Green Tractor Talk banner

Battery Help Needed

1875 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Scotty370
I think I aready know the answer, But need comfirmation that I'm really this "dumb"!

I've got a 1947 JD "M" in the yard awaiting a 'moderate' restore. I bought a 6v "Excide Commericial Premium Battery for it last Spring. I like to start it up once a week, and maybe twice a month in the Winter, just to keep the 'lube' flowing! In the late, late Fall, I hooked up a (covered) newly purchased Shumacher SE-82-6 charger that I've had on it! All my other chargers (Sears), peak at the start, then 'throttle back' and bump charge or trickle, if you will. Well, yesterday I tried to fire the "M", and no-go!

With 'BlueBird' (75*) weather here today, I pulled the Battery, and as I suspected, the water was way, way, way, down in all the cells! I think I 'cooked' the doggone thing! Possibly to the 'trash' level! I believe that I bought the Battery at Tractor Supply. They never 'popped' the date tags, and I don't know if I can find my receipt. The sticker on the side says: "Shipped January 20011", that would be from the factory to the retailer. Right now I've topped up the water, and it seems to be charging. If it doesn't come back, (and I'd like your guess on that) , How do I proceed? Return it to TSC, or "Slap-Head", say you Dumb-S#it, and get on with my life! I'm not one to scam, and if my actions caused this,........well then lesson learned, but if Exide has a "Stuff-Happens" policy" I'd like to know that too.......TIA ~Scotty
1 - 5 of 9 Posts
I'd see if it would take a charge and try again. If not, then do as RandyM advised. Do (did) you leave the caps off the cells when charging it over the winter?
Wayne- The caps were on, but I believe they're vented. I know it's "My Bad" that I left it connected. I guess that I was just used to all the other chargers (Craftsmen) that drop back to trickle mode when the battery is "Up"! If I eff'ed it up, I'll man-up and buy a replacement. This is the only piece of equipment that I have with 6V, and Negetive Ground, to boot! That's why I went with that Schumaker Charger. The case doesn't leak, so it apparently didn't Freeze/crack, But God only knows what I did to the cell plates!

Another Question: I don't understand electric circuits that much. I've got two pieces of equipment, this one and a Kawi ATV that I suspect have (What I'm told is--) a 'parasidic' drain! (SP?). They're OK for awhile, but when left dormant, they go 'flat'!

How do I check that? I've got a Multi-Meter, but need an assist! TIA ~Scotty

[Should I set it for Ohms/Resistance and check for 'infinate' resistance on the leads, with the battery out of the circuit?] Or should I hook up one cable, and meter between the alternate post and alternate lead? Looks like I might be buying a battery, don't want to have to buy a meter!!!!! ~S
See less See more
If you know how to use your meter, then you should be checking for the parasitic draw/drain in the current mode. Disconnect the + battery lead and place the meter in the circuit buy placing one lead on the battery and the other on the cable. DO NOT try to start it! Read the current draw, if there is any you start troubleshooting by pulling fuses till the goes away.
Thick as a stump over here! First of all I don't think the [6V JD "M" has fuse 'one' that I can find] I just opened up my meter and fould that I never put in the 9V battery that I need for resistance testing. I'll do that tomorrow. I guess that what I'm worried about is, if I do what you suggest, that the meter is in 'series', IE any drain current is streaming through the meter with a possible 'cooking factor'! And what would I set it at? Dc max scale, and then back it down? Clueless on this end!

Ok maybe I'm beating myself up a little too much. Diagnosing my 318 yesterday, I found that the AC Stator was pushing 30V AC. The rectifier was only showing 12.5v DC which is the Bat reading. So, it's not putting out squat! I ordered one off E-Bay that should come in in days. (I'd expected to see 13.5v +-)
I guess with the "M" & ATV I would think that I'd want to take the Battery out of the mix, and resistence test with them to see if when the battery is out, and every thing is 'Static', I'd not see a drain to ground. I'm not critizing, Ken, just trying to undestand the therory. I apoligsy, that I'm flipping between the 'M', Atv and 318, but they're all my electrical problems that I have! ~Scotty
See less See more

I'm thinking the current draw will be so low that it won't "cook" your meter connected as Kenny suggested. I'd set it on the highest scale and work my way down. On that old a tractor, you won't have the electronics involved as the newer tractors do today. Look for the unusual; water in the starter, water / rust across the lamp terminals inside the light enclosure, etc. If it is a drain, something is completing a (probably) high resistive circuit between the positive and negative terminals on the battery.

One sure test I do when I suspect a parasitic drain is to disconnect the positive cable from the battery. (You said the tractor has a negative ground and I'm not doubting you but a lot of older tractors had a positive ground. My '41 LA JD has a 6 volt positive ground system.) I disconnect the cable not grounded but either one would work. Turn the building lights off if you're inside or cover the battery with a tarp, etc so you'll be in a dark enough area to see a spark when you touch the cable you removed back to the terminal. If you see a spark, you have a drain on the battery. Next, you have to eliminate each electrical item one by one which is what Kenny's suggestion of removing the fuses accomplishes. I doubt if there are any fuses on that old a tractor but I don't know for sure. If no fuses, unwire the lights, try again for a spark, remove the wire to the starter etc until you have no spark when you touch the cable to the battery terminal.

This worked for me on my LA when I had a similar battery drain issue. Water had gotten inside the rear light enclosure and was shorting / grounding out the lamp just enough to pull current from the battery. Cleaned out and repaired the light enclosure to keep out the water and solved my problem.

Clear as mud? My explanations usually are. Hope this helps.
Very Helpful Wayne (and Ken)! And thanks! I did have a slight '[email protected]' in that it is a positive ground system! I'll proceed as instructed........TNX! ~Scotty
Well That was cool............

Haul it back to TSC and see if you'll get lucky. You already know the worste that can happen. :good2:
I took the old Battery back, and with a couple of TSC staff members 'Hub-Bubbing' (if that's a word) about it, I came out with a new replacement, no charge! Brought her home, and the "Popper" is 'Popping' again!! Crap! I never get that luccky! ~Scotty:laugh:
1 - 5 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.