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Hi folks! I have a 1946 B with the "long hood" (optional electric starter). The battery is only about a year old, but won't hold a charge for more than a day. I've heard that sometimes a part in the generator goes bad, causing it to drain the battery, and I'm wondering if this might be my issue. Can someone enlighten me? Secondly, it needs new battery cables quite badly. Could that be the issue, as well? What other things might be causing it?

Thanks!
 

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Try checking the amp draw, with the tractor off there should be no amp draw, if there is then you should be able to trace it down by un hooking things until it goes away.
If you don't have an amp meter you can use a test light between a battery cable and the battery post, no light = good, light = bad.
 

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-Willy-
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Connection is your first priority. Yes poor connection to the starter or to the ground will be worse than a bad battery.

You say the battery is only a year old. By that you mean you bought it a year ago? How long was that battery sitting on the shelf. Remember, 6 volt batteries do not sell on a regular basis. When whom ever put the acid to that battery is when that battery started growing old. If you have the receipt. Put a charge on the battery and take it to the place that sold you the battery. Have them do a load test. I have a suspicion it will fail quite quickly. You will get a new battery, the worst scenario they will try to discount one year of value (forgotten the term for this practice).

The common problem with a generator is going to be the regulator. The generator seldom goes bad except for bearings or brushes. The windings can go bad if the regulator is allowed to cook the generator. Yet the amp draw to do that will do two things. 1) a battery charged generator will keep the motor turning after you turn off the ignition. 2) Melt the wiring from the battery to the regulator (you would notice the melting as soon as you shut off the switch, it is that quick). Also if the regulator is mounted like the 420 crawlers in the dash, melt the wires from the regulator to the generator. I did have a problem with my crawler where the water probe wire rested onto the regulator and shorted the generator that way, so keep in mind, any metal contact, no matter how small will also drain a battery.

With the battery cables removed from the battery. Attach a battery charger to the cables. A sensing draw from the regulator would be less than a quarter amp and would barely twitch the needle. If the regulator is shorting out, the needle on the charger will easily snap over to 20 amps. A bad ignition switch will be about a 2 amp draw and usually keeps the points hot. There are not alot of items on a JD tractor that will pull much power.
 

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-Willy-
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I feel I should also post. Going to an alternator will not solve battery drain either. There was a note that I found when installing my 80 amp alternator. It read that the alternator has a 320 milliwatt draw to sensing. So dont toss your generator just because you think a alternator is better. The only thing a alternator affords is one wire hook up. But your generator is better in the long run. If your battery is dead. A bump start will get the generator running, where the alternator still needs 12 volt for it to do anything.



As you can see on my 60. Just one wire to hook it up. Also note that wire has a dip in it. That is for when you tension the belt. that you dont yank the wire out of the wiring harness.

Also, my wire runs the length of the tube for the fan drive. This is nice because if you ever have to service the gas tank or the hood, you will have to remove the wire to get the hood / tank removed.
 

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Did you find your problem?

The more common cause of battery drain is the regulator that is mounted on the generator. They have resistors and relays to prevent the generator from over charging the battery. Sometimes dirty contact points or stuck points can drain the battery. Regulators are cheaper to replace than generators.
 

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bill z said:
Did you find your problem?

The more common cause of battery drain is the regulator that is mounted on the generator. They have resistors and relays to prevent the generator from over charging the battery. Sometimes dirty contact points or stuck points can drain the battery. Regulators are cheaper to replace than generators.
Another common area for drainage is the starter. "Copper dust" can accumulate inside and actually let current cross over. A good cleaning usually solves this problem. I agree with the generator as the 1st to check.
 

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With six volts the wiring MUST be clean and sturdy. With only six volts you need all the help you can get. Them antique cables and wires need replacing and remember six volt requires twice the size of twelve volt. The bigger the better!
 
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