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Alternator Question

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jcmorgan31
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:39 am    Post subject: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Having issues with my TO20 charging the battery. I currently have a 3 wire alternator on it. I've had to jump it every time recently to start it. Once it starts, I can remove the jumper cables and it runs fine. Once I shut it off, it is dead again. Can an alternator provide the juice for the tractor to run off of and not charge the battery at the same time?

Is it more likely that I have a wire crossed or that something is wrong with the alternator?
 
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RICH NY
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I remember back in the 60's when alternators started to become standard, you could disconnect the battery with the engine running and it would run on the alternator. This was not the case with a generator on the car. A decided advantage for the alternator movement.
 
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JMOR
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

RICH NY wrote:
(quoted from post at 11:01:17 08/23/13) I remember back in the 60's when alternators started to become standard, you could disconnect the battery with the engine running and it would run on the alternator. This was not the case with a generator on the car. A decided advantage for the alternator movement.
I believe you have that bass ackwards.
 
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Bruce(OR)
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The story goes that the generator
"Generates" electricity. Thusly you can safely remove the cables from the battery.
The "Alternator" produces alternating voltage with the diode trio to donvert it to DC voltage. When you disconnect the battery, the alternator goes into "Full field" mode. It tends to generate maximum voltage and amperage due to no reference voltage.
This means you can get 27 volts and about 200 amps out of an alternator gone wild.
Yes, there us a very good chance you can disconnect the alt and it will continue to run.
I did it on my "82 car quite a few years ago.
It only cost me $207 for a new ignition module. I watched jiffy jube do it to a custom,ers car a few weeks ago. It survived the ordeal. At what cost? How many little computer boards got the zap of the shortened life?
You can do as you desire. Me? I got my $207 education before I found out what happened.
 
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jcmorgan31
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Bruce(OR) wrote:
(quoted from post at 09:59:43 08/23/13) The story goes that the generator
"Generates" electricity. Thusly you can safely remove the cables from the battery.
The "Alternator" produces alternating voltage with the diode trio to donvert it to DC voltage. When you disconnect the battery, the alternator goes into "Full field" mode. It tends to generate maximum voltage and amperage due to no reference voltage.
This means you can get 27 volts and about 200 amps out of an alternator gone wild.
Yes, there us a very good chance you can disconnect the alt and it will continue to run.
I did it on my "82 car quite a few years ago.
It only cost me $207 for a new ignition module. I watched jiffy jube do it to a custom,ers car a few weeks ago. It survived the ordeal. At what cost? How many little computer boards got the zap of the shortened life?
You can do as you desire. Me? I got my $207 education before I found out what happened.


I'm not trying to do anything except figure out if my alternator is going bad or if I have my wiring screwed up. I don't understand how my tractor will run and not charge the battery at the same time. That was my question, not if I can unhook something and operate the tractor.

If anyone has a wiring diagram for a TO-20 with a 3 wire alternator, I would appreciate seeing it.
 
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rvirgil_KS
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

go to fergusontractors dot org, click on resources then wiring diagrams. Use diagram listed as 2 wire alternator (it is 3 wire diagram)

Assuming you have a Delco alternator. With switch off you should have battery voltage at large output stud on rear of alternator and at #2 pin on the plug. Zero volts at #1 pin.

With Switch on, not running, you should still have battery voltage at stud and #2, but should now see some voltage at pin 1. (I've seen it start charging with only 4 volts on pin 1.)

If voltages missing troubleshoot for broken wires or bad connections. If voltages are present your alternator is probably due for exchange.

Also check that your fan belt is not loose.
 
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Jason S.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:03 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Here is a diagram for a Delco 2 wire on a Ferguson. Most people use a 10Si alternator when they convert them. As far as your problem, is it possible for the tractor to run and not charge the battery? Absolutely...it doesn"t take many amps or volts to fire a points distributor. That"s the only draw on the alternator while it"s running unless you have the lights on.

http://fergusontractors.org/fena/wp-content/uploads/Delco-2-wire-Alternator.pdf
 
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jcmorgan31
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Jason S. wrote:
(quoted from post at 11:03:02 08/23/13) Here is a diagram for a Delco 2 wire on a Ferguson. Most people use a 10Si alternator when they convert them. As far as your problem, is it possible for the tractor to run and not charge the battery? Absolutely...it doesn"t take many amps or volts to fire a points distributor. That"s the only draw on the alternator while it"s running unless you have the lights on.

http://fergusontractors.org/fena/wp-content/uploads/Delco-2-wire-Alternator.pdf


Thanks to all for the info. I just got back from O'reillys and the old alternator wouldn't run in the tester for 5 seconds before shutting off the machine and issuing a "fail". Bought a new one.

I'll put this one one and see what happens...
 
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jcmorgan31
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My tractor also has no "idiot" light nor does it have any kind of diode between the #1 terminal of the alternator and the key switch. Is this why it doesn't turn off when I turn the key off?
 
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Jason S.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

So why the pics of the Dearborn 14-15 top link bracket? Are you trying to put one on your Ferguson?
 
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jcmorgan31
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Jason S. wrote:
(quoted from post at 12:28:17 08/23/13) So why the pics of the Dearborn 14-15 top link bracket? Are you trying to put one on your Ferguson?


That was my plan. Will it not fit?
 
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JDemaris
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The general answer is "yes" but I have no idea how
you've got everything wired.

#1 - what do you have for an "ignition" switch?
If when turned "on" it connects your battery-
positive to your coil - it will run regardless of
what the alternator is doing.

Considering that once "off" and you try to restart
- and you've got no spark - it sounds obvious that
there is no 12 volts-positive wired to your coil
from your ignition switch. It DOES sound like
you've got a connection between your alternator
and your ignition. Since you've got it hooked up
"two wire" I assume and not "three wire", the
field-exciter circuit on the alternator is
probably backfeeding to your ignition circuit when
charging and keeping it running. Just a guess
since I have no idea how you've got it wired. The
exciter wire goes to the plug-in connection post
#1.

By the way - there's a subtle difference between
"two wire" and "three wire." Two-wire is when
you loop the small voltage-sensing wire (#2 at the
plug-in connectors) back to the big post on the
alternator. Three-wire is when you run that
voltage sensing wire all the way to the battery.
It serves no purpose on a tractor since the
battery is often close. It IS used on autos
because the voltage at the battery tends to be
slightly different then at the alternator output
post.
 
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Jason S.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Yes...as long as you have that top link bracket and the lift arm extensions it will fit fine. I have one I use on my TO-20.
 
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JDemaris
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What we're calling an alternator here is just a certain type of generator. In the UK they are all just "dynamos."

The old "generators" on tractors made AC just like the modern day "alternators." The difference is - the old "generators" use brush placement to select just a fraction of the electrical pulses made and send it through the brushes as DC current. Much of the power generator is wasted. Thus the reason why they are big for the low output the make.

A modern day "alternator" type of generator uses all the AC it makes and sends it through full-wave rectifiers so it's all converted into DC. Also the brushes do not carry any of the output power.

The old cars that did not run when the battery got unhooked did so because of the way the mechanical regulators were wired up. It had nothing to do with the old brushed generator itself. The old brushed generators were better able to make DC power all on their own due to residual magnetism. The newer tech "alternators" mostly rely on 12 volts of "exciter" current fed to them to create enough field magnetism to charge. That being said - alternators also have a bit of residual magnetism and some can self-start just like the old generators if spun fast enough.
 
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jcmorgan31
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Alternator Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Jason S. wrote:
(quoted from post at 13:53:48 08/23/13) Yes...as long as you have that top link bracket and the lift arm extensions it will fit fine. I have one I use on my TO-20.


Well, my father mowed with the 14-15 on his TO20 for years without the top link bracket, the extensions or the correct under axle bracket. My father passed away this fall and I inherited all his equipment. I cut the field with it back in June and it was a pain so I started reading and learned about all the missing brackets. So far I've found the correct under axle bracket with the ball socket and the top link bracket. No luck on the extensions yet, but I'm still lookin.
 
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