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Electrician
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Discussion Starter #1
My Kohler K321 does not charge the battery. I measured the voltage on the AC alternator leads and get about 8-9 volts AC. The rectifier is ok as I get about 8-9 volts DC on the B+ terminal. There is an additional wire coming out of the magneto area on the engine that is capped off. I measure 28-29 volts DC on this one to ground. Does anyone know what this might be for? I thought it could be an additional lighting coil on that mag, but how could it be DC. The voltage level of 28 volts should be what I get from the AC alternator. I can't find any wiring diagrams anywhere that show additional wires. The Yahoo site has helped me some with suggestions but I am now wondering if I should remove the flywheel and check for rust or crud on the stator poles and or magnets. Anyone have any thoughts or experiences with additional wires coming out of the fan shroud area.
 

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Still plays with tractors
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I am next to no help with electrical issues but I will ask one question. Are you sure the battery is ok? I ran into this problem just recently and replaced my battery. Seems to have done the trick although it's a little too soon to tell for sure. Another problem that I experienced was that the wires that connect to the rectifier kept coming off and, as a result, would no longer charge.

You may have an engine that was converted over to points. If so, that's probably what the extra wire is as I have the same thing. If you are sure the rectifier and battery are ok, I guess the next step would probably be the stator. I would also check your ground. Start with the little (cheap) things because you just never know.
 

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Not sure this will help but this is the Ign. Switch wireing for my 71 PK and it has an electronic trigger module in place of the points. But I also have a 72 PK which I placed a new engine in and that came with points and the switch was different but if needed I may be able to trace the wiring I used on it when the restoration took place. Meantime I suggest you do what Jeff suggested and thats check and clean the ground points every place and the battery first. Does the battery take a full charge when you place about a 2-amp charge on it for a few days? If so than I would say the battery is OK and if not than you may need a new battery or keep pulling the rope.:duh:
Lou
 

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Electrician
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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, it is a new battery and the tractor runs fine for several weeks until the battery gets below 12 volts and have to recharge it with a charger. That is what prompted me to start checking on engine charging system. I found the stator is putting out about 8-9 volts AC and this should be more like 28 volts AC according to the Kohler service manual. Others have told me the same thing that it used to have electronic module and now it has points. Why anyone would want to go back to points is beyond me. But It doesn't matter now as the points work just as well. The biggest problem is getting the charging system to charge. I have seen on other engines in the past when the stator poles or magnets have rust on them, it won't generate any voltage at all. I think it might be worth taking it apart to check this out.
 

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It certainly sounds like it would be the stator then. I switched from the electronic ignition to points because, at the time, it was less than half the price to convert as it was to correct the electronic ignition. Never regretted it.
 

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Electrician
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Discussion Starter #6
Well that's good to know. I will keep the points as is. If others have done this in the past it must mean that the electronic module does not last or is troublesome in some way. On briggs or tecumseh, the electronic module is the way to go and never look back. Kohler must have a reliable module by now as my other tractors (Ariens) have kohler twins with electronic ignition and no troubles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jeff, when you switched yours over to points, did you install a rectifier for the AC leads and feed the battery for charging?

Regards Dave
 

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Jeff, when you switched yours over to points, did you install a rectifier for the AC leads and feed the battery for charging?

Regards Dave
Well my 1971 still has the original trigger modual in it and it works great. I wanted a new engine with the trigger modual but could not get it. Now I am sure the wiring is different for the points as I ended as I remember having to get a different Ign. Switch so if you would like me to check the wireing I used back about 1999 I will be happy to do so.
Lou
 

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Jeff, when you switched yours over to points, did you install a rectifier for the AC leads and feed the battery for charging?

Regards Dave
Boy, that's been a long time and I've slept since then. I remember buying the coil, points and condenser but I don't recall buying a rectifier. I think it already had one. Everything else just worked with the new system.
 

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Dave
I think you will find that both type have a rectifier or alternator back in the years we are talking about but I am pretty sure the wiring is different. I have both so I can check mine as I would like to know myself. Try to get a look in the next day or two. As you can see in my switch photo above there is two types of rectifiers just in the year from 8/2 70 to 8/2 71 but both have the AC leads coming off the same posts on the rectifier or also called the alternator. Interesting trouble, have to wonder if the charging system was working before the new battery went in or if you just kept charging it. I keep a spare trigger modual on hand just in case but feel I will never have to use it unless it gets damaged on the tractor. Back in 1999 they ran $91.00, have to wonder what they would cost today if you could find one new.
Lou
 

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My Kohler K321 does not charge the battery. I measured the voltage on the AC alternator leads and get about 8-9 volts AC. The rectifier is ok as I get about 8-9 volts DC on the B+ terminal. There is an additional wire coming out of the magneto area on the engine that is capped off. I measure 28-29 volts DC on this one to ground. Does anyone know what this might be for? I thought it could be an additional lighting coil on that mag, but how could it be DC. The voltage level of 28 volts should be what I get from the AC alternator. I can't find any wiring diagrams anywhere that show additional wires. The Yahoo site has helped me some with suggestions but I am now wondering if I should remove the flywheel and check for rust or crud on the stator poles and or magnets. Anyone have any thoughts or experiences with additional wires coming out of the fan shroud area.
Dave wait a minuet,+++ you say here that one wire coming from the magneto area and has 28 AC volts on it and it is capped off. I take it by that you mean it is laying spare taped up. If you look at the switch diagram there is two AC leads to the engine one is coming and the other is going and both go to the rectifier. Do you have the both posts on the rectifier with wires on them as the switch shows? If not I bet that is the trouble as you need to feed the charge back to the rectifier. If there is a wire on each post check to see where they are going as they should be going as per the switch diagram. I would think you would have the 6 post rectifier. Just a guess but worth a look before tearing things apart.I am guessing you have a wire wrong on the rectifier and that is the reason you are measuring 8 or 9 volts on both posts and the one laying spare belongs on that rectifier for sure
Lou
 

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It certainly sounds like it would be the stator then. I switched from the electronic ignition to points because, at the time, it was less than half the price to convert as it was to correct the electronic ignition. Never regretted it.
JAS11964 you have more knowledge on these PK's than anyone else I have read posts by but, The two PK's I have with electronic ignition have no hole in the blocks for point pushrods and not even a dempel to drill and tap for the point mounting bracket or the point cover. I have a 1988 Ingersoll 444 with points and I hate to change them because I have to use an 90 degree screwdriver to set them. A wide frame cub is a real PIA because the engine sets between the frame rails. When using points you are supposed to set the points @ .020 to get it started then use the point gap to line up the timeing marks. More PIA. Once you get the timeing set you can measure the point gap and reset to that when replacing them later. A friend of mine that has cubs and uses a Ford E coil(epoxy filled) mounted on the frame to get away from engine vibration. This is a 60,000 volt external resistor coil and he uses a automotive coil resistor to drop the voltage to the coil once the engine starts. He also runs two condensers to help the points last longer. there is a major difference in how fast his cubs light off compared to my Ingy. I don't believe he needs that hot of an ignition system down here in the south but, in snow country I would have to have a setup like he runs.
I had to replace the rectifier on my 88 Ingy this summer and it is identical to the one on the little womans 2009 JD with a Briggs except for the plug. You can use just about any garden tractor rectifier. Look at Brian Miller's web site, it is very informative on all this and he has alot of pictures and diagrams.
The electronic ignition one was a big deciding factor to me when buying the first PK. Also read between the lines on what Brian says about hollaffects. All the voltage used in a modern automotive application was not needed untill the quality of fuel got so poor. All modern GT's use electronic ignition throwing alot of spark thru a plated or coated sparkplug of some type. I like the set it and forget it aproach to electronic ignitions.
 

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I agree with you, the "set it and forget it" is nice with the electronic ignition. And, yes, the points can be a pain. It's important to reiterate here that I started off wanting to fix the electronic ignition in that engine. At the time, I had next to no money and, when I priced the fix, well, that just wasn't gonna happen. It was much cheaper to convert. That was years ago and I still haven't had to go in for an adjustment. Would I have liked to just fix the electronic ignition? You bet as I'd never had a PK with it before. I just simply couldn't afford it at the time.

You have something that is not all together rare. Some kohlers were indeed supplied with no holes or dimples for the points and pushrod. Had I had one of those blocks, at the time I would have been screwed. I have no idea what the price gap between the two systems is today. Perhaps it would have been a different outcome for me. Glad yours has been working so well for you.

To be honest, I really don't know that much. I just go by experience and get lucky once in a while.
 

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Electrician
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Discussion Starter #14
In reply to Lou, The spare wire coming out of the engine has 28-29 volts DC on it to frame ground, not AC, that is the wierd part, why is it DC?
 

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In reply to Lou, The spare wire coming out of the engine has 28-29 volts DC on it to frame ground, not AC, that is the wierd part, why is it DC?
Dave I can't answer that but perhaps it is showing DC as it is the from engine wire that should be going to the rectifier. I am posting some wireing photos for you from an old manual I have that covers most everything on the PK and JD from the seriel # listed on the cover. If none of this can help you I will go to my good friend in Michagin Stan Wentworth an old gaffer on PK and one of the best and see what he has to say about this post. Here are some photos .
Lou
 

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Dave I have gone to my good friend in Michigan for some help. I ask him to read this post so lets hope he can help as he is the best I know on the PK & JD.
Lou
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you very much to all of you trying to help figure this out. I will post if I find something, maybe this weekend.
 

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Dave I have been doing some reading and first of all the stator with the trigger modual has three wires coming from it now two have to go to the rectifier and I can not find where the third one goes. One other thing they mention about the battery going dead is the ign. Switch not being properly grounded to the metal bulkhead of the tractor so check that also. Above all the two AC leads must go to the proper terminals on the rectifier so make sure when you are checking where they go that they go to the rectifiers proper terminals. Here is a trouble shooting link I found and some facts about your rectifier. I hope you find it.
http://www.kohlerengines.com/maintenance/basicTroubleshooting.htm#troubleshooting5
This site may be able to help also if all else fails by making contact with them on the older K series.
Lou
 

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u know know that were talking bout wiring my big pk only has two wires connecting to the rectifier and since ive owned it never had a bat in it cause it would die u think yall might help me out and mabye ill be able to use my starter instead of my nylon rope, ill call it the armstrong starting system:D
 
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