Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

Why Does My Ford 120 Battery Go Dead While Tractor Is In Use?


  • Please log in to reply
48 replies to this topic

#1 OldBlue120 OFFLINE  

OldBlue120
  • Member
  • Member No: 50196
  • 87 Thanks
  • 83 posts
  • Location: Nobleboro, Maine

Posted December 15, 2013 - 05:06 PM

Why does my Ford 120 Battery go dead while tractor is in use?  I am going to have to really do some creative troubleshooting on this. I know it happens while the tractor is running. I am 99% sure.  I am really at a loss otherwise.  Thank you for all your assistance. 


  • T Guiles said thank you

#2 DougT ONLINE  

DougT

    Dog Approved

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 584
  • 5,731 Thanks
  • 4,287 posts
  • Location: north central Ohio

Posted December 15, 2013 - 05:22 PM

The first thing I would look at is the charging system. You should be showing 13-14v at the battery with it running.


  • OldBlue120 said thank you

#3 chris m OFFLINE  

chris m

    Tractorholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8148
  • 3,277 Thanks
  • 4,033 posts
  • Location: Charlestown,Rhode Island

Posted December 15, 2013 - 05:31 PM

Like Doug said check to be sure it's charging 1st. If it is not charging then it will go dead while it is running, because these engines are Battery ignition. Meaning it needs the battery to create the spark for the spark plug to fire.

 

If it was a Magneto ignition then the battery would only be used to crank the starter over(and or lighting circuit). and the Magneto would generate the spark for the spark plug to fire.

 

So either you are not charging, or you have a bad connection (like on the battery ground), or your battery is just old and needs replacing.

 

Good luck :thumbs:


  • OldBlue120 said thank you

#4 Big John OFFLINE  

Big John

    Member

  • Member
  • Member No: 1450
  • 21 Thanks
  • 94 posts
  • Location: Tolono, IL.

Posted December 15, 2013 - 05:45 PM

There is also the possibility that something is drawing more power than the charging system can produce
even if the charging system is in perfect condition. Turn headlights on ,Run engine at least 1/2 throttle & check battery volts (13-14v.) If this doesn't cure the problem, check alternator leads (kohler Engines run 27Volts a.c.). If U have a 3 terminal regulator, outside terminals will read 27v.ac
and center terminal will read 13-14v. If no ac on outside terminals, alt. coil is bad. If no volts on center, most likely regulator is bad. If bat. ignition & U let it idle
too much, that could drain bat. If U don't have an ammeter on UR tractor get 1 & it will help U with UR problem.

Edited by Big John, December 15, 2013 - 05:51 PM.

  • OldBlue120 and Mike125s have said thanks

#5 chris m OFFLINE  

chris m

    Tractorholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8148
  • 3,277 Thanks
  • 4,033 posts
  • Location: Charlestown,Rhode Island

Posted December 15, 2013 - 05:49 PM

There is also the possibility that something is drawing more power than the charging system can produce
even if the charging system is in perfect condition. Turn headlights on ,Run engine at least 1/2 throttle & check battery volts (13-14v.) If this doesn't cure the problem, check alternator leads (kohler Engines run 27Volts a.c.). If U have a 3 terminal regulator, outside terminals will read 27v.ac
and center terminal will read 13-14v. If no ac on outside terminals, alt. coil is bad. If no volts on center, most likely regulator is bad.

His has a SG on it John.



#6 OldBlue120 OFFLINE  

OldBlue120
  • Member
  • Member No: 50196
  • 87 Thanks
  • 83 posts
  • Location: Nobleboro, Maine

Posted December 15, 2013 - 07:05 PM

Well ok. The battery was brand new a week ago. 350 cold crank amps I believe.  So the battery isn't old, etc.

 

I guess I need to get a voltmeter.  That is pretty clear.

 

There is an Ammeter, it is right between the steering wheel and the throttle lever.   

 

I don't think this tractor has the magneto ignition from what little I know.  How do you know?

Its a 1972 Ford 120. 12 HP K301 Kohler engine.

 

I have a 3 terminal regulator. ... so I will try these tests.

 

Now lets just say maybe nothing is wrong with anything and I am running the tractor wrong. Don't know how but maybe.  I had the lights on the whole time I was snow blowing. It was dark or pre dawn and they were useful, but would that have drained the battery? Sometimes it takes awhile for the engine to start. generally not more than a minute cranking over with plenty of juice as it was a new battery. Does that sack the battery.

 

Even if it did it is obvious that the battery isn't being recharged.

I will pick up a voltmeter so I can test these things and get a little more knowledge and data on this.

 

I am very new to the tractor maintenance, just got this tractor from my Dad when he died last January. Hauled it back to my place about a month ago and have been tinkering.  If any of these electrical pics appear to have something that doesn't look right let me know.  

 

006.JPG 007.JPG 008.JPG 009.JPG 010.JPG 013.JPG 015.JPG 016.JPG

 



#7 poncho62 ONLINE  

poncho62
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 42
  • 634 Thanks
  • 1,220 posts
  • Location: Hanover, Ont, Canada

Posted December 15, 2013 - 07:22 PM

Kohler K engines, which you have are battery ignition. Your ameter should be reading a positive (to the right of center on the gauge, if its working correctly. If it on the left, it is discharging. Under the battery, there is a square box with fins, that is the rectifier, Clean the connections on that, it may help


  • OldBlue120 said thank you

#8 chris m OFFLINE  

chris m

    Tractorholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8148
  • 3,277 Thanks
  • 4,033 posts
  • Location: Charlestown,Rhode Island

Posted December 15, 2013 - 07:24 PM

You have Battery ignition on this. One way to tell is that you have a 12 volt Automotive style coil. (4th pic top right)

 

So because you have a SG (Starter Generator) disregard the test for the Regulator John had mentioned, That test is for the Kohlers with a Alternator/Stator ring under the flywheel and a regular starter.

 

Does your amp Meter needle move while the engine is running??

 

Also you said a new battery, is the ground in good shape?

 

Like Doug said test for the 13-14 volts while running. If it is lower than that and doesn't go higher when you increase engine speed. I would check to be sure all your connections are tight and clean before proceeding further.

 

Again, Good Luck :thumbs:


  • Mike125s said thank you

#9 OldBlue120 OFFLINE  

OldBlue120
  • Member
  • Member No: 50196
  • 87 Thanks
  • 83 posts
  • Location: Nobleboro, Maine

Posted December 15, 2013 - 07:28 PM

On this picture there is kind of an unusual wiring issue, maybe not, but the wire towards the bottom of the pic under the big red wire which goes straight down there is a wire that makes a loop. It comes out of a band of wires and then makes a loop and it appears to be spliced right back into the wire. What was the point of that I wonder.

008.JPG



#10 OldBlue120 OFFLINE  

OldBlue120
  • Member
  • Member No: 50196
  • 87 Thanks
  • 83 posts
  • Location: Nobleboro, Maine

Posted December 15, 2013 - 07:31 PM

Also not sure if this is an issue but the black ground wire ( - ) towards the end where it is attached to the tractor ground there is about a 1/4 of inch of exposed wire that isn't covered. I think it has been like that for years from remembering using this tractor as a kid but not sure.

002.JPG



#11 OldBlue120 OFFLINE  

OldBlue120
  • Member
  • Member No: 50196
  • 87 Thanks
  • 83 posts
  • Location: Nobleboro, Maine

Posted December 15, 2013 - 08:39 PM

The motor generator is the gadget right under the gas tank in front of the engine? I thought that was the starter, ...starter generator? 

see pic.

post-50196-0-21486500-1387157693_thumb.j



#12 OldBlue120 OFFLINE  

OldBlue120
  • Member
  • Member No: 50196
  • 87 Thanks
  • 83 posts
  • Location: Nobleboro, Maine

Posted December 15, 2013 - 08:41 PM

You have Battery ignition on this. One way to tell is that you have a 12 volt Automotive style coil. (4th pic top right)

 

So because you have a SG (Starter Generator) disregard the test for the Regulator John had mentioned, That test is for the Kohlers with a Alternator/Stator ring under the flywheel and a regular starter.

 

Does your amp Meter needle move while the engine is running??

 

Also you said a new battery, is the ground in good shape?

 

Like Doug said test for the 13-14 volts while running. If it is lower than that and doesn't go higher when you increase engine speed. I would check to be sure all your connections are tight and clean before proceeding further.

 

Again, Good Luck :thumbs:

 

I posted a picture of the ground below. I would say no it is not in good shape. But maybe it is. But there is a bare section of the ground with exposed wire.   Thank you for all the good insights here.  



#13 chris m OFFLINE  

chris m

    Tractorholic

  • Super Moderator
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8148
  • 3,277 Thanks
  • 4,033 posts
  • Location: Charlestown,Rhode Island

Posted December 15, 2013 - 08:48 PM

Ok in pic #1 the wires in a loop (jumper wire) someone made that up and bypassed the neutral safety switch.(common on these)

 

Pic #2 of the ground looks normal, everyone I have see looks the same, just be sure they are clean where they mount to the tower and the battery.

 

Pic #3 is the (SG) starter Generator.


  • OldBlue120 said thank you

#14 OldBlue120 OFFLINE  

OldBlue120
  • Member
  • Member No: 50196
  • 87 Thanks
  • 83 posts
  • Location: Nobleboro, Maine

Posted December 15, 2013 - 08:54 PM

Kohler K engines, which you have are battery ignition. Your ameter should be reading a positive (to the right of center on the gauge, if its working correctly. If it on the left, it is discharging. Under the battery, there is a square box with fins, that is the rectifier, Clean the connections on that, it may help

 

Well this is good info here because regarding the Ameter, I am pretty sure it moved to the left. So on rectifier, you mean the voltage regulator when you say rectifier correct? It has three prongs and is mounted with a screw on top and bottom?  I just went out and looked at the ammeter to double check but I am pretty sure it moved to the negative. I didn't even know which way it was supposed to move. I just saw it move so was like, cool, it works. 

I took the battery out this afternoon so nothing is connected now anyway. I will recharge the battery.


  • Texas Deere and Horse said thank you

#15 Chopperhed OFFLINE  

Chopperhed
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 20120
  • 1,852 Thanks
  • 1,071 posts
  • Location: Edmonton, Ab, Canada

Posted December 15, 2013 - 09:04 PM

if the ammeter moved to the left it indicates the battery is discharging. Mine does that during cranking. .

The needle should move to the right after start up. If not, then the charge system is faulty, or there is a drain bigger than the system can handle
  • OldBlue120 and Mike125s have said thanks




Top