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1951 JD B, 1967 JD 110-Rf, 1969 JD 110-Sf custom, 1972 JD 110-Sf
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As most of you know I have a 1951 B. It sits more than it's used. When it goes out of the shed it runs for about 15 minutes for a hayride, or goes 200 ft towards the road for a lawn display. I'm hoping to change that this fall or late spring. I bought a field cultivator and on the hunt for a plow and I'll be giving the atv a break from farm and plot work. I just want to make sure I have the B up to par before I start working her.

I have a shop manual and operators manual that has helped me so far but I'm still lost a little bit and need some expert help.

As mentioned before it's a 1951 b with 6 volt pos ground. The seller told me he kept draining the battery and he put a new regulator on it and it fixed the problem. There's no sticker or engraved date on the battery.

Green Motor vehicle Automotive tire Grass Automotive exterior


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Wood Gas Electrical wiring


Hood Wood Motor vehicle Cooking Gas


Motor vehicle Green Automotive tire Bumper Mode of transport


When I park the tractor by the road I usually pull the neg cable off. It doesn't stay tight when I clamp it back on and need to wiggle it to get the tractor to fire up. The other night I think I drained the battery by trying to fire it up with no gas. I jumped it and ran it about 10 minutes. After that every other night when I went to fire up the tractor to test a field cultivator it was deader than dead, but would pop right off when the charger was on it and the amp gauge was reading charge. The terminals and clamps were dirty I cleaned them up, ran new bolts through and charged the battery on the 6 volt setting of an ih tractor charger. Now 4 different times the last 2 days everything seems to be working and fires right up. I took a test light to see if I had any shorts and didn't find anything just be safe.

Checking stuff with the meter and just eye balling things I got a bit confused......you guys can laugh.

The only gauge that works is the amp gauge. I plan on cleaning them up or replacing them.

Gas Circle Measuring instrument Wood Gauge

With the tractor off and no lights it's between charge and discharge.

Green Circle Gas Measuring instrument Metal

With the tractor off and the lights on it moves all the way left to discharge. If you flick it on and off then it just stays slight left on dischage.

Green Revolver Gas Wood Machine

Tractor running with slight throttle and lights on.

Gas Drink Measuring instrument Circle Tin

Tractor running with almost full throttle with lights on.


Does that all seem normal? I'm assuming more throttle the more amps. I see the new gauges don't have a charge or discharge on the gauge just 20 10 0 10 20.

What really confuses me is when I get an battery reading. Granted I'm pretty new at electronical so might not have the meter right or thinking correctly. I was able to get the lights working on here and fix my son's razor dirt bike with some basic knowledge but again anyone is entitled to laugh at me.

Hood Light Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting


Here's the reading with the tractor off and not running. I took a couple a couple of different readings figuring they could be different on the position. These were on the clamps so I could take the picture. The next one was on the terminals and read 12.5. This really confuses being a 6 volt battery.

With slight throttle the battery was reading 15.8! So that confuses me even more of why it didn't blow up.

I've been on Google the last hour and was on a cub site reading a post of a gentleman with a simular issue. He ended up having a bad regulator.

On a different note when changing the gauges the " dash" can just be removed and the whole hood and steering doesn't need to be taken appart right?

Terrestrial plant Electric blue Pattern Magenta Wire


Thank you for all the help and pointers.
 

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Edit - check out my later post

FRF, thanks for the detailed info and pictures. You are correct. A 6V battery should not charge at 13 Volts.

When you take off the negative battery cable with the tractor and all lights turned off, do you get a spark? If so, that would indicate current is still flowing out of the battery slowly discharging it.

With the tractor shut off for an hour or more until it is completely cool, trace the wires and feel all electrical components. If something is warm, it is likely pulling current from the battery.

There are ways to isolate short circuits and battery draining but in the meantime, auto parts stores and on line sources carry a quick disconnect that you connect to the battery and battery cable and by twisting a knob, you can quickly disconnect the battery from the electrical system without unbolting a battery cable. That should stop the discharging until you find the root cause.
 

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Heads up. - I looked closer at your photo. You have your multimeter on the Volts AC scale and not the Volts DC scale. The ~ symbol indicates Alternating Current like in your house circuits. Move the selector over to the left hand side Volts scale.
 

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I had to Google the model no of the silver box on your generator to see what it was.

It is a cut off box to disconnect the battery from the generator. Here is the website description:
"This is generator cut out only and not a generator regulator. As cut outs they serve only to disconnect the battery from the generator when the generator is stopped or at low RPM. They do not regulate either voltage or current."
I assume if this box is working correctly and wired correctly, your battery should not be discharging back to the generator when the engine is off.

Check out the specs on your generator to make sure it is the correct one for your tractor. Also look for the inputs and outputs of the voltage regulator and measure the voltage going in and out if possible.
I have worked on 6V systems before but have not worked on a John Deere B but if the generator and voltage regulator are working properly, I don't think there should be an AC, (Alternating Current) component at your 6 V battery terminals.

Let us know what the DC battery voltage is after the engine has been stopped a while (or overnight) and then start the tractor and measure the DC voltage of the battery again. If it is the same voltage or less, I'd say your battery is not charging.
 

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1951 JD B, 1967 JD 110-Rf, 1969 JD 110-Sf custom, 1972 JD 110-Sf
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854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heads up. - I looked closer at your photo. You have your multimeter on the Volts AC scale and not the Volts DC scale. The ~ symbol indicates Alternating Current like in your house circuits. Move the selector over to the left hand side Volts scale.
Mike,

Thanks for the fast and informative reply. I try to do my own research 1st before going on a fourm. I have to laugh at some people asking for help with little to no info or pictures.

At work I'm known as the Youtube mechanic. When the real mechanics duct tape or zip tie band aid breaks and other crews call him and sit around and wait. I either know how, or youtube research how to get it up and moving for the day or atleast limp it up on the trailer.

I admitted in the other post I might not have the meter set up right. Thanks for seeing that.

The only things I know about Ac, DC is. Back in Black, Hells Bells, and you shook me all night long.

My wife needed a couple of tools from the shop so I went out there and did some new readings.

Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Vehicle Audio equipment Steering wheel

Not running, everything off.

Green Electrical wiring Gas Engineering Motor vehicle

Running at iddle.

Twice with in the last half hour I checked the tractor. Hitting the starter button I got nothing but could hear sparks from the battery like a loose connection.

Both clamps were he maned tight, but I played with the the negative cable just wiggling it and it and it fired right up......
 

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Good work.
I’d say you have two things at play. From the photos, that positive cable looks to be corroded internally so maybe both cables need to be replaced or the connections at both ends of both cables are not as clean as you think. Even with tight connections, if the copper cable or the connectors are corroded, the cable won’t carry high current. Think of it like a plugged water pipe. Nothing can flow out.
Second. The lower voltage with engine running tells me the battery is most likely not being charged by the generator. Find your voltage regulator and check it.
 

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I too was wondering if that "regulator" is actually a "cutout" on your tractor. My Dad's '49 and our '50 B's had a regulator. I never learned anything about a cutout except they were less expensive to replace. I have never seen the amp gage register that far over, even with a battery so low it had to be jump started, on the B's I have run. You might consider buying a proper regulator and try to figure out the wiring. Hopefully it has not been modified to use the cutout, if that is what it is.
As to replacing the gages, I think you can just unbolt the back piece without removing the hood. I would suggest unhooking the oil pressure line at the crankcase first. The wires and temp gage feed will give a little, but you won't want to kink the oil line.
You might also consider charging the battery, and take it to be load tested to make sure it is good. Also replace the battery cable ends. The positive ground cable is easy to replace with a new one. It would be good to be sure it has a good clean non rusty connection to the tractor.
Here's some pics that might help.

Gage and wiring connections.
Motor vehicle Green Vehicle Hood Tire


Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Gas Headlamp


Liquid Green Fluid Water Plant



Delco style regulator. This is an aftermarket unit that has worked as it should for 10 years, so far.
Green Motor vehicle Hood Gas Bumper


tommyhawk
 

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1951 JD B, 1967 JD 110-Rf, 1969 JD 110-Sf custom, 1972 JD 110-Sf
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854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good work.
I’d say you have two things at play. From the photos, that positive cable looks to be corroded internally so maybe both cables need to be replaced or the connections at both ends of both cables are not as clean as you think. Even with tight connections, if the copper cable or the connectors are corroded, the cable won’t carry high current. Think of it like a plugged water pipe. Nothing can flow out.
Second. The lower voltage with engine running tells me the battery is most likely not being charged by the generator. Find your voltage regulator and check it.
Good work.
I’d say you have two things at play. From the photos, that positive cable looks to be corroded internally so maybe both cables need to be replaced or the connections at both ends of both cables are not as clean as you think. Even with tight connections, if the copper cable or the connectors are corroded, the cable won’t carry high current. Think of it like a plugged water pipe. Nothing can flow out.
Second. The lower voltage with engine running tells me the battery is most likely not being charged by the generator. Find your voltage regulator and check it.

I went back out to get a more clear picture of the terminals and clamps.
Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Cable Auto part


Atleast we're getting somewhere. I was wondering about starting with new clamps. The copper is a little corroded you can see but it's over spray spray paint too.

It fired right up this time.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Gadget Measuring instrument Audio equipment

At idle. 6.76
Automotive tire Gauge Audio equipment Gadget Motor vehicle

Mid throttle 6.83.

I'll check out the voltage regulator when time permits.

I did knotice it doesn't have the start up pop like it usually did. Usually 1 or 2 cranks full choke fires up, and once its warmed up no choke and 4 cranks.

Thank you for all the help it's pointing me somewhere.
 

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Yup. Tommyhawk, I agree. Great pics.

FRF, I see the voltage is going up. A bad connection may be your only problem. Seeing sparks at the battery is an indication of a bad cable connection. New cable ends or new cables if needed will solve that. Did you scrape the battery terminals and the inside of the terminals before you bolted them back on the battery? Or the corrosion could on the wire inside the battery cable clamp.

Think of a spark plug gap or a welding rod gap. A spark jumps across a gap but won’t jump if there is no gap. Your terminals have a “gap” at the battery.
 

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1951 JD B, 1967 JD 110-Rf, 1969 JD 110-Sf custom, 1972 JD 110-Sf
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I too was wondering if that "regulator" is actually a "cutout" on your tractor. My Dad's '49 and our '50 B's had a regulator. I never learned anything about a cutout except they were less expensive to replace. I have never seen the amp gage register that far over, even with a battery so low it had to be jump started, on the B's I have run. You might consider buying a proper regulator and try to figure out the wiring. Hopefully it has not been modified to use the cutout, if that is what it is.
As to replacing the gages, I think you can just unbolt the back piece without removing the hood. I would suggest unhooking the oil pressure line at the crankcase first. The wires and temp gage feed will give a little, but you won't want to kink the oil line.
You might also consider charging the battery, and take it to be load tested to make sure it is good. Also replace the battery cable ends. The positive ground cable is easy to replace with a new one. It would be good to be sure it has a good clean non rusty connection to the tractor.
Here's some pics that might help.

Gage and wiring connections.
View attachment 283649

View attachment 283650

View attachment 283651


Delco style regulator. This is an aftermarket unit that has worked as it should for 10 years, so far.
View attachment 283652

tommyhawk
Thank you for the great pictures! I figured it's just like a car or truck you got the " run zone" and I didn't think I should be maxed out.

Thanks for restore pictures or the gauge set ups. That really helps too!

I'm going to try new cables and see where that gets me, test the battery, and look into a regulator. Start with the basic stuff 1st.

Thank you again.
 

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1951 JD B, 1967 JD 110-Rf, 1969 JD 110-Sf custom, 1972 JD 110-Sf
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Yup. Tommyhawk, I agree. Great pics.

FRF, I see the voltage is going up. A bad connection may be your only problem. Seeing sparks at the battery is an indication of a bad cable connection. New cable ends or new cables if needed will solve that. Did you scrape the battery terminals and the inside of the terminals before you bolted them back on the battery? Or the corrosion could on the wire inside the battery cable clamp.

Think of a spark plug gap or a welding rod gap. A spark jumps across a gap but won’t jump if there is no gap. Your terminals have a “gap” at the battery.
I cleaned the terminals and clamps with a wire brush and then went around the terminals and through the clamps with heavy grit sand paper. If I make a town run this weekend I'll pick up new cables at tsc or napa. Start with that. If I'm unhooking the battery might as well get it tested.

What is the best gauge wire to use? I'm seeing anything from 2 to 0 for tractors.Since I feel like an idiot with the meter. What is that black do hicky thing that looks like a fuse on the end of the neg cable? I've seen them on positives but never on negatives.
 

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Here's a type of quick disconnect switch you can connect to the negative battery terminal and cable if you want a quick way of isolating the battery from the system when the tractor is shut off. It's a lot simpler than removing the cable every time.

While you are shopping, purchase a tube or packet of dielectric grease and coat the new battery terminals and the clean and shiny battery posts when you reassemble everything. It will keep corrosion at bay.
 

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Wire gauge is dependent on the number of amps that the starter and loads draw from the battery. Too small of a wire gauge and the wire will get hot. In extreme cases, for example if someone tried to use a wire normally used to power lights to power a starter, it will overheat and melt. That's why battery cables are large and have many strands of wire.
If your current wires appear to be sized correctly and are of suitable length, take one of your current wires with you and purchase a similar gauge cable. If in doubt, go to a larger size diameter cable, (lower gauge number). The price difference might be reasonable.

Is the black thing on the cable a female bullet type connector? It is hard to see in the photo.
 

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1951 JD B, 1967 JD 110-Rf, 1969 JD 110-Sf custom, 1972 JD 110-Sf
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Here's a type of quick disconnect switch you can connect to the negative battery terminal and cable if you want a quick way of isolating the battery from the system when the tractor is shut off. It's a lot simpler than removing the cable every time.

While you are shopping, purchase a tube or packet of dielectric grease and coat the new battery terminals and the clean and shiny battery posts when you reassemble everything. It will keep corrosion at bay.
Thanks in my manual it says Vaseline works well too. I was taking the positive cable off to bring with me and the ground and connector were rusted together..........might be part of the issue. I cleaned everything up shinny. I was chasing the negative but got sore and tired........got to were it goes under the flywheel. I decided to put everything back together and it fired right up. Still seems like it might be over charging according to the gauge. I'll still feel better about new cables and testing the battery even a regulator. I guess see what happens in a day or 2 with the constant start ups and when I feel better finding the end of the negative and fishing it out. I think you're right that, one piece looks like some sort of connector.

I never saw a switch like that before. That might be something I invest in for displaying the tractor.

Thanks again for the help that got me this far.
 

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I'm not sure what the extra wire shown with the neg terminal is. My son made the new neg cable from some spare welding cable. He added the white wire and black wire. IIRC the white one is attached to the switch on the starter where the neg (hot) cable attaches and goes up to the light switch. The black one comes from the light switch and is the power (hot) wire for the rear work light. The original cable was so bad it was scrapped so we just wired how we thought it should be. By 1952, the wiring may have been changed in this area. I dunno!
We used the after market braided cable for the ground. Not sure what the original was.
To get the old neg cable out, I believe you will need to remove the F/W cover. I see at least one clip that attaches with one of the 4-6 slider cover bolts. Remove starter cover to get to the starter switch connection. The foot rest may have to be removed also.
If you don't want to go through all that just now, whack off the old clamp, trim off some insulation to see if the old cable is corroded badly. If so, go for the new cable now. If you see nice clean copper strands, put on a new clamp and let 'er rip. I prefer the clamp type that has a hole in the end and a set screw to tighten against the cable. Some of these can be soldered to the cable. The two bolt "saddle clamp" type will work, but can be troublesome over time.

More pics for reference.

Motor vehicle Wood Automotive tire Gas Automotive wheel system


Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle


tommyhawk
 

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1951 JD B, 1967 JD 110-Rf, 1969 JD 110-Sf custom, 1972 JD 110-Sf
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm not sure what the extra wire shown with the neg terminal is. My son made the new neg cable from some spare welding cable. He added the white wire and black wire. IIRC the white one is attached to the switch on the starter where the neg (hot) cable attaches and goes up to the light switch. The black one comes from the light switch and is the power (hot) wire for the rear work light. The original cable was so bad it was scrapped so we just wired how we thought it should be. By 1952, the wiring may have been changed in this area. I dunno!
We used the after market braided cable for the ground. Not sure what the original was.
To get the old neg cable out, I believe you will need to remove the F/W cover. I see at least one clip that attaches with one of the 4-6 slider cover bolts. Remove starter cover to get to the starter switch connection. The foot rest may have to be removed also.
If you don't want to go through all that just now, whack off the old clamp, trim off some insulation to see if the old cable is corroded badly. If so, go for the new cable now. If you see nice clean copper strands, put on a new clamp and let 'er rip. I prefer the clamp type that has a hole in the end and a set screw to tighten against the cable. Some of these can be soldered to the cable. The two bolt "saddle clamp" type will work, but can be troublesome over time.

More pics for reference.

View attachment 283673

View attachment 283674

tommyhawk
Thanks for the advice. What a beautiful tractor!
 

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A battery maintainer would be a good addition to your tractor. Makes the 6V ones last much longer. I have a couple solar ones mounted to the south side of my barn, they do an excellent job keeping battery charged. Especially on one not used very often or driven long enough to achieve a good charge.
 

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The little wire I seen on the mag that was questioned may have been attached to a key if the tractor had one at one time. It goes to ground & will shut the tractor down if memory serves instead of pulling the throttle back like most of them. We haven’t messed with the wiring much to be a much help with this charging problem.
 
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