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Pete S

12-10-2002 15:19:15

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Have a WD45. It has what appears to be a GM alternator on it. I don't think that the system has been changed other than that. It spins over fantastic! The battery is suspect here, but here goes. Used a digital volt meter on the alt lug. I got a reading of 12.48 volts DC. The thing was dead PRIOR to starting it today, so I started it w/ a battery charger. I used the lights extensively the last time I ran it.
1.) What should this alt be putting out in volts?
2.) What is a good way to check to see if it's the battery not holding or taking a charge?
3.) Is it both?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Pete S

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Dave Grubb

12-11-2002 13:39:05

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 Re: Charging? in reply to Pete S, 12-10-2002 15:19:15  
To check your battery for internal shorting disconnect the battery cables for a few days. Reconnect them and see if the battery cranks the engine ok. You also need to have a diode installed in the #1 alternator terminal wire so that the alternator does not drain down the battery when the ignition is off. Review the 'Recommendations for 12 volt conversions" article in the Research & Info area of this site for wiring info. Duey(IA) has some really good wiring diagrams posted somewhere on this site also.

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Steve in N.J.

12-10-2002 20:05:29

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 Re: Charging? in reply to Pete S, 12-10-2002 15:19:15  
If you suspect the battery, the first thing you want to do is put a good charge in the battery, let it sit a while and pull a "draw test" on the battery with a draw tester to see if the battery holds. (On quite a few draw testers there's a green zone)If the battery holds in the green zone, or the needle doesn't drop quickly, the battery is good to go. As Steve mentioned take the alternator off and bring it to an auto parts store to have that tested. If that's okay, inspect the wiring. Also, add an auxilary ground wire off the alternator to the engine block. On most 10SI alternators, there's a 5/16" threaded hole on the back for this purpose. This reinforces that the alternator is grounded properly. If everything is correct, you should be able to read anywhere from 13.8-14.2 at the battery with the engine running at around 900-1100 rpm. Make sure all battery connections are clean and grounded correctly, and that the wiring system is not under wired.... Steve B.

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12-10-2002 15:58:11

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 Re: Charging? in reply to Pete S, 12-10-2002 15:19:15  
this alternator is a common upgrade on an old tractor. you just change to a 12 volt battery, switch the battery to negative ground, pput a resistor in the coil line ifit has a distributor, and change the head lights. The alternator has an internal regulator and takes care of everything. NOw for the bad news. THe post on the back (1/4 inch lug) is the hot output to the ampmeater, then battery. The two small spade terminals on the side make the regulator work. one is hot all the time and can be connected to the big lug. the other is a kindof excitation voltage and needs to be somewhat less than 12 volts. I install a 10 ohm, 10 watt resistor in the line to drop the voltage and make it want to charge. Without a resistor or light bulb element in the line, you wil need to get it turnign about 2-3000 RPM before it will "kick in" and charge. That could be the problem. Also if the battery is connected backward for just a minute, you can burn out the regulator internal. Check battery voltage with a digital volt meter.. Probably will measure about 12.5 volts. Then start the tractor and remeasure the voltage. Should be about 13.5- 13.8 volts. IF not, it probably has a bad regulator, or the resistor lead wire is not connected. Check it out, then go to Auto Zone and have the alternator tested for free. If it is bad, change it out for $35.

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Today's Featured Article - Grain Threshing in the Early 40's - by Jerry D. Coleman. How many of you can sit there and say that you have plowed with a mule? Well I would say not many, but maybe a few. This story is about the day my Grandfather Brown (true name) decided along with my parents to purchase a new Ford tractor. It wasn't really new except to us. The year was about 1967 and my father found a good used Ford 601 tractor to use on the farm instead of "Bob", our old mule. Now my grandfather had had this mule since the mid 40's and he was getting some age on him. S ... [Read Article]

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