New to me '55 John Deere 40-W won't charge
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    Brian W's Avatar
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    New to me '55 John Deere 40-W won't charge

    Hey guys, just picked up a nice 40-W and the battery won't charge. Previous owner said he just rebuilt the generator thinking it was the issue, still won't charge, and then replaced voltage regulator with one from tractor supply and still didn't solve issue. Where should I look next? Or how should I diagnose this issue?
    Thanks
    Brian

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    Here is the wiring diagram for the 40. The wire coming off the center terminal of the regulator going thru the ammeter on to the neg post of the battery is the wire carrying the charging voltage. It's always possible that the previous owner put the wires ion a wrong terminal at the regulator. I hope you know how to read a diagram and use a meter for troubleshooting. Also it shows the 40 as using a POSITIVE GROUND, keep that in mind.

    http://www.jd40.com/wirediags/wire12.pdf
    316, 332, 425, 430, 4200, 4300, 4720 w/cab, 54" front blade, 5' rear blade, 2 bottom JD plow, 4' JD tiller, 5' Woods tiller

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    dieselshadow (09-02-2014), farmgirl19 (09-03-2014), rtgt (09-04-2014)

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    Brian W's Avatar
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    Gimmo - thanks for the info. Not very good with the meter - yet - but I can read the wiring diagram. The previous owner had gen rebuilt, replaced voltage regulator, but it's still original ammeter. When I turn the switch to on/start, the ammeter does not does not move... Once I verify the routing on the volt reg I think my next step may be to change ammeter. Would a bad ammeter cause my issue?
    Thanks
    Brian

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    Jeeze its been awhile since I messed with a genny but don't they need to be polarized if components are changed/unhooked?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W View Post
    Gimmo - thanks for the info. Not very good with the meter - yet - but I can read the wiring diagram. The previous owner had gen rebuilt, replaced voltage regulator, but it's still original ammeter. When I turn the switch to on/start, the ammeter does not does not move... Once I verify the routing on the volt reg I think my next step may be to change ammeter. Would a bad ammeter cause my issue?
    Thanks
    Brian
    If you can read the diagram you can do the rest. Yes ammeter has to be good for the charging circuit to be complete. If the ammeter is bad then you have an open circuit (same as a broken wire). If you suspect the ammeter as being bad then check the voltage to the ammeter terminal that has 2 wires on it (one meter lead on this terminal & the other meter lead to battery negative post), then put the meter lead on the other ammeter terminal. If the ammeter is good then you will get the same readings on the meter. You can also just put a jumper wire across the 2 ammeter terminals, the only thing then is the ammeter will not work, but the charging circuit would be complete so charging would work if everything else is good. Let us know what you find. Good luck
    316, 332, 425, 430, 4200, 4300, 4720 w/cab, 54" front blade, 5' rear blade, 2 bottom JD plow, 4' JD tiller, 5' Woods tiller

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    Brian W's Avatar
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    Ok, I checked the wiring and everything seems to be wired correctly. Jumped mostly everything I could and still no change. The ammeter won't move still, even jumped in a second ammeter I had and it didn't move... What about polarizing the generator? Or should I just switch over to 12 volt??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W View Post
    Ok, I checked the wiring and everything seems to be wired correctly. Jumped mostly everything I could and still no change. The ammeter won't move still, even jumped in a second ammeter I had and it didn't move... What about polarizing the generator? Or should I just switch over to 12 volt??

    A 12 V circuit would be better to have in the long run BUT it is not as easy as just changing out the battery and then you no longer have an JD-40 in its originality. It would probably be more expensive also. It would be up to you in which manor you would prefer.


    I found some advise on other tractor sites that explains the polarizing of a positive ground tractor and the troubleshooting of the generator and regulator better than I could (and I don't have to rack my brain and type it all out).

    explains polarizing-------- http://fergusontractors.org/fena/wp-...-Generator.pdf

    explains troubleshooting generator and regulator------ polarize positive ground - Yesterday's Tractors

    I'm sure there are others on here besides me that are interested in finding out how your troubleshooting turns out so please keep us informed.
    DRobinson, dieselshadow and rtgt like this.
    316, 332, 425, 430, 4200, 4300, 4720 w/cab, 54" front blade, 5' rear blade, 2 bottom JD plow, 4' JD tiller, 5' Woods tiller

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    Quote Originally Posted by gimmo View Post
    I'm sure there are others on here besides me that are interested in finding out how your troubleshooting turns out so please keep us informed.
    I'm one of those interested others......
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by js5020 View Post
    Jeeze its been awhile since I messed with a genny but don't they need to be polarized if components are changed/unhooked?
    Never hurts, simple as googling how and a piece of wire

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    So I noticed something today while playing around with the 40. The battery is pretty much dead. I don't have a 6 volt charger. I've been jumping it off a 12 volt battery. So when the tractor is running and I switch the lights on, it's shuts the tractor down in a matter of seconds. Ammeter don't move but it does work. Any thoughts? Gunna try polarizing tomor

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