In Reply to: Re: starter problems posted by g ostby on January 23, 2018 at 21:10:39:
As I first stated, it is much easier to check the battery than pulling the starter so you are doing the right steps. Age of a battery isn't really important. I've come across new ones, purchased within 12 months or less, that were junk. Brand/quality is important. Avoid the cheap bargain-house models. They are notorious for having low life spans to begin with. You say you 'keep it charged', so does that mean you have a battery float charger or that it discharges often and needs to be recharged? A float charger, not a trickle charger, is a good investment. Battery Tender is a good brand and sold at Walmart. You need a good, fully charged battery to crank the engine, and cold weather will affect how effective that can be. Here is a bit of info that Bruce has posted in the past:
"If you have AC power to the tractor use a float charger. No matter what else you do, the battery must be fully charged. A float charger is helpful; not a trickle charger, but a float charger. A battery charger, even a "trickle" charger, left unattended will eventually boil out a battery. I use float chargers for two reasons: battery longevity and a sure start. Battery sulfation occurs at a specific rate at "X" temperature. Over time, sulfation reduces battery performance and eventually its effects are irreversible. Sulfation of batteries starts when specific gravity falls below 1.225 or voltage measures less than 12.4 for a 12v battery, or 6.2 for a 6 volt battery. Sulfation hardens on the battery plates reducing and eventually destroying the ability of the battery to generate current. Using a float charger significantly reduces sulfation. Your battery loses 33 percent of its power when the temperature dips below freezing, and over 50 percent of its power when the temperature falls below zero. A fully charged battery will not freeze until -76°F; however, a fully discharged battery can start to freeze at 32°F. So……keep the battery fully charged! If you have a digital volt meter, 6.03 volts on a 6 volt battery and 12.06 volts on a 12 volt battery is only a 25% charge! I use Deltran Battery Tenders®™ on all the tractors, the golf cart & '29 Ford. Pricey, but they work & have in-lines fuses. All are hard wired to the vehicles."
While your battery is being tested and/or replaced, go thru the entire wiring system. If you are constantly losing the battery charge, you may have a phantom short somewhere draining it. If so, I'd start with the lights. Once again, JMOR's Wiring Pictograms is one handy document every N-Owner should have in his shop. If your wiring deviates from what is shown there, it could be a problem. I have seen so many cobbled up/hackmaster 12-volt wiring jobs it isn't funny. Don't assume -verify continuity with a test light or your VOM. Starter/Alternator shops have the proper test machines to test the battery under load. Some franchise auto parts shops do too, but I prefer the former as a retail outlet is going to try to sell you a new battery no matter what. Plus, the aforementioned bad battery that was less than 12 months old was one of those purchased at an auto parts store. Also, when was the last tune-up performed? How often is the tractor used?