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Only member from Western South Dakota!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I have been working on my MF8E that does not have the original engine. A little over a year ago I put a 10 HP Tecumseh from a snowblower on it. That engine has the 110-120 volt plug-in for the starter. My question---is that box with the start switch on it also a step-down transformer to 12 volt? I would like to just go to 12 volt with a battery. The starter outwardly looks much like the 12 volt starter on my MF12. I do have the original wiring harness and starter/generator for the MF8E but setting up a flywheel pully and brackets may be more than I can tackle right now with winter here. Just been lucky we haven't had a bunch of snow yet! I would think that there is no charging system in the snowblower setup. (captain obvious)--LOL

Thanks for any tips on doing this or if it is even feasable!

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread
Later---DAC
 

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Proud to be Deplorable
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I dont think it's a transformer, i think that it may have a diode in it, but a better guess is it's an AC motor. You could check to see if it has permanent magnets & that would give you a clue on AC/DC but I think you're in the market for a starter.
 

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its possible that the box contains a transformer but unlikely the current management needed would be costly. a starter can draw several amps trying to turn an engine over. thus the transformer would need to be able to handle it. to do that it can get quite big. thus it makes more economical sense to run a 110 - 120 starter when drawing from a mains power (aka house plugs). even tho the starters may look the same they can be completely different inside. the only way to know for sure what is in the box would be to carefully open it and take a peek. but be careful there will probably be seals to keep the box water tight. but switching from a 110/120 starter to a battery powered 12 volt starter would be just switching out the starters themselves. you would have to check and make sure everything lined up for it to be able to turn the engine properly. if u have the wiring for the 12 volt starter that would make things easier. if not a starter circuit isn't that complicated usually its just a push button which activates a high current relay which starts the starter if u want a circuit diagram i can scetch one but u can find them online as well.

hope this helps
 

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No, as others have said, it's a 120 volt motor. I think a 12 volt starter will bolt on though. I have a big Ariens walk behind with a 12volt starter on it. It has a key switch for the starter. If the engine is in good shape the pull start works pretty well on those as long as the engine is positioned so you can pull it without interference to the rope or your hand.
 

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Accumulator
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Yes,as Brian said,a 12 volt starter will bolt right up.
 
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Only member from Western South Dakota!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
MH81 said:
I dont think it's a transformer, i think that it may have a diode in it, but a better guess is it's an AC motor. You could check to see if it has permanent magnets & that would give you a clue on AC/DC but I think you're in the market for a starter.
Ok, I imagine that there would be no way that the battery would stay charged either.

MH81 said:
Of course, you always could use the AC to start it when cold and that little black handle to start it once it's warmed up & you happen to stall it. :laughingteeth:
Yeah I know, LOL, but last winter I was battling a cancer and couldn't pull the rope hard enuff when I would kill the engine accidently. I am completely healed up now and last night I did fine pull starting it. It was a pain dragging a cord out to start it!

trinity5001 said:
its possible that the box contains a transformer but unlikely the current management needed would be costly. a starter can draw several amps trying to turn an engine over. thus the transformer would need to be able to handle it. to do that it can get quite big. thus it makes more economical sense to run a 110 - 120 starter when drawing from a mains power (aka house plugs). even tho the starters may look the same they can be completely different inside. the only way to know for sure what is in the box would be to carefully open it and take a peek. but be careful there will probably be seals to keep the box water tight. but switching from a 110/120 starter to a battery powered 12 volt starter would be just switching out the starters themselves. you would have to check and make sure everything lined up for it to be able to turn the engine properly. if u have the wiring for the 12 volt starter that would make things easier. if not a starter circuit isn't that complicated usually its just a push button which activates a high current relay which starts the starter if u want a circuit diagram i can scetch one but u can find them online as well.

hope this helps
I did pull those screws out of that box but it seems it is also glued so I didn't tear into it any further. I had thought just maybe I could cut the cable coming out of that box and attach a terminal to bolt it to a switch/battery setup, eliminating that switch.

JDBrian said:
No, as others have said, it's a 120 volt motor. I think a 12 volt starter will bolt on though. I have a big Ariens walk behind with a 12volt starter on it. It has a key switch for the starter. If the engine is in good shape the pull start works pretty well on those as long as the engine is positioned so you can pull it without interference to the rope or your hand.
The rope angle is fine it was just me for awhile. What I may do then is to see if I can set up a pully and try to retrofit the original starter generator eventually. It will probably be just fine this winter.

mjodrey said:
Yes,as Brian said,a 12 volt starter will bolt right up.
It sure looks the same on the outside as the 12 volter on the MF12. Looks like they are pretty spendy starters,tho!
 

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it might be wise then to not break seals or wires but just remove the starter and accompanying boxes. and just go straight to a 12 volt starter. then you have that as a spare if you ever need it. you can go to repair shops that work on small engines they tend to have spare parts lying around you might be able to get a starter cheep. u should be able to get all the parts u need for new circuits.
 

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Electric Tractors
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In side that box all your going to find is a push button momentary contact switch.
If the snow blower the engine came off of has lights or heated handles then the motor will have charging coils in it, but the output is probably AC not DC volts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
trinity5001 said:
it might be wise then to not break seals or wires but just remove the starter and accompanying boxes. and just go straight to a 12 volt starter. then you have that as a spare if you ever need it. you can go to repair shops that work on small engines they tend to have spare parts lying around you might be able to get a starter cheep. u should be able to get all the parts u need for new circuits.
Yeah that is probably the smartest thing to do, and I can think of 2 outfits in the area that may have some used parts.

DH1 said:
In side that box all your going to find is a push button momentary contact switch.
If the snow blower the engine came off of has lights or heated handles then the motor will have charging coils in it, but the output is probably AC not DC volts.
Yes the snowblower had unswitched headlights. They would just be on whenever the engine was running. I will look at the lights and see what voltage they are!

Thank you all for the help!

Later---DAC
 

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If you find that the output is 13+ v AC, you may be able to put a diode on it and at least get some charge. I'd definitely figure out the current of the lamps and fuse it near that to keep from burning out what's in there.
 

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if the output is AC i would suggest using a voltage regulator instead of a diode. that way you get a more even and regulated output. and then you know it can handle any amount of current required for running and charging purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
trinity5001 said:
if the output is AC i would suggest using a voltage regulator instead of a diode. that way you get a more even and regulated output. and then you know it can handle any amount of current required for running and charging purposes.
All I have had time to do was take the headlight assembly off the snowblower. I wasn't able to read the print on the back of the bulb, so I figured what the heck and just hooked the good one to 12 volt and it works fine. The other bulb was obviously bad as it was blackened on the inside and an ohm meter registered no continuity. So far then we have concluded the charging system of that 10 HP Tecumseh must be 12 volt DC current. We already know the starter is 115 volt AC. Replace starter and add a voltage regulator to keep from overcharging the battery?

Thanks for all the help so far!

Later---DAC
 

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ya that would be a good plan. i would suggest looking into different voltage regulators to find one that meets your needs not all are the same. you won't need one that can pass 20 to 30 amps. doubt the engine would produce that much any way. but its an example. look around at different costs and outputs (voltage, current, etc...) to find one that works best. and good luck sounds like it would be well worth the effort.
 

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Although a regulator is the best solution in technical terms most of the small engines out there use only a diode. The impedance and voltage output of the coils is designed to provide a current to run the lighting load for the blower. There likely isn't a lot of extra capacity for charging a battery. If you have a switch for the lights on the tractor then with the lights off the current would be available to charge the battery. If you use a good sized battery it probably won't overcharge. Many of the basic newer tractors don't use a regulator, just a diode. So you could get away with that setup.
 

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I have worked on a ton of those Tecumseh motors... They have a 3a AC lighting coil in most of them, its capable of about 3a at 13v, without a load open circuit voltage will be as high as 24v. However, if your snowblower had two lights then it had the 5a lighting coil.

As for the lights... Those headlights work on both AC and DC, a bulb is nothing more than a resistor, it doesn't care what the power is, only the voltage. If you were to run 115v through them they would burn out.

On the Tecumseh you should have a two wire plug. If you still have the wiring from the snowblower you should see that one wire went to the light switch, the other went direct to the other side of the bulb. Take the one that came from the switch and put a diode inline with it and a 3a fuse and connect to the positive battery terminal, or the battery side of the starter solenoid, a good 5a diode is what i usually use for the engines with the 3a coil, or a 5-10a bridge rectifier. Then connect the other wire to ground. If you use a bridge take the two wires from the engine and connect them to the AC terminals on the bridge, doesn't matter which one goes to which, then from the positive terminal put a 3a or 5a fuse inline, depending on which coil you have, and connect it to the battery positive terminal, and from the negative side of the bridge go to the engine block/frame or battery negative depending on how your ground wiring is set up.

Now you have a 3a/5a DC output for battery charging and lighting. The average 35w PAR lamp on a tractor takes about 2.5a to run.

On my Ariens i put in a new Briggs that has a dual output alternator, it has a 5a AC output and a 3a DC output. I use the AC output to run the lighting, and the DC output to charge the battery and run one LED work light which draws about 1.5a and provides more light output then the 35w tractor headlights. A tip on those... They have a red and white wire on the new Briggs Intek, the red is the DC output with a diode inline, the white is the AC output. If you cut out the diode and put the red and white wires on the AC terminals of a bridge rectifier you well get about 13a DC output by using both coils together. I have wired a few like this. On mine i have about 2a of DC draw with the work light and my LED strobes, that leaves 1a for battery charging, so i didn't bother with the higher output. However, if you run the lights off AC just remember they are only available for use when the engine is running and change in brightness with engine speed, if you want to eliminate that then you need to run your lighting off DC so the battery keeps them on.

What i would do in your case is put a rectifier in, run the output to the battery, and then wire the lights through a switch and fuse to the battery. Pull off the AC starter, as mentioned its just a switch in a box on the top of the engine, put on a DC starter and a solenoid and wire up a simple push button switch to crank it over, unless you have a key switch with a starter output on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I apologise for being offline for a while. Thanks for all the additional info! Working headlights really isn't an issue to me, if its dark I ain't plowin! But it would be cool to have a charging system, and maybe I should just fabricate ways to mount up the original MF8E wiring harness and generator/starter up to this Tecumseh. It will be a spring project after the snow flys. I'm pretty dumb with these electrics obviously, but I did know the bulbs would still glow but I expected them to be a little dim on 12v dc for some stupid reason!---LOL
Now I know voltage is the same with either!

Later---DAC
 

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DAC, I have to say, I thought that working headlights weren't a big deal either. I've been working with unlighted tractors for 15 years or so, until I picked up a lighted MF 12 this summer. Now, I don't try to cut grass or plow after dark, but it is a whole different kind of COOL to have your kids begging for a tractor ride in the evening after dark, and you go out and crank up a tractor with headlights and off everyone goes for a tractor-trailer ride.

Howard
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
HowardsMF155 said:
DAC, I have to say, I thought that working headlights weren't a big deal either. I've been working with unlighted tractors for 15 years or so, until I picked up a lighted MF 12 this summer. Now, I don't try to cut grass or plow after dark, but it is a whole different kind of COOL to have your kids begging for a tractor ride in the evening after dark, and you go out and crank up a tractor with headlights and off everyone goes for a tractor-trailer ride.

Howard
Well my kids are too old and it will be a few years before any grandkids come along. What you are doing sounds like a great time tho and I do have one of those tilt bed trailers I found in a scrap pile I'm going to fix up! Maybe I will get it done by the time we have some grandkids! My MF12 is the non-lighted version.

Later---DAC
 
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