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TC10284

414-8 Voltmeter Gone Funky

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Hey All,

 

So I have a recently rebuilt 414-8 that I've put probably 5 hours total on (myself) mowing my yard. When I originally got it, I replaced the voltmeter because it was not working. 

Well, the replacement has worked fine. Although I would sometimes see a little over 12v to 13v. The past couple times I've ran the mower, I've been seeing 14v. 

 

On today's run however, I got half way done with the front yard and noticed that the voltmeter was sitting all the way down at 8, the lowest it would go. After I finished mowing, I checked it out. My handheld voltmeter showed 12.9v on the battery when off and around 13.6 to 14 when running. So I disconnected the voltmeter in the mower dash, turned on the key, and stuck the connectors of the handheld voltmeter into the two wire connections. Sometimes I'd get a 7.9v reading, sometimes I'd get 11V. I jiggled the wires, no change.

Prior to this, I noticed that the headlights would come on and brighten up very slowly, but still be pretty dim. I ignored that though, because I never use it at dark. 

 

What gives?

 

Thanks!

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First thing to do would be to check all ground connections, clean up and tighten them. The 9-pin connector is also a known problem -- the pins and connections inside can corrode. (Pull it apart gently and carefully to inspect -- if any pins or connections are going bad, they're often damaged more when pulling that kind of connector apart.) Look for poor connections anywhere along the 12V wiring runs that are related to the headlights and the voltmeter.

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52 minutes ago, EricF said:

the pins and connections inside can corrode

This may sound strange, but I would give the 9 pin connector several shots of PB Blaster first (and definitely check the grounds) before pulling it apart...I have replenished numerous electric switches in old cars like that - Blaster is really good for electrical connections..............:twocents-02cents:

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Funny you should mention that -- I've been planning to clean up mine as well. I have a potentially bad connection somewhere for my fuel gauge. I've left the 9-pin connector undisturbed so far, but eventually I'll have to open it up.

 

I like PB blaster a lot. It's good for cutting through corrosion, but I try to keep it away from plastics when possible since the solvent in it is a little aggressive. I had a problem where my headlight switch was almost impossible to move because the internal contacts were crudded up. I shot some electrical contact cleaner (relay and contact cleaner) into it, and then followed it up with some DeoxIT D5. The DeoxIT is expensive, but very effective. I start out by flushing it with cheaper stuff, though, and then using DeoxIT to work on the rest. It took a few applications to get the switch freed up and stay that way.

 

When I get to the 9-pin connector, I'll probably use just the DeoxIT -- the connector's cleaner to start, and I'll want the best corrosion-busting behavior without risking it attacking the old plastic connector. ...And I plan to have plenty of replacement connectors or a good automotive multi-connector ready to replace the old one. :think:

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Posted (edited)
On 6/23/2017 at 6:57 AM, EricF said:

First thing to do would be to check all ground connections, clean up and tighten them. The 9-pin connector is also a known problem -- the pins and connections inside can corrode. (Pull it apart gently and carefully to inspect -- if any pins or connections are going bad, they're often damaged more when pulling that kind of connector apart.) Look for poor connections anywhere along the 12V wiring runs that are related to the headlights and the voltmeter.

Hey Eric,

 

I had some time to look at the 414-8 again today. I took off the plate from the dash that holds the voltmeter and looked for any grounds to the chassis. They all looked tight. I couldn't find all of them. I'm sure I missed some. It would help if I could find a wiring diagram or something to help me locate the grounds. I blew as much dust as I could out of everything I could find with an air compressor. 

 

I couldn't locate the 9pin connector you guys mentioned. 

 

When I cranked it up this time, it was pretty much the same. It was right over 8v on the onboard voltmeter. Although when I revved it up, it jumped to 12v a couple times and then eventually went back down to 8v. 
I also noted that when I open the throttle all the way and check the voltage on the battery, I'm seeing 15v there. The headlights are still dim. 

I get good voltage to the battery, but not to the headlights and onboard voltmeter. 

 

Side note: I have a 520-H non-Toro brand also (and 312-8). How can I be a member of the 520-H club? :-)

 

Thanks!

Edited by TC10284

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Don't know what your model year is and there were changes. Have a tractor model number? Some of the diagrams are also wrong.

 

Garry

 

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Toro/Wheel Horse often used a Molex 9-pin connector to join the wiring harness from the engine to the rest of the tractor on the last generation of tractors. It was a good idea, but the materials used in the connector and pins weren't ideal for the environment a tractor works in. In some cases, previous owners or service centers replace them with individual connectors or crimp splices. If that happened, you'll usually find a big bundle of connections or splices, all mostly grouped together somewhere in the vicinity of the battery tray. Any replacement connections can also go bad in the same way (loosening/corrosion) so wiggling them individually while watching the voltmeter and/or your test meter can help you hunt down problems.

 

While you're near the battery, be sure to check the connections not only at the terminals, but the battery cables' crimps themselves. They can get faulty, too, and they're easily overlooked because they're not a very common failure.

 

Electrical wiring troubleshooting can be a pain sometimes, but it's worth eliminating it as a possible problem -- better than tossing parts at it and spending money you don't necessarily have to.

 

If you can find the exact year of the tractor, or even just the serial number, one of us here can help dig up the appropriate manual(s) to help you along. Red Square has huge library of them, and you can also still find most of them from Toro's manuals portal on the Web; again you just have to know your tractor's serial number. One way or another, there's good service documentation out there for Wheel Horses, which really helps. :coffee:

 

There are quite a few "club" logos/icons that have been created and are floating around on the forum. Just grab a copy of the one in my signature line (Right-click and use your browser's option to save the picture, then go edit your profile on the forum, and upload your copy back to put it in your signature. You should be able to find one for your 414-8 and your 312-8, too, and add them if you want. (Just line 'em  up in a row in your signature) They're just a fun way to show off what models or favorite models we have in our stables. No special passwords or secret handshakes required! :lol:

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Posted (edited)

OK, so here's a pic I took of the serial tag. Unfortunately it's a little degraded. Unless it's in another location, that's the best I can do. From what I can read, it says 3114R80...

 

0625171011.jpg

 

Edited by TC10284

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The Kohler engine numbers will narrow it down

 

1986 engine numbers K321S-60440 used in tractor model 31-14K801

 

1987 engine numbers M14S-601524 used in tractor model 31-14K802

 

1988 engine numbers M14S-601540 used in tractor model 31-14K803

1989 engine numbers M14S-601540 used in tractor model 31-14K804

 

Garry

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Sigh. No luck there either.

For an update, I did some jiggling around on some cables near the voltmeter and noticed that sometimes when I jiggled the key in the switch, it would make the voltmeter "jump" - meaning fall to 8v a couple times, then go back up to 12v. I noticed Saturday when I took that part of the dash out, that some of the switch connectors were pretty rusty. Is it possible that a poor connection on the switch is causing it? 

0625171720a.jpg

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A poor connection on the ignition switch will do it as well as in the ignition switch.

 

If you get a good look at the back of the ignition switch each terminal should have an identification letter. 

 

1986 engine numbers K321S-60440 used in tractor model 31-14K801 will have B, A, I, R and S on the ignition switch # 103990. The charging system is the same as the 1987 model described below.

1987 - 1989 using the M14 engine will have B, A, M, R and S plus a ground terminal on the side of the 103991 switch.

The 1987 model using the M14 will not have a voltage regulator. The headlamps are powered by a stator producing AC current so they will only work with the engine running and the higher the rpm the brighter the lights.

 

The 1988 and 1989 models will have a voltage regulator in the engine blower housing cooled by the flywheel fan. The headlamps are powered by the battery so will work without the engine running.

 

Garry

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Man, you guys really know your stuff...

I'm impressed!

 

I do know that the lights won't come on unless the engine is running, and that they will get brighter as you open the throttle. 

 

I'll check on the ignition switch when I can and let you guys know. It may be another day or so though. 

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You have narrowed it down to these

 

1986 engine numbers K321S-60440 used in tractor model 31-14K801 - Has battery ignition with points and condenser. The coil is usually mounted on the blower housing next to the carburetor.

 

1987 engine numbers M14S-601524 used in tractor model 31-14K802 - Has magneto ignition with all the ignition components behind the blower housing.

 

Garry

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An update:

This evening I took the ignition switch out and cleaned all the contacts with electrical contact cleaner. No luck after I did that. 

So I went deeper and cleaned as many electrical contacts as I could find. After I got everything back together, I tried it out. The onboard voltmeter immediately went to 12v. When I started it up and opened the throttle half way, it went up to 14v! When I opened it all the way, it went to almost 15v! I don't know which connector it was, but it seems it fixed it. I mowed for about 10min and it stayed a solid 14.8v the whole time. 

 

I don't know if this will be a permanent fix or not, but so far it's working! 

 

Also, regarding the switch, the model number on it is: 111215

Here's a few pics. 

 

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7 minutes ago, gwest_ca said:

So your tractor is a 1987 model 31-14K802 with a Kohler M14S-601524 engine.

 

Garry

 

 

Thanks! Very impressive, sir!

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Posted (edited)
On ‎6‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 5:30 AM, EricF said:

Toro/Wheel Horse often used a Molex 9-pin connector to join the wiring harness from the engine to the rest of the tractor on the last generation of tractors. It was a good idea, but the materials used in the connector and pins weren't ideal for the environment a tractor works in. In some cases, previous owners or service centers replace them with individual connectors or crimp splices. If that happened, you'll usually find a big bundle of connections or splices, all mostly grouped together somewhere in the vicinity of the battery tray. Any replacement connections can also go bad in the same way (loosening/corrosion) so wiggling them individually while watching the voltmeter and/or your test meter can help you hunt down problems.

 

While you're near the battery, be sure to check the connections not only at the terminals, but the battery cables' crimps themselves. They can get faulty, too, and they're easily overlooked because they're not a very common failure.

 

Electrical wiring troubleshooting can be a pain sometimes, but it's worth eliminating it as a possible problem -- better than tossing parts at it and spending money you don't necessarily have to.

 

If you can find the exact year of the tractor, or even just the serial number, one of us here can help dig up the appropriate manual(s) to help you along. Red Square has huge library of them, and you can also still find most of them from Toro's manuals portal on the Web; again you just have to know your tractor's serial number. One way or another, there's good service documentation out there for Wheel Horses, which really helps. :coffee:

 

There are quite a few "club" logos/icons that have been created and are floating around on the forum. Just grab a copy of the one in my signature line (Right-click and use your browser's option to save the picture, then go edit your profile on the forum, and upload your copy back to put it in your signature. You should be able to find one for your 414-8 and your 312-8, too, and add them if you want. (Just line 'em  up in a row in your signature) They're just a fun way to show off what models or favorite models we have in our stables. No special passwords or secret handshakes required! :lol:

 

The connector requires that you use the special tool  MMIT-156F to correctly insert the wires into the connector. The tool is from Pancon and costs about $70.00   It is a common tool I use when I repair electronic equipment and or simple intercom systems you would find in schools.

terminal strip tool.jpg

Edited by 6bg6ga

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12 hours ago, TC10284 said:

An update:

This evening I took the ignition switch out and cleaned all the contacts with electrical contact cleaner. No luck after I did that. 

So I went deeper and cleaned as many electrical contacts as I could find. After I got everything back together, I tried it out. The onboard voltmeter immediately went to 12v. When I started it up and opened the throttle half way, it went up to 14v! When I opened it all the way, it went to almost 15v! I don't know which connector it was, but it seems it fixed it. I mowed for about 10min and it stayed a solid 14.8v the whole time. 

Good for you! :happy-jumpgreen: Keep an eye on things, but it's very likely that good, clean connections was all it took to get your electrical system back in business. Nice when all it takes is a little time and TLC to fix something!

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If you have the extra wire length and a problem is suspected in the connector you can simply pull the wires out of the connector cut 1/4" off of them and push them on the connector using a screwdriver.

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