Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: georgia's toe-nails of the foot hills
Re: Briggs Vanguard 16hp charging issue please help
If you have a charged battery, the ammeter should show zero amps, as it should not be charging the battery. After you start the engine, the regulator should be pushing juice back into the battery for a while, and the amps should be at their peak. As the engine runs, the amps should taper back to the middle of the meter, with barely a bit of 'charge' showing. The stator just puts out A/C current, so the yellow wires go + then - then + then - over and over. Which wire is connected to which end of the stator makes no difference. The red wire is the 'alternator' output that feeds the battery, and feeds the PTO electromagnet clutch with the engine running. The ammeter is placed in the circuit to indicate flow to-from the battery to only the accessory circuit, such as the PTO, and to the output from the stator. If the battery is supplying the PTO, it will show up as a discharge on the ammeter. If the alternator is supplying the PTO, and pushing any required extra juice into the batter, as in charging the battery, it will show as 'charge' on the ammeter.
If the battery has not been charged prior to use, it will draw as much juice as the regulator lets flow through, which may be an overload for the regulator. I am not sure of that, as I don't know its specs. The battery should be charged normally before use, and the regulator should allow enough current to run the PTO and re-charge the battery for next use.
If you poke around you should be able to find a wiring diagram. From the 'who makes what' page on this site, MTD makes the White mowers. If the diagram is similar to the other MTD models, the red wire from the battery is connected to a post on the starter relay, and a smaller gauge wire, with inline 30A fuse, is connected from the same post through the optional ammeter, and then to the ignition switch. Any and all power used is fed from the ignition switch.