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Tractorholic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this last fall I had my Massey fired up to be entered into the local fair and the battery was dead. I jumped it to get it to the fair and again to get it home. I then plugged it into my battery maintainer for a nice slow charge. Fast forward to early winter and the tractor will not start. Fast forward a little, and I find that I have no spark.... I suspect the ignition module as it was used when I installed it back in 2010, and jumping the coil gave me a spark, I had my son install my new (spare) module to see if that fixed it. He did not bolt in in place, and because there was no ground, I figured he fired the new spare one.

So I start buying parts in disgust... first a brand new ignition module... no spark.

Then I tried my spare converted SSI coil that Ed Stoller modified for me... no spark.

I remove another modified SSI coil I had on a OH140 motor... no spark.

I contacted Ed Stoller and bought a new hand made pick up coil and installed it... no spark

I then bought a brand new coil even though it would spark when jumped, and when the ignition module was cycled off with the key... no spark!

Just for kicks, I even put a new key switch that I bought and had not used yet (I liked it better)... no spark

I tested every damn wire for position and continuity, all was in place and good.

I then switched my test meter to 12V and planned to check the switch and 12V at the wired too... well, I like to test the meter by touching the battery first. When I did this, I noticed my test meter read -12v? I went out to my Jeep and checked the meter, yep... sure enough the meter is reading normal 12v! I go back out and recheck a few times and the battery cables are correct, but I swap them backwards and giver her a shot... Damn if I don't have spark now!

What must of happened is that when stone dead, the battery maintainer was confused enough by the lack of polarity, it charged backwards! Now apparently the starter is not polarity sensitive because it was cranking the motor over in the correct direction too!! I unplugged the ignition module and left the rear parking light on to kill the battery stone dead and then I will have it recharged and see if it will recover before I buy a new one. I have been messing with this for a couple months now, and live in Connecticut. If anyone has missed it, we have been getting a little bit of snow as of late! so far this month we have about 40" dropped on us, and I kinda miss the snowblower!
 

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I read your story and though to myself" I have got to be related to the guy" as it sounds like the kind of luck I have. Then I looked back at your sign in name and had to chuckle to myself. I am a Paramedic with 24 years on the truck and volunteer with our local fire dept.
 

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Elf guardian
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Wow, that sure sounds frustrating. I hope you've got the answer there.

With all that snow, and not being able to snowblow it, you must

have been going bonkers.
 

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Tractorholic
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea, it's rare for sure.... what made it hard is that because I don't use the tractor as much at this house, it was put on the charge on Labor Day weekend, and not touched until early winter! I never even suspected the battery! I hope she will be nice and stone dead by tomorrow morning and I will try to bring her back to life with a good charger! The funny thing is that the battery maintainer will not run if the polarity is wrong, but it must of been freaked out trying to figure out what was correct, and just went the wrong way.
 

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Red Tractor Nut & Diesel Addict
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My Dad hooked jumper cables off his truck to a brand new GT battery last fall. He didn't know he had hooked the battery cables backwards when he installed the new battery, but his would not engage the starter as it spun backwards. So he thought it needed to spin faster, thus the jumping. However Dad is 89 and his thinking isn't as clear as it used to be & when he put the jumpers on, he put the jumper's + cable on the - side of the GT battery. He kept charging it off the running truck alternator, and in the meantime I went out to help him. At first I didn't notice the GT battery installed backwards on the cables. Then I felt the battery & it was hot as hades. That's when I seen it was hooked up backwards. The battery wasn't ruined, but the truck alternator overpowered the small GT battery till it was the opposite polarity by the time I got all unhooked. Luckily the battery didn't explode, which I consider a miracle in itself, plus the truck's alternator was unharmed as well.
 

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Tractorholic
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now you see, if my started had done that for me... well, it would of been a no-brainer! That was the most curious part, I never knew a starter could be reversed like that, yet crank over the same direction both ways!
 
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Tractorholic
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It sure was! I have the fan shroud off, so it was easy to see. If it ran backwards, it would never toss the starter gear out there to engage the flywheel to start with.
 

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First of all glad to see you back, have studied your MF threads like the bible. What a freaky thing to happen. It's a good thing you had most parts available to swap out during those sometimes long trial & error methods of trouble shooting. Glad you figured it out & hope the battery gets back to normal.
 

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How much did you get today? When I was a teenager, working in gas stations, I heard that running down a battery and reverse charging it was a way to "clean" it. Old submariners told of dead shorting batteries to "clean" the insides. It all sounded dangerous to me. Good Luck, Rick
 

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Tractorholic
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i think we got another 8" maybe 10"...
 

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Now you see, if my started had done that for me... well, it would of been a no-brainer! That was the most curious part, I never knew a starter could be reversed like that, yet crank over the same direction both ways!
If a DC motor has wound field coils it turn the same way regardless of polarity --They can be made to run backward with some rewiring of the brushes.

Permanent magnet field will turn backward when polarity is reversed.
 

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I feel your pain in the no spark issue with the SSI modules/ignitions. I have a custom ignition but it can still be a pain sometimes. Glad you finally figured it out.
 

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Tractorholic
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The funny thing is that I am almost positive that none of the components were ever bad. My Ed Stoller conversion goes back to 2010 and has never given me a problem.... ever.
 
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I can see that. I am planning to modify an SSI module myself to make one of his systems, hoping to put the whole system together for under $60
 

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Whatever made you swap the cables backwards ? just out of frustration, last resort did you know that what happened was a possibility with the battery reverse charging ? just curious because I would have shoved it off a cliff and went on CL for a different MF
 

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I learn something new every day. I am glad you figured out the problem and shared it with us. Thank you.

On a positive note, I am sure by now, you are tired of all the snow but it wont last much longer, Springtime is on the way. :wave:

World Human Organism Font Travel
 

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