My Tractor Forum banner

222 Dies after running for 30 minutes

1000 Views 27 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Ogard
Hello everyone,

Just joined after having a 222 for about 6 months. It's a 1987 25th anniversary 222, and other than this issue it does fine aside from the key switch being a little buggy and a couple minor things I can figure out.

Here's the meat: the battery doesn't seem to hold a charge and I have to jump it to get it going. Once I do, it runs fine for about 30-60 minutes then dies and needs to be jumped again. I'm guessing that the charging system isn't keeping the battery charged, and from what I've found it looks like the starter is also a generator that keeps the battery charged. Can someone confirm this for me please?

Have I tried a new battery? No. However, I've charged the battery on it with my car for about 20 minutes before jumping to the starter itself, but it doesn't make much of a difference in terms of how long it goes before dying. I figure if it was charging the battery properly that once I charged it a bit and jumped it, the battery should stay charged, which is why I haven't it replaced yet 馃し.

My question is: should I begin with replacing the starter, or is there a better approach I should take? I have a battery from my other mower that I'm gonna charge, but I feel like if the generator isn't working then it will be for naught.
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
You can have the starter/generator rebuilt. That would be a cheaper option that would keep it original. You may also have a wire that is grounding and that may be thecause of your issue. I would check the starter/generator with a multimeter to ensure that its the issue before doing anything.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Pull out the battery and have it load tested...it could be a bad battery....you can buy a rebuilding kit for the starter generator from ISaveTractors.com
... as @ericforster suggests, check what is coming off the generator with a multi meter...good luck with it...they are nice tractors 馃憤
By the way
Sky Light Tree Font Arecales
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Does your machine have a voltage regulator? If so, check to see if the points inside it are corroded. Clean them with a nail file or some folded emery cloth, then recheck the voltage throughput. If all working properly, you should see something north of 13v at the battery terminals when the engine is above idle.

Maybe someone can provide the specs on the voltage expected, but it should be above the 12v of the battery alone.

Batteries that are more than 4 or 5 years old are always suspects. Especially if stored in off seasons in unheated storage, that seems to shorten their lives. Terminals and ground connections also should be cleaned and reattached just to eliminate that as a problem area. That is a no cost item.

Mark's suggestion of checking the generator output with a multi meter is a very good first step. (If you don't have one, you can get a workable one at Home Depot, they are useful tools). It is always better, and a lot cheaper to identify the problem before buying parts.

Not sure what year your 222 is but here is a diagram of the system for the Kohler equipped 222. Maybe it will give you some ideas on tracking down exactly what has failed in the charging system.

Font Parallel Engineering Diagram Drawing


Also, here is a link to an MTF charging problem discussion from a while back. Reading through it might give you some ideas and clues.
Good luck and let the forum know how you are making out with the problem.

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Good ideas and advice are given above. But if the key switch is buggy I would replace that first.
  • Like
  • Helpful
Reactions: 2
I agree with eric , you need to get it running and use a multimeter to see if that starter generator is doing it's job , Do you know how old the battery is by chance ? I've always been under the impression that if you have an old weak battery......you can charge it from sun up to sun down and it's not gonna hold charge. Putting in another good known battery you might have and checking charge before doing anything else would be best, Make sure you check all electrical connections that they are clean and not damaged . Always have been told that on these starter generator systems that you need to polarize the system if the battery has been dead or disconnected for sometime. Got a curiosity question maybe someone can learn me on here......Your saying this is a 1987 222 , in 1987 were manufactures' still using starter generators ?
  • Like
Reactions: 2
This is from Tractordata...you can see the starter generator
Tire Wheel Tractor Vehicle Automotive tire
..also going to move this to its proper forum...this forum is for big stuff, and although a great machine..it's just a Garden Tractor 馃憤
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Have I tried a new battery? No. However, I've charged the battery on it with my car for about 20 minutes before jumping to the starter itself, but it doesn't make much of a difference in terms of how long it goes before dying. I figure if it was charging the battery properly that once I charged it a bit and jumped it, the battery should stay charged, which is why I haven't it replaced yet 馃し.

My question is: should I begin with replacing the starter, or is there a better approach I should take? I have a battery from my other mower that I'm gonna charge, but I feel like if the generator isn't working then it will be for naught.
If the battery is bad, it won't hold the charge....and charging from a running vehicle is ok in a pinch, but not really very effective as a permanent way of dealing with fixing and maintaining the machine
  • Like
Reactions: 2
Pull out the battery and have it load tested...it could be a bad battery....you can buy a rebuilding kit for the starter generator from ISaveTractors.com
... as @ericforster suggests, check what is coming off the generator with a multi meter...good luck with it...they are nice tractors 馃憤
By the way View attachment 2578425
Thank you! I'm so surprised at the number of responses being a holiday and all! Very grateful and appreciative
  • Like
Reactions: 1
You can have the starter/generator rebuilt. That would be a cheaper option that would keep it original. You may also have a wire that is grounding and that may be thecause of your issue. I would check the starter/generator with a multimeter to ensure that its the issue before doing anything.
Thank you for the reply, how would I check it? Get it running with a proper battery and see if the voltage stays up or drops off still?
This is from Tractordata...you can see the starter generator
View attachment 2578460 ..also going to move this to its proper forum...this forum is for big stuff, and although a great machine..it's just a Garden Tractor 馃憤
Oh sorry for posting to the wrong one! I just chose Case and went for it 馃う
Yes...get it running and check the voltage at the terminals...should be about 14 volts...but don't do anything else until you verify that the battery is good...take it out and bring it to an Auto Parts place...they all have load testers
Oh sorry for posting to the wrong one! I just chose Case and went for it 馃う
It's OK...just more likely to get exposure for you in this forum...good luck...CHECK THE BATTERY
  • Like
Reactions: 1
It's OK...just more likely to get exposure for you in this forum...good luck...CHECK THE BATTERY
Haha will do! I have a battery in my other tractor and I bought that battery in September so I will charge that one and try it out. Thank you!
Does your machine have a voltage regulator? If so, check to see if the points inside it are corroded. Clean them with a nail file or some folded emery cloth, then recheck the voltage throughput. If all working properly, you should see something north of 13v at the battery terminals when the engine is above idle.

Maybe someone can provide the specs on the voltage expected, but it should be above the 12v of the battery alone.

Batteries that are more than 4 or 5 years old are always suspects. Especially if stored in off seasons in unheated storage, that seems to shorten their lives. Terminals and ground connections also should be cleaned and reattached just to eliminate that as a problem area. That is a no cost item.

Mark's suggestion of checking the generator output with a multi meter is a very good first step. (If you don't have one, you can get a workable one at Home Depot, they are useful tools). It is always better, and a lot cheaper to identify the problem before buying parts.

Not sure what year your 222 is but here is a diagram of the system for the Kohler equipped 222. Maybe it will give you some ideas on tracking down exactly what has failed in the charging system.

View attachment 2578427

Also, here is a link to an MTF charging problem discussion from a while back. Reading through it might give you some ideas and clues.
Good luck and let the forum know how you are making out with the problem.

Thank you for sharing the diagram. Mine seems a little different because I don't have a gen light as it lists, the only thing I have that seems somewhat equivalent to that is the hour meter. No ammeter or voltage meter. I do believe I have the voltage regulator though, I think I found it yesterday when I started to tear into it. I think it was behind a panel under the steering wheel and dash area
Do you have a multi meter?
Yes, I do. Won it from my Automotive Technology class in high school 馃
Mmmm okay that looks a bit different I'll have to take another look
Ogard , Are you able to get some pictures of your tractor , engine , or maybe of any serial number tags from the tractor and engine ? That may help us a little more if we can see what you have .
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top