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BlueOx

246-H clutch issues

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Hi all, new to the forum. I'm looking for advice on a 246-H that I'm checking out for a family friend. The issue is that the ampmeter shows a discharge when the deck clutch is engaged. It goes back into the green when disengaged. could this be a grounding issue with the clutch? Thanks in advance for any help.

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Not familiar with the ammeter on that tractor.  If it show discharge when the clutch is engaged it means the clutch coil is drawing more power than the charging system can produce. Is the battery in good shape.  What are the voltage readings engine off, running no clutch and running with clutch on?

 

 

Welcome to red square

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Posted (edited)

Came to the right place Blue :WRS: Voltage readings will vary with the condition of battery. Assuming the battery is good without the engine running and key off you should have 12-13 VDC. With the engine running at or near WOT and all accessories off you should have 13.5-14.5 VDC. The regulator on this motor tends to run a little high but anything over 14.5 replace the regulator immediately. Again this type of reg. tends to fail in the over charging mode. BTW the guage is a voltmeter and not a ammeter (unless someone changed it)huge difference. You should have the guage pictured below. Now with the motor running at WOT and egaging the clutch it is not uncommon for the needle to drop to the start of the green zone. Turning on the lights may even push it into the yellow zone. Electric clutches are very power hungry this one no exception. It's also not impossible that the clutch has sone shorted windings causing excess current draw. The clutch circuit is fuse protected. If the tractor is as old as I suspect and the clutch has never been replaced get ready, this unit has a built-in life span. No worry there as we know where some top notch replacments are. Did I mention the regulator was also built to fail? :)

20180425_151203.jpg

Edited by WHX17
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I have seen electric clutches on AC units draw 20A or more. They suck the juice. I'm thinking the battery is getting tired, (they basically act like a capacitor when running) or the charging system is getting even more tired. Start with a cable connections first. May even need to replace your battery cables. If the battery is pushing 3 yrs. old I would replace it anyway and go from there.

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Thanks a bunch guys! Since I'm just getting a first look at this machine it appears I have several things to check out first. As soon as I do I'll get back with more questions. My main concern is that if the clutch is in need of replacement, we're looking at a hefty price from what I've seen on the net. Thanks again

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Toro is quite proud of theirs. I am on my third one but I have found a bolt right up after market at half the price and ten times the quality. We'll talk if it comes to that. A 246H has  been in my herd since 1999 and my main mower every year. Will probably get use out of it for another 20 years.

20150824_110025.jpg

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OK guys, here's what I've found so far: Engine off/key off I have 12.4v at battery. Then, at WOT/no deck engagement I have 12.25v at battery. Could the regulator be the culprit? it appears to be on the right side attached to the engine. Your thoughts ? Thanks . Also, I have 2 312-8's myself now and an older cub hydro.

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Very possibly the regulator.  Also could be the engine stator that generates current and feed the regulator.  There is also a fuse that could be a culprit.  There should be 3 wires on the regulator two from the engine and one going to the ignition switch.  With engine running check AC voltage cross the two engine wires note it is  AC.  I do  not know spec for B&S engines but you should get upper 20's lower 30 ACV.  if you do then the regulator is prime suspect.

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Posted (edited)

Here is the charging circuit simplified. Note there is a fuse in the circuit so check that AND the fuse holders. There can always be problems hiding there. The manual I have attached has more info in as well. Personnally I would change out the reg just because they are known to go out and not real expensive.. The PN and where I got from escapes me I will try and find it  It was from the jungle site or fleabay and was 10 bucks or so.  You can check the stator resistance and output as well.

Tractor 1992 246-H Wiring Detailed.pdf

WH89-90 _T14 Electric Pto Clutch Service.pdf

Here's the reg

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Voltage-regulator-for-Briggs-Stratton-394890-691185/260774955955?epid=2256047227&hash=item3cb7660bb3:g:8xsAAOxyyjpRwdgo

Capture.JPG

Edited by WHX17
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WHX17 & pfrederi : thanks guys for the input. Now I have more things to check when it stops raining. pfrederi, my first tractor was a Case VAC. pretty good old unit. moved up to International now w/60hp. also, spent some time in an M37 too. WHX17, I found the link for the regulator. after I check it I will know where to get one. I can't seem to wrap my head around why it only discharges when the clutch engages unless the clutch has a short in the winding. Or, it could be the regulator is just not allowing it to charge . more to come. thanks a bunch guys

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Your :text-welcomewave: Blue..... keep us posted.

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11 hours ago, BlueOx said:

I can't seem to wrap my head around why it only discharges when the clutch engages unless the clutch has a short in the winding. Or, it could be the regulator is just not allowing it to charge

:WRS:

The first thing to do with any electrical problem is to load test your battery (auto parts stores do it for free) and clean and tighten all electrical connections including grounds. Any corroded or loose connection WILL result in a drop in voltage demanding a greater amount of current flow for the same power output. If not corrected these loose connections will eventually burn out.

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Here's the update guys, I tested the regulator at idle (2 yellow wires) and got 15VAC, then at WOT I got 26.6VAC. As 953nut suggested I will recheck the connections on the battery although this thing looks mighty clean. I don't know how old the battery is though. I thought about that when I tried to crank it this morning and it was barely 12 volts. after charging for 1-2 hours I had 13+v. could the battery just be used up enough that it would show discharge when the deck is engaged ? So, from what I've learned the regulator should be good and the stator also. 

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When you said charging for 1-2 hours...was that with a battery charger or just having the mower running??  What voltage do you get while it is running y  I do not see that you regulator has passed any test yet.  Stator sound OK .  Also you say it showed discharge I taught we figured out you have a voltmeter not an ammeter. That just shows voltage not charge/discharge.

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:text-yeahthat:I would agree with Paul. Since it's easy to pull the battery I would do that and take it to a Batteries Plus or you favorite auto parts store and they will load test it. Remember if you got 3-4 years out of the battery it doesn't owe you anything.  I would also still order & replace the voltage reg.

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3 hours ago, BlueOx said:

I will recheck the connections on the battery

You also need to look at the connections at the regulator, line fuse holders, ignition switch and all other connections in the charging and PTO flow path. Any poor connection will cause voltage drop, several poor connections will cause real problems. If you don't take care of it now it will bite you in the butt at the worst possible time.

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OK guys I'm back with a short update: checked this thing out more today and here's what I have. I checked all the connections around the regulator and applied dielectric grease to each. checked/cleaned the battery terminals . the battery shows 12.5 volts not running. when I turn the switch on the battery meter(pictured in WHX17's post) shows in the green about 13v. when I crank the engine it stays about the same but, when engaging the deck it goes to about 11v. I still haven't checked the switch cause I have to pull the fuel tank to get to it and just haven't yet. I also need to have the battery load checked. that's next. from info above it appears the regulator is putting out the correct vac @26.6. I did replace a 30a fuse that looked bad but no change. going to keep checking after having the battery checked. thanks for any thoughts. 

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There should be about 13.5 to 14 volts dc from the regulator. Voltage is converted from the 26.6 volt ac to the 13.5 to 14 volt dc to

charge the battery. If you are getting only about 11 volt with clutch on voltage is not gettin from the regulator to the battery. Could be 

wiring or could be the regulator. I believe you can go from the output wire to the positive battery post with a wire and see if battery 

voltage is higher with engine running. 

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Howie, thanks for your input. I've done some checking this morning and here's what I see. (and the 11 volts I mentioned is on the battery gauge on the dash, just watching it when engaging the clutch) I have the 2 yellow wires and 1 red coming from regulator. the red one connects to a white wire that goes to a 30A fuse in the fuse block. the other side of the fuse has a red wire that goes to the starter solenoid . there are 2 relays above the fuse block that I removed and cleaned the terminals and applied dielectric grease to. Not sure what they do. I did remove the plug from the back of the switch and it looks good. I'm gonna check the output from the regulator on the red wire and see what I get . got some other things to do so it will be later. Thanks again And, 953nut, WHX17, pfrederi please add anything you think will help. I'm not good at electrical stuff! I could be way off on where the wires went cause I was swatting wasps and carpenter bees also.

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There is a wiring diagram in the manual I posted above. The diagram shows you what the relays do. Measure the red wire from the regulator right at the battery. Don't try to read it disconnected or you may get a false reading. You want the tractor running at WOT to do a load test on the regulator. Do not go by the tractor voltmeter as it may not be entirely accurate. A cheap hobbyist DMM will be fine. Again personally I would just replace the reg and be done with it.

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WHX17 , thanks I printed off the wiring diagram you posted. Yeah, I wondered about the meter on the dash not being accurate. I did trace the regulator wire all the way to the battery. I'll check that next. I do have a meter. I may just do as you suggest and replace the regulator and go from there. Just didn't want to go crazy replacing things that didn't need it. The battery is fresh from 02/18 so should be still good. Thanks

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Having only 12.25v at WOT is not good for those clutches.  Usually 13.8 to 14 is the sweet spot for them.  Definitely a charging system issue and it looks like everybody has you on the right track.  I had an issue with the regulator on my 246 last year.  I was getting way over 14 volts output at WOT.  

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22 minutes ago, CountryRock said:

I was getting way over 14 volts output at WOT.

Same here Country... cooking batteries. By any chance did your headlights flicker at WOT too?

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I never checked them, but I also replaced them with LEDs when I first got the machine.

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