
If it is wired for a 12V system and you are worried about cranking amps, buy 2 12V batteries and wire them in parallel instead of your current setup. It maintains the 12 volts, but doubles the amperage. I did this with my JD 4000 that was 12V but ran off of 2 6V batteries. That starter really whizzes the motor over now. No more problems starting in the winter on those cold days.
The 6 volt batteries are dead, that is when I thought they could be replaced by just 1-12 volt battery, the setup on the 6-volts is like this one battery cable runs from the Positive on one of the batteries to the Negative on the other battery and the other Positive goes to the starter and the negative goes to the ground, I picked up a Commercial 1000 Cranking Amp Battery today and still deciding if I'm going with it or going back and getting 2- 6 Volt Batteries, I just do not want to harm something up by changing to 1-12 volt battery when I could have spent a few extra dollars to buy 2 6 -volts. I have talked to several dealerships today and everbody I talk to seems to agree they can be replaced by one single 12 volt?
One of the biggest things you need to look at is where do you live. If you live in an environment that gets real cold you're going to want the cold cranking amps to start it in the winter time. I had a 930 CASE last winter that had one 12 volt car battery in it and started that diesel engine just fine. My 1030 CASE needed all that two 12 volt batteries had to get it started last winter. The other thing to keep in mind is if you put in two big 12 volt batteries you will need to change all your cables to a bigger gauge. A pair of 12 volt batteries with 1000 cold cranking amps needs 2/0 cables and you probably have 1ga now, and being your going from series to paralell you won't need the short jumper cable.
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