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OK folks, be easy on me for I'm no tractor expert, but I do have common mechanic skills working on my old ford trucks. Hey, not to knock, but I know if you drive an old ford truck, you know how to mechanic for it's mandatory on occasion. Still love my fords, but very new to the JD tractor world. And electrical especially has always been my weak link...

Also sorry for the long post but I like to get as much info out there from the get-go to see if somebody can pick up on something I might have done wrong / or overlooked. And I have searched these forums with no luck.

So my JD950 stopped charging and so went my battery. At first glance, my battery was 9 years old. Like wow! That's a record for me. If I get 7 or 8 I feel lucky. Anywho, I "assumed" that was the issue and went to get a new battery. At the parts store I learned many things I never knew about batteries. I didn't know but evidently all boats and non-highway batteries are reverse polarity from on-road vehicles. Meaning basically that the positive and negative are opposite. The PO of my tractor built (what looks like non-factory) a battery tray out of wood for the battery up front. And the battery fits exactly within that wood tray. So I knew I needed a battery that was exact size for a quick replacement. So I went straight to the guy at the parts store and he told me about the polarity thing and that all he had was a marine deep-cycle battery that would fit. Deep cycles are all new to me but anywho again...

Brought it home and replaced the battery and still no charge. Hmmm...

Battery charges up. And my battery tester shows a charge from my battery charger when I have it hooked up. Even going round and round, I've took the battery off a couple times now and charged slowly overnight as well. I have faith in my brand new battery and feel 99.9% certain that's not the issue.

Next thing I looked at was the alternator. And it looked like it had been dragged down the road. I took it off and gave it a spin and noticed it had absolutely no resistance / which "usually" indicates a bad alternator. OK, I can't find a local tractor parts supplier in my area (besides John Deere) and my local small store didn't have one but quoted me a bit over $300 for a new alternator shipped from a dealer. Me being a cheap butt, I ordered one online from amazon that looked and explained to be the one I needed for a lot less. It looks exactly like my old one and had the same plug in the back. Bolted right on exactly like the old one.

Well, still no charge... I'm bald now from the head scratching.

I replaced one of my terminal connectors that looked a tad melted and cleaned everything I could find on the outside of the tractor from the ground to the frame to the battery connector, and from the positive terminal to the connection on the side of the starter. Still no charge.

Next I noticed the plug to the alternator looked burnt. I bought a new one and replaced it and it did nothing.

Keep in mind I'm a work-a-holic and literally working my life away during the summers. I get home with about 1-2 hours before it's time to pack it up and get to bed if I'm lucky. Weekends included. So to me, it makes more sense to just throw strategic money at something rather than wasting a tremendous amount of time since:
1. I will at least have a back-up part if the replacement does nothing. And will have good faith if the new part makes no change, that the part was fine to begin with. And-
2. Have more time working on things I know more about and getting other things done instead of wasting night after night after night getting nowhere.

I then did as much research as I could being there seems to not be many 950 / 1050 owners out there asking questions online. I've been "assuming" a lot of answers I'm finding for the 650 / 750 / 850 instead to apply to my 950. I see a lot of parts referenced for either of the 2 sets (650-850 or the 950/1050). and the next 2 items down the line seem to be either the starter switch or the voltage regulator. But seem to be different between the 2 sets of models?

I pulled my access panel last night for the first time since I was getting all sorts of answers to what voltage reg I had in there. And I see that the starter switch looks brand new. But again, the voltage regulator must have been dragged down the road even behind that old alternator. It looks rough. But knowing old ford trucks, the voltage reg usually looks rough for they usually last close to a lifetime?

I was looking at ordering another voltage reg for this thing just for giggles. From what I see, mine is the older "mechanical type" that's big, black, smooth and square. And it has the plastic plug that appears to be wired internally inside the regulator. Well I'm finding all sorts of voltage regulators online. Some are wired external, some internal, some with more prongs than others. And I'm seeing there is now solid state type regulators that are supposed to be direct replacements.

I see nothing wrong with the mechanical type as long as it works?

My question at this point is if I am even going down the right path? All my connections seemed good and tight at the battery and starter and alternator. Nothing seemed to be missing. And I've put everything exactly how it was. And I've only touched one item at a time. BUT!

After pulling that access panel, I found out the PO must have been teaching their youngest son how to wire a tractor for I about had a stroke.:tango_face_surprise

I could spend a good couple of hours if not more replacing wire connections under that panel. They used the ones that crimp on without skinning the wire. I prefer solid connections with the ends tinned. And new wires ran when there's more than one crimp.

Usually at this point when diagnosing electrical gremlins on my old trucks I'm looking at alternatives. Like running bigger awg wires and connecting the frame to the block ect. But the engine is solid to the frame on this so I see no difference.

Could it be my voltage regulator?

Is there a way to check the voltage reg and alternator with my multimeter?

What's the difference between all of these regulators I'm seeing?

Is one reg proven to be better than another these days?

Would the ignition switch have anything to do with charging (something I read generically from another tractor)?

Should I just go have the alt checked? The belt is tight, it feels good when spun (it don't spin all day, but slows down like it should).

Working on my trucks, I have manuals to go by. And with years of experience I know where to find the answer. But I have absolutely no experience on this tractor. And I have my doubts on manuals until I hear from others that there's a good manual for what I'm trying to accomplish. Some manuals are better at electrical, some better for mechanic ect. Is there a known good manual for a JD950 that covers everything I would ever want to accomplish electrical wise? Or is the answers I'm seeking common knowledge amongst the tractor forum folk?

Love my tractor. And my needs are stacking up. I could make good time with my evening hours if I had a running tractor right now that didn't require a jump start every time I used it. In which I know does more damage later on than just fixing the thing correctly.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I would start by making sure the wire route from your alternator to the battery has no breaks or loss of continuity in any stretch. Of course it goes to the voltage regulator and possibly through an amp gauge on your dash, and maybe through the ignition switch. Then simply check continuity between your battery ground terminal and the alternator case. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would start by making sure the wire route from your alternator to the battery has no breaks or loss of continuity in any stretch. Of course it goes to the voltage regulator and possibly through an amp gauge on your dash, and maybe through the ignition switch. Then simply check continuity between your battery ground terminal and the alternator case. Good luck
Checked this morning junky and the alt casing zero's out with the negative terminal. So the alt is grounded via the ground wire for sure. I know the voltage reg has got to ground by the casing so I plan to remove and clean that guy. Or just check it the same way.

Going to do some research on checking voltage reg. and what the 2 wires on the alt are to check it as well over the weekend. Gotta dodge Florence first.

Also with the ignition switch being brand new, seems it may be a common culprit and was replaced for a reason especially if it is supposed to kick in the voltage reg in any way?

Plus a rewire under the panel is in order. It's got to be done just for good measure.

Mechanical issues are always such a give me and easy diagnosis. Is why I hate wiring so much for it's a guessing game with trial and error.

Thanks anyways!
 

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With a new switch in there make sure its wired correctly. Thats a pretty basic wiring system in a 950 so shouldn't take a lot to get it straight again. Good luck and stay clear of florence.
 

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this is most likely your problem

I could spend a good couple of hours if not more replacing wire connections under that panel. They used the ones that crimp on without skinning the wire. I prefer solid connections with the ends tinned. And new wires ran when there's more than one crimp.

john
 

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It seems that every > 10 year old tractor I look at has had somebody screwing around with the wiring. But enough complaining - you can't fix stupid.

You said it "quit" charging - so I assume it worked at one time - true? How do you know - light came on?? If it ever worked, the wiring however ugly, must have been correct. Most likely it quit because of corrosion in one of those crimped on splices and spade connectors.

1. Your volt meter is your best friend along with a good test lamp with a very sharp probe. (for probing thru insulation).

2. JD documentation is pretty good and readily available - I found manuals for my 316, 650 and 770 on line for a few bucks (<20). Worth every penny.

3. Get rid of as many splices as possible, leaving only one quick connector if possible. (Tip: use PTFE high temp 600 v wire - available in small quantities and colors from Remington Industries on Ebay (not the gun guys),

4. Both my 650 and 770 had charge light on when I bought them - in both cases it was a corroded/melted spade connector - 10 min fix.

5. Nothing wrong with solid state voltage regulators these days - but they are not indestructible - overload and shorts with take them out. (So will mechanical s - just with more fire works)

6. The alternators are usually just a little perm magnetic ac generator - very reliable and you can check the output with your voltmeter.

7. Open up all the original wiring harnesses - and physically trace the wiring - I have found splices inside the harness loom that were corroded, high resistance or wide open - Deere's harness contractor (like most) did this to save time and money at the end of a spool of wire! Have found this problem more than once. (Ty wraps and loom available at Harbor Freight)

Good luck, it's likely some thing very simple - not worst case. The PO of my 770 said they had been running it with the "no charge" light on for years - just charged the battery every so often. The little diesel starts on the first compression stroke most days - load on the battery is pretty light.

Later
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Tempted on starting a new thread since so much has been checked, but I guess I shall continue... Still no go.

I drove the tractor for about a year with no issues all last year. But I do NOT recall even looking at the alt warning light. So I can't even tell you if it worked before. Wished I could.

There is no power to either of the 2 wires going into the "T" plug. And I know the alternator needs a voltage feed for it to operate. Without a schematic, I'm assuming one is feed from switch / dash / voltage regulator / or the warning lamp and other is ground going into the "T" plug? I'm getting the exact reading (11.5-12v) from large alt wire and battery so I know they are connected but no charge.

Charging light does not work now. I replaced the old voltage regulator for it looked horrible underneath. Almost as it had been on fire. I cleaned the mounting points to bare metal and tightened nicely. I also replaced the ignition switch. I re-crimped all the wires that didn't look good or were loose. I wiggled every splice I could find and no change in meter / charging. This was at 2,000 rpm.

Here's what I haven't done...

1. I have not swapped out charging / warning light. I read that the light has to be good on some models for it to send a charge? It is a bugger to get off of there due to nuts underneath turning. The volt reg was the same way, why did JD do that? I had to make a tool to tighten it back up. Anyways.

2. I have not checked voltage going in and out of all the fuses. Especially the one feeding the warning lights. But fuses all look good. This is the fuse block on side of tractor with nothing but like 12-15a fuses. There are 6 of them.

I read there may be a large 60a fuse for the alt but if so, it is nowhere yet to be found.

Question. Can I just dis-engage / bypass the warning light? Seems redundant and only an added connection / cost of upkeep.

I may have some time this week to mess with it if rain don't set in like they say it's going to.

Thanks again!
 

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I have a PDF of the tech manual with all the wiring in it, if wanted, shoot me your email

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks tremendously Joe! Going to have to start a new thread for I go too long winded for the wrong reasons. My wiring harness is fubar. I need a new one plain and simple. Nothing is wired like it should be so there's no way to even check it. The fuse block is totally rewired and devoted to the wonderful LED lighting that was added. But those lights are worthless without a charging battery.
 

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OK folks, be easy on me for I'm no tractor expert, but I do have common mechanic skills working on my old ford trucks. Hey, not to knock, but I know if you drive an old ford truck, you know how to mechanic for it's mandatory on occasion. Still love my fords, but very new to the JD tractor world. And electrical especially has always been my weak link...

Also sorry for the long post but I like to get as much info out there from the get-go to see if somebody can pick up on something I might have done wrong / or overlooked. And I have searched these forums with no luck.

So my JD950 stopped charging and so went my battery. At first glance, my battery was 9 years old. Like wow! That's a record for me. If I get 7 or 8 I feel lucky. Anywho, I "assumed" that was the issue and went to get a new battery. At the parts store I learned many things I never knew about batteries. I didn't know but evidently all boats and non-highway batteries are reverse polarity from on-road vehicles. Meaning basically that the positive and negative are opposite. The PO of my tractor built (what looks like non-factory) a battery tray out of wood for the battery up front. And the battery fits exactly within that wood tray. So I knew I needed a battery that was exact size for a quick replacement. So I went straight to the guy at the parts store and he told me about the polarity thing and that all he had was a marine deep-cycle battery that would fit. Deep cycles are all new to me but anywho again...

Brought it home and replaced the battery and still no charge. Hmmm...

Battery charges up. And my battery tester shows a charge from my battery charger when I have it hooked up. Even going round and round, I've took the battery off a couple times now and charged slowly overnight as well. I have faith in my brand new battery and feel 99.9% certain that's not the issue.

Next thing I looked at was the alternator. And it looked like it had been dragged down the road. I took it off and gave it a spin and noticed it had absolutely no resistance / which "usually" indicates a bad alternator. OK, I can't find a local tractor parts supplier in my area (besides John Deere) and my local small store didn't have one but quoted me a bit over $300 for a new alternator shipped from a dealer. Me being a cheap butt, I ordered one online from amazon that looked and explained to be the one I needed for a lot less. It looks exactly like my old one and had the same plug in the back. Bolted right on exactly like the old one.

Well, still no charge... I'm bald now from the head scratching.

I replaced one of my terminal connectors that looked a tad melted and cleaned everything I could find on the outside of the tractor from the ground to the frame to the battery connector, and from the positive terminal to the connection on the side of the starter. Still no charge.

Next I noticed the plug to the alternator looked burnt. I bought a new one and replaced it and it did nothing.

Keep in mind I'm a work-a-holic and literally working my life away during the summers. I get home with about 1-2 hours before it's time to pack it up and get to bed if I'm lucky. Weekends included. So to me, it makes more sense to just throw strategic money at something rather than wasting a tremendous amount of time since:
1. I will at least have a back-up part if the replacement does nothing. And will have good faith if the new part makes no change, that the part was fine to begin with. And-
2. Have more time working on things I know more about and getting other things done instead of wasting night after night after night getting nowhere.

I then did as much research as I could being there seems to not be many 950 / 1050 owners out there asking questions online. I've been "assuming" a lot of answers I'm finding for the 650 / 750 / 850 instead to apply to my 950. I see a lot of parts referenced for either of the 2 sets (650-850 or the 950/1050). and the next 2 items down the line seem to be either the starter switch or the voltage regulator. But seem to be different between the 2 sets of models?

I pulled my access panel last night for the first time since I was getting all sorts of answers to what voltage reg I had in there. And I see that the starter switch looks brand new. But again, the voltage regulator must have been dragged down the road even behind that old alternator. It looks rough. But knowing old ford trucks, the voltage reg usually looks rough for they usually last close to a lifetime?

I was looking at ordering another voltage reg for this thing just for giggles. From what I see, mine is the older "mechanical type" that's big, black, smooth and square. And it has the plastic plug that appears to be wired internally inside the regulator. Well I'm finding all sorts of voltage regulators online. Some are wired external, some internal, some with more prongs than others. And I'm seeing there is now solid state type regulators that are supposed to be direct replacements.

I see nothing wrong with the mechanical type as long as it works?

My question at this point is if I am even going down the right path? All my connections seemed good and tight at the battery and starter and alternator. Nothing seemed to be missing. And I've put everything exactly how it was. And I've only touched one item at a time. BUT!

After pulling that access panel, I found out the PO must have been teaching their youngest son how to wire a tractor for I about had a stroke.:tango_face_surprise

I could spend a good couple of hours if not more replacing wire connections under that panel. They used the ones that crimp on without skinning the wire. I prefer solid connections with the ends tinned. And new wires ran when there's more than one crimp.

Usually at this point when diagnosing electrical gremlins on my old trucks I'm looking at alternatives. Like running bigger awg wires and connecting the frame to the block ect. But the engine is solid to the frame on this so I see no difference.

Could it be my voltage regulator?

Is there a way to check the voltage reg and alternator with my multimeter?

What's the difference between all of these regulators I'm seeing?

Is one reg proven to be better than another these days?

Would the ignition switch have anything to do with charging (something I read generically from another tractor)?

Should I just go have the alt checked? The belt is tight, it feels good when spun (it don't spin all day, but slows down like it should).

Working on my trucks, I have manuals to go by. And with years of experience I know where to find the answer. But I have absolutely no experience on this tractor. And I have my doubts on manuals until I hear from others that there's a good manual for what I'm trying to accomplish. Some manuals are better at electrical, some better for mechanic ect. Is there a known good manual for a JD950 that covers everything I would ever want to accomplish electrical wise? Or is the answers I'm seeking common knowledge amongst the tractor forum folk?

Love my tractor. And my needs are stacking up. I could make good time with my evening hours if I had a running tractor right now that didn't require a jump start every time I used it. In which I know does more damage later on than just fixing the thing correctly.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Gittinwidit,
I'm having the exact same issue on a 1050 right now. JD mechanics can't figure it out...the "best mechanic" in town can't figure it out...I can't figure it out. Every last electrical piece that can be purchased from Deere is on it (many of the nippondenso pieces in the circuit are no longer available). Had the alt and VR tested at local shop. Alt checks out as fine; they gave me a new VoltReg and the guy hooked it up to the machine...Boom, alternator charged. Gave me a diagram for the VR, went home, tried it, NOTHING. I'm at wits end with this thing. If you got it figured out I'd greatly appreciate a return post. Thank you!!!
 
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