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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Update,
I cleaned and polished the ground strap areas and connections. I cleaned and polished the bolt holes where the regulator mounts. I cleaned the connection from regulator to the starter cable. The fusible link wire is good. I wiggled every connection on the tractor. I used star washers like suggested. I did not go buy heat sink stuff. I mounted the regulator in its proper place. With engine off the battery reads a healthy 13.6 volts.
I started the engine. At wot its showing 18+volts in the battery.
The regulator didn't get hot. The Alternator still gets hot but.....maybe it always did? I dunno. I spit on it and it didn't sizzle.
For some reason something isn't telling the voltage regulator to stop charging the battery.
 

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A single star washer between the regulator housing and the tractor frame will do a great job of grounding.
I would not put a star washer between the housing and the frame. On either side of the bolt/nut, yes. I think the regulator would be happier with a flat metal frame base. Tom
 
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Jerry,

18 volts is way to high...we need to find out why this is occurring. What is the voltage measured on the green wire relative to the battery ground? Is it the same voltage at the green wire relative to the case of the regulator? If these two measurements differ very much it would indicate a poor ground somewhere, but if the green wire voltage itself (the "sense voltage") is not reflecting the battery voltage accurately then this is the classic battery boiling scenario. If at the same time your battery charge voltage is showing 18 V at the battery, the green wire voltage is measuring something else (and much lower) -- then we have the kind of voltage drop issue that the battery charge relay addresses.

With the regulator putting out current at an 18 volt charging voltage the alternator is working pretty hard and it would not be surprising for it to heat up.

One more thing, the back side of the voltage regulator assembly is "as cast" epoxy with a noticeable meniscus at the housing edge showing it is a bit below the metal housing frame -- this means it is not intended to transfer much heat to another flat surface like the frame rail.

Hood Water Liquid Wood Gas


If it was meant to have a heat sink on this surface, it would be machined flat. Good mechanical contact is essential to conducted heat transfer.

Chuck
 

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Jerry, hang in there, you'll get it.
Lots of posts regarding that 322 of yours on this site over the years. I remember you referring to it as a "hoss".
Post #70: Sentimental value?
I still have a 1980 JD 111. My 1st rider ever. Retired it from lawn mowing duties just a year ago.
Still use it as a tow vehicle - lawn sweeper, 10P cart. Could use it for mowing if needed. It 'ain't' for sale.
 

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Bo,

The little JD 111 is a good rider...I had a 108 that was delightful. It did not have the sentimental value of a first tractor for me so it passed through the herd.

Wheel Tire Riding mower Lawn mower Automotive tire


Jerry is going to get this issue resolved -- he is now equipped with some fine instruments and getting forum guidance to zero in on this. It all falls under the description of "overcharging" and "high currents" by the initial symptoms of the melted components and wire damage, but focusing in on the remaining issues is what is left to do. Finding the source of the difference of the voltage at the sense wire compared to the battery terminal voltage is the next step and may be the final one.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 · (Edited)
Chuck,
12.78 dc volts in battery after sitting a couple hours.
Running:
18.06 dc volts steady at battery post WOT
17.34 dc volts at green wire pin-regulator WOT



My regulator is similar to what you show, it has the black stuff on the back covering the electronics inside. The black stuff is what melts when it gets hot. This latest new one I have not let it get hot enough to melt.

One more thing I noticed when cleaning connections, the black ground wire with the round hole connector on the end has continuity to the green and/or brown wires that go onto the regulator. Is that supposed to happen?
Jerry
 

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Jerry,

There is almost three quarters a volt of difference (voltage drop) from the green wire at the regulator versus the battery terminal voltage. Using the below diagram, measure the sense voltage relative to engine ground of the green wire terminal at the regulator, both sides of the fuse, and both sides of the key switch. You can even measure the fusible link to see it is not contributing a voltage drop component. Notice the change of wire colors to get the correct terminals of the switch, etc. We presume the 18.06 volts at the battery post matches the voltage at the red wire (the B terminal of the starter solenoid...) as I would not expect to see any drop across the heavy red cable from the battery itself.
Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Pattern


Once we know where the majority of the voltage drop(s) are located, we can try cleaning contacts, etc. The relay solution is shown in this modified wiring diagram listing the changes and cut wires needed to add that relay. You can see where the relay contacts 'bypass' all the parts that might have voltage drops which could cause a sense voltage different enough from the actual battery voltage to cause an overcharge condition.
Schematic Rectangle Slope Font Parallel

EDITED 8-14-2022 -- THE ABOVE DRAWING HAS INCORRECT RELAY TERMINAL NUMBERS, PLEASE USE THIS ONE:
Rectangle Slope Font Schematic Parallel

How much DC current is flowing into the battery over the #950 red wire at this 18 volt charging condition?

Chuck
 

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Jerry,

Yes you might see a low resistance from the brown wire to ground since you are essentially measuring the resistance of the filament of the battery dash lamp. Similarly, the harness network that the green wire connects to includes all the destinations of the 10 amp fuse, none of which are shown in this wiring excerpt above. The fuel pump would probably have a fairly low resistance...

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Fuse link checks out well. Has strong continuity with engine off. Transfers 12.89 volts exactly what the battery is showing with engine off.
Fuse link measures same as battery with engine running, start out normal and climbs to 18+dc volts. I'm measuring the connection where it just enters the wire harness.


Battery climbs to 18.09 dc volts, levels out before I shut it off.

Main battery cable from starter to battery has current of 14.05 dc amps wot.

Red #950 wire is 17.75 to 18.02 dc amps. wot

I'll check the switch in a bit.
 

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Update,
I cleaned and polished the ground strap areas and connections. I cleaned and polished the bolt holes where the regulator mounts. I cleaned the connection from regulator to the starter cable. The fusible link wire is good. I wiggled every connection on the tractor. I used star washers like suggested. I did not go buy heat sink stuff. I mounted the regulator in its proper place. With engine off the battery reads a healthy 13.6 volts.
I started the engine. At wot its showing 18+volts in the battery.
The regulator didn't get hot. The Alternator still gets hot but.....maybe it always did? I dunno. I spit on it and it didn't sizzle.
For some reason something isn't telling the voltage regulator to stop charging the battery.
Well..."The regulator didn't get hot"...we're getting somewhere, mounting it cured it's overheating problem.
Did you try your old regulator (mounted of course) & measure voltage at battery?
It could be excessive heat damaged the new regulator.

Sent from my SM-S205DL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
Well..."The regulator didn't get hot"...we're getting somewhere, mounting it cured it's overheating problem.
Did you try your old regulator (mounted of course) & measure voltage at battery?
It could be excessive heat damaged the new regulator.

Sent from my SM-S205DL using Tapatalk
Nope sticking with the new parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 · (Edited)
Chuck, I removed the switch and cleaned the contacts well, shiny. I put dielectric grease on the terminals.
All voltages at switch is same as measured elsewhere.
No change.
Jerry
 

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Jerry,

What exact voltages did you get when you measured the battery voltage into the key switch on the #200 red wire, the junction of the fuse and the key switch (wire #250, yellow/red) and at the other side of the fuse at the #500 yellow wire? Please list the voltages if you can so we can see where the 3/4 volt drop documented in your post #87 above originates. It is the moving contacts inside the switch that can be the source of the voltage drop when a decades old switch has corroded contacts inside. This is why I requested an accurate voltage measurement on either side of the switch -- if any measurable drop is across the switch, the fuse, the harness wiring, etc. then the addition of the relay may be of value.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Chuck,
Tomorrow I'll redo it but I'm saying, everywhere I probed on the switch replicated the same voltage to the battery. By the time I start the engine and stick the probe where I want to test, it's already at 16+ volts and I can watch the meter as it climbs to 18+ volts. No matter where I'm testing it does that. When it levels off above 18volts I can probe anywhere there is positive power and its above 18 volts.
Even the neutral switch wire measures 18+ volts. As soon as I get the 18+ volts it levels off and I try not to run it much longer for fear of burning it up. Another few hours on this thing and I may just let it.
I'll just disconnect the alternator and stick a car battery in it, then just charge it after a couple hours of use....lol
Jerry.
 

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Jerry,

OK, I can relate to not wanting to run the tractor at 18 volts for any period of time... One useful thing is to know if the green wire at the regulator is still much lower than the battery voltage -- in your post #87 you listed it as 17.34 volts. A regulator with that voltage on the Sense input should not be causing ANY current to go to the battery as a charge current. Something really out of the ordinary here... I am sure it will all make sense when we unravel it, just have to know more about what is going on.

If you disconnect the red wire from the regulator, what voltage do you measure at the battery, and what voltage do you measure at the green wire? Nothing should be getting hot under those conditions...but if you want to be really cautious you can unplug the alternator as well.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
Chuck,
Disconnecting the Red wire from the regulator and leaving all other wires connected makes it behave like it doesn't have a charging system. Nothing gets hot or even warm (except from the engine heat itself) and nothing charges. The battery starts out at whatever voltage it is charged to and will very slowly lose voltage because the engine uses it.
I don't remember if I checked the green wire while doing that...
The red wire that goes to the starter is what connects everything to heat and over charge.
Jerry
 

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Nope sticking with the new parts.
If the new regulator got excessively hot it certainly could have damaged it causing the high overcharge voltage.
If after checking various things you still have 18 volts to battery I would suspect the regulator. Mounting it properly did cure the overheating problem.

Sent from my SM-S205DL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
If the new regulator got excessively hot it certainly could have damaged it causing the high overcharge voltage.
If after checking various things you still have 18 volts to battery I would suspect the regulator. Mounting it properly did cure the overheating problem.

Sent from my SM-S205DL using Tapatalk

The original regulator burnt the connection plug to crispy melted plastic. That's what started all this. I replaced it with a new regulator. Thinking it was fixed I ran it around for a mile or so. That regulator got hot and the back of it melted a little bit. (the stuff that covers all the internals)
I NOW have another new regulator AND new Alternator installed. I have not allowed the new parts to get hot. They are still fine. I run a test and shut it off before it gets hot.
BTW, my replacement regulators are $22 Amazon parts that have great reviews by other 322 owners so I don't believe it's the parts.
 

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I didn't read all 100 replies.
This service bulletin covers what I believe has already been discussed. If all those tests are OK, the new regulator is about all it could be that I can think of.
I found this by Google "John Deere 322 boiling battery"...

Green Tractor Talk › ...PDF

322 battery boiling - service bulletin from Deere.pdf - Green Tractor Talk
 
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