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Discussion Starter #1
After buying a 1981 LGT165 mower last summer by the advise of many on this website I now have encountered a problem. The mower thus far is great but in the past month has been unable to finish the 2 acre yard do to lack of electrical charge from what I can tell. The battery is a new interstate, sized for the tractor. When installed everything checked out on the volt meter, now about half way through mowing the deck shuts down and shortly after tractor dies and nothing! 5 minutes on charger, the key won't work but you can cross the starter and it fires up, more time on charger and key works.

Where should I start looking and for what ? Seems as if something is draining the battery but not sure what. Any advise would be great !!
 

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I would first check for a loose plug on the back of the switch. I have problems with mine from time to time. Mine is in close proximity to the battery and the battery gases along with dirt and dust cause corrosion on the terminals leading to bad connections.
Next I would look into the regulator/rectifier. Check the condition of the connections to the regulator/rectifier. Question: Does the tractor have an ammeter? If so, what does it read while cutting? Mine always shows some state of charging while running.
Overall, look for bad connections at the starter solenoid, key switch and at the regulator/rectifier. Physically pull the plastic plugs off the terminals and look at the condition of the terminals to see if they are dirty. Sometimes, just removing and installing the plug with a few wiggles will create a better connection.
If after all this and you still have a discharging situation, you may have to get a regulator/rectifier.:goodl:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply and I tried all those things. Yes it does have a ammeter but I'm not sure how accurate it is. I did finally contact my local Ford tractor dealer and Woody in parts has an amazing knowledge of these old mowers. He told me it was probably in the ground wires. These mowers are mounted on rubber engine mounts with a ground from the front mount to frame and then the battery to frame. So I cleaned both and moved the battery ground mount to a better frame mount and she fired right up !!!

Hopefully if this ever happens to anyone else they'll read this and start with the grounding system. It's alot faster than checking all of the positive wiring system LOL !!
 

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Never figured on that since my tractors all have the oil pan welded to the frame. No chance for a bad ground there. Glad to see you have her up and running.:goodl:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah funny thing it did it again, ground may have been an issue, but it still has one. May actually be in the key switch, it's fine cold, but after an hour of mowing it just stops dead, nothing. After a conversation at the local dealership we opted to try a new switch. I'll let you all know if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update, wasn't the key switch, looking into the rectifier now and possible grounds. Something is causing a discharge when engine is hot. Checked it with the volt meter after 45 minutes of mowing and the negative side of battery is showing volts. Doesn't do it cold, shows 0.00 but after it has ran and gotten warm meter reads 2.0 - 3.0 while it's running.
 

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Are you sure you mean the negative side of the battery? Where do you have the black lead of the meter? And you put the red lead on the negative battery post and it reads 2 - 3 volts?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nope, Positive lead is in my hand, black ground is on battery. With it running it is 2-4. Once i apply the red lead to the battery the meter reads 11.87-12.00. Move the ground lead to the frame grounds and the meter goes nuts !

The wiring on this tractor has been reworked, old etc etc etc. I'm thinking about rewiring it totally.

:duh:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
FIXED !!!! The ammeter even works now !!! The orange wire from the R post on key switch to the Rectifier was bad. Replaced it, rewired previous owners loop of seat safety switch and runs and charges great !!!

:thanku: :thThumbsU
 
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