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Ammeter ?

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Greg Riutzel

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Yesterday's mowing went into late evening, so for the 1st time I used the head lights. I noticed with the lights on the ammeter went full scale to the C side. Is that normal? Today I checked current draws and the battery voltage. At idle and full speed with nothing on the meter hovered around just right of 0 and battery voltage showed 13.8-14 V At full engine speed and the electric PTO engaged the ammeter went to about the 1st mark and battery voltage was 14.1 V. With the PTO off and the lights on the ammeter went a needle width past the 1st mark and battery voltage was about 14.1- 14.2 V. With the PTO engaged and the lights on the ammeter went full scale or pegged and battery voltage was 14.2 volts. Current draws I checked at the battery negative with the engine off. The lights registered 5.8 amps and the clutch showed 3.8 amps. Nothing getting hot and I did not find any chafing or shorting wires. I'm beginning to think it's just the range of the ammeter and it stays cool unlike the truck's which gets warm at full range.
 

rbedell

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It would be most helpful if we knew what model of Cub Cadet you are talking about.
 

bwstevens

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What if the ammeter is just not super accurate ? I have a couple of gauges that show very little charge yet voltage is correct.
 

mgonitzke

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Based on those voltages, that is normal operation. Your ammeter may have gone bad.
 

mgwin

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I know where you can get one! :errrr: Just go to the top of the page. Fourth icon, left to right. ;)
 

Greg Riutzel

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Yep, 70s onward onboard electrical systems got more and more loaded. I took this one apart. No apparent mechanical problem. Testing showed it's accurate on the D side, but overly sensitive on the C side. Had I known what I know now, I woulda just swapped conductors.
 

jregister

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The description suggests the headlight circuit is connected to the battery side of the ammeter rather than the charging system side. That could be confirmed or disproved by turning the headlights on with the engine off - if the ammeter doesn't show discharge, then the light circuit is on the wrong side.
 

jerry.a.johnson

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You were right Greg...this sounds like the same issues I noticed in my 1650 project. Melted connector, heat discolored terminals, and I noticed my cousin had put in a new ammeter. Haven't talked to him about it yet, but looks like he was chasing some of the same issues you are experiencing. Right now I have a new switch and connector/harness coming. Any wire that doesn't look perfect I will be replacing...just in case. And I will be looking at jregister's tip above.
 

Greg Riutzel

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The meter is correctly wired, I can't miss the yellow wire from the load side to the light switch and EngineOffSwitchOn does show a swing to Discharge. Because the ignition switch on the pedestal and the voltage regulator that's on the engine are so recessed, it's hard to get meter probes in to see any voltage drop from bad connections. However with the switch out and the obvious look of the wire ends, I definitely see the evidence.
 

Greg Riutzel

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New connector, new ignition switch. All wired and functional. At max RPM the voltage regulator shows 14.1-2 V and the battery shows 14 to 14.05 so that's better. The ammeter returns to almost 0 in a minute or less after cranking. All good but; the meter will still go full scale with the clutch and lights on. Hmm, the charging current is only 1 or maybe .5 amp at 14 V. The regulator is meeting the load at 7-8 amps. It is correctly wired with ONLY One cable on the + side of the ammeter and that goes to the battery. I'm officially stumped. At least a potential problem in the ignition switch was found and nipped in the bud.
 
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