How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:43 pm

Today I got some new cables and charged my battery in an attempt to solve my starting problem.
I had to go into the house and the person who was helping me reversed the battery connections in error. (Ground the negative and hooked the positive to the starter. )He said that sparks went everywhere, and the cables were very hot. I hooked them up the right way, and nothing. My tester shows that I am not getting any current from the cable to the starter. I guess what I am asking is, how bad is this going to be?
THanks Jason...Cub in question is a 49, battery ignition

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:55 pm

Should not be any damage, I don't know exactly why but a Cub can be wired both ways and still work the exception might be the charging system may not work with a negitive ground? My 51 was run positive ground by the previous owner and no damage done., you should be ok
Last edited by Jackman on Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:55 pm

Jason,

When Bigdog gets back from lunch and his early afternoon nap, he will jump all over this.
He likes electrical posts almost as much as cookies! :D

Good luck with this problem.

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:07 pm

Jackman wrote:Should not be any damage, I don't know exactly why but a Cub can be wired both ways and still work the exception might be the charging system may not work with a negitive ground? My 51 was run positive ground by the previous owner and no damage done., you should be ok


well, makes me wonder if my cables are bad..my grandad made them for me, and he cut his teeth on Farmalls....but I dont seem to be getting any current thru them. Thanks

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:16 pm

As the others said, you did no harm by reversing it. As long as you have a good ground, a charged battery and all connections are clean it should turn over.

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:19 pm

6 volt cable is fatter than 12 volt cable, not sure if it will matter weather or not you have the right size but there is a differance,,,,, if its the wrong size cable just find a 12 volt battery and give it a try it will not damage anything as long as you don't turn on the lights. If all seems ok but still does not work go back and clean posts and connection give a try, see if your test light has power at the coil with switch on as well as starter,,,,,ifn good at coil but not starter its time to check the starter for a rebuild....

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:42 pm

If "sparks went everywhere" and the cables got hot, there was a dead short somewhere.

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:57 pm

Like Bob said you had a dead short some where and since it was shorted long enough to get the battery cables hot it may of shorted the battery also. check that first.

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:32 pm

How long did your assistant leave the battery hooked up that way?

When you say you're not getting current to the starter, I assume you mean voltage to the terminal on the starter?
It should be easy to diagnose, since the wiring diagram shows the negative battery cable goes straight to it.
Start by measuring the voltage across the battery terminals with at least one of the cables disconnected. You should read 6 volts.
If you've got that, connect the cables and measure from the negative battery terminal to ground on the tractor. You should see 6v again.
That indicates you have a connection from the positive battery terminal to ground.
Finally, measure from ground on the tractor to the starter terminal. 6v here indicates you're hooked up correctly as far as the battery and starter are concerned.
If you've got good voltage and your connections are tight, the starter should spin when you pull the lever. If not, the starter may be at fault.

Please let us know what you find, and good luck! :)

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:55 pm

It does make one ponder!!!!!!!!!! :D
I am a bit mystified as to why there were sparks when the cables were reversed. That should not have happened. Do you have voltage at the battery? If you have it there and not at the starter then you have a problem with the cable. If this cable was made with the clamp on replaceable ends then remove and check the cable ends themselves.

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:50 pm

Guessing on the cause of the sparks but two possibilities come to mind; the starter rod was stuck in the "pulled "position or he missed the starter post and hit the starter itself.
If the starter was hit, possibly the arc tacked the cable long enough to heat up. If there were sparks there should be tell tale burn marks. If the cables had any corrosion at the terminal the heat might have been enough to break good contact. As Bigdog suggested, check the terminals and cable.

Eikel

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:24 pm

by Ronny Bailey » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:32 pm

How long did your assistant leave the battery hooked up that way?

When you say you're not getting current to the starter, I assume you mean voltage to the terminal on the starter?
It should be easy to diagnose, since the wiring diagram shows the negative battery cable goes straight to it.
Start by measuring the voltage across the battery terminals with at least one of the cables disconnected. You should read 6 volts.
If you've got that, connect the cables and measure from the negative battery terminal to ground on the tractor. You should see 6v again.
That indicates you have a connection from the positive battery terminal to ground.
Finally, measure from ground on the tractor to the starter terminal. 6v here indicates you're hooked up correctly as far as the battery and starter are concerned.
If you've got good voltage and your connections are tight, the starter should spin when you pull the lever. If not, the starter may be at fault.

Please let us know what you find, and good luck!



Not sure how long it was hooked up that way..he was kinda sheepish about it. I will try what you suggested and let you know. Will probably be next weekend, though.
Jason

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:28 pm

Bigdog wrote:It does make one ponder!!!!!!!!!! :D
I am a bit mystified as to why there were sparks when the cables were reversed. That should not have happened. Do you have voltage at the battery? If you have it there and not at the starter then you have a problem with the cable. If this cable was made with the clamp on replaceable ends then remove and check the cable ends themselves.


I do have voltage at the battery but not at the starter. I will try your suggestion, but this tractor's electrical system is a real mess. :x It is a cobbled-up mixture of various wires and gobs of electical tape. Suppose I just need to re-do it all. Jason

Re: How bad?

Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:42 pm

It does sound like the heat may have broken the connection at the cable terminal ends. As a quick check you can run a jumper cable from the battery post to the starter terminal and see if the starter will operate.

Eikel

Re: How bad?

Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:11 am

I agree with the others, just reversing the cables will do no harm, just might have to reflash the genny. Should not have caused sparks either though, soming else is going on.