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Hello folks, new member here. My wife and I just bought a farm and a Ford 2000 gas tractor. I've been trying to isolate an issue with the battery/charging system with no luck. Also, I need to locate the exact model number - I will post pictures tonight.

The tractor has a hard time starting. Normally I would simply replace the battery but I want to be sure that is the problem. Sometimes it will fire right up from cold start, other times it won't start after being run for a while.

Yesterday I ran it pretty hard with a bushog. I had to stop to check something then when I began to start again it sputtered as if it were out of gas or the fuel filter was clogged. It sputtered till it almost died then eventually did die no matter what throttle position. Could this be an ignition problem? I ended out taking the battery out in the field and charged it for a few hours only to get the tractor back out of the field. When I came back with the charged battery it fired right up and was fine. It had time to cool in that period so I am still at a loss as to what it could be.

Putting a meter on the battery when it is both idle and at 2000+ RPM it shows 13.0 volts on the dot. Should this be higher? Would that indicate the generator isn't performing?

Another issue I saw was the generator, I only see one wire connected. There was a second wire but it wasn't connected to the post of the generator. I'm a little confused as I think according to the service manual, it is grounded to the engine block and only one wire comes off to the regulator. Otherwise, I thought I might take the generator off and take it to a shop to test.

When I get home tonight I was planning on getting an exact model number and ordering a voltage regulator since those aren't expensive. I'm a little hesitant to simply replace the battery as I think the previous owner did that already with no luck. The tractor has 2300 hours on it so I know it's rather old and used, but I would like to get it running in top shape.
 

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First off, there were two different tractors that Ford called a 2000. The earlier one had a 4 cylinder engine and was made from 1961-1964 and the later one had a 3 cylinder engine and was made from 1965-1974. It's always best to specify which one you have when posting as there are a lot of differences, like although both had generators and external voltage regulator, the earlier 4 cylinder 2000 came from the factory with a 6 volt positive ground electrical system and the later 3 cylinder model had a 12 volt negative ground system. The voltage regulators had different numbers of terminals and different places where the wires went as well.

Since you say that it measures 13.0 volts when running, I assume that it is a later 3 cylinder with the 12 volt system, as most of the earlier models that were converted to 12 volts were done with an alternator with an internal voltage regulator.

A properly charged 12 volt battery in good working order should measure around 12.5 volts when the tractor is not running. When the engine is running and the charging circuit is working properly the voltage should be up around 14.5 volts. Since yours reads 13.0 volts I would suspect the charging circuit, but we need to know what you have and make sure everything is connected properly before we start throwing money at parts.

If I were you I would start by getting a service manual for your tractor. If it's a 4 cylinder then the I&T FO-20 manual would cover it, and if it is a 3 cylinder the I&T FO-31 would be the one to get.
 

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First off, there were two different tractors that Ford called a 2000. The earlier one had a 4 cylinder engine and was made from 1961-1964 and the later one had a 3 cylinder engine and was made from 1965-1974. It's always best to specify which one you have when posting as there are a lot of differences, like although both had generators and external voltage regulator, the earlier 4 cylinder 2000 came from the factory with a 6 volt positive ground electrical system and the later 3 cylinder model had a 12 volt negative ground system. The voltage regulators had different numbers of terminals and different places where the wires went as well.

Since you say that it measures 13.0 volts when running, I assume that it is a later 3 cylinder with the 12 volt system, as most of the earlier models that were converted to 12 volts were done with an alternator with an internal voltage regulator.

A properly charged 12 volt battery in good working order should measure around 12.5 volts when the tractor is not running. When the engine is running and the charging circuit is working properly the voltage should be up around 14.5 volts. Since yours reads 13.0 volts I would suspect the charging circuit, but we need to know what you have and make sure everything is connected properly before we start throwing money at parts.

If I were you I would start by getting a service manual for your tractor. If it's a 4 cylinder then the I&T FO-20 manual would cover it, and if it is a 3 cylinder the I&T FO-31 would be the one to get.
Thanks for the response! Sorry I should have clarified, this is indeed the 3 cylinder model with the 12 volt system. When I checked the battery with the tractor off, it read around 12.7 volts. From what you say, I would think the battery might be ok. But indeed with the tractor running at 2000+ RPM, the voltage at the battery terminals reads right at 13.0 volts.

I think I have the correct service manual, it says "1965-1975 Ford Tractor Service Manual".
 

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So you have the real Ford manual and not the I&T aftermarket manual?

It should have an electrical diagram in Part 3. There are actually 2 different diagrams, one for tractors made in Europe with the "A" or "B" serial number prefix, and a second diagram for the ones made in the US with the "C" serial number prefix.

The generator should have two wires from two different terminals going to two different terminals on the voltage regulator. Make sure that everything is wired correctly and if it wasn't wired correctly to begin with, measure the charging voltage after correcting everything. If it still reads 13.0 volts, you could follow the procedure in the manual to adjust the VR or you could buy a replacement VR.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So you have the real Ford manual and not the I&T aftermarket manual?

It should have an electrical diagram in Part 3. There are actually 2 different diagrams, one for tractors made in Europe with the "A" or "B" serial number prefix, and a second diagram for the ones made in the US with the "C" serial number prefix.

The generator should have two wires from two different terminals going to two different terminals on the voltage regulator. Make sure that everything is wired correctly and if it wasn't wired correctly to begin with, measure the charging voltage after correcting everything. If it still reads 13.0 volts, you could follow the procedure in the manual to adjust the VR or you could buy a replacement VR.
I was searching last week and came across the pdf I have, which does have the diagram you refer to.

I attached it here. It's a little hard to read because the line weight used to show the "f" & "d" wires off the generator is really light - too light to show up in this pdf which was the original manual scanned.
 

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My PDF of that manual is the same way, lines too light to have been picked up in the scan. That's why I have both the Ford manual on PDF (too expensive for a real hard copy) plus an I&T FO-31.The wiring diagram looks much better and is much more readable in the I&T manual.

Anyway, here's a description of the wiring for the charging circuit:

1. Chassis of generator is grounded through mounting bolts to engine.

2. Brown wire with yellow stripe from terminal on generator marked "D" should go to the terminal on the VR marked "D".

3. Brown wire with green stripe from terminal on generator marked "F" should go to terminal on VR marked "F".

4. Terminal on VR marked "E" should go to ground.

5. Terminal on VR marked "WL" should go to the charge warning lamp in the instrument cluster via a brown wire with a yellow stripe.

6. Terminal on VR marked "B" should have two wires connected to it, one brown wire going to the key switch and another brown wire going to the fat post on the starter relay that also has the fat wire going to the hot (+) side of the battery.

FYI, there is a third wire (white with brown stripe) coming out of the wire harness near the generator. That third wire goes to the oil pressure "sender" which is really just a pressure switch that switches on and off at around 4 or 5 psi to illuminate the oil pressure warning light. The oil pressure sender is just forward of the oil filter and near the rear end of the generator on the side of the engine block.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! I'm going to check some more things and clean it up a bit, maybe snap some pictures when I get home.

There is actually one wire, don't recall the color, that looked like it should have been connected to the generator however it was disconnected. It isn't the oil pressure sensor because that is connected properly to the sensor itself. So if I re-connect it tonight, ill check what the voltage is at the battery terminals and see if its any higher than 13.0 volts. But that would also pose the question of which wire that is currently connected to the generator, if it's connected to provide the correct polarity...

These terminal connectors at the generator itself, they had paint on them too. Maybe if I clean them I can put the meter directly on the generator itself?
 

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If the terminals on the generator have paint on them that could be part of the problem. Clean/sand the paint off of them and the connectors on the ends of the wires so that they are clean and bright before reconnecting everything back up.

The generator should produce much more than the charging voltage when the engine is running, at least 18 volts and usually more, somewhere in the 20 to 35 volt range, and the voltage regulator is what regulates the voltage to the battery at the proper 14.5 volt charging voltage.

If you follow my descriptions of which terminal on the generator is connected to which terminal on the VR, regardless of the color of the wire, the polarity will be correct. The wire colors that I gave are what the original wires were when it left the factory. Who knows if they were ever changed out and what color wires might have been used if they were.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Got home yesterday and decided to clean it up a little. Took a few pictures:



The wire that is furthest away from the engine is the one that was disconnected. I reconnected it, I am fairly sure it goes to the VR.

Here's the VR before and after I took the cover off:



I think the issue is the generator at this point.

I can't seem to locate any model, serial, or production codes. The only thing I found was stamped on the lower part of the engine block. Attached a picture
 

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I assume that you've found pictures on line of where the Model Number, Serial Number and Unit Number are supposed to be stamped. If not, look here:



That number on the engine block is the engine serial number. The L at the beginning means that it was made for a 2000 series tractor and the G in the second spot means it was a gasoline engine. The L6 at the end means that the engine was made in November of 1966. The rest in between is just the serial number. The tractors were usually assembled several weeks to a few months after the major components like the engine and transmission were assembled, so your tractor is likely an early 1967 tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just an update, I went ahead and ordered this:

Generator Ford Tractor 2000 3000 4000 5000 7000 8000 9000 w Voltage Regulator | eBay

I can't find anyone local to take a look at the generator, although I am about 85% sure that is the problem. The tractor has died twice in the field which makes me think at that point it has gone through the charge the battery had. I took the battery to autozone after charging it and they tested it, all showed good (manually charging it with a charger).

Now my next question, to "polarize" the new generator, do I need to make a jumper from the positive of the battery to touch the armature of the generator?
 

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You can make the wiring diagram easier to read since you scanned it.
Go to paint on your computer and enlarge the whole diagram, At that time you can also draw in the wires darker and with what ever color you like.

I my self would think the tractor is charging the battery. Setting non running you get 12. some volts and with the tractor running you get a higher voltage reading at 13.7. So you are getting a charge from the generator.

I would look into cleaning all the fuel filters also.
 

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Alleyooper, increasing from 12.7 volts with the tractor not running to only 13.0 with it running is not enough of an increase in voltage to provide a good charging current. At that voltage it could take several hours of running the tractor to replace the charge that was used to start the engine. A 12 volt battery generally needs at least 13.5 volts to charge back up within a few minutes after starting an engine, and most proper 12 volt charging circuits operate at closer to 14.5 volts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello again, I installed the new generator and voltage regulator yesterday. I didn't have the tractor battery on a charger and when I tried to start it, it almost started but acted like the battery was dead (slow crank). I think the battery is actually not holding a charge now. Thinking I will just take the battery to Autozone again and have them test it, see if it holds any charge.
 
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