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walt1122
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All, having an issue with my very old gray market Satoh Mitsubishi Beaver tractor 373D. It is charging the battery at 36 volts DC and blowing up/cooking the battery when running at any speed. I've cleaned the wires and connections as best I can and some are really corroded and have even broken as I tried to use contact cleaner and fix bad connections. The wiring harness is probably the original so it is most likely 40+ years old. Right now I'm concentrating on the regulator but not really understanding what is going on. It is a double relay seems one relay is for the light? to tell it to go our at some set voltage and the other is for the battery. It just triggers the relay when the engine is running and it doesn't shut off. There is a preset variac that is cooking trying to work with the voltages and maybe a diode? The only way I can control the electrical system is to turn off the key and just let the diesel engine run and not make electricity. I bought a new regulator and although they say it is for the same model tractor none of the wires are coded the same and it is confusing and I worry even if I figure all of them out and they are correct will it hurt the new regulator to see this voltage.
Or is it because of the not working regulator I'm seeing these voltages and the new one will fix the problem?
Need some help to understand how the regulator works and should I be seeing that kind of voltages from the alternator? A guy on a youtube video said the regulator just triggers on and off at very high speed to pass or block the current? Can someone give me a better explanation or is this how it works? I bought two regulators one old school that looks similar to the original and one solid-state. Then solid-state is riveted closed and the wires are a different configuration so I have some apprehension about using it. Don't want to waste my money by just experimenting and blowing something up.

thanks

Walt
 

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I have never seen your tractor. 36 volts is way to high. Do you have the manual? The regulator is the device that controls the voltage. You mentioned buying a new one. Comparing the old one to the new one you should be able to understand the terminals. Warning connecting it incorrectly and you can do damage to other devices.
I suggest that you remove the battery terminals and clean them. Use grease to prevent oxidation or other substance. Then with the battery disconnected find and clean both the starter lead and the ground terminal where it bolts to the frame. The ground might be a bugger to get apart. Can you test the battery disconnected?
My John Deere had this problem with the ground cable connection to the frame.
I ended up replacing it as it was not all that expensive.

Wish that I could offer more support
 

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walt1122
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have never seen your tractor. 36 volts is way to high. Do you have the manual? The regulator is the device that controls the voltage. You mentioned buying a new one. Comparing the old one to the new one you should be able to understand the terminals. Warning connecting it incorrectly and you can do damage to other devices.
I suggest that you remove the battery terminals and clean them. Use grease to prevent oxidation or other substance. Then with the battery disconnected find and clean both the starter lead and the ground terminal where it bolts to the frame. The ground might be a bugger to get apart. Can you test the battery disconnected?
My John Deere had this problem with the ground cable connection to the frame.
I ended up replacing it as it was not all that expensive.

Wish that I could offer more support
Hi, Yes I have the manual but it is very vague and doesn't even discuss high volts only low or no volts. The color-coding of the wires isn't the same and in at least one case on the terminal block where I was able to trace the wires, they didn't go to the same item on the part of the relay box. The new regulators are wired differently and use different components. Shows you what 40 years of technical improvements can do for electronics.
Yes, did the cleaning where it was possible cleaned and moved the ground and the multi-meter showed a good low number.

Yours also showed too much voltage, and cooked the battery or was just causing a problem with the battery and wouldn't start???

thanks

walt
 

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What is a good low number? I was not suggesting that you measure resistance of the cables, but not a bad idea. I was talking about the voltage on the battery not connected to anything.ge

Mine was to little voltage and it ruined a 200 dollar battery. My tractor is 90 horse power.
 

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walt1122
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
WOW! even worse than I thought. Just took a couple pictures to show the difference between old and new regulator. The regulator on the tractor is hot! It is seeing electricity from somewhere? Got more wrong than I thought. Key? something? Everything is tucked away behind the dashboard/cowling. What a mess. Would appreciate any thought as to how to go forward or ideas you might all have. I might have to just put a switch on the battery and just start it and then cut the power to the tractor and let the diesel just run without it.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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16,438 Posts
Are you sure that you have an alternator?

Most alternators have an internal regulator that controls the output.

And do not need a voltage regulator.

use the new old school regulator, and connect it the way that it came out.

Ground is obvious, positive is usually red.
And only 40 years old, there should be a modular "plug and play" connection.


ED
 

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walt1122
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you sure that you have an alternator?

Most alternators have an internal regulator that controls the output.

And do not need a voltage regulator.

use the new old school regulator, and connect it the way that it came out.

Ground is obvious, positive is usually red.
And only 40 years old, there should be a modular "plug and play" connection.


ED
Hi , yeah way back, when we transferred from the generators to alternators we still used regulators for a few years. Check the pic's I just sent

Yeah, the plug-and-play is differently wired/color-coded and I found at least one wire that didn't play nice and didn't go to the same place. I have already had to fix one wire terminal that was just rotted away. thanks Walt
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Hi , yeah way back, when we transferred from the generators to alternators we still used regulators for a few years. Check the pic's I just sent

Yeah, the plug-and-play is differently wired/color-coded and I found at least one wire that didn't play nice and didn't go to the same place. I have already had to fix one wire terminal that was just rotted away. thanks Walt

I see where you thought of switching the charging off during running.

That will work, if you remember to only let it charge a short time, to re-charge the battery after starting, and something that I might do myself.

You will need to instruct any other operator the what and why of it, but simple fix.

And any new owner will need to know , or have blown up batteries, or dead ones after not getting a charge.

ED
 

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walt1122
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I see where you thought of switching the charging off during running.

That will work, if you remember to only let it charge a short time, to re-charge the battery after starting, and something that I might do myself.

You will need to instruct any other operator the what and why of it, but simple fix.

And any new owner will need to know , or have blown up batteries, or dead ones after not getting a charge.

ED
Yeah, it is a poor man's approach but it looks like I will have to do it no matter what. The regulator IS seeing 12v even with the key off. I tried to make sense out of the old regulator but it isn't working on one side? I tried the new one without starting the tractor and it also showed 12volts at many key points inside the regulator. Will have to get one of those master cut-off switches for the battery and maybe put the regulator on its own on-off rocker switch with LED so I can see when I have left it on and need it off. Bunch of stupid work. Still don't really know what is wrong. Doubt I could find a wire harness to buy and it would be a bear to re-wire the friggin thing and I still need to look for a new key switch assembly. Time to visit eBay! Thanks for the suggestions and thanks to everyone for being here. Walt
 

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Naildriver
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12,178 Posts
I didn't read whether or not you changed from a generator to an alternator. My 1955 Ford 640 was changed from 6 volts to 12 volts and a one wire Delco alternator was installed. That's basically all you need for proper charging. I'd definitely take the alternator to a parts house and have the output checked. The voltage regulator is not needed with a one wire alternator. The only thing I had to do was step down the voltage from 12 volts to 6 volts via a resistor block for the original lights, etc.
 

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walt1122
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I didn't read whether or not you changed from a generator to an alternator. My 1955 Ford 640 was changed from 6 volts to 12 volts and a one wire Delco alternator was installed. That's basically all you need for proper charging. I'd definitely take the alternator to a parts house and have the output checked. The voltage regulator is not needed with a one wire alternator. The only thing I had to do was step down the voltage from 12 volts to 6 volts via a resistor block for the original lights, etc.
Yeah, I looked at them a while back. I think I saw one for 49 bucks on eBay and should have bought it then. I see they are running about 100 bucks now and I may consider doing just that if I can find one that fits this tractor. It is extremely hard to get any parts for it let alone a PWM alternator. It is a gray market tractor meaning it was never officially I'm imported into the United States from Japan where it was made and where it was supposed to stay. People bought them and shipped them into the USA illegally. Everything is in Japanese nothing is in English.
Self-exciting magnet alternators are the way to go if I can find one that bolts up to this tractor without too much hassle. thanks for the suggestion Walt
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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For everything made, there seems to be a club for it on the internet.

Have you searched for such a club, they will have people to direct you to wherever services owners that want parts, such as a wire harness, new old stock parts, and even add ons.


ED
 

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walt1122
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For everything made, there seems to be a club for it on the internet.

Have you searched for such a club, they will have people to direct you to wherever services owners that want parts, such as a wire harness, new old stock parts, and even add ons.


ED
Sure have, I looked first at Tractor.Net . They sent me to the youtube video I mentioned in my post. I may get more info over time but no good leads that panned out so far. I do have a vendor I use for parts but he said that he could help as the parts are getting extremely hard to find and getting too costly to carry. Not enough people interested and not enough machines left. I bought the new regulators from eBay but they said they are just a parts store and don't really get involved in the actual repairs. They just have in their possession parts that they sell. Walt
 

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Since the generator produces the voltage (battery just stores it), definitely have the generator checked! A good shop should be able to rebuild it.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Since the generator produces the voltage (battery just stores it), definitely have the generator checked! A good shop should be able to rebuild it.

Any good "old school" mechanic can rebuild them also.

I rebuilt many, back in my youth.


ED
 

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walt1122
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Any good "old school" mechanic can rebuild them also.

I rebuilt many, back in my youth.


ED
Yeah, I've rebuilt a few "back in the day" also. Just a matter of checking the brushes and maybe getting out the old Weller solder gun and lead solder, melt the old connector and replace brushes with new ones or checking the armature to see if it is shorted and time to get a new one. Ah, the old days! Breathing in those nasty lead fumes, killing brain cells, and feeling so good about doing it.
The issue is it is sending out great voltage. The regulator isn't working right and not correcting the voltage to a usable 12v - 14v range. Plus that second issue that I just noticed where something is allowing 12v from the battery to flow through to the regulator with the key off. I bought a kill switch from eBay. It will cut the voltage to the electrical system from the battery. Not the answer but a fix so I can use the tractor. Just too much work to try and trace every wire and run the risk of breaking a connector or breaking a brittle wire with all the corrosion I'm seeing.
I took a chance and put the new regulator on but the 12volts were still there with the key off. I didn't see any reason to keep going with testing the system by running it. The key is suspect but I don't have the time to worry about it just now. I need a running machine.

thanks all

Walt
 

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walt1122
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, I've rebuilt a few "back in the day" also. Just a matter of checking the brushes and maybe getting out the old Weller solder gun and lead solder, melt the old connector and replace brushes with new ones or checking the armature to see if it is shorted and time to get a new one. Ah, the old days! Breathing in those nasty lead fumes, killing brain cells, and feeling so good about doing it.
The issue is it is sending out great voltage. The regulator isn't working right and not correcting the voltage to a usable 12v - 14v range. Plus that second issue that I just noticed where something is allowing 12v from the battery to flow through to the regulator with the key off. I bought a kill switch from eBay. It will cut the voltage to the electrical system from the battery. Not the answer but a fix so I can use the tractor. Just too much work to try and trace every wire and run the risk of breaking a connector or breaking a brittle wire with all the corrosion I'm seeing.
I took a chance and put the new regulator on but the 12volts were still there with the key off. I didn't see any reason to keep going with testing the system by running it. The key is suspect but I don't have the time to worry about it just now. I need a running machine.

thanks all

Walt
OH Yeah, how many times did just hitting the generator/alternator Hell, even hitting the starter with a hammer do wonders and dislodge the built-up crap around the brushes and fix the problem.
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Yeah, I've rebuilt a few "back in the day" also. Just a matter of checking the brushes and maybe getting out the old Weller solder gun and lead solder, melt the old connector and replace brushes with new ones or checking the armature to see if it is shorted and time to get a new one. Ah, the old days! Breathing in those nasty lead fumes, killing brain cells, and feeling so good about doing it.
The issue is it is sending out great voltage. The regulator isn't working right and not correcting the voltage to a usable 12v - 14v range. Plus that second issue that I just noticed where something is allowing 12v from the battery to flow through to the regulator with the key off. I bought a kill switch from eBay. It will cut the voltage to the electrical system from the battery. Not the answer but a fix so I can use the tractor. Just too much work to try and trace every wire and run the risk of breaking a connector or breaking a brittle wire with all the corrosion I'm seeing.
I took a chance and put the new regulator on but the 12volts were still there with the key off. I didn't see any reason to keep going with testing the system by running it. The key is suspect but I don't have the time to worry about it just now. I need a running machine.

thanks all

Walt

You can bypass the ignition switch temporarily, to test for the stray voltage at the regulator.

And if it is at fault, replace it with a toggle.

No key needed, unless you want to rig one from any other riding mower company.

Sure the wiring will be different colors, but you are smart enough to figure it out.

ED
 

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walt1122
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You can bypass the ignition switch temporarily, to test for the stray voltage at the regulator.

And if it is at fault, replace it with a toggle.

No key needed, unless you want to rig one from any other riding mower company.

Sure the wiring will be different colors, but you are smart enough to figure it out.

ED
Yeah, I got all that. But, it has been a couple days of wasted time messing around with it already. I need the tractor. This is something that is better suited for "winter playing around when you got time" kind of work. I have this and other more important things to do and not try and chase down an errant electrical issue. I was hoping it was just a faulty regulator. Just replace and get going again. The kill switch will work just fine for now. Stop any issues at the source. thanks again Walt
 
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