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Subject: 2N charging system (again!)

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Steve Frysinger    Posted 10-09-2017 at 19:32:24 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • 2N charging system (again!)
  • Folks, I've run out of clues, or I wouldn't trouble you with yet another charging problem.

    My old friend (~30 yrs) 2N (6volt) hasn't been charging for a long time. A year or so ago I raised this here, and after some diagnostics decided to replace the generator and cut-out. I did the cutout last year, but just got around to installing the generator (Yesterday's Tractors) a few weeks ago. That was an adventure, because the mounting bracket holes in its body weren't quite in the right place, but I managed.

    Disconnected, I got some voltage out of the generator, though it varied wildly from nil up to 8 volts. (I took that variation to be a flaky meter connection, but maybe not?)

    Since I had a pretty new cutout already, I tried connecting to the cutout, polarized, and started it up. No voltage on the generator stud, nothing on the ammeter, and no variation of the battery voltage with engine speed - stays at ~4 volts. I tested the continuity of the wire between the gen and the cutout, and it's good. So I decided to put in a NEW new cutout (since the previous was last year).

    Still no dice, and now I don't show any voltage on the gen stud even disconnected. I can't believe something happened to the new gen, but if you think that's possible I'll take it off and do a motor test.

    Other than that, is there something else I should try? Is there a way to test a new cutout on the bench to make sure it works? I bought two this last time, having read some folks' bad experiences with poor quality replacements.

    Thanks much! Steve

    Steve Frysinger    Posted 10-19-2017 at 14:48:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • Okay, an update on the continuing adventure of my 2n charging system:

    1) I had the battery tested, and it was marginal, so I bought a new one.

    2) I installed the battery to do a motoring test:
    A) Disconnected the wire to the cutout
    B) Loosened tensioner and freed the belt
    C) Ran a jumper from the - battery terminal to the stud on the generator

    Not only didn't the genny budge, but it overheated the jumper!

    3) So I tried a current test using my old Sears automotive multitester:
    A) Tightened the genny belt
    B) Put the tester ammeter shunt on the genny terminal
    C) Connected the other end of the shunt to the - battery terminal (effectively bypassing the cutout), as the tester manual said to do)
    D) Started the tractor

    The ammeter responded to genny output, but in the wrong direction, so I couldn't read the current. I guess this is because the tester's ammeter was expecting a negative ground system?

    4) Though the attempted motoring test should have repolarized the genny, after I reattached the cutout I used a jumper to spark the cutout's two contacts.

    5) Started the tractor, with NO movement on the dashboard ammeter, and NO change in battery voltage with changing engine speed.

    I'd REALLY like to be able to do the motoring test right, and don't know why my jumper lead overheated. Could the genny have a short? Or did I set the test up wrong? The fact that the Sears tester saw output from the genny (though in the wrong direction) suggests that it's actually working, at least somewhat.

    Suggestions?
    Thanks!
    Steve

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 10-10-2017 at 05:50:11 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • HiYa Steve-
    First, your old/original generator just needed to be rebuilt, you didn't need to buy one of the newer aftermarket ones sold today and as you found out why, -fit issues. The trick is to find a decent shop where they know about Ford generators and have the specs they are to be set to. They can also bench test your genny, ammeter, cutout, battery, coil, and more. Do you have the 1-wire/3-brush generator? There should be a 3rd Brush Adjustment screw on the back end plate. Turn it CCW all the way for now. If it is the correct generator, there should be a tensioning bracket attached to the barrel with another piece/positive stop fastened on the head. You need to keep proper belt tension. Next, generators produce AMPS so that is what needs to be checked. The 2N-10000- generator produces 11.5 AMPS. The round-can cutout cut-in voltage is 8-volts +/- .5 volts. Also, if you are using a digital Multi-Meter, you will get flakey readings as static electricity interferes with the signal. You need an analog meter to check while tractor is running. How did you 'polarize' the cutout/gen? Start over, by first disconnecting the battery so no accidental shorts to ground are made. Disconnect any auxiliary items like headlights to eliminate them from the equation. Verify components are good. How old is the battery? Will it sustain a charge under load? Your starter shop can test it. The generator can be tested by him as well or you can do a simple motoring test. If components all check good, the next step is to verify the WIRING is correct. Here is a LINK to JMOR's Wiring Pictograms to download and then scroll to your setup. Do not go by wire colors, you may not have the original color-coded wiring anyway, so do a continuity check on each wire, power off. Go over all the basics, again, then if all checks out, reconnect the battery but leave the lights disconnected, at least for now, and try to run it again. Hope this helps with your non-charging issues.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Steve Frysinger    Posted 10-10-2017 at 08:08:00 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • Tim, many thanks for your thorough response! The reason I got the new gen was so that I could keep the tractor in service without a big down period. I do plan to have the old one rebuilt, but you're right - I was disappointed about the mounting holes in the new one. My measurements are with a ca. late '70s auto multitester (Sears I think), so def not digital, but I don't remember how to use it to test the output current, though there is an alternator mode on it. I guess I should scratch my head harder about remembering/relearning how to do that.

    The battery is only a few years old, but I've been "deep cycling" it, i.e. charging it and running the tractor, so I suppose that's a possible weak link. The wiring seems good - I know the wire from the gen to the cutout is a good conductor, and the tractor runs fine (and I have no lights). The only thing I'm not sure about is the ammeter, which has been parked a smidge left of center for several years.

    I polarized by crossing a jumper between the two leads of the cutout. I did it both with the ignition off and on, as I wasn't sure.

    I didn't know anything about adjustments on the gen itself. It's got a single stud on the back plate (so it's a three brush, right?). So, I guess I'll do the motoring test on it (which should also certainly polarize it), learn how to measure output current, and then make the gen adjustments you suggest.

    Tim, you've given me new hope! I appreciate your thoughtful reply!
    Steve

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 10-10-2017 at 09:03:17 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • Steve-
    My guy rebuilds starters and generators in a day and I get them back in 3 or less. He is a Ford guy and stocks a lot of the essential parts -armatures, field coils, brushes, and all the hardware. If you want him to rebuild yours, email for details. What does ca. mean? calibrated? HHHMM. A digital meter will have a digital readout screen. An Analog meter has a multi-scale window with a needle. You 'polarize' when battery is connected, but no power is applied (do not run tractor)using the crosswire/arc spark method. Polarization isn't the problem here. As soon as power is applied to the generator it becomes polarized, whether positive or negative. Don't get yourself confused either with amount of wires and brushes. A 1-wire connection designates it as such and has nothing to do with whether it is a 2-brush or 3-brush unit. SEE LINK below to my article on the 9N and 2N generators. If it is a 3-brush generator, it will have the adjustment screw on the back end plate and I suspect it does. Do you see a screw terminal with an ARROW? I'm not sure if the new aftermarket ones have it or not. Get a good battery. Never use a "DEEP CYCLE" battery on these old tractors -not what they're made for. If not a good brand like DEKA or Interstate, if it is bargain house brand, chances are if 2 years or more old, it is junk. I just worked on a guys tractor that had a 'new' battery he purchased from a popular auto parts franchise in August, 2016, and he swore it wasn't the problem why he couldn't start. Guess what? It was junk. Water levels get low, battery freezes in winter, battery bloats, plates become junk. Get a copy of JMOR's WIRING PICTORGRAMS downloaded and go thru all the wiring as I said with battery disconnected. The AMMETER may not be wired correctly. Is it the original LOOP/INDUCTION style or a later aftermarket two-screw terminal style? Don't buy anymore parts -need to determine the true root cause of the problem. Don't make any generator adjustments -let your starter shop guy tweak it all. Take generator, cutout, ammeter, and battery to him and he will bench test all fast, easy, and usually at no charge. If he doesn't know about old Ford stuff, find another one who does. I can send you the specs but they are in the manuals. While he tests your stuff, go thru ALL the tractor electrical wiring and see if there is some info in my article you can use...

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Steve Frysinger    Posted 10-10-2017 at 09:50:16 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • > My guy rebuilds starters and generators in a day and I get them back in 3 or less.
    > He is a Ford guy and stocks a lot of the essential parts -armatures, field coils,
    > brushes, and all the hardware. If you want him to rebuild yours, email for details.

    YES, Please give me his contact info. I haven't found someone around here.

    > What does ca. mean? calibrated? HHHMM. A digital meter will have a digital
    > readout screen. An Analog meter has a multi-scale window with a needle.

    I meant circa late '70s - I think I bought it at Sears in around 1976. It's definitely analog.

    >You 'polarize' when battery is connected, but no power is applied (do not run
    >tractor)using the crosswire/arc spark method.

    Ignition ON or OFF?

    >Polarization isn't the problem here. As soon as power is applied to the generator
    >it becomes polarized, whether positive or negative.

    Right, but other posters have said it could be reverse polarized and that would prevent it from charging my system. Not true?

    >If it is a 3-brush generator, it will have the adjustment screw on the back end
    >plate and I suspect it does. Do you see a screw terminal with an ARROW? I'm not
    >sure if the new aftermarket ones have it or not.

    I'll have to look when I get home.

    >Get a good battery. Never use a "DEEP CYCLE" battery on these old tractors -not
    >what they're made for.

    Right, I didn't mean that I had used a deep cycle battery, only that because I have to charge in between uses it gets run down deeper than a normal battery is designed for (which can be hard on the plates. The battery does hold a charge though.

    >Get a copy of JMOR's WIRING PICTORGRAMS downloaded and go thru all the wiring as
    >I said with battery disconnected.

    Will do.

    >The AMMETER may not be wired correctly. Is it the original LOOP/INDUCTION style
    >or a later aftermarket two-screw terminal style?

    I've owned the tractor for ~30 years and have never replaced it, but I can't swear it's original. I'll look at the screws when I get home.

    >Don't make any generator adjustments -let your starter shop guy tweak it all. Take
    >generator, cutout, ammeter, and battery to him and he will bench test all fast,
    >easy, and usually at no charge. If he doesn't know about old Ford stuff, find
    >another one who does.

    If I can find a local guy... So I shouldn't make the screw adjustment you mentioned in your earlier post?

    >see if there is some info in my article you can use...

    Downloading now...

    Thanks!
    Steve

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 10-10-2017 at 15:29:17 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • You generator isn’t charging because of other issues like belt not tight, battery won’t sustain a charge, generator does not have a tensioning device installed to name the obvious. Get the battery checked first and replaced if it won’t hold a charge. It doesn’t cost anything and many auto-part franchises can check it too. Start with the basics. The generator is mounted with a single bolt. That bolt will not hold it in place alone and will loosen itself up in use. That is why you need the tensioning bracket. I’m guessing you don’t have one and is part of non-charging issue.

    Here is a picture of the original Induction/Loop Style AMMETER and an aftermarket style with the two screw terminals. The LOOP style has metal loop attached to the back. A single wire, original was a large yellow wire, feeds from the center post on the resistor terminal block to the cutout. Got an I&T F-04 Manual? It has the wiring diagrams as do the Service Manuals. The aftermarket style has two screw terminals and that yellow wire is cut with one end on one side and the other on the opposite screw terminal. There is no polarity, however if the ammeter reads backwards, that is, a negative needle reading when charging, simply reverse the wires.

    Do the basic simple stuff first -battery checked under load by a good place like a starter shop and specific gravity. Verify wiring is correct with no frazzles or shorts. Belt tension - very important -1/2" max play. Set genny 3rd brush screw to LOW.

    ORIGINAL LOOP AMMETER, LEFT, AND AFTERMARKET SCREW TERMINAL , RIGHT:

    GAUGES, BACK VIEW:

    1943 FORD 2N SERVICE MANUAL ELECTRICAL:

    FORD CUTOUT:


    To polarize generator: Jumper a 12GA wire from ARM contact to BAT contact, battery connected but engine OFF.

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Steve Frysinger    Posted 10-10-2017 at 16:30:14 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • >The generator is mounted with a single bolt. That bolt will not hold it in place
    >alone and will loosen itself up in use. That is why you need the tensioning bracket.
    >I’m guessing you don’t have one and is part of non-charging issue.

    It's got a band-type tensioning bracket, and the belt has less then 1/2" play.

    >Here is a picture of the original Induction/Loop Style AMMETER and an aftermarket
    >style with the two screw terminals. The LOOP style has metal loop attached to the
    >back.

    I'll have to compare these when I get home, but I know the ammeter has two screw terminals, and from memory I believe it looks like the photo on the right.

    >A single wire, original was a large yellow wire, feeds from the center post on the
    >resistor terminal block to the cutout. Got an I&T F-04 Manual?

    Yep.

    >Verify wiring is correct with no frazzles or shorts. Belt tension - very important
    > -1/2" max play. Set genny 3rd brush screw to LOW.

    Roger that. I'm pretty sure this gen has that screw with markings.

    Thanks!
    Steve

    Tim Daley(MI)    Posted 10-11-2017 at 05:25:10 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • OKAY, we're getting there. Often times fellas crank the 3rd Brush screw up to 'HIGH' when charging issues arise but that can cause overcharging. Mark its position before turning it down to 'LOW'. I strongly suggest you take the battery, generator, and cutout to a knowledgeable starter/alternator shop for proper inspection. It (battery) is connected as a positive ground system, right? Just to get a clear picture of what we’re dealing with, the pictures here show an original Induction/Loop style AMMETER on an early 8N. Note the Large Yellow #12ga wire feeding from the Ballast Resistor center post thru the ‘loop’ on the gauge, then to the Voltage Regulator BAT terminal. Also shown is an original 9N-10000-C generator with the Belt Tensioning Kit Assembly installed. The kits were available for the 9N-C generators but when the 2N-10000 generator was released, it was now part of the unit having a bracket bolted on the barrel, no need for the band –see picture. The band kit will not fit the early 9N-A nor 9N-B generators as their barrels have a smaller diameter. I’m not saying you must have this original tensioning bracket/kit, many farmers designed their own, but without some sort of tensioning device, the generator will not hold the proper belt tension simply with the generator mounting/pivot bolt. So, you say you do have a tensioning bracket so we can eliminate that from the equation.

    ORIGINAL (RESTORED) EARLY 8N DASH WIRING; photo courtesy of Steve Dabrowski:

    ORIGINAL 9N-10000-C GENERATOR w/BELT TENSIONING APPARATUS:

    ORIGINAL 2N-10000 GENERATOR w/OEM TENSIONING DEVICE ATTACHED:

    Tim Daley(MI)

    Steve Frysingerf    Posted 10-11-2017 at 08:22:30 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • >OKAY, we're getting there. Often times fellas crank the 3rd Brush screw up to 'HIGH'
    >when charging issues arise but that can cause overcharging. Mark its position
    >before turning it down to 'LOW'.

    Roger that.

    >It (battery) is connected as a positive ground system, right?

    Yep, positive 6 volt.

    >Just to get a clear picture of what we’re dealing with, the pictures here show an
    >original Induction/Loop style AMMETER on an early 8N. Note the Large Yellow #12ga
    >wire feeding from the Ballast Resistor center post thru the ‘loop’ on the gauge,
    >then to the Voltage Regulator BAT terminal.

    I definitely don't have the loop. Mine has two screw connectors with separate wires on each.

    >Also shown is an original 9N-10000-C generator with the Belt Tensioning Kit
    >Assembly installed. The kits were available for the 9N-C generators but when the
    >2N-10000 generator was released, it was now part of the unit having a bracket
    >bolted on the barrel, no need for the band –see picture. The band kit will not fit
    >the early 9N-A nor 9N-B generators as their barrels have a smaller diameter. I’m
    >not saying you must have this original tensioning bracket/kit, many farmers
    >designed their own, but without some sort of tensioning device, the generator will
    >not hold the proper belt tension simply with the generator mounting/pivot bolt. So,
    >you say you do have a tensioning bracket so we can eliminate that from the
    >equation.

    Yep, I have a band mount tensioner exactly as in that photo. It fit the new genny fine.

    Steve

    Steve Frysinger    Posted 10-19-2017 at 14:58:01 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • I put in a new battery, and tried to do a motoring test as follows:
    1) loosened tensioner and freed belt
    2) disconnected cutout lead from generator stud
    3) connected negative battery terminal to genny stud with a jumper wire

    Not only didn't the genny budge, but the jumper wire began to overheat. Could this mean a short in the genny?

    I then did a current test using my old Sears automotive tester:
    1) left cutout disconnected
    2) tighted genny belt
    3) put Sears tester's shunt on genny stud, with another jumper from shunt to negative terminal of battery.
    4) started tractor, and got definite response on ammeter, but in wrong direction (so I couldn't read a value). I guess this is because of the positive ground?

    Thoughts?
    Steve

    JMOR    Posted 10-09-2017 at 19:38:53 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • You don't need to take it off, just loosen the belt & connect battery power to it & watch it run.

    Steve Frysinger    Posted 10-09-2017 at 20:44:43 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • True - it requires a little gymnastics, but I'll check that. Any other things I should consider? Thanks!

    Tony    Posted 10-10-2017 at 10:49:51 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • Good morning,

    You are trying to diagnose and correct an electrical problem by beginning in the middle and working toward each end and returning to the middle.

    Begin with the battery. just because "it holds a charge" does not mean it is good. THe only ways to properly test a battery is to load test it. That does not mean testing with a cheap AutoZone tester, You have to apply a load in excess of 200 amps for at least five seconds. If it holds, slow charge it until it is completely charged and check with an hydrometer. Your battery is very likely bad.

    There are other tests that can be performed, cell voltage drop test, cell voltage drop test under load etc. Nine times out of ten a properly done load test will ID the problem.

    A battery that has been run down, sometimes left for along period possibly during a cold snap and probably fast charged many times is very likely to have sulphated plates. That battery is bad.

    Are the cables good? Are they bulged at the terminal ends? Is the ground strap mounted bright metal to bright metal?

    WIthout knowing for sure if the cut out is internally grounded or not I would make sure it is properly grounded.

    Motor test the generator. If it fails that test take it to a shop and have it tested. You could check the fields and commutator with a continuity tester but you need a growler to test the armature.

    If the generator is good, the battery is new, the wiring is good, and there is still a charging problem the cut out is bad. Period. You don't have a new cutout. You have a year or two old cutout which may have been run with a generator with a shorted field or armature and likely subjected to external charging amperages in excess of its rated capacity.

    Did you disconnect the battery every time you recharged the battery?

    Hope this helps. Electrical can be frustrating but problems can be solved using an orderly system of testing.

    TOny

    JMOR    Posted 10-10-2017 at 11:46:13 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • Yes, a "real" load, as Tony says.
    "THe only ways to properly test a battery is to load test it. That does not mean testing with a cheap AutoZone tester, You have to apply a load in excess of 200 amps for at least five seconds."
    Just as an example, my "real load" tester pulls 385 amperes at 9.6 battery volts vs the 'nice & neat' Harbor Freight/Tool tester's 17 ampreres!!!, or about 20 times too little.

    Steve Frysinger    Posted 10-10-2017 at 11:08:16 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 2N charging system (again!)
  • Roger that - I've got some homework to do. Will pull the battery and have it tested, and run a motoring test on the gen. I do have a new (last week) cut out, but have a new spare on hand just in case. It'll be a few days before I get a chance to work on this again, but I'll be back in touch with y'all - hopefully to let you know it's working! :) Thanks!

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