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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I run my headlights (18w LEDs) and run an LED flashing light (16w+/-) when snow blowing. Total amp draw for the lights is probably around 5 amps. After 5-6 hours of run time with the lights on the tractor will have a hard time starting due to the battery being weak. The battery is not that old and works fine when I do not run the lights for extended periods. Is my charging system unusually weak, or this the draw just too much?
 

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Put a meter on the system. Check first your ACTUAL draw with the lights on, then check generator output amps with both the lights on and off. Also check charging system voltage under load and without any extra draw [except the engine ignition.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Put a meter on the system. Check first your ACTUAL draw with the lights on, then check generator output amps with both the lights on and off. Also check charging system voltage under load and without any extra draw [except the engine ignition.]
Any idea what the output should be or what it is rated to be?
 

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Put a meter on the system. Check first your ACTUAL draw with the lights on, then check generator output amps with both the lights on and off. Also check charging system voltage under load and without any extra draw [except the engine ignition.]
That up there ^^^ is good advice. There may or may not be an issue with the alternator or regulator and you need to rule it out.

Also, even if the battery is 'not that old' you need check it as well to rule it out as a problem. Batteries loose efficiency with age.

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Where did you get your wattage numbers? The numbers you state seem really high for the situation as described.
LED and florescent lamps are often characterized by their incandescent equivalents. (e.g. "Same as a 40watt bulb") You should look up the specs for your lights to verify their actual wattage.


But lets assume your numbers are accurate.

Mathematically speaking, using the stated wattage's (54 Watts total) the amperage draw for these lights is approximately 4.22 amps assuming a 12.8 volt system.

reference:https://ohmslawcalculator.com/ohms-law-calculator

I am running more than twice the wattage of lights that you are and have not had issues.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That up there ^^^ is good advice. There may or may not be an issue with the alternator or regulator and you need to rule it out.

Also, even if the battery is 'not that old' you need check it as well to rule it out as a problem. Batteries loose efficiency with age.

====


Where did you get your wattage numbers? The numbers you state seem really high for the situation as described.
LED and florescent lamps are often characterized by their incandescent equivalents. (e.g. "Same as a 40watt bulb") You should look up the specs for your lights to verify their actual wattage.


But lets assume your numbers are accurate.

Mathematically speaking, using the stated wattage's (54 Watts total) the amperage draw for these lights is approximately 4.22 amps assuming a 12.8 volt system.

reference:https://ohmslawcalculator.com/ohms-law-calculator

I am running more than twice the wattage of lights that you are and have not had issues.
I am using the wattage based on what was advertised for the LED lights. My lights are not simply LED lamps as replacements for incandescent lamps, but are 6 LED units:

Hood Motor vehicle Wood Vehicle Automotive lighting


The flasher has 30+ LEDs at .5w ea.

Thanks, I get ohm's law and my "around 5 watts" was based on 12v and trying to account for any resistance loss in wires and connections.
 

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A DECENT clampmeter is invaluable for troubleshooting electrical systems on equipment. It will tell you voltage, [with the leads] at the POINT of connection, amperage flowing through a wire, and just as important with charging circuits, the DIRECTION of the current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A DECENT clampmeter is invaluable for troubleshooting electrical systems on equipment. It will tell you voltage, [with the leads] at the POINT of connection, amperage flowing through a wire, and just as important with charging circuits, the DIRECTION of the current.
That's one tool I do not own, but just ordered one. While this is no Fluke, I hope it functions as "decent", the reviews are good:

 

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Hope it works for you! Do check one thing though. Find out it's operating temp specs as a lot of these chicom meters don't work dependably in the cold, where most problems need to be traced. GRRR. Also, while you are in the ordering mood, score yourself a pair of SILICONE leads with SCREW ON clips. Not expensive and WILL save you a lot of aggravation when testing a circuit. Ask me how I know. @#$%%]
 

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So I’d like to put in my 1 cents worth. But I don’t know much about Watts, ohms, amps and that sort of thing.
Any way. Is this a stator alternator or generator/starter set up on this engine. ?

Noel
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I’d like to put in my 1 cents worth. But I don’t know much about Watts, ohms, amps and that sort of thing.
Any way. Is this a stator alternator or generator/starter set up on this engine. ?

Noel
As a later model Ingersoll 224 it is a stator alternator. I have not dug around on it to find the rectifier/regulator. Where is that located?
 

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As a later model Ingersoll 224 it is a stator alternator. I have not dug around on it to find the rectifier/regulator. Where is that located?
I have a 224-78. The regulator is mounted to the inside of the panel below the steering wheel. Some guy's have had grounding issues with the OEM setup and add a ground wire from the regulator to battery negative.

Cheers,
Gordy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a 224-78. The regulator is mounted to the inside of the panel below the steering wheel. Some guy's have had grounding issues with the OEM setup and add a ground wire from the regulator to battery negative.

Cheers,
Gordy
Thanks Gordy. I will get into this this weekend and test it as is and see if cleaning and grounding yeilds any benefit. (y)
 

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The regulator could be on the engine too. Just above the starter. First thing I would do is check stator voltage. Find the two wires from the stator and disconnect them from the regulator. Hook up your meter leads to the two wires. Set your meter at AC voltage. Start engine. Warm up a little, then turn up to full throttle. Voltage should be around the 28 to 32 AC volts. If not stator is bad. I have never seen a bad one yet.

Noel
 

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So, you haven't checked the number one thing you should: voltage at the battery when the tractor is running. A good charging system should be able to put around 14V DC on the battery, no matter what. If the meter doesn't show a steady voltage around 14V DC you have a problem with the charging system. If the voltage is steady and around 14V DC, the battery is the problem.

If the total load from the consumers (lights, battery) is too high for the charging system, the voltage seen at the battery terminals while the tractor is running will be much lower than 14V DC. Anything that looks like 12.x V DC is telling you there's a problem. You can then eliminate the lights and see if the charging voltage is fine; if so, the new lights are you problem.

You can do a lot of troubleshooting without an clamp amp meter.

However, most multimeter have a 10A measuring function too. Just pull the lights out of the circuit and put the multimeter in series (between the lights and cable that comes from L at the switch) and measure the draw of the lights. That if you were really curious about the amp draw of the lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to all. As it turns out, the problem was the battery. 11.8v and flunked the battery tester too. Ticks me off given the battery manufacture date was summer of 2020. Sadly lawn and garden batteries seem to be crap.

Regulator/rectifier was behind dash inspection plate and does have a ground wire to the battery.

The stator tested good at 38 volts.

In went the battery from the zero turn. No need to buy a new battery until mowing season starts.(y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wallcrap battery? How did the rest of the charging system test? A low charging rate will hurt even a new battery with time.
It was a Brite Start from Fleet Farm.

I need to throw a meter on and see especially now that all connections are clean and bright.

Front lights were only pulling 1.8 amps, so those should not be an issue.
 

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It was a Brite Start from Fleet Farm.

I need to throw a meter on and see especially now that all connections are clean and bright.

Front lights were only pulling 1.8 amps, so those should not be an issue.
Maybe a good charge cooking off some of the lead sulfate on the plates will bring it back to service. Do you know what the CCA of the battery is?

Keep the Peace
Harry
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Maybe a good charge cooking off some of the lead sulfate on the plates will bring it back to service. Do you know what the CCA of the battery is?

Keep the Peace
Harry
CCA is 300. Funny thing, the 2017 battery from the zero turn is only 230 CCA. I bought the 230 based on it being on sale and the 300 thinking it was "better".

I have a 35Ahr deep cell AGM that is getting a little tired, but still tests as good. It's the same size so may give it a whirl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wallcrap battery? How did the rest of the charging system test? A low charging rate will hurt even a new battery with time.
I just went out and checked, battery installed, not running 13+ volts. Tractor running (cold) voltage was 17.6+, steady, and held the same voltage regardless of lights on or off.

Is 17.6 too high? Bad regulator/rectifier? Granted, should test when system is warm.
 
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