Jump to content

1963 B-414 Pos-ground vs. Neg-ground?? Confused?


Shane Dolimont
 Share

Recommended Posts

A 1963 IH B-414 (Gas) was left on the property we purchased a few years ago and it is the main source of snow clearing the 1/4 mile driveway in the winter.  I have been running it every winter & summer since and repairing items as they tend to let go or need replacement.  So far it has all been mechanical items such as the fuel filter/fuel pump/oil changes etc..; UNTIL... she just up and died on me last snowfall.  Not just died, but lost all power as if you unplugged a vacuum cleaner.

So, I got into the electrical system troubleshooting and repairs...  I took care of some ugly wiring connections and cleaned up what I could; re-wired the start switch; new distributor/plugs/wires; was able to follow the power from the battery to the solenoid to the switch and have power there.  New switch works fine on the ACC, ON and Start.  She cranks but will not run.  My next big step is to go through the "RUN" circuit and find out what's giving me grief. 

In my research to troubleshoot this electrical problem, I have discovered that the original electrical set-up was a positive ground system!  WHAT?? Never heard of it...  Then more research to find out a couple of basic things:

-Pos-ground has the "+" terminal grounded to the frame/engine.  Uses a generator and a voltage regulator.

-Neg-ground has the "-" terminal grounded and uses an alternator.

Well, in my case, I have a neg-ground battery with a generator and a voltage regulator.... This is the beginning of my confusion...  Also, when I first installed the battery 5 years ago, I put it in with the "-" post to ground.  (didn't know anything else...)  AND it worked just fine for the last 5 years!!!  

With this latest breakdown, my philosophy was to systematically go through the wiring and repair/replace as needed until she was going again.  Unfortunately, even with the original operating manual and shop manual this pos/neg grounding has got me turned upside down not knowing which way to go.

Any enlightenment on the theory and differences between the systems would be a great help!  Or if someone must have modified the wiring, changed polarities in the generator??? How did it work to date?
 

Thanks in advance for your shared knowledge.

p.s. yes, we do get snow here in Canada...

Shane 

 

DSC02195.JPG

DSC02179.JPG

IMG_0247.JPG

b414 wiring.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn’t matter ,all current comes from ground . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Follow your print you will be fine . 

Good luck 

??? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't much care where the wires are / were it ran for 5 years and then quit keep it simple.  Pull the distributor cap and have a helper spin the engine over and you look in at the distributor, Is it turning?  It  better be.

while the cap is off use a volt meter and with the ground secure take the other lead and follow the lead stopping at every screwed connection and make sure you have 12 volts at every splice. And don't forget   the dollar bill between the points.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, we had a 1962 B-414D and it was positive ground. A generator will charge either a -ve ground or +ve ground system if it is polarized correctly.
I would switch the leads on the coil so the -ve post is connected to the wire distributor. The starter will always turn in the correct direction. 
Check points and condenser.  

 

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Shane, 

The positive ground is a British thing . its the same on British built cars of the era. As said Jimb2 stated, it will run fine with a neg. ground if the polarity of the coil was switch.

I hear ya when it comes to ratty wiring, i re-did mine from scratch on my Diesel B414. it had too many farmer fixes and someone had changed the generator out for an Alternator. It was not wired correctly and eventually shorted out the altenator. I added a fuse box and created fused circuits for the lights.

That said, if you are looking to ditch the generator and replace it for an altenator, use a delco 10si like i did, they are dirt cheap and self regulating making them an easy swap. just two wires and a jumper. One to the battery and one to the ignition switch, i added a charge light in-line with the ignition wire to help excited the alternator.

Now for the no spark. Follow the advice above. 

 

Al

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Power of Red said:

The positive ground is a British thing

If that is the case then every IH tractor made in the United States prior to 1958 must have been British, because they were all positive ground.

6V positive ground was almost universal in the USA until the mid 1950's when they started switching over.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Matt Kirsch said:

If that is the case then every IH tractor made in the United States prior to 1958 must have been British, because they were all positive ground.

6V positive ground was almost universal in the USA until the mid 1950's when they started switching over.

I agree.I sorta like positive and 6 volt  in the old tractors.It's kinda unique in today's world .Basic,simple,generators,separate voltage regulators.I know my comment is off topic sotra but I would start by switching this tractor back to positive ground unless it was switched over to negative ground properly.I know my old M if you by chance hook the battery up to negative ground the fire will fly and it is still 6volt.I don't understand how this tractor doesn't unless it was switched over before the present owner acquired  it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shane: May I ask what the serial number of your tractor is. I also have a 1963 B414 gas with power steering and 1501 loader. We bought ours new and it had the same seat as yours. Dad didn't like the seat and we changed it out a few years later for the 434 style seat. Ours was the only early gas one in the area and I just wondered where the rest of the gassers were. it now has about 4500 hours on it and never has had any significant issues. It is now more or less a shed queen. The serial number on mine is 2672 and engine number is 3902. Ours was originally sold out of the Montreal area. We moved away from there many years ago and it now resides here in western Ontario with me.    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone who responded to my issue!  Re-polarizing the generator to the battery did the trick to get it back into the barn and out of the elements... Now the rest of the re-wiring can be done properly.

I have been doing a lot more research and it is paying off.

In response to Gorge 2; the tractor serial number is 2265, and the engine is BC-144 3267  Thanks for asking because it finally made me actually READ the serial plate... duh! 

See photo. She was made in England!!!

Now I'm turned into a whole different direction to learn more about the history of my tractor.  How did it get here from there? Where it was purchased? How many came across the pond?  How many are still in use or even alive????  Interesting stuff.  I'll start researching this website as there seems to be quite a large group of well informed tractor gods that I need to sponge up to...

Thanks again!

Shane

 

IMG_3728.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few items about the B414 gas . Yours is probably built somewhere around February 1963. Mine has a build of April 1963 on several of the castings and probably assembled in May 1963. The B414 gas was first introduced in the USA in 1962 but was not introduced in Canada until early 1963. Yours probably came in the first boatload in 1963 and probably was landed at Halifax in April 1963. Mine landed in Montreal somewhere in June -July period. It was shipped out to the dealer in July and I first saw it there at that time. We bought ours after negotiating for a month or so in November 11, 1963. Good rugged little tractor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, George 2 said:

A few items about the B414 gas . Yours is probably built somewhere around February 1963. Mine has a build of April 1963 on several of the castings and probably assembled in May 1963. The B414 gas was first introduced in the USA in 1962 but was not introduced in Canada until early 1963. Yours probably came in the first boatload in 1963 and probably was landed at Halifax in April 1963. Mine landed in Montreal somewhere in June -July period. It was shipped out to the dealer in July and I first saw it there at that time. We bought ours after negotiating for a month or so in November 11, 1963. Good rugged little tractor.

First cousin to the 424!  Just about indestructible but heaven help you if the hydraulic system ever goes down.........

 

Al

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad hear you got her going again!

Keep us posted on your project, we love pictures ? 

this tractor will treat you well if you care for it. its a simple well built machine and many parts are still available and interchangeable with other British built IH utilities.

 

i have zero regrets buying mine. 

 

Enjoy! 

 

Al

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Holy Cow!

A "Tractor Ancestry . com" at my fingertips!  Awesome!  I'll chat with the previous owners with respect to the local dealer etc. to see what other history I can find.

If it wasn't obvious, I am a complete Tractor Virgin.  This is my first... never driven or owned one, learning fast as we go, and excited by the ride! (see photo). 

Caption: My Partner on the B-414 (aka Steely Dan) turning our new vegetable garden... Hard not to be happy!

As a "Newbie" member on here, I want to thank you guys for the responses, what a valuable resource, sad to have not found it sooner.

?SD

IMG_0075.thumb.JPG.31533646951d2036b731dbd782358efa.JPG

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Hi all

I stumbled across this forum and thread while trying to diagnose a problem with my B414. I'm also a newbie to tractors having bought my neighbour’s old B414 to mow my 3 acres of pasture last year (in Northamptonshire UK). It's a ‘64 and it's fair to say it's seen better days but it does the job. Or at least it used to.

A few weeks back it was time to mow for the first time and as I had forgotten to disconnect the battery over the winter, I removed it to charge and in doing so I noticed same as OP that the earth terminal was positive, which I’ve never seen before. I reconnected it the “correct” way around and the tractor fired up after a few attempts (the starter motor has always been a bit temperamental and it also takes me a while to remember the start-up sequence) and I got my mowing done.

A couple of days ago I went to mow again and no luck starting, just a click when pushing the starter lever. Thinking the battery might be dodgy, I put it on to charge, but when I went to refit it, I noticed that a whole lot of wire in the engine bay appears to have melted insulation. Now I can’t say for sure that it wasn’t like this last time (or even when I got the tractor) but as it appears new i.e. much cleaner than the rest of the engine bay, I suspect it is. The wire in question runs from the generator all the way back to up behind the “dashboard”.

Now I am hopeless when it comes to electrics. So my question is: assuming I have damaged something(s) in reversing the battery connections, how do I assess the extent of the damage? I assume I’ll need to replace the damaged wire(s) but how do I figure out where the damage starts and ends and what else needs replacing? Any help would be much appreciated.  

Cheers

Terence

IMG_0784.jpg

IMG_2842.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lot of that old stuff was positive ground. Switching it around probably made your charge/discharge guage, if it has one, read discharge instead of charge. Im assuming you have a wire that insulation melted or cracked and shorted out and caused your damage. Doubt if switching battery terminals around did it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe connecting the battery up with -VE ground will fry all the wiring to the generator and possibly the Volt Regulator as well.
Many years ago I had a friend change a generator in an old car that was +VE ground and the new generator was polarized for -VE ground.
About 2 minutes after he started the car and the generator started charging the wires from the generator started smoking.
I see from the photo that you B414 is a Diesel, so easy solution would be to find a Lucas alternator with inbuilt VR from a newer version of the B414 like 444 or 384 that had alternators,
then switch it to -VE ground and just add two new wires from the starter solenoid to the alternator. Here in North America we would use a Delco 10Si single wire alternator but I don't know if Lucas has the equivalent. We had a 384 in the 1980s with a Lucas alternator and it failed very early  and I fixed it once and the second time it failed I replaced it with a Delco 10Si and just used the one wire to the starter solenoid.

Good luck
Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks both. I can't seem to find a Delco over here but there are other 1-wire alternators available. However I suspect I would need to make some modifications to the mounting to make one work. You can get one that looks like a generator and uses the same mounting points (for those who want an original look I guess) but they are pricey. A replacement generator and voltage regulator are relatively cheap, (about half the price combined of any of the alternators I've seen), so I'll probably just replace those and see if that does the job.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have a B414 Operators Manual?  I scanned the manual belonging to the B414 Diesel Dad bought in 1962.

send me an email thru this site with your email address and I will email it to you in five parts in PDF format.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/15/2019 at 8:25 PM, Shane Dolimont said:

Holy Cow!

A "Tractor Ancestry . com" at my fingertips!  Awesome!  I'll chat with the previous owners with respect to the local dealer etc. to see what other history I can find.

If it wasn't obvious, I am a complete Tractor Virgin.  This is my first... never driven or owned one, learning fast as we go, and excited by the ride! (see photo). 

Caption: My Partner on the B-414 (aka Steely Dan) turning our new vegetable garden... Hard not to be happy!

As a "Newbie" member on here, I want to thank you guys for the responses, what a valuable resource, sad to have not found it sooner.

?SD

IMG_0075.thumb.JPG.31533646951d2036b731dbd782358efa.JPG

Nice B414, spent a lot of time in my youth driving one on our family farm, great 40 HP tractor, tough, reliable and easy to work on.
On our family farm over 30 years Dad had three of those IH Bradford UK, built tractors, B414, 434 and 384.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/9/2020 at 11:31 PM, Terence said:

Thanks both. I can't seem to find a Delco over here but there are other 1-wire alternators available. However I suspect I would need to make some modifications to the mounting to make one work. You can get one that looks like a generator and uses the same mounting points (for those who want an original look I guess) but they are pricey. A replacement generator and voltage regulator are relatively cheap, (about half the price combined of any of the alternators I've seen), so I'll probably just replace those and see if that does the job.

Thanks

In the end, I replaced the Dynamo, voltage regulator and damaged wiring. I also replaced the broken ammeter and stripped out some of the wiring that wasn't needed (lights and hooter/horn, neither of which my tractor has). That all achieved nothing.

So then I replaced the starter motor and solenoid and it fired up first time. Which it's never done before. So now I have all new electrics for under £300 and it should be good for another 56 years!

Thanks for all the advice and especially to Jim for the manual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...