In Reply to: Checking charging system posted by AL CT on September 24, 2017 at 10:28:25:
This has been discussed many times, but I'll tell you how I do a simple, but most of the time, effective, test of the whole charging system. I take a good voltmeter, I use Fluke meters, but a good analog meter with a real needle will do. You don't need a lot a accuracy for what I do here.
Check the voltage of the battery with the tractor at rest, not running and the key off. A good six volt battery will show something around that six volts or maybe a little more. Then start the tractor and idle it up just a bit, doesn't have to be a lot, and check the voltage at the battery with it running. If things are normal you will get a higher reading, it just needs to be more than the at rest reading. This can vary greatly, depending on the initial state of charge on the battery. On my 8N (1950 side mount dist) I see about 6.2 or so vs almost 7.0 volts running at idle. As the battery reaches a full charge while running the voltage will drop some, but usually not below a little over 6 volts.
It has been said you can't use a digital meter but I have not had any problems with a good one. The HF meters they give away are free and worth every cent in my opinion. A good meter will last a lifetime and be well worth it in the long run.