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Comm 10 Starter/Gen Problem Solved

609 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  GravelyNM
I know there are not many of you with a Comm 10 with the starter generator. Still, this may help those of you that do.

The history of this Gravely is that my dad bought it in 1972 and ran it for 30+ years before giving it to me with a rotary plow, cultivator and 30" brush hog. When I got it, it barely ran and was in a mess. One day it did not start so I abandoned it and left it where it stopped. Now, before you begin to throw rotten tomatoes at me, let me explain that I really had no idea what I had. To me it was just a useless heap that was trouble. He had always had trouble starting it for the entire time he had it even though the records show it was in a local (non-Gravely) shop many times!

Well, a couple of years later, after pricing so called lawn mowers to help keep the weeds down and reduce our wild fire hazard, I realized that putting this Gravely back into service would make much more sense as our property is pretty rough and really only something like a Gravely could tackle it. Beside, really, who has a brush hog type mower with a 3/8" thick blade that "if you can push it over, it will cut it"????

So, I literally tore it completely apart. I learned an awful lot from many people on this forum and seriously could not have completed the project without this forum. I rebuilt the engine myself. It runs great now, when it starts. I wasn't completely aware of the planetary bushings then so I will have to look more closely at them AFTER I get my next Gravely--you know, the backup unit--for the other implements. But I did put it back together again with the help of Richard's.

So, here is the problem of owning only one Gravely and not having access to ANY anywhere except in pictures. Yes, it is that lonely around here! Since there is only one, you are never really sure of the proper operation of various components. For instance, I did not know that the PTO shifter rod is supposed to rub firmly against the angle iron piece just forward of the engine. It always appeared that the resistance was somehow provided by the bolts in the nose, the advanced casting. Once I figured that out, I reworked the entire front casting shipper shaft set up and discovered that none of it was aligned correctly. My brush hog was barely engaging. Having only one, I did not know that the order of the slip plates in the safety clutch were in the wrong order. Then I began to measure things and realized that a combination of the clutch being assembled in the wrong way and the dog gear in the PTO not throwing enough created lots of "barely engagement." No wonder my dad had such trouble with this machine and was so aggravated by it. Well it is all back together again in the correct fashion. The PTO has probably never worked this well since soon after the factory.

And here is the starter story. As I said, my dad always had trouble starting the tractor. It was notorious. I blamed it on the "big Kohler." He always used starter fluid and was always bringing it into the shop. Also, as I said, I have only one so I have nothing to compare with. Well, the starter/generator failed recently. It hardly turned when connected to a battery so I took it to a local automotive electric shop for a look see. The guy told me that the armature coils were shorted and he tried to repair by sending a high current through the coils to "open" them but it did not work. So, I bought a new starter/generator and a new regulator since the old one had rusted terminals and may have been ruined as well.

Well, I turned the key and I could not believe it. That Kohler turned over twice and fired right up. I did notice that the starter/gen spun a little faster than the old one. I've tried it several times since and it fires right up on cold start. I think, for the past 35 years, at least one and probably more of the armature coils have been shorted and that reduced the rotational speed of the starter. But nobody knew because THERE WAS NOTHING TO COMPARE IT TO!

So, for all of you with your rotten tomatoes, please know that this Gravely is pampered well, is always indoors or protected under a shed roof but still gets worked very hard. It is definitely up to the task. I would love to get another Comm 10 as I know this one so well.

Thanks for letting me share this with you all.