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onisius

1974 C-100 Electrical Meltdown

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While mowing engine begins to slow and stall. Increase gas then puff of smoke comes up from under rectifier. Dead. Find three prong plug to rectifier melted in two places. One white stator wire and orange wire below it burnt and melted connector. Stator wires do not check as shorted to ground. Continuity check across reads 0.2 ohms. This is with cheap digital meter so don't know how reliable. No prior problems with battery charging or anything else. Really baffled at this. Have kept this machine going for 33 years now and have to decide if it's time to shoot the Horse and buy a Deere. If anyone has any ideas I would greatly appreciate any help. If anyone knows where to get rectifier part #101450 or stator for C-100 please let me know. These parts I'm sure are pricy if

available at all. Need to decide if it is worth keeping up the fight. Thank you fellow members for any information you can forward.                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Onisius

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3 minutes ago, onisius said:

have to decide if it's time to shoot the Horse and buy a Deere.

:no:                  Don't do it!        :WRS:

Sounds like the orange wire found it's way to ground someplace and drew an excessive amount of current. The readings you got on the stater sound good, probably fried the regulator. you can pick up a new 15 amp aftermarket rectifier/regulator on Ebay for less than $ 30.

 

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Welcome.  couple more checks for your stator.  when you get new regulator make sure it is well grounded,

stator.JPG

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@onisius Don't shoot it! It is well worth fixing!

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I would fix it. And after 33 years of use something has to go sooner or later.

I wish my truck would last that long.

It's probably a bad ground at the regulator .mine did the same thing melted the plug at the regulator. So I Cleaned all the connections on the tractor and all has been fine.

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On ‎7‎/‎2‎/‎2017 at 3:04 PM, 953 nut said:

:no:                  Don't do it!        :WRS:

Sounds like the orange wire found it's way to ground someplace and drew an excessive amount of current. The readings you got on the stater sound good, probably fried the regulator. you can pick up a new 15 amp aftermarket rectifier/regulator on Ebay for less than $ 30.

 

I doubt that a wire made connection to ground but rather a component inside the regulator finally shorted out. This caused the "meltdown" Semiconductors have a life of so many hours/cycles before they finally either short out, or go open. When they go open the device just quits working correctly and when they short internally then they will draw excessive amounts of current.

 

Loosing a ground on the regulator is going to cause it simply to not charge. It will not cause a wire to get excessively hot or for that matter any other action.

 

Go threw the connection and look for anything out of the ordinary and repair if necessary. Replace the regulator once you have determined the stator is ok. No shorts to ground and no open in the stator. A cheap meter by the way will still tell you if there is a short to ground or if the stator is open. No need to run out and purchase a $500 meter to do the same thing a $5 meter will do. The difference in the meters just so you know will be the accuracy in the ohms and the volts scale. The cheap meters ohms reading may be 5%, 10% or up to 20% off of the correct reading and the same is true when it is checked on the AC or DC volts reading. For small engine/tractor work the $5 Harbor Freight meter works fine.

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While rewiring my 1981 C125, I often use my 1978 C141 for reference.  When I peered under the rectifier a few weeks ago I saw the beginnings of the dreaded melted connector.  While many of you may be right that a transistor inside the rectifier may be failing, another thing to consider is the connectors may be starting to fail and are going high resistance which will ultimately lead to a runaway thermal condition (aka a fire in the worse conditions) and an open circuit.  I did check out the ebay rectifiers but have not done anything yet-just getting lazy I guess.

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I have an '80. Wires - most - showed signs of overheating. No fuse on anywhere may have had an impact, too. The regulator initially sent out high voltage and soon quit. The cheap eBay model is, so far, working fine. The non-eBay NAPA coil? Lasted for 20 minutes. Now on my second. YMMV.

 

Black hoods!!!!!!

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@doc724 is absolutely correct  a bad connection will cause a high resistance  and heat up. , when current flows through a poor connection, it meets resistance, and the resistance creates heat. Hence the overheating at the connector. This will melt the connector. That's what mine did and it did not destroy my regulator / rectifier. 

After rewiring it everything worked fine to this day.

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If the truth be known the terminal damage to the covering is probably caused by heat from the engine if the regulator is cooled by the engine fan like it is on the Onan's and not by a resistance problem. Your "resistance" problem would be accompanied by decreased output from the charging system problems that you would readily notice. If its charging correctly I sincerely doubt that there is enough resistance to be causing a problem. Decreased input/AC voltage from the stator would result in LOWER output. So, if its charging correctly, the output is correct you don't have a resistance problem causing the deterioration of the insulator.

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14 minutes ago, 6bg6ga said:

If the truth be known the terminal damage to the covering is probably caused by heat from the engine if the regulator is cooled by the engine fan like it is on the Onan's and not by a resistance problem. Your "resistance" problem would be accompanied by decreased output from the charging system problems that you would readily notice. If its charging correctly I sincerely doubt that there is enough resistance to be causing a problem. Decreased input/AC voltage from the stator would result in LOWER output. So, if its charging correctly, the output is correct you don't have a resistance problem causing the deterioration of the insulator.

I

He has  a C100 the regulators on them were the old large finned style mounted on the hoodstand not cooled by the engine.

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9 hours ago, pfrederi said:

I

He has  a C100 the regulators on them were the old large finned style mounted on the hoodstand not cooled by the engine.

 

Several things would contribute to the life of the regulator. The first thing is heat sink the original heat sink  to a piece of aluminum and add a 12VDC  fan. The second is to increase the gauge of the wire from the stator to the regulator and from the battery to the regulator. The resistance that is in question is going to be way less than probably 1/10 of an ohm with a decent spade connector. The current is what is causing the heat because the resistance is going to be extremely low unless the connector is about ready to either fall off or is of the dime store variety. If you have ever used an extension cord with a heavy load you will note the heat build up as a result of the current draw. If you check the resistance of the extension cord with a really good meter that has the capability to null the lead resistance you will find that there is very little resistance in the cord. The main reason for the heat is the current draw. I will agree that the secondary reason would be a faulty connection. If you suspect a faulty connection a simple test is to run the engine RPM's up and see if your output readings agree with the service manual. Like I mentioned in a prior post if the resistance amounts to anything the output from the regulator is going to go down.

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From the way I'm reading what you have done so far is that your regulator is probably fine. As others have said, check all your connections. Countless times I've had this happen. It's not the resistance of the wire but rather the resistance across the total connection. That connector is in a pretty hostile environment with dirt and vibrations. They can and do get crudded up causing excessive heat and exactly what happened to you. The wire size, connectors, etc. were engineered properly by Wheel Horse but decades of service is going to take it's toll. Do yourself a favor and just repair the connections and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. :)

 

Bob and Doc nailed it.

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Maybe I'm not understanding Bob here and what he is trying to say. Bob are you thinking there is resistance between the stator wire connector and the regulator tab on the regulator or a resistance problem with the stator wire and stator spade connector? If your guessing there is a potential problem with the stator/stator wire connection I would tend to agree with you. If your thinking there is a problem with the spade connection between the stator wire connector and the regulator tab then I'd be interested in your resistance measurement there. I'd like to see the measurements that have been made showing the resistance of the connection along with how the measurements were taken and the equipment used to make the measurements. Its simple to blame a connection when the actual fault lies in the connection of the wire to the connector. Wheel Horse buy the way didn't design the stator or the wiring from the stator to the regulator. Research the stator and you will find that a different company makes the stators for all the major tractor brands and its a simple matter of having the company name and a part number associated with the part stamped on the box. John Deere, Case, Bolens, and Onan for example use the same stator in a similar box with their particular PN and company logo printed on the box. As to the changes I mentioned/recommended I am an engineer in the electronics field as well as a mechanical engineer. I have actually been employed as a consultant that researches problems and makes recommendations to solve either on going problems or potential future problems.

 

I would recommend to anyone having a charging problem to make a few measurements first. If Bob is indeed correct then there is a difference between the AC voltage at the stator connector and the AC voltage at the regulator tab. This would confirm a resistance problem between the stator connection of the stator spade connector and the regulator tab. Most generally one is going to find a problem where the wire is staked to the connector and a resistance build up at this point. Insert a probe away from the connector and take another reading and this will tell you if there is a problem between the stator wiring and the spade connector.

 

Its actually easy to conduct tests and find where the problem really lies. That is the mark of a true technician or mechanic. The back yard variety simply closes their eyes and throws parts at a problem and somethines they get lucky but most of the times its simply a waste of time and materials. Maybe Bob is correct in that the spade connector is loose and if that is the case repair the connector/connection. If the connector pushes on hard make that resistance or voltage check and my bet is there is no resistance problem with the connection.

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Basically, what I'm saying is don't rewire the house just because a light bulb burned out. With about a half century experience in the electrical field AND Wheel Horses I've seen this countless times. The brilliance in the Wheel Horse engineering is the simplicity of the design. More often than not the brilliance of troubleshooting is to not overlook the simplicity of the problem. 

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IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE! I hope I'm in the right place to reply to all those members that have helped me with the C-100 Meltdown issue. Replaced regulator yesterday, repaired stator wire connections and orange wire conn on reg. Replaced ignition switch because I have had an

nos oem switch for 25 yrs so why not? Hope throwing extra part at problem doesn't make me a shade tree mechanic of questionable talent. The orange wire at the reg was rock hard and burnt. The regulator showed an internal blow out as I saw a blob of solder coming from the end of a resistor and coming up thru the epoxy coated or whatever it is encasing the electronics. I also added a ground wire from the regulator housing to the chassis ground point for the battery. It started right up and I had 14.4 v at the battery. I did notice during all this that the

needle on my ammeter had broken off. Brittle after 43 yrs or blown at meltdown don't know. Didn't notice until doing repair. If anyone knows where to get a replacement at a decent price it would be appreciated. In any event thank you all for your help without which I could not

have done this. I hope I did not cause too much dissention among members as this was not my intention. I hope I can return with more stupid newbie questions about voltage checking so I can affirm that I repaired everything that needed attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Onisius

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, onisius said:

hope I did not cause too much dissention among members

We thrive on it, keeps life interesting!

3 hours ago, onisius said:

ammeter had broken off. Brittle after 43 yrs or blown at meltdown don't know. Didn't notice until doing repair. If anyone knows where to get a replacement at a decent price

You may be better off connecting the two wires that go through the amp meter and replacing it with a volt meter.  :twocents-02cents:

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@onisius I'm glade you got it running.

Most of the time it's just a matter of getting help with questions that we don't understand. Sorry for all the technical answers. Most of the fixes are quite simple. I learned everything I know because the guys here took time to walk me through the process of how it works. Good luck on your wheel horse.

 

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Outstanding :handgestures-thumbupright::handgestures-thumbupright: Stupid newbie questions don't exist here. What we have are excellent questions by someone who hasn't done something before and is smart enough to ask for advice. :)

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