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(ET) Big day: E-15 back in service.
you may remember my email from last November in which I described vandalism to my E15. I still don't get why anyone sane would beat the sh** out of a tractor... maybe that's the point. There's a special place in hell for tractor attackers, I'm sure.
The damage, besides a slashed front tire and a bunch of cuts, yet no punctures, to the rear wheels (tough ol' bastid, the E15... I found broken-off utility knife blade bits in a sidewall), was a mangled control section. Board 1, low current relays, the resistor board, all crushed and pieces strewn, and the wires yanked out and broken from connectors, on and on. Even a snapped battery post. This guy (I figure it was a guy) really earned his demerits that day, it seems to me.
It's been a mild corrosive in the back of my mind ever since it happened.
Now, after about eight or 10 hours over the last week or so, I got the machine back to running with parts I had from other projects. The keyswitch and seatswitch are looped in, it has an E20-like right-foot pedal pulling the lever on a potbox controlling a Curtis PWM. That thing controls current to the armature, while a relay controls constant current, one way or the other courtesy of a DPDT direction switch on the dash (in place of the old control lever, again like an E20), through the field windings.
I still plan to put in some kind of field-weakening mechanism, and the PTO isn't hooked up yet, and it's got one mini front wheel (E10? E12? It was with a box of used parts I got a long time ago... mercifully it has exactly the same front axle dimensions, length and diameter, as the E15; and it holds air!)
But it drives like butter and is ready for chains and the plow, and it's ready to get back to work!
It certainly doesn't erase the bad feelings from the original attack, and it cost some time and used up some nice parts, but it was really, really sweet to get it running again.
Anyway, I'm happy to share my solutions to the retrofit problems to anyone interested. I'll be sketching up some schematics for my own reference sometime soon and I'll post 'em.
Love those tractors. Love 'em.