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Subject: battery education in need

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Don B.    Posted 02-20-2017 at 12:52:25 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • battery education in need
  • I need to get some education in how a battery works, I was using my '41 yesterday and at some point during the day it just stalled on me, could not get it started and I knew the reason it stalled was the reason I could not get it started, so once I got tractor back to where I could attempt to get a charge on battery,I put the battery charger on it, gauge indicates less then 25 % charge and that is having the charger on over night and 1/2 of today so no doubt in y mind that I need to replace it but what confuses me is why when I put my meter on it, it indicates 6.55 volts, wouldn't it show less, isn't that what a full charge would indicate so I am confused and need some teaching.

    Jim    Posted 03-04-2017 at 04:20:52 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • I have heard the carbon pile load testers can damage a good battery, not sure as I don't have one. I use a tester that requires the battery to be charged or at least attempted to be charged then hook up leads to battery and enter cold cranking amps and it will tell you if battery is good or needs to be replaced. It only puts a small load on battery and if I have a warranty on battery I take one indicating bad to dealer and they will load test it and have always agreed with my assessment.

    Don B.    Posted 02-24-2017 at 19:52:26 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need - Update
  • I did the hydrometer test on the battery and on the gravity scale, each cell comes in as 'Good' sitting at the number 1300, so I guess now I should try the load test?

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 02-21-2017 at 09:00:19 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Don,

    You have received some good advice however I am still confused on at least one point.

    What were you using to show the 25% charge? I do recall some batteries which had a charge indicator built into them but have not seen one in many years.

    I would suggest you disconnect the battery for charging and testing. That will allow you to get an accurate conclusion on the batteries condition.

    Good Luck,

    Jack

    Don B.    Posted 02-21-2017 at 12:21:10 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Thanks Jack, when I put my battery charger on it, the gauge on the charger said 25%, I don't know how accurate it was but certainly not where the needle should be, I never charge the battery with the tractor battery cables in place, I always disconnect them from the terminals before charging

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 02-21-2017 at 19:53:52 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • You obviously have a better charger than I ever have. I'm always used a simple 10 Amp charger. Sometimes wish I had a larger one for electrolysis.

    Don B.    Posted 02-22-2017 at 06:22:36 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Jack,
    I bought mine with doing electrolysis in mind, it wasn't too expensive, I can use it for 6v, 12v batteries and it has a 2v setting which I use for the electrolysis

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 02-22-2017 at 12:58:50 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Sent you a personal email.

    z52641jc@gmail.com

    Don B.    Posted 02-22-2017 at 18:27:44 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Jack, you will need to send it again, I think my junk mail filter intercepted it, never received it

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 02-20-2017 at 16:22:47 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Good advice given. You can take your battery to your local trusty starter/alternator shop and the guy will bench test it with the proper equipment to determine if it will sustain a charge UNDER LOAD, and most decent shops don't charge for this test. Know too that stalling out can be contributed to a handful of other issues like no fuel, no spark, bad wiring, or a combination of all the above. Start with the basics like the battery test. If bad, invest in a decent new one. We know it is a 6 volt battery but is it wired as a positive ground system? Check wiring, coil, maybe even get the generator and cutout tested too at the shop. keep us updated...


    Tim Daley(MI)

    Don B.    Posted 02-20-2017 at 19:09:28 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Tim,
    I did some testing this evening and I got the battery charged but didn't start so I tested for spark and I'm not getting any so changed the coil with a new, still none so looked at the distributor cap and rotor, they looked fine, no scorch marks , I'm starting to think about possibly the cutout may have gone bad, is there a way I can test that myself, if so then how?

    It is positive ground system.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 02-20-2017 at 20:41:04 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • " I tested for spark and I'm not getting any so changed the coil with a new, still none"

    Of course not. You have a bad battery. A new coil and a dead battery still means no spark. The coil doesn't manufacture a spark. It needs a fully charged battery. Weak battery equals a weak spark.

    " I'm starting to think about possibly the cutout may have gone bad"

    They usually go bad by sticking closed and draining the battery. If it stuck open, the battery wouldn't charge. What was your ammeter showing?

    What did the load and hydrometer tests show on your battery?

    Don B.    Posted 02-20-2017 at 21:25:47 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Bruce,
    I did get the battery charged, I thought it was dead but it just took quite a long time to charge but was able to get it to where I was able to try and crank it and that is when I discovered that I am not getting any spark, something gave out yesterday when it stalled.
    I tested a spare coil and got nothing, I want to note that my tractor was modified with electronic ignition long before I took ownership of it so no points to worry about, I looked at both the distributer cap and the rotor and they still look as new as when I changed them a while back so I am now suspecting the cutout

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 02-21-2017 at 10:48:24 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • You should have told us it had an EI installed from the start. Could be the source of your problems. I would yank it out, tune up the distributor with new points and condenser and new plugs but don't toss old ones -they may only be fouled now with all the cranking, and go back to the basics. Check electrical wiring -make sure you have the ballast resistor in place and wired correctly. If you do this and it starts and runs fine, you have something in the EI wiring as your root cause. Oh yeah, get the battery checked by a professional and replaced if bad; why wait for the postman? FYI a hydrometer can be purchased at any auto parts store and possibly your local starter/alternator guy too.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    ZANE    Posted 02-21-2017 at 19:47:46 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • This is the best advice you have gotten on the subject. Points can be cleaned and work again. Electronic ignition can't work again when it quits.
    There are some little grimlins that live in the electronics that always seem to want to try us.

    Zane

    Don B.    Posted 02-21-2017 at 20:38:03 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • I do have a set of points and condenser that I got with a tune up kit to use if I do need to replace that EI, I hope I don't, it looks like a real bear to get to.

    R Geiger    Posted 02-22-2017 at 13:42:45 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • I assume you know to take the distributor out of the tractor to work on it. two bolts.

    Don B.    Posted 02-22-2017 at 16:49:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • I do know how to do that, I just hope I won't need to do that but if I have to then I have to.

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 02-23-2017 at 17:31:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Don-
    Do you have an original or a copy of the I&T F04 Ford 9N, 2N, & 8N Manual? Even a Ford Operator's Manual will have the procedure in it. If you have never done a tune-up, now's your big chance to learn. You will need a 1/2" wrench for the two hex bolts that secure the unit onto the tractor. I'm just giving basics here so get a manual to ensure no steps are skipped. First step is to disconnect the ground battery cable from battery. Next, remove the small hex nut that secures the coil wire onto the stud on top of coil. Pull plug wires off the cap nipples. Remove 2 plug wires from holder visible on right side near generator/alternator. At this point I want to say that when I do mine, I always loosen my generator and slip the belt up over the fan out of the way, then slacken the generator out of the way, as I have extra large hands and it is just easier for me to work on removing the distributor. You can remove the coil at this point too but I prefer to leave it intact til I get the unit off and on my table. The coil is held on by a bail that snaps up over top of it. Then take your 1/2" wrench and remove the two hex bolts on the distributor body holding it on. The whole unit then can be taken to your workbench to perform the tune-up steps. I usually try to clean off most of the grease and dirt before I start to do anything after battery disabling. The instructions from here are in the manuals as described above. The timing procedure is important but now we have a neat little gage that TOH makes and sells to make setting the timing faster and easier. You can find him in our LINKS forum under windyridgefarms. If you don't feel up to the challenge, you can send the distributor to me and I will perform the tune up and you just pay for parts and shipping. My email is open...

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Don B.    Posted 02-26-2017 at 10:46:20 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Tim,

    I feel confident to tackle it if I need, I do have all the manuals that you mention, I will let you know if I need additional assistance on that, I appreciate the option to send the unit to you if I need.
    Next replies I do will be in a new thread as Bruce mentioned, this one is getting too big and confusing to look at.

    Don B.    Posted 02-21-2017 at 12:18:01 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • I will report back with what I find, going to check battery first and go from there, I hope it isn't the EI, that seems to be a real pain to get to.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 02-20-2017 at 21:33:15 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • The cut out is not preventing the tractor from starting.

    You need a strong battery to:

    1. Spin the starter

    2. Engage the bendix

    3. Provide voltage to the coil.

    As the battery gets weaker, the first thing to fail is your spark.

    The more current you use to spin the starter, the less you have for the ignition.

    If your starter pulls that battery down much below 5.2 volts, the module in the EI will not fire.

    It doesn't really matter much if the battery is "fully charged" until you test it correctly. What did the load and hydrometer tests show on your battery?

    Don B.    Posted 02-21-2017 at 06:09:29 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • I will have to wait to try the hydrometer test as I am still waiting for it to arrive (amazon)
    When the starter sounded normal I assumed that the battery was charged fine so I may have learned something, I will do the test with hydrometer and report back what I find.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 02-20-2017 at 15:12:17 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • " I put my meter on it, it indicates 6.55 volts,"

    A volt meter will tell you if you have a bad battery, but as you just discovered, it will not tell you if you have a good battery.

    You can string a few flashlight batteries together & get 6.5 volts, but that won't start your tractor.

    It's the current (amps) that count.

    Normally, a fully charged battery will show 6.35 volts after the surface charge wears off (about 24 hours).

    See tip # 50 for the best way to test a battery.

    Don B.    Posted 02-20-2017 at 15:38:43 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Thank you Bruce, one thing I am loving is the education I am getting with the tractor and all that it takes to maintain it, I'm going to purchase a hydrometer and check each cell to see what it tells me

    r geiger    Posted 02-20-2017 at 13:11:43 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Voltage is only part of the information. to tell the state of charge your could use a battery hydrometer, or a load tester. A load tester checks the voltage and when you apply a load to the battery, how well the battery will hold up to the load being applied to it.

    A hydrmeter checks each cell for its state of charge.

    Don B.    Posted 02-20-2017 at 15:35:14 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • I'm going to purchase a battery hydrometer, read up on them and makes sense to what you are saying about each individual cell.

    Thanks

    Ed Gooding (VA)    Posted 02-21-2017 at 14:01:13 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Don, a 6/12 volt battery load tester is an inexpensive diagnostic tool that would be helpful here, as well. It simulates the load put on your battery by your starter to help you determine if it's time to replace your battery.

    Don B.    Posted 02-21-2017 at 20:36:17 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Thank you Ed, I had no idea they were so cheap, I will go purchase one, the question Ihave is what is considered too weak for a battery to know if it needs to be replaced and to know that is the issue I am facing?

    In other words, what would a new battery show?

    I think I am starting to understand that if a battery can crank the starter, doesn't neccesarily mean that it is good, would I be right about that, because the other day when the tractor stalled and could not get it started, the starter cranked fine like there was sufficient current going to it

    Ed Gooding (VA)    Posted 02-22-2017 at 06:56:53 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Don, if you use this load tester, it will tell you the battery condition from the gauge on it. You need to fully charge your battery before using it. After you charge, connect the cables from the load tester, hold the rocker switch down for 10 seconds and watch the gauge. It's color coded (green, yellow, red) to let you know if you have the amperage to start your engine.

    As Bruce (VA) has suggested, diagnosing no-start conditions requires a methodical approach, starting with the battery and moving forward from the starting system to the ignition system. Charge your battery and test it with the hydrometer and/or the load tester. If it tests good, then move on through the system, checking each potential point of failure. A useful tool in that process is a simple low-voltage tester like this one, where you ground the alligator clip and probe the electrical connection, or even pierce a suspect wire to see if you have voltage at that point. Come back and report results and ask questions and folks here will coach you through the process.

    These tools can also be used on your cars, lawn tractors, etc., so for a small investment you'll have some handy diagnostic tools to help you going forward.

    Good luck with it.......Ed

    Don B.    Posted 02-22-2017 at 13:15:55 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Ed,
    I'm going to pickup one of those load testers that you showed me, seems like an easy tool to use, sounds to me the rocker switch is what simulates the load on the battery that a starter motor would pull on it?

    This is such a great valuable learning experience that I wasn't expecting, bummer that the tractor decided to quit on me when I was trying to get some landscaping done the other day, limited time between the work week to get things done.

    I will report back with some of my findings for your opinions.

    Thanks

    R Geiger    Posted 02-22-2017 at 13:39:33 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • I have a load tester that I purchased on ebay. when you press the rocker switch current flows thru internal resister providing the load. yu can feel the heat coming from the resistor.
    Yesterday a neighbor was going to replace a battery for cranking problems, with the load tester, it showed the battery to be good. The problem turned out to be the starter. 100 bucks saved.

    Don B.    Posted 02-22-2017 at 16:47:43 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • That seems to be a real invaluable tool to have, certainly on my list of tools to invest in, all the tools that I didn't realize ahead of time that I needed now adding them into my toolbox along the way.

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 02-25-2017 at 16:27:01 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • Got it running yet?

    Don B.    Posted 02-25-2017 at 16:51:29 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • No, still working on it Bruce

    Bruce (VA)    Posted 02-25-2017 at 17:06:21 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: battery education in need
  • You might need to start a new thread if you have more questions.

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