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New member, new owner, old tractor won't start


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#1 alexcole OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2011 - 04:53 PM

Just bought a new (old) tractor- 1968 JD 112 H. First-time owner but have old cars, so I am used to getting my hands dirty....this tractor came to me with the knowledge that it would not start without it being jumped off- the PO was not very mechanically inclined, but had owned it for at least 2 years, and this was just his way of starting it- he did not look into solving the problem, just jumped it off every time. He used it winter to plough snow and summer to cut grass and haul things, this I can verify because he was my neighbor, and I saw him on it alot. I bought it and moved south, and while changing the fluids and giving it a once over, trying to get a feel for it, something jumped out at me right away-what I think is the voltage regulator receptor (square non-painted metal block with fins mounted to the outside of the battery compartment at the driver's left knee adjacent to the gasoline tank) has experienced some very high temperatures/electrical current. Three wires on a plug enter the top of the vrr and one of them has completely melted the insulation at the plug and in a couple of areas along the wire itself. I suspect that that means that I need a new vrr, and I'd also think new wires/plug. Not familiar with the vrr, what would the symptoms of a dysfunctional vrr be? Would failure to start without a jump be attributed to vrr, or am I probably going to need to continue looking even after replacing it? Is the burnt wiring attributable to something other than a faulty vrr? Can I replace the entire wiring harness, as in is a wiring harness kit available for sale (I replaced the wiring harness on my jeep with an aftermarket version-not too bad and it hasn't caught fire yet- that was 10 years ago)? Thanks in advance for the info- Alex

#2 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2011 - 06:01 PM

I am not familiar with John Deeres but I am assuming it is a Tecumseh HH120 which I could totally be wrong. If the wire shorted somewhere that could cause the burning of the wire elsewhere. I would check all your connections and also check for any bare spots on the wiring. I would check out your starter solenoid as that would make more sense to why you would have to jump it.

#3 MinnesotaDan OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2011 - 06:40 PM

This is a shot in the dark and maybe someone on here more familiar with JD electrical can prove or disprove this theory. But if it works anything like the charging system in a car a fried voltage regulator would explain why the battery doesn't get charged since alternators output AC voltage and the regulator uses the diodes to change it to the DC voltage required to charge the battery. Like I said I am not 100% the same would apply to a lawn tractor but it needs to be converted somewhere in order to charge the DC battery on a tractor and in 68 the internal voltage regulator had not yet been invented. Hope this can help.

#4 MF14 plowday special OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2011 - 06:49 PM

I am not familiar with John Deeres but I am assuming it is a Tecumseh HH120 which I could totally be wrong. If the wire shorted somewhere that could cause the burning of the wire elsewhere. I would check all your connections and also check for any bare spots on the wiring. I would check out your starter solenoid as that would make more sense to why you would have to jump it.


JD 112's were Tecumseh 10 hp ... then later models had 10 hp Kohler and the very late one's had 12 hp Kohlers.

:wallbanging::wallbanging::wallbanging:

#5 MF14 plowday special OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2011 - 06:52 PM

I have a 112 Tecumseh parts tractor... pm me if you need a cheap harness. This one is soon headed to the scrap yard.
Also have used regulator if interested

#6 bhts OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2011 - 07:16 PM

The wiring harness can still be bought for the 112 but depends on serial number also if kohler or tecumseh.

#7 dstaggs OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2011 - 08:18 PM

Welcome to GTtalk.

#8 Rozwell Ranch OFFLINE  

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Posted July 03, 2011 - 10:57 PM

It's my understanding that voltage regulators need to be grounded to the frame. If tractors are repainted, the small area under the bolts, washers and nuts has to be scraped to bare metal just enough to make good contact. On all my Deeres, I just run a small ground wire from the mounting bolts to a convenient bolt on the engine (usually were the main ground wire is attached).

Brad

#9 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 04, 2011 - 10:51 AM

Just bought a new (old) tractor- 1968 JD 112 H. First-time owner but have old cars, so I am used to getting my hands dirty....this tractor came to me with the knowledge that it would not start without it being jumped off- the PO was not very mechanically inclined, but had owned it for at least 2 years, and this was just his way of starting it- he did not look into solving the problem, just jumped it off every time. He used it winter to plough snow and summer to cut grass and haul things, this I can verify because he was my neighbor, and I saw him on it alot. I bought it and moved south, and while changing the fluids and giving it a once over, trying to get a feel for it, something jumped out at me right away-what I think is the voltage regulator receptor (square non-painted metal block with fins mounted to the outside of the battery compartment at the driver's left knee adjacent to the gasoline tank) has experienced some very high temperatures/electrical current. Three wires on a plug enter the top of the vrr and one of them has completely melted the insulation at the plug and in a couple of areas along the wire itself. I suspect that that means that I need a new vrr, and I'd also think new wires/plug. Not familiar with the vrr, what would the symptoms of a dysfunctional vrr be? Would failure to start without a jump be attributed to vrr, or am I probably going to need to continue looking even after replacing it? Is the burnt wiring attributable to something other than a faulty vrr? Can I replace the entire wiring harness, as in is a wiring harness kit available for sale (I replaced the wiring harness on my jeep with an aftermarket version-not too bad and it hasn't caught fire yet- that was 10 years ago)? Thanks in advance for the info- Alex


Hi Alex. Do you have a schematic of the electrical system? I would first check to make sure the wiring has not been tampered with and someone wired it up wrong. The regulator connector being burnt is not a good sign. Sometimes a bad connection alone will cause enough heat to melt a connection. If the VRR is typical it has 3 connectors and the outside 2 go to the alternator coil in the flywheel. You should read a low resistance between the coil wires. The centre connector is the rectified and regulated output that goes to the ignition switch and then to the battery when the switch is on. You should read a high resistance from that terminal on the regulator module to the engine chassis. You also need a chassis connection from the regulator body to the - terminal of the battery. Does it have a circuit breaker? If so it should read like a short circuit(low ohms). If there is no fuse or circuit breaker I would proceed carefully to prevent a short that could cause a lot of damage. I would verify the wiring, circuit breaker and the basic resistance checks above then replace the connections to the VRR and give it a try. To answer your question about not starting with a bad VR - The battery will not charge so it will go dead and not start the tractor. If you put in a fully charged battery and it still will not turn over then there is something else wrong as well.
This is just a quick shot at your problem. Hopefully it will give you some ideas to work from.

#10 alexcole OFFLINE  

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Posted July 07, 2011 - 11:52 AM

Thanks for the welcomes and thanks for the info. I do not have the wiring diagram, although I did look at the one that is on the online maual section of this website, it is for the same model as my tractor, serial # from 130k to 160k. Mine is 105k, so not far off and the analogous parts appear to be wired up similarly. The PO seems to have removed and jumped the PTO neutral switch, I have replaced it and re-wired it. My plan is to purchase a new regulator and replace those wires that appear visibly affected, track down and "freshen" the grounds, and see how that treats me. On a side note, can I charge a lawn tractor battery with a car battery charger? Alex

#11 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted July 07, 2011 - 07:56 PM

On a side note, can I charge a lawn tractor battery with a car battery charger? Alex

Alex, Yes, you can charge the battery the same way. I would check the water level in the battery. If you don't see any caps, feel around the top sticker and see if you feel countersunk caps under the decal. If you do, you can peel back the decal and check the water level.

#12 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted July 08, 2011 - 05:16 AM

Thanks for the welcomes and thanks for the info. I do not have the wiring diagram, although I did look at the one that is on the online maual section of this website, it is for the same model as my tractor, serial # from 130k to 160k. Mine is 105k, so not far off and the analogous parts appear to be wired up similarly. The PO seems to have removed and jumped the PTO neutral switch, I have replaced it and re-wired it. My plan is to purchase a new regulator and replace those wires that appear visibly affected, track down and "freshen" the grounds, and see how that treats me. On a side note, can I charge a lawn tractor battery with a car battery charger? Alex


Alex

I just finished rewiring a 314 that had all the seat switch and PTO interlocks bypassed. It also had a burned up connector. It was the one going to the PTO switch. You never can tell exactly what has happened to cause these things after the fact. I went through all the connections and cleaned them. I removed the contacts from the connectors for cleaning. Your regulator may be ok but it is hard to test it outside the tractor unless you can find an obvious short circuit at the connectors.




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