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Ford 9N, 2N & 8N Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

How to tell if it's charging?

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Paul in Edmonton

11-16-2012 07:50:24




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How can I tell if my system is charging?

It's 6V (front mount) with a genny, but the generator and voltage regulator are not Ford. The VR is Autolite (looks like model VRR-4008-A) and the genny is Delco-Remy (model 1101355).

When the engine is running (which it is doing fine now with a new battery), voltage at the battery, as measured with a digital multimeter is jumping all over the place (and it's jumping more with the more expensive meter than it is with the cheap one). So I'm not sure what's really happening...

How can I tell if it's really charging or not?

Thanks,

-Paul

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Paul in Edmonton

11-28-2012 06:53:24




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Good point. But I didn't actually know that it *was* working before that, either. The battery was, after all, quite dead. (That info was given in a different post.)

-Paul



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JMOR

11-28-2012 06:38:13




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Kurt-NEPA, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeGlad you finally got it fixed.

Process might have been shorter/quicker if you had told the half dozen 'helpers/guessers' that little bit of history, as in "after I re-wired the generator to VR, it stopped working'. Fewer hoops would have been jumped through. Always provide information of "what has changed or been done since it last worked"!

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Paul in Edmonton

11-27-2012 20:38:58




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
All fixed!

The problem was caused by a broken terminal bushing. When I replaced the spark plug wires a couple weeks ago, I replaced the wires from the VR to the generator at the same time, as there was damage to one or two of them. In doing so, I noticed that one of the terminals on the generator was rotating when I was trying to loosen/tighten the nut holding the wire on. Didn't think anything of it at the time. But when the terminal rotated, the wire connection to it on the inside broke off.

There was a Bakelite (or something like that) bushing holding the terminal from rotating and it cracked in two. I Krazy Glued it back together and soldered the wire back on. Put everything back together, and now the tractor is running (and charging) just fine. And the ammeter is actually working nicely.

I'll take the tractor back to the cabin this weekend, and plow the snow off the drive!

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HeyObie

11-20-2012 04:56:03




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Paul, Electronics is not my strength (I am not sure what my strength is), but I just went through the process of testing the generator, polarizing, new ammeter and new voltage regulator.

I knew my generator was working fine, but when I fired it up, the ammeter barely moved. All that work and no worky. Not happy.

The problem was that there was no problem. I believe that if the battery is fully charged, the regulator throws away the juice coming from the generator because it doesn't need it and does not want to overcharge the battery. So the ammeter sees no difference.

So what I did was turn on my headlights to drain (engine off) the battery. Started her back up and VOILA. The ammeter came to life.

I may be wrong, but that is my theory.

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JMOR

11-19-2012 08:56:54




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to tumleweed, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seePaul, that all adds up to not charging. You can jumper to polarize and after that doesn't make any difference, then you can try adding jumpers from Field to Ground and a second from BAT to ARM to connect generator to battery as well as provide maximum field current in generator, enabling it to produce its maximum output, assuming it is a working generator. If you can make it charge with the two jumpers in place, then it means generator OK, but VR bad. Be sure to remove BAT to ARM jumper when test ends/engine stops.

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Paul in Edmonton

11-19-2012 08:16:58




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Well, I guess "definitely" is a strong word, but...

1. The ammeter is reading a small discharge when running (as I said above, I don't trust it until I can verify it, but that doesn't mean it's not right).

2. An analog voltmeter (the one on my battery load tester) reads the same voltage with it running as with it off. I actually watched it as I switched the engine off--the needle didn't even twitch off its reading of just over 6V.

3. When I press the load button on the load tester with the engine running, the needle drops the same amount as it does with the engine off.

4. My clamp-on ammeter, clamped over one of the big wires to the battery, reads around 1.5 amps when running, with the same direction as it reads when I'm cranking the starter (i.e. it's draining, not charging). I don't trust that thing to within 0.5 amps even when it's not affected by engine electrical noise (it's digital), but I should note that while its voltage reading is all over the map when the engine is running (hence the analog meter used in 2 &3 above), its clamp-on current reading is stable--it doesn't seem to have noise issues when measuring current with the clamp.

Maybe not definite, but as close as I can get based on the advice posted earlier in this thread.

I'll do the jumper thing (Bat-Arm as on your diagram) and see if that changes anything. (I'll also double check belt tension--it occurs to me that I didn't do a visual check that the generator was actually turning with the engine...)

-Paul

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JMOR

11-19-2012 03:20:28




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to 36 coupe, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeSo, how did you determine that "its definitely not charging"?

The VR number you gave isn't the same as this one, but terminals are the same. They are actually marked if you remove, clean, look closely.

Momentarily jumper BAT to ARM.





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Paul in Edmonton

11-18-2012 20:29:29




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Getting back on topic...

It's definitely not charging.

I guess the first step is to make sure the genny is polarized properly. I presume that applies to my Delco-Remy as much as the OEM genny.

So how do I do that, given the VR and genny that I've got? I can't see any labels on the VR, so if anyone can tell me which two terminals (there are two on top, one at bottom left and one at bottom right) to jumper, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,

-Paul

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JMOR

11-17-2012 05:21:18




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to tracman, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeA simple to use & cheap ($2)hydrometer will show state of battery charge & while not giving real-time charging info, it will tell a person if the charging system is maintaining a charged battery or not & in the end that is all that matters. No technical knowledge required.



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heybusdriver

11-16-2012 22:43:35




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Paul , this is the only way I know how to test if a battery or alternator generator , is actually charging . It is called a "battery load tester" , it not only tells the condition of your battery but also if it is charging .
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Stan
2N with 8N motor 8N345567
8N 146710
8N 179555
8N 197904
8N 199000
8N 254079
8N 362039

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heybusdriver

11-16-2012 22:45:40




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to heybusdriver, 11-16-2012 22:43:35  
I don't know what is going on , I post pictures all the time , this time it didn't work.

Stan
2N with 8N motor 8N345567
8N 146710
8N 179555
8N 197904
8N 199000
8N 254079
8N 362039



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carlntexas

11-16-2012 17:20:43




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to WILBER, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
The ammeter on my 8N worked backwards after I converted to 12V with negative ground. I just reversed the wire and it works fine.



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Paul in Edmonton

11-16-2012 14:48:01




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to W_B, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Nope. It's positive ground.

At this point, I don't even know if there is a problem--I wanted to know how to tell if there was a problem. The analog voltmeter seems to be the consensus here. I'll try it and report back.

-Paul



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Plane Bart

11-16-2012 14:36:44




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Paul make sure your have the battery installed properly and like Old said. The six volt system on the 9N 2N is Positve Groumd the means the (+) gos to the tractor frame the Negitive (-) gos to the seloniod.



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soundguy

11-16-2012 13:19:59




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
9$ tractor suply analog volt meter.. and a 10$ center 0 ammeter.. and you can tell if it's charging, how much current.. and what voltage.



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Paul in Edmonton

11-16-2012 12:39:11




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Bruce,
The meter works both ways--it reads positive if electrons are flowing in one direction and negative if they are flowing in the other.

Assume that normally, the electrons flow from the terminal block to the ammeter and then to the solenoid, and that's a positive reading (I may have it backwards, but it doesn't matter for the sake of the argument). If it's wired so the wire goes through the loop left to right, the ammeter shows positive. If I rewire it so it goes through right to left, the ammeter "sees" the electrons moving the other way, and will read negative, even though the wire itself still has the electrons moving the same way.

Do you have a clamp-on DC ammeter? (I do--very useful device!) If so, clamp it on a cable with DC current and take a reading. Then unclamp it, flip it over so it's facing the other way, reclamp it and take another reading--it will be negative if the first was positive. This is the same effect.

To paraphrase a common poster here: It's the Law--Faraday's Law and Lenz's Law, working together in this case...

-Paul

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Bruce (VA)

11-16-2012 16:33:54




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 12:39:11  
" The meter works both ways--it reads positive if electrons are flowing in one direction and negative if they are flowing in the other."

Ahh yea, I know that.

My point was you can not have it wired correctly w/ the correct polarity and have the wire "......going through the loop the wrong direction".

I read what you wrote literally. It's impossible to have it connected at the starter switch & terminal block and then run it incorrectly through the loop on the ammeter.

So, were all clear now!

Tnx

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Paul in Edmonton

11-16-2012 10:16:15




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Ken-Pa, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Dell, that assumes the ammeter is wired properly. If the wire is going through the loop the wrong direction, the gauge will read plus when it should be minus and vice versa. I want to verify that it is doing the right thing before I trust that gauge.

Besides, it's barely off zero...

I've got a couple of analog meters I'll try. One is the $10 cheapie and the other is on my $90 battery load tester. That one's easier to use with the nice big cables and clamps...

-Paul

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Bruce (VA)

11-16-2012 10:31:13




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 10:16:15  
" If the wire is going through the loop the wrong direction, the gauge will read plus when it should be minus and vice versa. "

Huh?

It's a loop.

It can't go in the wrong direction because the ends of the wire are still attached to the correct terminals. The wire goes from point A thru the loop on the ammeter to point B.

How could that possibly read backwards?

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HCooke

11-16-2012 11:15:09




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Bruce (VA), 11-16-2012 10:31:13  
Pretty sure (I have 3 or 4 of em) that you can go thru the loop the wrong way.



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Bruce (VA)

11-16-2012 11:35:40




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to HCooke, 11-16-2012 11:15:09  
Maybe I'm having a CRS moment.

On an 8N, point A is the solenoid. Point B is the terminal block. The wire goes from the solenoid through the loop on the meter to the terminal block. Or, vice-versa.....doesn't matter.

How can it go through the loop backwards?

CRS moment?!



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HCooke

11-16-2012 11:59:22




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Bruce (VA), 11-16-2012 11:35:40  
The current flows one way, the needle deflects one way, if the current reverses, the needle deflects the other way. Maybe I'm wrong but I know I've reversed it on a 9N.



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Bruce (VA)

11-16-2012 12:06:43




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to HCooke, 11-16-2012 11:59:22  
Well yea, if you reverse the current (as old said) it will read backwards.

But if it's a loop meter & one end of the wire is on the terminal block & the other is on the solenoid, it's not 'reversible'!

On a 9N.....it goes to the hot side of the starter switch, right?



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HCooke

11-16-2012 14:59:17




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Bruce (VA), 11-16-2012 12:06:43  
Sorry been away from the computer a couple of hours. It goes from the hot side of the starter switch thru the amp meter to the hot terminal on the resistor block. If you re wire it so it goes from right to left instead of left to right (thru the loop)it will be reversed.



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old

11-16-2012 11:13:00




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Bruce (VA), 11-16-2012 10:31:13  
Bruce if you think about it for a moment you would see that he probably has the battery wired back wards as in - ground so yep the amp gauge would in fact read back wards. My Oliver 77 is that way and has been since I got ti but I know the alternator works just fine so I have not changed it since I know it is wired back wards so his tractor probably has the same problem



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Dell (WA)

11-16-2012 10:06:14




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Paul........you ask......"How can I tell if my system is charging?".......would it surprize you to learn that is what your AMMETER is for??? When running, you should read 3-5 amps (+) Iff'n it reads (-) minus amps, guess what??? It ain't charging. ........respectfully, Dell



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Britcheflee

11-16-2012 08:31:30




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Bruce (VA), 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see



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Bruce (VA)

11-16-2012 08:18:42




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Check out tip # 47 (as others are saying).

Or replace the ammeter on the tractor.



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JMOR

11-16-2012 08:09:54




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to DON TX, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeNeed analog voltmeter, as digital does not like the electrically noisy environment. That VR number is factory original for early 8N tractors, but they did not use Delco-Remy generators but no reason that a D-R generator won't work.



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old

11-16-2012 08:03:33




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 Re: How to tell if it's charging? in reply to Paul in Edmonton, 11-16-2012 07:50:24  
Digital meters do not like the engine spark noise and have that problem. Best to use an analog type meter which you can buy at radio shack for around $10 or so. You can also go buy a simple dash type volt meter and hook it to the battery and check with it not running then with it running. Not running with 6 volts you should get around 6.3 volts running you should see 7 plus. DO NOT pull one battery cable off with it running to check because you can/will let the smoke out of the charging system and you can also get hurt if you do something wrong as in maybe even dead

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