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1980 JD 212 Charging Problems


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#1 harrycu OFFLINE  

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Posted November 09, 2011 - 12:58 PM

I have a 1980 JD 212 with 12 hp koehler that is just a pure sweetheart. It runs great and pulls a moldboard plow like a big hoss, however, yesterday afternoon it died on me and the starter would not even turn it over. I checked the battery and it was stone dead. I towed it back to the shop and put a slow charge on the battery overnight and this morning in started and run great again. Does this mean my charging system has gone south? How can I check?

Thanks guys,
Harry in MS

#2 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted November 09, 2011 - 01:53 PM

1st just look over all connections. The regulator MUST be grounded through it's mounting bolt to operate. If all looks good, start testing. Disconnect the stator wires from the voltage regulator. With engine running full rpm's, put test leads from voltmeter (set to AC volts) to the two stator wires coming from under flywheel. Meter should read at least 24VAC up to 30 or so. If not putting out enough AC, then stator is bad. If stator checks good, then hook back to the regulator. Unhook the wire from harness to the "B" terminal of the regulator. Set your meter to DC volts and with engine running full speed, put ground lead from meter to a known good ground (battery -) and the positive lead to the "B" terminal of the regulator. It should read at least 12.5VDC, up to 14VDC or so. If low or no DC coming out, then regulator is faulty. If both the stator and the regulator check as good, then there is a bad connection somewhere between regulator & battery +.

#3 MacWorld OFFLINE  

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Posted November 09, 2011 - 03:12 PM

I don't quite understand why but the 214's manual talks about a "running alternator" and seems to recommend using a small charger to keep the battery full. I had similar problems at the beginning but since I charge the battery with an intelligent 2A charger after every use I didn't had any problems since. I do not keep the charger on the battery at all time, only for about a day after using the tractor (or until the charger says it's full once)

#4 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted November 09, 2011 - 03:28 PM

The only time I have ever had to charge a battery on a tractor that gets regular use is when the battery is starting to die & needing replaced. A charging system in good working order on a tractor without any electrical shorts or defective electrical parts, such as pto clutch etc, and a good battery shouldn't need to be placed on a charger. BUT, if starting up, then running just a few minutes, then the system won't have time to recharge the battery. Adding electrical accessories that pull more than the rated charging system output will definitely run the battery down.

#5 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted November 09, 2011 - 03:58 PM

How old is the battery? Most batteries last only about 4 years.

#6 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted November 09, 2011 - 08:21 PM

Some good advice above. The regulator chassis needs to connect back to the battery - terminal as Daniel said above. If the engine is mounted on rubber mounts then there has to be a good connection between the engine block and the battery. There is a second heavy wire on the battery of my 314 that goes to the engine head. The connectors themselves can be a source of problems as they get older and get full of dirt and corrosion. It only takes a few tenths of an ohm to prevent the regulator from working properly. You should check all the contacts for a good tight fit and try to clean them up if there is corrosion present.

Edited by JDBrian, November 13, 2011 - 07:53 AM.


#7 xshooter OFFLINE  

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Posted November 09, 2011 - 08:55 PM

I had the same problem with my 216. Turned out to be the ignition switch. If the wire colors are the same on your 212 as my 216 check for power on the light green wire that is connected to the ignition switch. It should have power when the switch is in the run position.

#8 harrycu OFFLINE  

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Posted November 18, 2011 - 11:03 AM

Thanks guys for all the advice/suggestions. Turns out not to be the charging system at all but a short in the wiring somewhere around the coil. I'll have to do some more searching and investigating to find out just where the short is.

#9 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted November 18, 2011 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for the update. I hope it's an easy fix and you get it sorted out soon.

#10 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted November 18, 2011 - 10:29 PM

Thanks Harry, glad it's not the charging system, as long as you can find the short or intermittent connection without too much trouble
:thumbs: good luck :thumbs:




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