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BradW

Jeez, this is getting old.......

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BradW
Hi guy's, working on the 3415H today, machine has been properly rewired, new safety switches, new solenoid (it is a ford but does it make a difference?) newer battery. My grandfather needs to cut the grass but we cannot even get it to turn over, starter/generator works as when you bypass the solenoid (jump from positive battery post to starter post it cranks) I need help! Please! -BradW

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jlasater
Brad: I'm electrically vexed myself at the moment, (Everyone, please see the new info on my S-G, now on PAGE TWO of the DISCUSSION, below) but does the solenoid "fire" or click when you put 12 volts to it, with the other side grounded? If not, and it's "new," I'd take it back, but as Al noted, this is difficult sometimes--but it CAN be done.:) If it's new to the tractor, but you didn't just buy it, and it doesn't "click," I've had success taking the solenoid apart, and cleaning the contacts inside. It may be held together with just bent metal tabs. Then reassemble, and it should "click" when juiced. If so, then it should pass the big current to the SG. I'm not saying I know all the theories here, just that this has worked exactly like I described here, and it stayed fixed afterwards. Good luck. Peter

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UCD
Brad Sounds to me like you got a bad ground if you have juice to the solinoid. Try takeing the sol. and grounding it on your neg. batt. post and jumpering a wire to the hot side of the sol. Just to test it. Or take the ground wire from your neg. post and hooking it to your motor if it is connected to your frame. This & $1.00 might get you a small coffee Maynard aka/UCD

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UCD
Brad: UCD's advice makes sense, and I would do that, but I would run a wire from the neg. post to the solenoid, then test it remotely) with a hot wire on the + side of the battery, to the other post on the solenoid. No offense, UCD, but just a concerned reminder that it's dangerous to generate arcs right on top of the battery, as the (hydrogen?) gas can cause the battery to explode. Just a friendly reminder, not trying to ruffle any feathers, especially since your advice was so valuable to me, UCD. But what UCD is saying, Brad, is verify that the solendoid(s) is (are) good, then start looking for problems in the wiring. I don't understand a lot of electrical theory, but one thing that HAS helped me is to set my multimeter on "continuity" (so it buzzes when a connection is made) and "jumping" from point to point until I find the break in continuity, i.e., a wire that is NOT passing current. If UCD's test shows the solenoid is good., start at the wires leading to the SG and work backwards. Somewhere between the SG and the key switch, there will either be no continuity (no current passing, and hence, no "buzz" from multimeter) or like UCD says, a bad ground. You can test the key switch the same way--alligator clip your multimeter leads to it, and when it's "on" the buzzer should buzz. Again, UCD, no offense, but we all need friendly reminders. Just tonight, I could have used a reminder not to squat IN FRONT OF the rototiller I was tuning the carb on, having just gotten the clutch operating again after many years of the previous owner using it as "direct drive." It jumped into gear and I barely jumped out of the way. We can all use reminders, right? Now who's gonna tell me why my SG gets hot enough to cook eggs on? LoL.

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Al
Hi, If you have a Ford solenoid and the old tractor solenoid had 2 small wires it won't work. The Ford solenoid has one terminal that energizes it and the other terminal is a contact that gets 12 volts at the same time the big terminals make. This terminal is used to bypass the ignition resistor in a 12 volt automotive application to put 12v to the 8 volt coil that runs off a ballast resistor. In start mode they put 12 volts to the coil because the battery voltage drops to around 10v when cranking and this gives a hot spark while starting, and then drops out and the coil runs at its designed 8v so the points don't burn. If your original solenoid had 2 terminals both of the winding wires come out 1 to each terminal. One needs 12v, the other ground to engage the solenoid. If your old solenoid only has 1 small terminal, I would suspect you have the wire to the wrong terminal on the new solenoid, then you would not use the second terminal. The solenoids look the same on the outside, but aren't the same inside. On the newer ones that are used in models with computers they often have a diode across the winding to stop transients from damaging the computer chips. If they are hooked up backwards you will have a direct short in start mode. Solenoids and regulators may look alike on the outside, but it is whats inside that is crucial. Re: Starter generator. 3 possibilities. 1 The voltage regulator is bad, set wrong, or the wrong regulator, causing the SG to overcharge, or not connect it to the battery. 2 The field winding is shorted to ground inside the SG, or the wire to the reg is grounded between the SG and reg. 3 The rear bushing may be worn enough that the armature is slightly rubbing on the pole piece and if so, only a very short time and will have to have a new armature,as it will be destroyed. These units run hot when ran for a long time, but not for short periods. Good luck, Al Eden

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tmerideth
Brad: My apologies for hailing Al within your post. Hope you get the solenoid sorted. I only repsonded b/c I noticed it had been 3.5 hours and nobody had responded to you yet. Al: Can I impose upon you to see the previous page of "Discussion?" I didn't want to repost "up front," again, but I have new info. My SG is charging but overheating, and the bearings are good--doesn't overheat when run unconnected. (I didn't want to do a whole new post "up front," and all, but I am making progress but need some more help, if you don't mind.) Thanks again, Peter

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UCD
BigSix I can fix them just have a hard time explaining it in writeing. Al is very good at explaining things in writeing You are safe doing what i explained if the batt. is in a well ventilated area and not chargeing but if it is chargeing IE motor running or a charger on it "NO WAY"!!! It will go BOOM!!!!!!!! I have had 2 blow up on me. One driveing down the road the other in my face. With no sparks around, lucky i had glasses on. hence below This & $1.00 might get you a small coffee Maynard aka/UCD

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BradW
Al, would I just be better off getting a new "simplicity" solenoid? How much does one cost? I really need to get this running. Also, the connector terminals are kinda dirty, should I buy some electrical parts cleaner and clean up the connectors? Thanks,-BradW

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Al
Hi, If your SG is charging, and it is running hot, this is normal to a degree. A couple of factors enter in. 1. The SG has no openings in the end frames as tractor generators do. 2 Tractor generators have 2 generate field coils and normally [If 2 brush] have a 20 amp or greater capacity, SG units normally are 10 amp capacity. If one uses a regulator for a regular generator that is calibrated for 20 amps the SG can run at max out. [Inside and outside regs are identical, except for spring tensions and calibration and cannot be differentiated visually] Running this way the SG will get SUPER HOT, although it is normal for them to get too hot to hold your hand on for any significant period. The same problem arises when the regulator contacts get a lot of erosion. The air gap widens and the current contacts require more current to pull open, the result is that the current section doesn't limit the current to 10 amps. Eventually if you run for a lot of continuos hours, the generate field coil in the SG will get so hot that the insulating varnish in the windings fails and some of the turns short together and then the field energize current goes up and usually the field will open up. [burn a spot out of the wire in the winding.] I know that nobody likes to spend money, but replacing a bad regulator before it smokes a SG unit may actually be money well spent. Also MANY regulators can be installed and made to work, [correction charge] but not properly. Without the CORRECT current limit parameters, the SG is at risk even the voltage control from regulators most will give you the proper voltage control. When I get involved in these problems and we see a lot in our starter shop I shake my head. I see many people that come in and have cobbled up something on a tractor or older car. I found this regulator in my uncles shed and put it on and it charged for a while and quit. Now we are fixing a generator. If you read the section I did on regulators and how they work, it becomes apparent that with the millions and millions of makes and breaks in these contacts, regulators with years and years of service are likely eligible for retirement. If the SG is charging at 15 volts and 10 amps this is 150 watts of power. This energy is converted from mechanical energy to electrical energy. Assume the SG is 50% [most generous] efficient. It would take 300 watts of energy in. At 746 watts per hp this would be nearly 4/10 hp of energy in to get about 1/5 hp out. The rest of the energy is dissipated as heat. This would be the equivalent of a 150 watt soldering iron running inside the SG and the heat having to be dissipated out the case. If the unit is charging at 15v and 20 amps the output goes to 300 watts and the input to 600 watts and the equivalent of a 300 watt soldering iron. See the relationships. This is why the current limit is so important. In a regular generator the front and rear frames would be open and a fan on the pulley would pull air through and cool it, this doesn’t happen with a SG. Off the subject. The alternators in the new cars 100 amps at 15 volts have really tough cooling problems. They put out 1500 watts and the under hood ambient temperatures of the air pulled through them is up to 325 degrees. The internal temperatures in these alternators approach 450 degrees. We have to use high temp solder in some applications because the operating temps on hot days and full load melts regular solder. Think about hot tough the diodes and transistors in these units have to be. Hope this isn’t too boring. Nuff said. Good Luck, Al Eden

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Al
Brad, On your Ford soleniod. You should be able to take a jumper wire form your battery cable and touch 1 of the small terminals of the solenoid and with the base grounded it should click in. The other terminal nothing should happen. If your old tractor only had 1 small terminal this one should work. If the original had 2 small terminals it won't work. On the graden tractor 2 small term solenoids you need to have 12 volts across the small terminals. 12v on one and ground on the other. Normally the 12v from the S terminal of the ign switch goes to 1 terminal and the other goes to the neutral and PTO safety switches etc and then to ground. You should be able to disconnect the small wires and use a test light and see if you have voltage on 1 of the wires when you turn the key to start, if you do reconnect it to the solenoid and connect a ground wire to the other and the solenoid should click in when you go to start. If so disconnect the jumper and connect the other terminal back up and go to the safety switches and jumper them and see if that works. Continue until you find the problem. Good luck, Al Eden

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Kent
Al: Thank you for explaining the process of heat production in the S-G. I feel better knowing they normally run “… too hot to hold your hand on for any significant period.” Again, when electrically disconnected, my S-G runs barely warm at all. Would you say that the S-G being so hot I can’t leave my hand on it for 5 sec. is normal? (I’m getting 13.5 v. at my new, charged battery, and I went over the connections again, based on your advice…). Can a TWO POLE regulator be original equipment for the “long frame” S-G, on a horizontal shaft engine? From one of your articles, I understood I should have a three pole reg., instead of the two-poler I have. Now, I agree with you that bad regulators should be replaced. But this one is making the correct voltage, has no corrosion/erosion on the contacts, and generally looks brand new (the resister underneath the Volatage/Current Pole has some whitish corrosion INSIDE the springy-thing, but has continuity througout). How can I check the amperage it is causing the S-G to put out, to make sure it is not running it too high? IF the heat is excessive, as I still feel it must be, can it be that I still have not polarized it correctly? If so, would I see 24+ volts anywhere, so I could confirm this? The highest readings I’ve gotten were the 17 volts. off of the A term., when grounding the F term, of the SG, as I discussed earlier. Where can I confirm, voltagewise, that the polarity is reversed? I understand this can cause overheating. The following quote is verbatim from the John Deere polarizing instructions: “To polarize the generator, simply make a short jumper wire to short between the battery (b or bat) and generator (g or gen) lugs on the cutout relay or voltage regulator. Only a split-second or a spark is required, so simply tap your jumper wire onto the lugs and pull them right back off.” Now, when I did this, since I can’t easily reach the “A” or gen. terminal underneath the regulator, as I said, I jumped it where the wire from this term. goes to the A term. of the SG. I attempted to polarize when all wires were connected. Is this correct? Could it have made any possible difference that I make the arc on top of the SG, and not at the terminal underneath the regulator? Also, I don’t think the overheating is being caused by the SG running “fully fielded,” like it does when grounding the F term. on the SG, for the following reasons: 1) I can see the upper contacts on the Current/Voltage reg. pole are vibrating and sparking slightly, all the time. I have also seen the cutout contacts spark, occasionally. 2) The engine needs carb work and, even at ¾ throttle, it “hunts the governor” unless I’m a) under a load, e.g., climbing a hill in 3rd gear, or b) I ground the F term. of the SG. In both of these cases the engine smooths right out, so I’m assuming this (grounding the F term. of the SG, i.e., running “fully fielded”) is a noticable load on the engine, like when the tractor is climbing a hill in 3rd gear. Well, when I’m getting my 13.5 v. at the battery, it is NOT running smoothly, like when under a load, e.g., with the SG fully fielded. Thank you, again, for holding my hand on the wiring connections. I had them right, but you removed all doubt. Since all three of the connector tabs on the SIDE of the reg. are labled clearly (“L,” “Batt” and “F”) the only confusion I had stemmed from the fact that the “A” or “Gen” term. of the regulator is not labeled, and is underneath the reg. All the rest are on the side, and because they are labled, by process of elimination, the A term. of the SG HAS to go to the unmarked term. under the reg., as it’s the only one left, because I can’t hook it to the only other unused one, which is clearly labeled “L”. I did have it hooked up this way, I just wasn’t sure it was right. As I mentioned, it’s charging, like 13-13.5 v. at the battery, and the same at the A terminal of the SG, when not grounding the F term of the SG. Thanks again. I really appreciate it--I'd hate to burn this unit up when it's in excellent shape and putting out 17 volts. Sincerely, Peter

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