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Sears Suburban, Super, Ss12, St12 Electronic Regulator?

electronic conversion

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4 replies to this topic

#1 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2014 - 06:19 PM

I'm admittedly too wordy.  Although I would greatly appreciate your shared knowledge, if verbosity is bothersome to you, suggest you click out now.  It's a character flaw of mine partially due to being able to type really fast. 

 

 

Hi, Sears guys.  I'm new here and have been finding a LOT of excellent info without asking possibly stupid questions.  This one, however, I've used the search tool, Google and plain old browsing but I'm not finding it.

 

If I've missed already relevant info, a link would be appreciated.

 

Problem statement:  A truly great gift tractor from my Dad; 1970 (I think..?) Sears Super HydroTrac 12 that I'm tinkering with to get it going after 11 years storage outside under a tarp. 

 

11 years ago, decent batteries were still the norm instead of the exception.  However, back then, about the only real defect my Dad found with this tractor was:  A battery would survive for MAYBE a year; sometimes less.  Dad has used float chargers since they became available, so the batteries were well maintained ~ including electrolyte top ups.   

 

I looked and found that the tractor has the old style NOT electronic voltage regulator.  That is, large bulbous sheet metal cover, relays inside, this type very often a problem in my experience with cars.  I'm an antique, so I've seen various old cars with non-electronic regulators overcharge batteries because of the old type of voltage regulator.  That grossly shortens battery life, so that is immediately my suspicion.

 

My questions (at long last) are as follows:

 

1.)  Is the electronic voltage regulator for these 917 chassis Sears tractors actually well done and worth adapting into the tractor?  Or are they troublesome - and maybe a swap is not worthwhile?

 

If not worth swapping, discontinue.  If the swap is worthwhile, added questions, please:

 

2.)  What mods if any are required to install an electronic voltage regulator in a "Sears 917" ;-) that was originally NOT electronic voltage reg?

 

3.)  Are used regs worth pursuing or are they often fried?  Anyone know of an NOS or rebuilt/refurbished source?

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for all the excellent info you all have shared in this website.  I've easily found most everything needed so far - except the above.

 

Micke


Edited by MountainMichael, August 30, 2014 - 06:23 PM.


#2 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2014 - 06:31 PM

Are you referring to an old Delco-Remy voltage regulator?

If so then those are pretty reliable if they are adjusted right.


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#3 GWest OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2014 - 07:32 PM

The only Kohler manual I ever seen with the starter/generator in it.

http://gardentractor...service-manual/

 

Garry


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#4 MountainMichael OFFLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2014 - 07:40 PM

Are you referring to an old Delco-Remy voltage regulator?

If so then those are pretty reliable if they are adjusted right.

 

B1000, thank you for the info.  I may take it apart, clean it and see if I can make some adjustments while running to get the charging voltage where I want it.

 

One problem, though:  With the tractor assembled, it is mostly inaccessible...

 

 

The only Kohler manual I ever seen with the starter/generator in it.

http://gardentractor...service-manual/

 

Garry

 

Hi, Gary.

 

While this tractor has a Tec HH120 engine, the Kohler manual you attached for the starter/generator and flywheel alternator systems look very similar or maybe identical to what is probably used with the HH120's charging system.

 

One thing it pointed out that should have been obvious to me:  The starter/generator variant uses the old style regulator (relays and such) and the alternator type uses the electronic regulator.  So the electronic regulator is in fact NOT interchangeable with my tractor unless changing to a separate starter and alternator which will not be practical.

 

Of particular value in the download you attached:  It shows how to adjust various parameters including charging voltage in 2 different designs of the old style Remy regulator. 

 

While I didn't know it at first, this is exactly what I needed. 

 

Thank you for the manual link!  Most helpful.

 

In recap:  An electronic voltage regulator is under no circumstances a simple swap.  My tractor uses a generator/starter, not a flywheel alternator.  So conversion to an electronic regulator is not practical.  Instead, I'll pursue a new voltage regulator and adjust it for properly charging voltage - and will probably have to keep tabs on it often.  

 

Since the regulator is essentially inaccessible with the tractor assembled and ready to run, I am considering relocating the regulator to where it can be tinkered with at regular intervals. 

 

My experience with the old Remy style regulators was not good.  Myabe I had bad luck or declining quality, but it was such that I believe it will need frequent attention to keep it charging properly and not overcharging.  Can't tell ya' how many batteries I lost due to overcharging with the Delco Remy type old time regulators on various old GM cars. 

 

I saw a small number that worked correctly for a couple of years, but they were the rare exception.

 

A generator with an inaccessible Delco Remy old time (and probably terribly old) regulator probably explains why this tractor was eating batteries.   

 

mm
 


Edited by MountainMichael, August 30, 2014 - 08:11 PM.


#5 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted August 30, 2014 - 09:14 PM

I have never touched the reg in 3 of my most reliable tractors. The one in my son's tractor, I had apart three times and thought I finally had it fixed... Turns out that wasn't the problem, it was the ground where it mounted.

I had the same battery in my ss12 for four years, my regulator kept it charged, it finally quit last winter. New battery, new lease on life.

I suggest you run voltage checks and look for a poor connection they can cause a high voltage if the regulator doesn't have a good reference voltage.
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