Bxxxx series charging systems: Kubota Review  -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum and Review Bxxxx series charging systems: Kubota Review -- Kubota Tractors Discussion Forum

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 03-11-2003, 10:39 Post: 50966
WillieH



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 Bxxxx series charging systems

Hey guys...Now it is my turn to ask a question again...
I cannot really get a clear answer from Kubota on this topic, as they claim, dealers as well as corporate, that it is tractor dependent. Here is my situation: Pertaining to a 1987 B5200DT, it has about 1300 hrs on it now, obviously not been overworked, meticulously maintained and serviced by me as I am in the biz, the original battery lasted a little better than ten years, that's right, ten! The second battery, as I was told, wouldn't last much more than two years, I scoffed at that considering the last one. Well it has lasted five going on six now, however, down abit. All connections are cleaned regularly, and secured with routine equipment inspections. I have checked my systems for leaks ,etc. with nothing found. Question: Does the engine have to be in excess of a certain rpm for adequate charging of the battery? Typically my running revs, are about 1200-1500rpms.
I realize similarly to a car engine utilizing an alternator, that it should maintain a satisfactory charge if operating correctly even at lower speeds, however, the faster the rev, the better the output. I cannot believe that it is tractor dependent, persay, as I have had other B5200 units with similar operations. Certainly nothing wrong with the tractors, just wondering if I am running the revs too low.
Your thoughts Please.

Willie H.






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 03-11-2003, 11:49 Post: 50971
DRankin



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Alternators on gasoline engines are usually sized to make up for the electrical draw at idle.

When the folks who spec out police cars make their orders, they get an alternator that has enough power at idle to run the ignition, headlights, overhead lights, radios etc.

I know that a tractor draws a lot of power to start (glow plugs and starter) but where is the draw after that? Nothing I can think of on the average tractor draws any power except headlights and flashers, if you are using them.

So after you start the thing the only real job the alternator has (in daylight hours)is to recharge the battery to the extent it was discharged during the starting cycle.

That doesn't take much of an alternator or a whole lot of RPM's. I have noticed on my BX that after dark, the headlight dim a little at idle speed. But any slight increase in engine speed brightens them up instantly and the level of brightness does not increase after that all the way to full rpm's.






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 03-11-2003, 23:31 Post: 51004
WillieH



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Mark,
Yah...I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out what maybe or may not be happening. I do have auxiliary lighting that I put on my cab for night plowing many years ago,(twin 55w halogens), besides the rest of the factory front and rear lighting, however, I designed the wiring harness's so that the various circuits are switchable and isolated, so incase there was a problem, I could troubleshoot out that much quicker, besides being separately fused, they each have independent switches. To be very frank, I don't run all the lights at the same time anyway...if I'm out on the road, the flashers and maybe headlights. If I am in a yard, (daylight), not a light on at all. At night plowing, merely the twins. So, as you can see, I don't think that I am taxing the system that much. One item to note though, the tractor does not have an alternator...it is equipped with a magnetic generator/dynamo. I've researched many years ago the efficiency of one vs. the other. It was stated that the alternator is charging at a more efficient rate than that of the dynamo. Perhaps, this is the proof,don't really know.I keep experimenting with trying to get a higher charge rate, bumping the throttle up abit does increase output,(from 1200rpms to 1500rpms)then it max's out the rate change. More curiosity at this point in time than a problem. Keep the thinking cap on - always looking for additional ideas.
Thanks, Willie H.






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 03-12-2003, 10:24 Post: 51023
DRankin



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Gee, should have read your profile.... Like I know something you don't... Duh!

Has the battery ever been frozen? That was always a problem in Alaska.

Actually I think if you can keep a battery operational in a cold climate for 5 years you are doing pretty well.






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 03-12-2003, 11:02 Post: 51025
WillieH



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This present winter as many up here it has been nasty cold. Averaging about -30 F for nights and about -5 F for days. The tractor will start, just slower than "normal", and I've got Polar brand fuel additive in mix for fuel antifreeze/gel...so I know that it is not a problem, all the others start snappy. As a side comment, as mentioned when I bought the second battery five + years ago, I got some pretty good yuks when the guys at the dealer learned of the age of my first battery...saying you'll be lucky if you get two out of the new one, har har har... Guess I got the last laugh, even at five years! I suspect that it will remain in service for quite a while yet, the cells are good, never been frozen and always maintained. Maybe the H lights are just a little too much for the dynamo, never have a problem in warmer temps....figures!

Willie H.






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 03-12-2003, 19:52 Post: 51046
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 Bxxxx series charging systems

I'm not quite sure what the tractor's doing--whether it's hard starting or whether the battery slowly discharges over time.

I did some very rough estimating and figured that starting a tractor with glow plugs may take a bit less than 1 amp-hour. The total lighting draw with everything on likely is around 18A. If the generator is rated at 25A then there's a good chance that a hour's work even at idle speeds should bring the battery up to charge even with an 18A load. Don't know of course; I'm just trying to put some arbitrary numbers to an illustration.

I've never been certain that my Ford 1710 with its 35A alternator quite keeps the battery up. There are enough gaps between the snows here that the battery's internal discharge rate probably puts a dint in the charge level. I put a twist-lock receptacle in my aux lighting circuit and a plug on a 1A trickle charger and just keep the battery toped-up by charging it through the lighting circuit.

It's been -30F around here a lot too but fortunately it doesn't snow much at those temps so the tractor can wait it out. I do have a battery blanket that definitely speeds up the starter and helps starts in cold weather. I also burnished up the solenoid terminals this fall.






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 03-12-2003, 20:50 Post: 51055
jeff r



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Willie,

The biggest killer on batteries is sitting around with NO re-charging. Over time a wet cell lead acid battery will sulfate up and reduce its amp output and recharge time capacity. A completely plated out battery WILL NOT KEEP A CHARGE or discharges very quickly. Go to a battery place and have them put an amp test draw on it and see if it recovers. I know it will flunk miserablely, since the lowering of temperature will reduce any battery's output BIGTIME, I will bet your 5 year old sulphated battery coupled with those super low temperatures is just about GONE. That is why the biggest reason batteries in cars always go dead at the start of winter. During the summer when temperatures are high a marginal old battery has the power to start your car, lower the temparature to 0 and a marginal battery leaves you stranded. Go buy the BIGGEST BADDEST 1000 amp or greater battery your tractor's battery box will hold and keep a trickle charger on it during periods of extreme cold. Some guys even put a heated battery blanket around it to keep it warm and at top capacity. I replace my car and tractor batteries very 3 years whether they need it or not. Cold winters are tough on lead acid batteries and that is the reason car manufacturers went to a flat surpentine belt system because during the winter when a car is pulling many amps the old V fan belts would spin on the alternators pulley when under heavy charging loads and the battery would never charge completely resulting in a never fully charged battery sulphating quickly. That is why I put a 1/3 amp trickle charger on my 2 trolling motor batteries in my boat during the winter. Lead acid batteries are like women, keep them warm and charged up and they will last longer.






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 03-12-2003, 23:01 Post: 51064
rbarker



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 Bxxxx series charging systems

One other point to consider here is that it is possible for an alternator to have a blown diode which greatly reduces the amount of current produced. They usually howl a bit when this happens but you might not notice so much on a tractor in those extreme temps.






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 03-12-2003, 23:23 Post: 51067
jeff r



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Rbarker,
Willie doesn't have an alternator. He has a magneto. I don't think magnetos have diodes. One thing Willie does have is a BAD battery.






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 03-14-2003, 06:44 Post: 51122
Art White



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 Bxxxx series charging systems

For the believe it or not I have seen older than ten year original equipment batteries in Kubota's. There are differences in the construction of Batteries just like tractors and cars. It just depends on what we as consumers are willing to settle for at the time of purchase. To run a trickle charger on a battery when not in use is the best thing you can do for it. It will create heat as well as keep it fully charged. It boils down to you get what you buy, maybe, not what you paid for.






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