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GE Almost Caught Fire Tonight....


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#1 Titus OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:23 PM

So my night was fun....almost had a fire with the electrak in the garage. I recently put some LED lights on my snowcab, wired everything last week. I took it today to plow with and everything worked great. I'm backing it up my driveway with my LEDs on and things seem fine. Into the garage we go, door shut and park.

I park it, turn the switch to deactivate it, and I'm smelling something. I'm smelling that plastic burning smell. I check under the seat, nothing...then I start seeing smoke from behind the dash, the GT moves FWD pinning itself against the garage door. It was acting as if it was stuck in Fwd. I couldn't for the life of me move that machine.

Thankfully I have a two bay garage and popped the other to vent the smoke. The wires, which you can see I had running up the side of the cab to the ground were coated in a plastic wire connector. The ground was red hot, bright and glowing.

I knew it was hooked to 12Vs only, so I grabbed a nearby stick and ripped the wiring down, that seemed to stop the flow of energy and things calmed down from there. The GT then stopped pressing against the door and I was able to roll it back, then open the door.

Once I could vent the area and go back in, you can see in the 1st photo what I found and circled behind the dash. The ground seems to have been sitting next to that cluster of wires. The heat from that ground must started melting into those wires causing something to happen, making the GT move FWD.

The LEDs are not drawing many amps, the two 10" are 4.5amps ea and the two 4" on the back are 1.5ea.

I have those lights connected on the two batteries in the front, making 12Vs. The black gauge wire was a new type of wire and thinner than the red. I feel like an idiot, as I believe that black wire was too thin and heated up, causing the meltdown of the plastic.

Your thoughts? Anyone have a cab on theirs? Proper way to run the wiring on this so this does not happen again?

My background is golf cars, I've wired plenty of 36 & 48V machines, heck, even from 72V 4x4s. I shouldn't have used different gauge wire, but could it have been anything else that would have caused this?

The GT still functions both in F & R.

Thank you for your time.

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#2 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:27 PM

Wow, that could have been very very bad!  Good thing you weren't in front of it with your back turned!


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#3 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:29 PM

Wow, that's a scary situation. Thankfully you got it under

control. Should the master disconnect not have done just that?


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#4 Titus OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:31 PM

I thought it would have, but I wonder if because the negative did what it did, and partially melted the wires, that it may have bypassed it?


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#5 DH1 ONLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:33 PM

Good thing you were there when it happened, could of been a lot more damage.


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#6 Mr Electrak OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:34 PM

Sounds like you were using the tractor chassis for the ground......that's a no-no with an Elec-Trak !!


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#7 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:35 PM

Close call! There must have been more than just the LED current flowing through that wire to make it overheat like that.  For the same power a 12volt load will draw 4 times the current as a 48volt load and generate 4 times the voltage drop and heat in the conductor. 


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#8 Titus OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:39 PM

Sounds like you were using the tractor chassis for the ground......that's a no-no with an Elec-Trak !!

Come to think of it, my frame on the cab is connected to the GT on floor where you feet go. That completing the circuit would have caused that. 


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#9 Titus OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:44 PM

So if that is the case, where would I ground it to this? I need to rewire everything now anyway. Man, I am just kicking myself today because of this.


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#10 HDWildBill ONLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:52 PM

Man, Glad to hear you weren't hurt. Things happen so no need to kick your self. The tractor can be fixed.


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#11 Mr Electrak OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 08:53 PM

This is the instructions for the factory cab - I added some extra lights to mine, and followed the instructions as it's related to the wiper motor wiring....works fine.

 

 

pdf.gifElec-Trak Tractor All Weather Cab.pdf


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#12 newideas OFFLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 09:01 PM

re fire; sorry to hear about your trouble, glad to hear you survived it, as for wiring, GE didn't ad a fuse for the factory lights in the harness and a sustained fire could result;  fuse the power leads with a inline fuse or better yet fuse both the negative and positive power supply to lights.


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#13 DH1 ONLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 09:28 PM

Mr Electrak is right, no part of the tractor fame is connected to any electric circuit.

Everything has 2 wires going to it, + and - .

36volt, 18volt and 12volt, circuits, all isolated from the tractors frame, not like a gas tractors or cars are wired.


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#14 Traill95 ONLINE  

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Posted January 09, 2015 - 09:29 PM

I'm glad you didn't get hurt. If I ever find a cab for mine I will pay close attention to how it should be wired. Also thank you Mr. Electrak. I downloaded your all weather cab file.
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#15 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 10, 2015 - 07:58 AM

This is the instructions for the factory cab - I added some extra lights to mine, and followed the instructions as it's related to the wiper motor wiring....works fine.
 
 
pdf.gifElec-Trak Tractor All Weather Cab.pdf


Very good information about the ground needing to be floating.
BTW, That attachment link takes me to a dead end.
Any way to load it directly here, in the thread or in the manuals?




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