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Farmall & IHC Tractors Discussion Forum
:

Farmall H Battery Installed backwards

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Antgre

01-14-2009 04:46:10




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I bought a Farmall H a week ago and have been using it to clear snow. When it wouldn"t start I noticed the battery was not taking a charge. It appears to have the original 6 volt system. Then I noticed the positive terminal of the battery is going up to the starter switch and negative going to the chassis. I understand these tractors were positive ground so it appears to be installed backwards. Is it possible this thing was somehow converted to negative ground? If not, what else is fried? Why did it start and run fine that way?

I don"t think the previous owner is going to be much help. I bought an operators manual but haven"t received it yet.

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Antgre

01-17-2009 09:33:37




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
third party image

Thanks to everyone who posted in this thread. With your help my tractor is clearing snow again.

I also found an excerpt from a 9N repair manual by Clymer on the internet. It explained how to adjust the opening and closing voltages of the cut out. I widened the gap between contact points and it now opens when I shut the tractor off.

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Janicholson

01-17-2009 16:13:14




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-17-2009 09:33:37  
You are welcome. I am glad all is well. It is the best outcome possible. and nice and stock. JimN



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Dellbertt

01-15-2009 17:19:27




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
You have a lot of good advice to sort through already but I will add this.

You kind of slid over if the battery ran down before or after the tractor would not start. Did you run the battery down trying to start it or did it not start because the battery ran down while you were running it.

Is it a distributor or mag.

When you run across a situation like this it's best to start as close to square one as you can. In this case it sounds like its the battery. I would charge it up full then see if the tractor will start, if it does then I would use all the excellant advice you have received here to make sure the gen works and then the wiring.

G'Luck, Dell

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barn E

01-14-2009 17:18:36




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
Had wrong polarity on first car in 1960. Kept cranking slower and slower. Idiot light stayed off. Made discovery. Reversed cables and push started. Complete recovery. No damage. Dave



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Antgre

01-14-2009 15:00:33




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
So while I'm waiting for the battery to charge I traced out all the wiring. It is identical to farmallbob's wiring diagram shown here at the attached link except the battery wired + to starter switch and - to chassis. Also the remote starter switch of course.

I also noted a splice in the wire from the BAT terminal on the cut-out switch was melted through and appeared that it may have been shorting to lower terminal of the Headlight dimming resistor at some point.

So from this and all your helpful comments I'm assuming I should hook the battery up positive ground and polarize the generator by shorting GEN to BAT on the cut-out momentarily. Is this correct?

The wiring all looks like it needs replacing with cracked insulation and rusty terminals. I'm hoping to wait for warmer weather though. It's 10 below zero out by the tractor today.

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Janicholson

01-14-2009 16:25:02




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 15:00:33  
Before connecting, take the Bat lead off of the Cutout. Then connect the battery. Now brush the Bat lead to the cutout relay Bat terminal. (not running) There should be no spark, this means the cutout is at least open. Now polarize the gen as described in your post.
Now start the tractor. It should charge on the second H position of the light sw. If it does not, leave all wires as they are, and (while it is running) connect a jumper from the F terminal on the gen to ground. It should now charge high on the amp gauge. If it does, the Light Sw may not be grounded, or it might have other switch issues, or the Cutout is toast. Find John T charging system diagnosis in the Search for box to test the remaining possible things, i is complete, and good reading on a cold evening. JimN

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Antgre

01-14-2009 18:27:23




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Janicholson, 01-14-2009 16:25:02  
I disconnected the wire from the BAT terminal and connected the battery with positive ground. When I touched the wire back on the BAT terminal there was no spark so I screwed it in.

I then momentarily shorted the GEN terminal to the BAT terminal and got my little fireworks show.

I started the tractor and at first it seemed it was not charging. It was the least negative in second from left position. In this position I measured 6.37 volts on the battery. I turned the bright lights on and measured 6.17 volts. Then noticed the ammeter was slightly positive. Put the switch back to second from left and the ammeter needle was on the mark between the middle and "+". Went back and this time measured 8.0 volts at the battery.

I shut the engine off and the ammeter showed negative. The needle was just touching the "-" symbol.

Started it back up and it showed positive charge and 8 volts again.

Shut it off and still a negative charge so I disconnected the battery.

So it looks like we fixed the no charge while running problem and replaced it with a discharge when not running problem.

Any obvious things I should check or should I just replace all the old cracked wiring?

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Antgre

01-15-2009 14:27:00




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 18:27:23  
When I disconnected the BAT terminal on the cut out switch the drain went away. I took the cover off and tapped on the contact a few times and when I put it all back together there was still no discharge. So it looks to me like a sticky relay.

When I looked for the cut out on CaseIH.com I could only find it listed under the magneto ignition section. Also, when I called my local Case dealer they said, "These tractors didn't come stock with a cut out switch so someone must have replaced the regulator with one." Is that true? Should I just get another cut out switch or should I get a voltage regulator?

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Janicholson

01-15-2009 16:43:34




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-15-2009 14:27:00  
THe answer is that a solid state cutout relay can be made for cheap. take a diode pack from a discarded alternator. Remove a pair of diodes from one set as a block (they are usually mounted on a heat sink in groups of three, so just use two by cutting the heat sink between an end one) Test them to see which way they pass current. (they are usually unmarked) You want to strip out the guts of your old cutout relay and leave the two leads going in and the base and lid with screw. Attach the diodes with the leads attached together so that the leads attach to one terminal of the cutout and the base block to the other. Use good solid methods of attachment, and nothing should be touching or grounded to the can of the relay. The leads should be attached so the diode passes voltage from the gen to the battery. A test light should not light when the Arm terminal is connected to the light, the other lead on the light grounded, and the bat lead connected to the bat Neg terminal. This setup uses two diodes to be sharing the gen output, and will work forever. JimN

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ScottyHOMEy

01-15-2009 15:24:18




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-15-2009 14:27:00  
You could go either way. Only trick is that the regulator will take over the manual regulation of the two lower positions of the four-way switch.

I've been meanin' to ask on here, just as a hypothetical question, if the resistor on the low charge position would interfere with the function of a regulator. Maybe the solution in such a case would be to remove the resistor, and replace it with a straight wire???

If it were mine, I'd replace it with a cutout, and keep the function of the switch. If I were to change to a regulator, I'd replace the switch with a three-position. But that's just me.

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Janicholson

01-15-2009 16:47:14




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to ScottyHOMEy, 01-15-2009 15:24:18  
If a regulator is used, the wire to the light switch is not used. It cannot be used at all because the regulator is the new ground. Disconnect it from both ends and remove. I would label the terminal on the light switch to prevent it being used for anything other than gen control if rewired. JimN



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Janicholson

01-15-2009 08:12:23




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 18:27:23  
With the tractor not running, and the ign. sw. off, there should be no discharge. With engine/ignition off, take the Negative battery terminal off. Look at the amp meter, and touch the terminal to the post. If the meter wiggles to negative, there is a draw. If it just stays still it is probably OK. Some amp meters do not center very well, and even when off look like they either charge an amp, or discharge an amp or so.
With the terminal off of the post, measure between the terminal and post with a volt meter. It should be Zero, or less than .1 volts if any. If so it is fine. If a reading is .25 or greater, especially more thasn a volt there is a drain. If the cutout was not working, (stuck closed)the discharge would be 15 amps or so and you would be even more concerned. Sense it is just a small draw (if the above process shows it is a draw) then it is for sure not the charging system which is charging correctly from the info stated above. 8 volts is great on high charge. Removing one connection at a time from the load side of the amp meter will isolate it to a specific circuit. Then follow that circuit to where the drain is (device) and fix it. I bet it is not there, or easy to find. JimN

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ScottyHOMEy

01-15-2009 04:34:00




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 18:27:23  
If it has a "-" on it, it sounds like a replacement ammeter, but I'd guess the "-" is over far enough to indicate a significant discharge. Did the needle come back to center when you disconnected the battery? If so, with the battery hooked up, were either the lights or the ignition on when the ammeter showed discharge? If not, then you've got a short somewhere. It would take some patience, but you should be able to track it down without rewiring the whole machine. You might find it anywhere but the short stiff wires around the generator and regulator/cutout are always a good place to start.

Three or four-position light switch? It sounds like you have a four-positon, but I'm not sure. I know it sounds like an oddball question, but the switch position you describe is high-charge on a four position (which would NOT cause any discharge when things are in good order and turned off), but the same position (one click clockwise from full ccw) is dim lights on a three-way, which would send current to the lights, however dim they may light up. Whichever it is, try throwing the switch to the full counter-clockwise position and see if that takes care of your discharge.

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pete 23

01-14-2009 10:57:03




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
Couple of things. Originally pos ground. With engine not running, turn switch on and observe ammeter. If it deflects to charge side , well you know it can't be charging when it isn't running so ammeter is hooked backwards for the ground that is on tractor at this time. If any lights work they will show easier on ammeter. Generators do not care which ground they operate at but need to be polarized to the one being used. The points in the regulator, years ago, were made out of different metals, positive being different from the neg point that is why the regulaltors were marked for what ground to use them with. For many years now, most all regulators are mfd to be used with eiether ground, (ever notice newer regulators do not last like they used to). Now, all that being said, a system like this with out any polarity sensitive diodes will function with reversed ground, if polarized, just that the ammeter will read opposite. Alternaters will not due to polarity sensitive diodes. By the voltage you are reading I am thinking you are not charging.

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Janicholson

01-14-2009 10:51:08




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
Body of Message:

New info:::
With the tractor not running, turn on the lights (if they work) if the needle on the amp gauge goes to the right, the amp gauge was not changed when the battery was installed Neg ground. (if the lights do not work, a close look at the needle when switching on the ignition will also show this right needle movement, but far less distance on movement.
If it moves left with lights or ign, the amp gauge was reversed when the battery was put in Neg ground.
So, if it moves right with the battery Neg grond, it will be moving left with the battery in correctly, this is good. If you want it back to normal (stock), turn around the battery, Polarize the gen (as K-Mo below indicates) and you should be good to go.
If the needle moves left when lights are on, the amp gauge wires must be moved from post to post inside the electrical box to make it read correctly with a Pos ground (stock) battery hookup. JimN

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Gene Bender

01-14-2009 10:26:37




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
If you still have the cut-out it will be ok but if it has been changed to a regulator look on the bottom underneath the reg and it mite say pos gnd lots were marked but not all and when ya get a used one its hard to say what has been done. Mite need to pull the gen and have it checked. System was original pos gnd.



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Bob Kerr

01-14-2009 09:34:41




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
Not sure here but my H when I got it had a 12 V batt and hooked up neg ground. It cooked the regulator so better check that out.



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ScottyHOMEy

01-14-2009 06:18:40




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
Pos ground would have been original. You can run the tractor either way, if you see to two details, possibly three. 1) Polarize the generator so that it's making the right electricity to charge your battery properlyand 2) make sure your ignition coil is installed correctly, with the primary wire to the distributor hooked to the pole of the coil that corresponds to your ground. The third is to check your cutout relay/VR. Some, not all, of them were made for a specific polarity.

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Antgre

01-14-2009 06:04:29




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
The previous owner told me the battery and 1 gauge cables to the switch and starter were brand new. They look like it too. There is no crud to clean off of them. The ammeter moves just slightly to the right when the switch is in the high charge position but I'm only reading 5.95 volts at the battery. The "+" terminal on the coil is going to the distributor. So does that mean the previous owner just hooked the battery up backwards?

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mkirsch

01-14-2009 05:44:07




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Hugh MacKay, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
Before you go swapping the battery posts around, what did the Amp meter do? If it was charging and the needle moved to the right, the tractor was converted to negative ground. Leave it alone.

Actually, leave it alone with that respect period. Positive vs. negative ground is NOT why your tractor won't start.

What you probably have is dirty connections and/or bad battery cables. Clean bright tight, those are the words to live by. If you've got rusty connections, gray crud growing around the connections, and/or green wires in the cable, that's your problem. Take it all apart, even the part where the replacement battery ends clamp on to the cables. Use a battery post cleaning tool and some battery terminal cleaner to clean up the battery and clamps on that end. Use a wire wheel to clean the cruft and corruption off the connections at the starter button, starter, and ground lug.

If the cable inside the replacement battery end is green and nasty, clip off the stripped end, and strip a clean piece of cable for the connection. If the cable is green under the insulation, replace the cable.

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K-Mo

01-14-2009 05:13:53




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
1. Reconnect the battery with positive to ground.
2. Polarize the generator. To do this momentarily touch a jumper across the "BAT" and "GEN" terminals of the regulator.
3. Check the coil connections. On a positive ground system, the "+" terminal on the coil should be connected to the distributor.
K-Mo



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MN Mike

01-14-2009 04:52:27




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to Antgre, 01-14-2009 04:46:10  
starters don't care which way the polarity runs. they spin one way. as far as what could be "bad", I'll let some of the other guys that know more chime in. generator may need a little work. rest might be fine.



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Joey K.

01-14-2009 20:28:10




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 Re: Farmall H Battery Installed backwards in reply to MN Mike, 01-14-2009 04:52:27  
Could the battery be shorted out? Seen that happen on 12 V system, cheap Wal Mart battery.



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