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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
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

Yes. I agree. I ordered a new key switch and after that comes the relay fix if it doesn't change things. I can see why farmers would butcher the electrical systems on tractors just to keep them running, electrical gremlins are time killers.
 

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OK Jerry,

We all are trying to help you find the root cause -- that is why I asked "what is the green wire voltage when the red wire is disconnected" as that voltage will tell us more information on the performance and possible symptoms with your overall charging system.

As Gary posted, the battery boiling issue that early 322 and 332 tractors experience is due to excessive voltage drops in this sense wire circuit -- this is what the relay contact bypass addresses as shown in my recently posted wiring diagrams. We have seen posts by other owners in the past that this voltage drop condition causes the regulator to believe the battery voltage is still low and to keep pumping out current to charge it on the red wire. I have not seen any posts where the charging voltage is more than about 16 volts, and to get even that the green sense wire cannot be more than about the 15 volt limit stated in the theory of operation in the TM1591. Here is what the regulator is supposed to target:
The function of the charging circuit is to keep the
battery properly charged by supplying approximately
13.5—15.0 VDC to the battery while the engine is
operating.
And here is the part on how the sense wire interacts with this charging:
When battery voltage is low (voltage difference not
within specifications), the regulator/rectifier allows
current produced by the alternator to flow directly to
the battery through wire (A). When the battery is fully
charged, the regulator/rectifier stops current flow to
the battery.
With a sense voltage of more than 15 volts, you should be getting NO charge current out of the regulator. The measurements that I suggested you make previously are an attempt to find out what is fooling the regulator to misbehave. Hence wanting to see the actual DC voltage on the green sense wire under the following conditions...
  1. the engine running and the red wire disconnected
  2. the engine running and the red wire connected but the alternator wires unplugged
  3. the engine running with the alternator and the red wires all disconnected
  4. The wires all connected, but engine not running
  5. and finally, the wires all connected and the engine running
I believe we have the last one from one of your prior posts, but a full matrix of measurements will assist to understand if the issue is external to the regulator or not. Thanks for your patience in all of this.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #103 ·
Update.
I went out this morning and it's fixed.
I can't get it to produce 18+ Volts now.
I'm thinking the work I did on the key switch fixed it.
I dunno. Maybe the switch wasn't getting good ground until I removed it and put it back in.
Regulator ice cold after 5 minutes of running. Alternator warm from engine heat.

Chuck,
WOT readings.
1. Red wire connected: 14.06 - 14.09 on grn wire. Battery 14.36 - 14.45 , both steady.
2.Red wire disconnected: green wire at 12.04.
Battery at 12.36, drops slowly.
3.Red wire always reads what battery reads.
4.Engine running and the red wire connected but the alternator wires unplugged: Battery-12.41 , green wire- 12.06.
5. Engine running with the alternator and the red wires all disconnected: 12.07-Green wire, Battery 12.43
6.The wires all connected, but engine not running: Battery 12.70, Green wire- 0.0
7.The wires all connected and the engine running: see #1.
Jerry
 

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Jerry,

These are good and normal readings now...glad to hear it is working as it should. If you already have the key switch on order you can go ahead and replace the original at any time...it will increase reliability.

Thanks for hanging in there!!

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
Jerry,

These are good and normal readings now...glad to hear it is working as it should. If you already have the key switch on order you can go ahead and replace the original at any time...it will increase reliability.

Thanks for hanging in there!!

Chuck
Chuck,
Thank you for hanging in here. Yes, I ordered a new switch and I'm leaving the tractor opened up until it gets here next week to install.
I will NOW use my new Crimper and wire ends to clean up the connections. Fingers crossed it stays fixed. The last thing I did yesterday was the switch so I suspect it was that....I hope.
And Thank you to anyone else who helped me here, I gotta be honest, I was about ready to start cutting wires and put a battery tender to it...lol.
Here in a few days, I'll let this thread know how it goes with the pto clutch use....
Jerry.
 

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Congratulations Jerry. I as well as countless others have been following and keeping up with this post and others in the future will benefit from your attention to detail and professional troubleshooting, follow up and concise reporting of the key issues. One of my frustrations when looking for answers on forums is the lack of a conclusion to the issue. Nothing worse than reading page after page of back and forth and then the posts stop and there is no summary of whether the issue was fixed. I commend you for your follow up post this morning advising that the issue appears to be solved.

As this issue goes on for 5 pages, I'll start a list of key "lessons learned" that maybe you can go back to your first post and refer to this list so others in the future do not have to wade through 5 pages if they do not want to.

Key issues to address pre failure- others please feel free to edit and/or add items to this list.
Edited to include items from Chuck's post below.
1. Periodically keep an eye on battery charging voltage. Battery charge voltage should not be above about 15 volts continuously (as stated in TM1591).
2. Periodically check alternator and voltage regulator for excess temperature while engine is running and battery is charging. Inspect for any heat damage to alternator, regulator, wiring and connectors, as this indicates a long period of overcharging/excessive currents.
3. Periodically check the regulator to make sure it is firmly bolted to the metal frame for adequate ground connection. Add star washers to bolt and nut end to ensure the regulator mounting bolt is making a firm connection/bite into the metal. This provides a good ground connection and will prevent the connection from loosening due to vibration.
4. Make sure ignition terminals are clean and tight. If the ignition switch is old, consider replacing it and also consider installing the relay as suggested by Deere. Be careful replacing the ignition switch as there are more than one version so make sure you purchase the one designated for your tractor model.
5. Keep regulator cooling fins free of debris.
6. If regulator or alternator wiring or terminal ends look suspect, replace them with properly sized wire and proper weatherproof terminals. Use the proper crimping tool to ensure termination integrity.
 

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Mike,

Great start on the list! Here are a few refinements/additions...
For item 1 -- Battery charge voltage should not be above about 15 volts continuously (as stated in TM1591)​
For item 3 -- (Star washers) they are as much for ensuring a good bite into the metal parts to make a reliable ground as for any loosening.​
Add an item to inspect for any heat damage to alternator and regulator wiring, as this indicates a long period of overcharging/excessive currents. Maybe this can be a part of item 2...or be combined with item 6.​

Chuck
 

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Jerry, congrats in getting the 322 fixed. Like others I've been following along but decided not to hop in since Chuck was being very responsive and helpful as always.

I just have one suggestion as a final check, since this issue really showed itself with PTO usage, I would recommend using your new clamp meter, set on DC amps to see what the PTO current draw is. You will have to get around only one wire of the PTO but I would hope to see it in the 3.5 to 4 amp range. Just a suggestion and good job on perseverance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
Yes, Thank you all for following along. Chuck has always been a mentor when it comes to these tractor issues. I'm sure he felt like giving up on me a couple times but Electrical Schematics look like Chinese writing to me and I have a low understanding of reading them. I'm learning.
I will do as suggested and take pto clutch readings when I get everything back together and going.
This thread isn't dead yet, I will be updating it in a few days hopefully with good solid final news.
Our anniversary is Wednesday, Her birthday is Saturday, and I'm expecting our new Washer and dryer to show up delivered this week, and hoping the new switch comes soon,.. so.... bare with me...
Tractor on Guys...
Jerry
 

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Mike,

Great start on the list! Here are a few refinements/additions...
For item 1 -- Battery charge voltage should not be above about 15 volts continuously (as stated in TM1591)​
For item 3 -- (Star washers) they are as much for ensuring a good bite into the metal parts to make a reliable ground as for any loosening.​
Add an item to inspect for any heat damage to alternator and regulator wiring, as this indicates a long period of overcharging/excessive currents. Maybe this can be a part of item 2...or be combined with item 6.​

Chuck
Thanks Chuck. I edited my post to include your suggestions.
 

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WOW! I am glad you did not a) List it for sale B) burn it!. It takes perseverance to work through these issues since none of us are 'JD trained service people'. I do like your shaded work spot, good thinking!. Tom
 
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Discussion Starter · #116 · (Edited)
Ok... Spoke too soon.
It's doing it again still.
I tried a couple other ideas and it acts like it did at the beginning of all of this. This definitely isn't the pto clutch, it's not even connected. I've wiggled every wire and connection on the machine.
New Nuetral switch.
New Alternator.
2 New Regulators.
New Connections.
New Key Switch.
Battery is 1 year old and checks out well.

I'm Done.
I made a spot back in storage and it can rot there, I don't even want to see it again.
I'm done with it !
 

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I'm Done.
I made a spot back in storage and it can rot there, I don't even want to see it again.
I'm done with it !
I am sad to hear that, but I do know the feeling. It sounds like it is time for a different set of eye's to look at it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
I am sad to hear that, but I do know the feeling. It sounds like it is time for a different set of eye's to look at it.

Maybe in a couple weeks I'll look at it again and throw another $400 at it. I read where John Deere's new replacement VR has a built in heat sensor.
I just wish it would stay fixed or stay broken. Trying to work on it when it's 95° plus everyday isn't my cup of tea, I'm a cold weather person.
 

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Jerry,

Very sorry to hear that your intermittent voltage overcharge issue so stubbornly reappeared... How frustrating! The temperature compensated VR is an improvement over the original, but I would not expect it to solve the intermittent high voltage symptom that exists at cold start when all the parts are at ambient -- even when it is hot outside at 95 degrees. (It has been over 100 here most days in the last two weeks -- I don't like it either...)

I still think the issue must be a ground connection -- this is why I have asked for voltage readings relative to the battery negative terminal, the engine ground, and the tractor frame ground -- just to see if any differences exist in the three measurements when the 18 volts is present. I realize that things get hot when this condition exists, so don't stress things and don't do any of it until you have rested/recovered from the frustration of your present gremlins.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #120 ·
Chuck,
The voltage readings are the same whether I ground my meter to the frame or directly to the battery..... I've run jumper wires also trying to make it change. I've checked continuity between the new switch and grounding....I've ran jumper wire from the VR directly to the battery and/or frame.
As far as a relay fix, I see a relay with 4 wire pins on it. I'm not sure I even have the patience to wire that in.
I'm just fed up with it...
Jerry
 
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