Did Fred have the big one?

Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:49 pm

I was mowing the field about 9 and was about 75yrds from the house. I had the lights on bright and enjoying some well over due seat time. All at once My 185 died. No spit no sputter no nothing. I thought I was out of gas but no luck. It will not boost off. When I got it home I turned the switch and noticed my amp guage barely moves off zero. Before I replace the generator and coil does anyone have any thoughts?

Re: Did Fred have the big one?

Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:52 am

Yea, I'd double check your ground cable before doing anything. Then charge the battery on the bench not in the tractor, make sure that it takes a charge. Then hook it back up in the tractor to see if it will start. If it starts and your amp guage still reads discharge, then start checking your generator and voltage regulator.

The coil should have nothing to do with your situation, based on your description. If it was running, but discharging the battery, the symptom indicates something either wrong with the ground, battery, generator, or voltage regulator.

Re: Did Fred have the big one?

Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:40 am

That's kind of what I thought. The battery seems hot. I will test it when I get home to see what its putting out. Can you test a generator like a alternator? I've just never had one to go bad.

Re: Did Fred have the big one?

Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:25 am

You can have your generator tested, though it won't tell you much. Most likely guess is the generator needs polarized.
Start with Gittractorman's instructions.

Re: Did Fred have the big one?

Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:30 am

It's more likely that the voltage regulator went bad. Typically when the starter/generators go bad, they won't turn over the engine to start it. If you can charge the battery and get it started, put a volt meter on the battery posts while running at wide open throttle. You should be getting around 14 volts output from the generator at the battery.

There are a few tests for the voltage regulator and for the starter/generator, but typically, when I get to this point, I just pull them off and take them to a local armature shop. They can check both of them in a few minutes. The local guy charges me $75 to $100 to rebuild a starter generator, and can have them back to me in a day or two. They can also work on voltage regulators because sometimes it's just contacts inside that get corroded.

Re: Did Fred have the big one?

Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:00 am

I cant get it to start by boosting it off. I'll try the voltage regulator first and see what happens. I have a regulator and a generator but I don't know if they are good or not. I guess I need to get them tested and go from there. The battery seems hot but I haven't checked it with a meter yet. I turns over pretty quick and all my lights are good and bright.

Re: Did Fred have the big one?

Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:37 pm

Since starter/generator cranks over engine and engine won't start, the starting problem is not with the regulator or starter/generator.

Start at distributor. Remove cap and rotor. Ignition points open, check for battery voltage with ignition switch on. Check condition of points - actually all consumable distributor parts.

No voltage at points, wiring diagram in hand, start checking for voltage at each junction or appliance in the engine start circuit.

Re: Did Fred have the big one?

Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:25 pm

Thanks fellas for the help. I get more help from this forum than any other I've been on.
Popped the cap and my points were broke into.