Charging system failure

Most charging systems fail on Italian tractors because of a habit we develop driving cars. When we want to turn off the engine, we turn off the ignition switch using the key. On newer European tractors, this is a standard - but the older style tractors need the engine shut down FIRST. Turning off the ignition with the alternator still charging is hard on the regulator and will eventually result in a failure.

If your tractor is not charging, don't automatically assume the alternator has failed. More than likely the regulator is toasted and simply needs to be replaced. While these alternators will fail (especially if shorted out by inappropriate wiring), they are incredibly robust and often a new regulator will cure the problem. Don't simply buy a regulator though, check the RESOURCE section on our site with how to test both components before spending the money. If wiring is brittle, oxidized, sun baked or oil soaked, consider replacing the wiring. We explain how to build a new wiring harness for your tractor at little cost in the RESOURCE section of this site.


Starting motors are too heavy for us to be shipping. Have your local dealer try to match up these numbers:

Ruggerini RD series engines and Lombardini LDA 100, LDA 850 - ISKRA IS0525 (counter clockwise rotation, 9 tooth)

Lombardini 914 - Bosch 0001311045, 0001311025 or 0001311016 (clockwise rotation 9 tooth)

Fixing your starting motor

Starting motors are pretty basic things. If your starting motor is dragging, not turning over well or just plain tired - consider taking it apart - ALWAYS REMOVE THE BATTERY GROUND (-) FROM BATTERY BEFORE REMOVING THE STARTER.

1) On the bench, mark both ends and the body with a line (this is so it assembles in the same orientation).

2) Remove the two bolts from the end cap (these will be long bolts holding it all together).

3) Carefully remove the end cap. You will find the carbon brushes inside (and will need to spread them to reassemble).

4) Carefully slide the stator assembly (the barrel) off of the starter armature.

5) Spray the entire stator and inside of housing liberally with brake clean. Quickly spray it clean with compressed air.

6) After a few minutes, repeat.

7) Spray the brush area and end cap with brake clean. Quickly spray it clean with compressed air.

8) If a lathe is available, renew the armature and undercut.

9) Lube the rear bushing in the cap and reassemble.

Essentially what this does is cleans the copper and carbon dust from the inside of the starter, removing the electrical pathway for it shorting out. Often, just cleaning the starter well will fix starting problems. 

Alternators and regulators are tough to find for the Italian diesels. We stock alternators for Lombardini and Ruggerini engines. If you have a Slanzi, Deutz, Acme or other Euro engine, we can probably provide you with an alternator depending on the model and our prices are reasonable.

We can provide new original regulators made by Lombardini and Saprisa, now with better longevity. Not sure how to convert? No problem, we can provide instructions on what to attach where so you don't toast your regulator on the first try. We also have information in our RESOURCE section on how to rewire your tractor if experiencing intermittent problems. 

Whether it's for restoration or simply safety reasons, new lights always complete a tractor project. We carry original equipment lights as well as many Euro style add-ons. Pictured to the left are examples of standard taillights found on early Ferrari (upper left), transporter models (upper right), Goldoni (lower left) and newer style Pasquali (lower right). We also stock early style Pasquali, later style Ferrari and stock headlights for all the above. We have a wide array of Euro bulbs including the hard to find tungsten reflector headlight bulbs.

Surprisingly, European taillights are economical and less money than Western counterparts. Chances are we have them on the shelf, but if we don't we can get them in for you.

Nothing is more frustrating than bad electrical. Most of the Italian tractors we work with were built in the 1970's through the 80's. Thirty year old wiring is going to be problematic, especially with a tractor that often spent most of it's life in the elements. Pictured to the right is an example of the many original Euro components that we have on the shelf: Ignition sets (including the original Pasquali push model), keys, clearance lights, light switches, warning lights and modern LED lamps.

If restoring your machine, don't settle for sun baked plastic on a newly painted tractor. Detail it correctly for the time period and make it reliable for today.