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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I have a Kubota 2850. I recently bought the tractor and I am working on issues from the previous owner. Used the tractor in the dark for the first time and I notice when I turn on the head lights the charge light on the easy checker panel comes on dimly. If I select the hi beam the light becomes bright. The head lights are like candles. I also have 4 work lights on the role bar but when I put them on the easy checker light does not come on. I noticed the work lights are wired directly to the battery through a separate fuse from the tractor fuse panel. The tractor starts good. I am comfortable using a volt meter. What should the voltage be out of the alternator and regulator. Any assistance isolating the problem would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 
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My fully charged battery reads 13.5 +/- 0.1 with tractor shut down. Alternator output should be in that range also.
 

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Check the fan belt make sure it is adjusted up. As for the head lights, check and clean the grounds. Check the wires.
 

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Hi
I have a Kubota 2850. I recently bought the tractor and I am working on issues from the previous owner. Used the tractor in the dark for the first time and I notice when I turn on the head lights the charge light on the easy checker panel comes on dimly. If I select the hi beam the light becomes bright. The head lights are like candles. I also have 4 work lights on the role bar but when I put them on the easy checker light does not come on. I noticed the work lights are wired directly to the battery through a separate fuse from the tractor fuse panel.
Thanks
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Hi Darcy,

If the charge light comes on when you turn on the head lights, it indicates one of two things: 1) The headlights are drawing more amps than your charging system capability, or 2) your charging system is not up to spec.

The 4 work lights on the roll bar are not routed through the charging system, therefore they do not illuminate the charge light, regardless of current/ampere draw.

You may be able take your alternator to an auto parts store or an electric (alternator) shop and have them check it out for you. Call them first to be sure they provide this service. Your alternator (dynamo) probably has a regulator, so check with them to see if they can test this old style alternator/dynamo.

If you are going to continue working the tractor at night, you might consider LED lights for your tractor. They usually provide much brighter light with significantly less current/ampere draw than conventional lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Hi Darcy,

If the charge light comes on when you turn on the head lights, it indicates one of two things: 1) The headlights are drawing more amps than your charging system capability, or 2) your charging system is not up to spec.

The 4 work lights on the roll bar are not routed through the charging system, therefore they do not illuminate the charge light, regardless of current/ampere draw.

You may be able take your alternator to an auto parts store or an electric (alternator) shop and have them check it out for you. Call them first to be sure they provide this service. Your alternator (dynamo) probably has a regulator, so check with them to see if they can test this old style alternator/dynamo.

If you are going to continue working the tractor at night, you might consider LED lights for your tractor. They usually provide much brighter light with significantly less current/ampere draw than conventional lights.
Thanks for the reply

Initial I noticed the alternator under normal conditions was only putting out the same as the battery voltage with the tractor off. 12.5 V

I found a no load test for the alternator. The alternator is putting out 18V with no load.

I cleaned the plug in connector for the alternator and now I am getting 13.8 volts when the tractor is running but the alternator terminal post that goes to the battery heats up so that you can't keep your finger on it. The wire running to the battery is not warm at all. only at the terminal. I disconnect the other end of the wire and measured the resistance from the end to the alternator terminal ( not the wire connector ) and got 0.5 ohms. The resistance of my test leads. The connection on alternator terminal is super rusted. Even though I read 0.5 ohms with my meter I wonder if the connection could be causing the heating. I would replace it but I am scared to break the alternator terminal off.

I also notice when I turn the head lights on the charging light comes on enough to see for a second and then goes to a very dim dim glow. Guess this means the regulator is doing something. Before there was no difference. The charge light stayed on dimly when ever the lights were on.

After removing and inserting all the fuses in the fuse block I notice the head lights are also brighter but not as bright as when I disconnect the light harness and go directly to the battery. Must have another restive connection somewhere. Perhaps the light switch itself. Investigating further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Check the fan belt make sure it is adjusted up. As for the head lights, check and clean the grounds. Check the wires.
Thanks for the reply

Fan belt is tight. Grounds are good but noticed my fuse for the lights was corroded. Cleaned and replaced. Lights are a little brighter but still a bad connection somewhere.
 
G

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Sounds like you are on the right track. BTW most (call before going) auto parts places will test alternators and batteries for free. Pick one you trust already. This might be some peace of mind for you. The alternator terminal being rusted could be a problem and needs to be cleaned. As for damaging it, one can only hope.
 

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Unplug the three prong connector from the alternator, clean the blades on the alternator side and the inside of the corresponding connectors on the plug. Use dielectric grease and reconnect the modular plug. Do the same with the connectors on the voltage regulator. Then start the tractor and use a voltmeter across the negative and positive terminals of the battery. You should be seeing between 13.1 and 13.8 VDC with the tractor running. Turn on the lights, the voltage will momentarily drop, then pop right back up.

If not, shut it down and clean the battery terminals and cable ends, including the ground lug at the frame ground bolt, and the positive terminal on the starting solenoid. Reassemble everything and test the running voltage again. If not, it is likely time for either an alternator rebuild and/or replacement of the voltage regulator.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Unplug the three prong connector from the alternator, clean the blades on the alternator side and the inside of the corresponding connectors on the plug. Use dielectric grease and reconnect the modular plug. Do the same with the connectors on the voltage regulator. Then start the tractor and use a voltmeter across the negative and positive terminals of the battery. You should be seeing between 13.1 and 13.8 VDC with the tractor running. Turn on the lights, the voltage will momentarily drop, then pop right back up.

If not, shut it down and clean the battery terminals and cable ends, including the ground lug at the frame ground bolt, and the positive terminal on the starting solenoid. Reassemble everything and test the running voltage again. If not, it is likely time for either an alternator rebuild and/or replacement of the voltage regulator.

.
Thanks for the reply

I see the 13.8 v now but the terminal on the alternator gets real hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The terminals are directly on the bridge rectifier on that alternator so will run hot to the touch.
I cleaned the terminal connection and the terminal connection is now barely warm. Must have been a restive connection. Now when I start the tractor the charge light stays on until I increase the engine speed for a short period. Then stays out the rest of the time the tractor is running. My meter shows 13.8v once the light goes out. This only started after I cleaned the terminal. Is this normal ? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I cleaned the terminal connection and the terminal connection is now barely warm. Must have been a restive connection. Now when I start the tractor the charge light stays on until I increase the engine speed for a short period. Then stays out the rest of the time the tractor is running. My meter shows 13.8v once the light goes out. This only started after I cleaned the terminal. Is this normal ? Thanks
Also when I turn the lights on now the charge light does not come on at all now. Seems light the voltage regulator is working.
 

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Normal voltage for a 12 Volt lead-acid battery with engine off, no load & not charging, is 12.6VDC to 12.7VDC when fully charged.
When charging the voltage should be in the range of 13.8VDC to 14.4VDC.
Both voltages vary with temperature but should be within the range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
13.8 is normal.
Thanks for the reply. Is the charge light staying on until I increase the engine speed normal ? The light use to go off as soon as I started the tractor. Wondering if I disturb something while I was cleaning the connection or is that the way it is suppose to work ?
 
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