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OrangeMetalGuy

Anyone tried opening up an ammeter

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OrangeMetalGuy
(This is on a large-frame) I have the dash stripped and repainted, tomorrow I will install a new decal on it. I am looking at the ammeter and thinking that that needle needs to be painted orange.. has anyone opened one of these up to do this. It looks like the chrome ring (that holds the glass in place) is crimped around the edge. I am wondering if this could be opened up just enough to get it off, to then paint the needle. Also has anyone added a voltmeter on the opposite side? Seems like this would be a natural.

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D-17_Dave
The chrome ring will likely split when you remove it. Best bet is to replace the amp meter with a volt meter or your choice that looks as good as the rest of the tractor. IMO amp meters are mostly useless. All my tractors I have converted to volt meters. Just remember that a volt meter wires different than the amp meter.

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sammiefish
Im interested to know why you think ammeters are mostly useless and why volt meters are better. My ammeter tells me if my system is charging ... if current is flowing, how much, and in what direction... is this not useful information? I do think its a neat idea to include a volt meter! just curious..

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BLT
Voltmeters indicate the state of electrical system. For instance, if voltage is reading 13.0 to 13.5 V when running everything is OK and if it is lower then you could have a problem such as poor generator performance or possible bad battery. An ammeter just shows amperage flow going somewhere, even into a dead battery, kind'a like feeding hay to a dead horse.

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DMedal
I have done this by cutting the ring carefully on the backside with a dremel and then using a JB weld type epoxy when reassembling. This was in one case to change the markings on gauge, and the other time to fix a severely sun faded one. It is delicate work but can be done. A voltmeter gives you info about the current state of charge of the battery, an ammeter tells you whether the system is charging. But I've yet to see the ammeter on any of my tractors to the left of zero (which would indicate the tractor drawing more current than it is producing) so I'd have to say I've never actually used the ammeter. My own preference would be both, if just one then the voltmeter. Actually I'd rather have: oil pressure, cyl head temp, tach, or engine oil temp instead of an ammeter. But a guy only has so much dash space. Used ammeters from these beasts are widely available on ebay, so I see no reason for you not to amuse yourself trying this. Good luck! Don

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sammiefish
I got new ammeters for mine... face was VERY similar to original.. ~$5 from tractor supply... however the new ones use a metal retaining bracket isolated from the contacts by rubber gaskets, unlike the original which used a plastic retainer.... I was concerned that with age the rubber gaskets may wear through causing a short so I kept my old plastic retainer and reused that and put the metal bracket in the drawer.

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goatfarmer
quote:
But I've yet to see the ammeter on any of my tractors to the left of zero (which would indicate the tractor drawing more current than it is producing) so I'd have to say I've never actually used the ammeter.
They go that way when your headlite wiring is shorted, and you turn on the headlites.....B)

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Vassal
I've never done this, but I know some guys that have restored old motorcycle gauges by cutting the back of the gauge can off to get to the inner bits. Similar to what Don had mentioned, they somehow bonded the rear of the can back on, all of which I believe would be hidden inside a fairing or gauge bucket. I think ammeters can be very useful for diagnostic and adjustment (regulator) purposes. Otherwise, when things are in order they seem to merely serve the purpose of a trouble warning. But isn't that what a gauge is for? Or am I thinking of an idiot light? Maybe I'm the idiot?

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larry8200
Both is best, How ever, If your charging system is putting out 14.5 volts and only 2 amps max, a voltmeter wont show the problem AND a resting battery should have at least 13 volts and an ammeter wont show that.

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