# 12V Battery charging problem - MASSIVE SPARKS

On 12/23/2015 8:04 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

I'm pleased with the assorted wisdom here. I'd never heard of reverse polarity, and battery charged backwards. Amazing, the things that go on, out in the world.
Did you actually paint a cow? I've heard of farmers spray painting the word "cow" during hunting season when the Citidiots are out with guns. And, yes, I've heard of citidiots harvesting a cow when they hold a deer hunting permit.
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

Don't you mean to say that it's possible to change the polarity of a generator (not an alternator) by connecting the battery backwards, even for a short time?
At any rate, you're right about the meter. He should measure the voltage of the battery without the charger, with the charger, without the charger when cranking the starter motor.
If low charge, or a bad battery, is really the problem, the voltage will drop too much when cranking the starter.
(With a car, I don't need a meter and don't need to get out of the driver's seat by trying to blow the horn while cranking the engine. I do this test when the car won't crank. If it doesn't blow well, it's the battery. It if blows well, the starter isn't even engaging electrically, so its the starter circuit or the sstarter.)

Yeah, a gnerator. Not a battery.

That only works if the battery is reversed, connected backwards. Maybe it is and the OP is going by the post positions, which are reversed, so he should look at the embossed + and - next to the battery posts. Those are always accurate.
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No they are not. If a battery has gone dead it can be charged either way. If the battery was dead and the generaztor had lost it's residual magnetism and was polarized backwards, the terminal markings on the battery will be wrong, and the battery will not produce the full rated cranking capacity because the pos plates are charged neg, and the neg plates are charged pos, and the plate chemistry is different + to -
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2015 15:19:10 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Okay, I defer to your greater experience. You and bowman have convinced me.
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On 12/23/2015 01:46 AM, Micky wrote:

You can also reverse the polarity of a battery if it's close to completely discharged.
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As I said in a prior reply, YES, the entire system appears to have reversed. It may be rare, but it did it. My VOM meter proves the battery is reversed. Your URL link explains well how to get the polarity set right, (and I vaguely recall doing this many years ago on my first car), but how do I get the battery reversed again? -OR- do I just reverse the leads on the battery? Or maybe I'll have to replace it. (It was a good battery).
Now I know why they quit using generators. This one will be replaced with an alternator real soon. When I bought this tractor, it ran well and did not have any major problems. I knew the wiring to the lights was chopped off at the switch because of bad wires, and there were a few other minor issues, but just seeing that generator gave me a sick feeling. (now I know why). Almost every antique tractor still in use has been converted to an alternator and NEG ground. But not this one, it still has the POS ground too. This will be converted soon, if not immediately.
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On Wed, 23 Dec 2015 05:09:02 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

To get the battery back to normal you need to totally kill it first. Hook up a couple of headlights and leave the connected untill they don't even glow any more, then try with a small bulb like a tail light, and leave it connected untill it doesn't glow any more either - then connect the charger the right way and recharge it.
When the battery is properly recharged, reflash the generator to the proper polarity, reconnect the battery and restart the tractor. Make sure you follow the flash directions to the letter when repolarizing - someone sometime or another did not - resulting in the situation you now have.
There is a possibility the battery will be no good when you are done - but it is worth a try.

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On 12/22/15 9:08 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

If it's a positive ground vehicle, wouldn't the red charger clip go to the negative black batt terminal?
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Want to close wage gap? Step one: Change your major from Gender Studies
or Feminist Dance Therapy to Electrical Engineering.
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wrote:

No. Why would you think that?? It is the terminal that connects to the ground that changes between pos and neg ground - on a Pos ground vehicle, the red post goes to ground while on a neg ground vehicle the black post goes to ground.
Quite possible when the battery was totally dead sometime some "farmer" thought as you do, and connected the charger backwards - thereby reverse charging the battery - and that "reflashed" the generator to be a negative ground generator instead of positive.
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On 12/23/2015 5:04 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Regardless of which is ground, the red clip goes to + red positive, and the black clip goes to - black negative.
I've been working with batteries for more than 8 years. Nyah, nyah to Philo and Clare.
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote in message wrote:

No. Why would you think that?? It is the terminal that connects to the ground that changes between pos and neg ground - on a Pos ground vehicle, the red post goes to ground while on a neg ground vehicle the black post goes to ground.
Quite possible when the battery was totally dead sometime some "farmer" thought as you do, and connected the charger backwards - thereby reverse charging the battery - and that "reflashed" the generator to be a negative ground generator instead of positive.
You are acting as to be expert on battery but by reading your post I personally would not let you change battery in flashlight!
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Who - me, or the "painted cow"? I spent half my working life as an auto mechanic/auto electric specialist/service manager/Automotive instructor, and the other half as a computer technician - and I built and drove my own electric car back in the (late) seventies - so I know a bit about batteries.
Don't know about the "painted cow"
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On Thu, 24 Dec 2015 17:19:52 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I didn't do it, but you can cuff me if you wish... :)
I'm the guy with this problem (OP). I worked as an electrician for years, and did electronics as a hobby for years too. But this battery thing is a new one for me. I never know it was possible, which is why I posted this, while I was still compleltely puzzled by it.
Since then, this thread and what I googled on th web, has taught me something new. But I still have to clean up the mess.... The holiday and bad weather, have kept me from doing anything except reading and determining which is the best solution. At least now I know what occurred, even if it's still sort of unbelievable.
So, I put a note under my tree, and asked Santa for a brand new tractor. That should work. :) Which reminds me, I need to go look for flying reindeer..... I can always hire them to pull my tractor... LOL....
Later!
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca posted for all of us...

tony911 is from the old alt.hvac crowd and used to be sensible but I think Stumped rubbed of on him.
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Tekkie