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318 battery chargin light on all the time

969 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  grant_baker
I have read several of the posts relating to the battery light being on. I just purchased a 1991 318 and the battery light is on all of the time. It does not seem to have any starting/charging problems. I also had the clicking starter, but I installed the relay kit and this seems to have fixed that problem. I also replaced the ignition switch as someone told me this was the problem. This is what I have measured so far. Voltage at the battery is 12.3V with and without the engine running. Voltage at the center contact on the voltage regulator is reading 17.7V with the lead disconnected at full idle. Is the voltage regulator bad? Thanks.
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Andy - Welcome to WFM! That's too many volts (17.7). But you need to check the stator to make sure it's not the root problem. The TDC contains a portion of the circuit that controls the battery light, so that may be involved in the problem.

I've posted numerous times here, on how to check the stator. Since you know how to search the site, go ahead and search for "stator" and read how to check the stator. Follow the procedure and post back. I would also suggest you see if you can borrow a second multi-meter and run the same checks with two meters, just to be sure the results you are getting are accurate. - Dave
Dave- Thanks for the response. This is what I checked today. My engine is a P218G spec C.

Stator output = 54.2 VAC
Neither stator lead was open to ground
Stator resistance = .10 ohms

I checked the voltage at the battery without the engine running and at the voltage regulator output. Both were 12.45V. I then check both places with the engine running at full throttle and this was 12.30V. I then removed the lead from the regulator output and at full throttle it measured 18.75V. I did not have access to another multimeter, so I did it with the one that I have. Everything seems to check out, except for the high voltage output. I have not had the battery load tested, but the previous owner said he did. I just replaced the ignition switch and 20A fuse. Thanks for your help. -Andy

I was able to borrow an old analog multi-meter yesterday. I measured the stator output with it, it was right around 55 VAC. I did not know how to measure continuity or resistance. I then measured battery voltage at the terminals and at the voltage regulator output. It was consistent with the other meter, about 12.5V. I then measured the voltage at the voltage regulator with the lead disconnected. It only showed about 8V. I think the voltage regulator is the culprit, what are your thoughts? Thanks.
Andy - To check continuity is the same as checking ohms. All your numbers look good, except the voltage regulator output voltage. The battery light comes on at 12.3 volts and goes off at 12.7 volts. Looks like a new voltage regulator is in order. - Dave

Thanks for the input. I ordered the regulator and I will let you know what happens after I get it installed. Thanks again. -Andy
Dave- I got the voltage regulator installed tonight and the problem is fixed. Thanks for all of your help. -Andy
Andy - Don't blame me (lol), you did all the work. Great feeling isn't it? Enjoy the 4th. - Dave
I have narrowed lots of choice to the LX series and have opportunity to select between several LX277s - ranging in hours from 300-450, or a LX280 machine with around 100 hours. The 277s are all out of state found on Machine Finder.

Also, regarding the AWS, I've read on some posts that these are expensive to repair when they wear out. Is it better to pursue a standard LX model especially with some of these from the early 2002 model year? I welcome your advice. Thanks.
I upgrade to an LX277 this year after running my LX178 for 15 years. They are a nice tractor. If you get the LX277, I would suggest getting the 48C deck as I did. Plenty of power, never works the engine mowing at high speeds.
For the AWS do you have lots of tight circles/trees/bushes to mow around? If you don't I wouldn't buy an AWS. If you do have tight places the AWS is the best. Roger
Roger, thanks for your insight. I decided to purchase the LX 280 with only 145 hours on it. Admittedly, I'm new to this site and JD tractors - though I am excited to soon be a Deere owner. What advice would you give me on what I should look over or review before trying it out. I want to look online for a manual for starters.

Drive the tractor and see if you like the feel of the tractor before you buy. You may not like it and then suffer from severe buyers remorse. You are not likely to find a free manual on line as JD copy rights their items and uses lawyers to enforce that they are not given away by others. Good luck with your purchase. Roger
I have had my LX277 since new with a 42c deck an 42 blower,I have virtually had NO trouble with it.I have had to replace the coils and battery,is all.I'm very happy with it.
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