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  1. #1
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    Fowlerville, Michigan
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    Kubota L2550, Belarus 250AS, John Deere 6X4 Gator

    Default 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    I have a 6x4 gas John Deere Gator that won't stay charged. If I charge the battery, it starts and seems fine. If I charge it to full, and leave it sit, after a few days or a week, the battery will be dead again. This leads me to believe something on the machine is drawing power from the battery. It only has the electronic lift for the box, and headlights that turn on and off (both operated by a simple toggle switch). Now the catch... If I charge it full, it always starts and runs fine, for about a half hour or so (give or take) and then dies... This leads me to believe it is the stator? What I don't understand is why, if I charge it to a full battery, woud the battery be dead after a week if is never started or run? Could the stator be drawing if it is in fact bad? I would like to think it is the stator because it will charge and run fine, and then die, as if the battery is not being charged as the machine is being run?? Anyone have any ideas? I am hoping this is a quick fix so I can use the machine again! Sick of getting stranded wherever it decides to die on me!

    Also, from my reading on similar problems, a lot of people seem to have a problem with a bad voltage regulator? Does this have anything to do with the type of problem I am having?

    Thanks for all the help!
    Last edited by BFET529; 07-15-2012 at 10:03 AM.
    Proud owner of Kubota L2550, Belarus 250AS, and John Deere 6x4 Gator

  2. #2
    Veteran Member bigtiller's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    central Iowa
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    JD 2720

    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    Do a load test on the battery. I think it probably has a bad cell or two.
    HAVE FUN

    Life is easier when you plow around the stumps.


    2720

  3. #3
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Michigan
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    JD455 & JD790

    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    1) If you have a digital multimeter, check the voltage across the battery terminals with the Gator running. You should see something better than 13.5 volts, 14.2 being ideal.

    2) Definitely test or replace the battery if it's more than a few years old. (The most common problem)

    3) Charge up the battery and let it set for a week without being connected. At that point, dead battery = bad battery.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  4. #4
    Member
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    Apr 2012
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    Fowlerville, Michigan
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    Kubota L2550, Belarus 250AS, John Deere 6X4 Gator

    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    Thanks guys,

    I have checked the voltage while running and it reads above 14, and not running, reads at about 12.5. The battery was replaced a couple months ago, when I first got the gator because the battery was bad. The previous owner said that he had this problem, so I am thinking that there is something not working properly, causing the battery to take a crap. Any other ideas?
    Proud owner of Kubota L2550, Belarus 250AS, and John Deere 6x4 Gator

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Northern Fingerlakes region of NY, USA
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    Kubota L3830GST, B7500HST, BX2660

    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    Quote Originally Posted by BFET529 View Post
    Thanks guys,
    I have checked the voltage while running and it reads above 14, and not running, reads at about 12.5. The battery was replaced a couple months ago, when I first got the gator because the battery was bad. The previous owner said that he had this problem, so I am thinking that there is something not working properly, causing the battery to take a crap. Any other ideas?
    I would disconnect one terminal from the battery and connect it through an ammeter, then see what the draw is with the Gator shut off. I would then start pulling fuses or disconnecting things until I found what was causing the draw.

    Aaron Z
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

  6. #6
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    I would do what Aaron said. Let us now how much of a drain you have with the key off.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    Quote Originally Posted by BFET529 View Post
    Thanks guys,

    I have checked the voltage while running and it reads above 14, and not running, reads at about 12.5. The battery was replaced a couple months ago, when I first got the gator because the battery was bad. The previous owner said that he had this problem, so I am thinking that there is something not working properly, causing the battery to take a crap. Any other ideas?
    I don't know if your gator is shunt or field regulated. Either way, it could be the regulator. I assume it is shunt regulator, but I could be wrong. I don't really have enough info.

    Field regulators sometimes fail when they get hot. When they cool down, they work again. The way to check for this is to get it good and hot and make that voltmeter check again. If you don't get that same 14 volt reading, it is an indicator that the regulator is intermittent. However it would not explain the battery going dead after being charged then sitting awhile.

    Shunt regulators work by passing excess alternator output through a resistance to ground. It is conceivable that a shunt regulator could fail by "sticking" on. That would explain the dead battery after the engine has been shut off for some time. It would not explain the failure when the engine is actually running, unless the regulator is intermittent between two different failure modes, very unlikely but remotely possible.

    It is possible you are dealing with multiple electrical problems, including a new bad battery. A parasitic drain, which is what Aaron is suggesting you check for, would not explain all your problems. Combined with a second problem, it could help cause your symptoms. It is definitely something that should be checked.

    I don't know how knowledgeable you are regarding DC electrical testing. If you are not familiar with using ammeters, please read up on the basics before trying that. Unlike a voltmeter, it is real easy to smoke an ammeter by passing too much current through it.

    Misfire

  8. #8
    Member
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    Kubota L2550, Belarus 250AS, John Deere 6X4 Gator

    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    Thanks for all the help guys...

    So I went out and messed with it for a few, and apparently my memory wasn't working so well when I posted last, so please disregard on the 14+ volts. Using the digital read out on my battery charger, the battery reads 12.5 volts not running, with the key off. When re-tested while running, it read 12.1. This 12.1 remained constant even while running the engine at high rpms. I only tested for about 2 minutes while running, but it still never changed from 12.1, regardless of whether at idle or high rpm. Once the engine was off and not running, it read 12.4??? Since I can't seem to find my multimeter, I am going to pick one up today while I am out to test for a parasitic drain, and will report back. For now though, with the proper numbers given, does this make any more sense?
    Proud owner of Kubota L2550, Belarus 250AS, and John Deere 6x4 Gator

  9. #9
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    If you are only reading 12.1 while running it is not charging. Check you fuses first.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 6x4 Gas Gator Won't Stay Charged???

    Quote Originally Posted by 94BULLITT View Post
    If you are only reading 12.1 while running it is not charging. Check you fuses first.
    Yep, you definitely have a charging problem. BTW, getting a slightly higher reading after you shutdown is normal. Batteries tend to bounce back slightly when the load is removed.

    Don't worry about parasitic drain until you get the charging problem resolved. That is probably all that is wrong. The 14+ volt report threw everyone's diagnosis off.

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