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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Nov 2013
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    6
    Location
    Latchley, Cornwall
    Tractor
    FE35

    Default Overheating wiring harness

    Hi
    When driving my recently restored 1959 FE35 23c yesterday, there was a sudden cloud of smoke from underneath the battery compartment with a few flames coming off the top of the block. These flames quickly died out (my rush to get a fire extinguisher was unnecessary!) but the end result is a badly burned wiring harness.
    The harness was purchased at the time of the restoration from Agriline who have told me that they are not aware of any similar problems with their product. Therefore, has anyone any ideas as to what may have caused the overheating? Cheers.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    2,126
    Location
    NorthEastern, VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010DT, Dresser TD7G Dozer

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    If everything has been fine for a while with all you electrics working then suddenly this then maybe the insulation got chafed or cut on a sharp edge and shorted out. Just a guess.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    210
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota M7040

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    Do you have an alternator with a voltage regulator?
    I have had some bad experiences with the regulators when they failed as they have a connection to full battery voltage and
    are connected to the battery with thick wire(s) which can carry a lot of current.
    Dave M7040

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Nov 2013
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    6
    Location
    Latchley, Cornwall
    Tractor
    FE35

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    Hi Gents. Thanks for your replies. No sharp edges for the wiring to chaf on. On further inspection, the loom has melted in at least four places and rather interestingly, the positive lead connected to the ammeter is also slightly burned. The flames appear to have come from some burning leaked diesel fuel which had run back along the tachometer cable! Hence why the fire died so quickly.
    I have a dynamo rather than an alternator, but take the point about the voltage regulator. The engineer who restored the tractor has stripped out the burnt harness and we have compared it with the original 'tired' one which we took out. The wiring on the original does seem a bit more substantial.
    As a result I have investigated buying an exact (as is possible) copy of the original lucas harness as I understand this is more substantial than the various replacements available. Once installed, we will be checking all cable and instruments etc. for shorts.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    2,126
    Location
    NorthEastern, VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010DT, Dresser TD7G Dozer

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    Sounds like the smart thing to do and BTW welcome to TBN, sorry we weren't able to be more help.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    227
    Tractor
    John Deere 455

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    Is any of the wiring harness fused ? And are the fuses the correct size, for the size of wire they are suppose to protect ?

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Sep 2000
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    6,553

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    Quote Originally Posted by Guido455 View Post
    Is any of the wiring harness fused ? And are the fuses the correct size, for the size of wire they are suppose to protect ?
    Fuses fuses fuses. A properly constructed wire harness includes fuses to stop this sort of thing from happening. enough current to melt it in 4 places, should have popped the fuse! Even the wire to the starter should have a fusable link. It may be wise to hand construct a harness with larger wires, fuses and use a spiral plastic wire loom to protect the wires from chaffing shorts. These old machines have little electrical so the wire harnesses are simple enough to by hand one wire at a time.

    Good luck and maybe you should think about mounting that fire extinguisher on the tractor?

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    9,392
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    I am in agreement with john bud, got to be a simple harness easily built and add fuses where needed.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6
    Location
    Latchley, Cornwall
    Tractor
    FE35

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    Ahead of you on the fire extinguisher recommendation! Asking around locally and speaking to parts suppliers, consensus of opinion seems to be replace the voltage regulator regardless of the condition of the existing one and then as suggested by various TBN contributors, to make up own wiring harness. Including fuses sounds like a sensible idea, as none on there at the moment. Will see what can be done. Thanks again for all your suggestions, great to know there is a wealth of advice on the end of a computer!

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    66

    Default Re: Overheating wiring harness

    Remember when comparing the harnesses it is about the gauge of the wire not the thickness of the wire and insulation together.. the new wire often has a clear sheathing over the colored teflon wire.. keeping that in mind it will also be thinner overall as the teflon coating is a higher heat rating etc.

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