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Senior Advisor

Combine electrical

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My NH TR96 starts fine.  The Battery light comes on and the voltage gauge shows about 10 V.  As I increase RPM, it will go up to nearly 14V.  Seems to run OK.

But, if the voltmeter is low, does that mean it's the battery or the alternator?  The batteries are probably old enough to be replaced, but I'm not looking for an excuse if they are not the problem. 

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Advisor

Re: Combine electrical

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   If you're not in a hurry to find out and you are done harvesting charge the batteries to full charge, 12.5 -13 volts.  I suggest using a trickle charger.  It may take a day or 2.  Monitor the battery voltage for a week or more to see if they hold the charge.   As in any electrical problem check the grounds first though.  I use dielectric grease on all ground connections and use a star washer to insure good conductivity between the cable and wherever it attaches to:  starter solenoid for positive or frame for negative.  Also check the fan belt tightness.  My combine has 2 alternators and the belts have to be pretty tight to keep them working properly.   Mine have screens on them for cooling so I have to blow the dust out of them.   Don't check the voltage with the battery charger on them as it will give a false reading.  Wait at least a couple hours after shutting the charger off to check the voltage

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Advisor

Re: Combine electrical

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   If you're not in a hurry to find out and you are done harvesting charge the batteries to full charge, 12.5 -13 volts.  I suggest using a trickle charger.  It may take a day or 2.  Monitor the battery voltage for a week or more to see if they hold the charge.   As in any electrical problem check the grounds first though.  I use dielectric grease on all ground connections and use a star washer to insure good conductivity between the cable and wherever it attaches to:  starter solenoid for positive or frame for negative.  Also check the fan belt tightness.  My combine has 2 alternators and the belts have to be pretty tight to keep them working properly.   Mine have screens on them for cooling so I have to blow the dust out of them.   Don't check the voltage with the battery charger on them as it will give a false reading.  Wait at least a couple hours after shutting the charger off to check the voltage

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Senior Advisor

Re: Combine electrical

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Thanks for the suggestions.  They sound right and I'll try them.  I will also disconnect the battery when fully charged and check it in 24 hours or so to see if it leaked down.  If it leaks down when connected but not when disconnected, maybe I have a weak short.  If it leaks down when disconnected it's time for new batteries.

I'm hoping it will get me through the season. 

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Advisor

Re: Combine electrical

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  The more I think about it the more I'm thinking aternator since it charges OK at a higher RPM and it actually should be showing 14 volts.

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Re: Combine electrical

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  Jim, as I was combining yesterday with my mind wandering I thought of another possiblity.  I t could be the voltage regulator that is probably built in the alternator.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Combine electrical

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Does your combine have a sealed alternator?  If not, it may be dirty.

Ours does similar things, including running the battery down slowly if it gets too dirty.  I have found blowing air through it works pretty well to cure the problem.  Do it every couple days. 
We went from an alternator going bad every year or two, to lasting 6-7 years.

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Advisor

Re: Combine electrical

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I just read this today..and have seen something as obscure as the pulleys on your alternator being worn quite a bit..and the belt bottoming out causing this. What happens is, your starter pulls the batteries down to a temporarily lower level..and the alternator is tasked to charging them back up. But the belt tends to slip when it's bottoming on the groove..because it's under maximum load from the get go. Once you speed the engine up, it will eventually cause the alternator to catch up..and develop full voltage. I spent several years messing with the alternator on my combine once because of that..LOL.

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Advisor

Re: Combine electrical

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   Good one Pup. I wudda never thought of it.  Speaking of that area on a combine.... Have you ever had your radiator fan destroy itself.  Mine did on my M2.  A blade broke off and ripped open the oil filter, spewing oil all over, causing belts to slip, the whole combine shuddered.  Luckily I shut the engine off right away as I didn't know what the heck was going on.  Some have had the blade go thru the radiator from what I've heard.

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Re: Combine electrical

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Dumbest thing I ever had happen on the radiator end of my L3...We pulled the radiator out, to have it resoldered as some of the joints were seeping. The radiator guy did a really nice job of cleaning it up..and making it solid again. There is a support arm for the radiator..that comes from the center of the motor mount bars..and holds the inside end of the radiator to keep it from shaking in and out. This arm..little to my knowledge..had a slotted hole on the engine supports..and if the bolt got loose, it would allow the radiator to shake in and out, toward and away from the fan blade. We started it up with the just repaired radiator..and ran it down a hill...turning at the bottom while still on the slope. The radiator just shook in a little bit...because the bolt had worked itself loose, and the fan blade wiped out the entire core. Had to take it back to the radiator guy and have him put a new core in it. I think the bolt worked itself loose..because we moved the arm a little bit when pulling and replacing the radiator. Needless to say it was an expensive lesson...and I built a small filler for the slot on the support so it would never happen again...

 

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