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49wind

Electrical issues

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Greetings all!

 

So here is my issue. My wife and I bought a 1949 Chrysler windsor sedan....ensign blue.   

 

After cleaning the carb and putting new gaskets in it....i was able to get it to start. But it turns over so slow....a 6 volt battery just doesn't seem to cut it.  Even bought a brand new 6 volt battery...it just goes....uh.......uh...................uh. if you get my drift. That's one issue.  Ive read running a ground strap from block to firewall helps. Does it help that much?!

 

Second issue.... none of the lights work.  I'm worried that someone prior to us had the same uh.......uh.................uh issue and put a 12 volt battery in it to get it to turn over faster.....at this point would it be more cost effective to chase down every light or just swap to 12v system? 

 

Which leads me to my last issue.  When I was able to get the car started after many uh.........uh......ughs.......the altimeter or charging guage or whatever you wanted to call it....was halfway into the negative...and it was clicking....when I revved the motor it would move closer to zero.....which makes me wonder if the generator is bad or the regulator is bad or both..... I'm just lost. 

 

Trying to get the car finish for a car show in June.  And so my wife can drive it to work every now and then.  Any help is very much appreciated!

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Your car is 6V positive ground, you need good grounds or it will not function properly....if you are hooked up negative ground it will not read properly or charge correctly.

An Altimeter measures how far an airplane is in the air, an ammeter measures the use of electricity.

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Would it be a good idea to clean up all the posts of the generator....and take.the regulator off and clean up the firewall behind? I've read that can be a grounding point. 

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  Make sure, like Frank says, everything is grounded properly.

Engine, frame & body should all be strapped together. Next

check your battery cables. Sometimes they 

corrode inside the insulation but may still look ok. Sounds like

you may also have an issue with your generator f you're getting

a reading in the neg. range on your ammeter.

 

 

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  Possible. You have no idea what the poor car's been through before

you got it. You are sure you are hooked up as pos. ground? Seems

you have more than one electeical issue. Hey, call me up You're obviously on line now.

772 783 6977

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Two words of advice mentioned at length above... BATTERY CABLES.... 

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Does anyone know the length of the cables off hand? And what length of ground straps?

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I'll agree to the comments about checking the battery cables. Poor quality, or too small, cables will inhibit the ability to get the necessary amperage to the starter motor.

Also, you may want to verify the voltage rating on the starter and alternator. Did a previous owner swap these to 12v units? Other investigation may be in order as well. Has the ammeter wiring been reversed? Since none of the lights work it may be difficult to determine. Normally I activate some lights, fan, etc., with the engine off and see which way the needle swings. It should go to the minus side. If it goes to the positive side with a load and the engine not running that would determine that the wires are switched. This would also hint to the fact that a previous person switched the polarity of the electrical system, which would spawn more investigation...

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Rock Auto lists battery cables specific to a 49 Windsor.   Approx $9 for the cable to ground, $12 for the cable to starting solenoid.

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Hi 49wind - Did you mentioned, that your ampere meter was "clicking"?
I've noticed that it does clicking noises (and whips needle from zero to full) if there's a short circuit somewhere in the system.

Notice, that there are no fuses for starter, generator nor for the lights.

 

Check all the wiring and replace every suspicious cable.

The ones for courtesy lights are the hardest to follow. Unfortunately they are also most prone for short circuit by loosing insulative cover, because they run between the roof and head liner where it gets very hot due the sun. 

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All real good advice above. Also though a quick check of Generator Brushes once you run down your bad ground/wire issues, it would be cheap  (@$15) and keep things charging once your up and running. One more thing. generally one needs to take a half hour ride to charge everything up good. Its also good for your spirits to ride along in your old car, say at 45 - 50 down a long country road apiece. It lowers my stress level and puts me into a friendly disposition.

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Uncle-Pekka,

 

The ammeter clicks all the the time. (Ir shows in the discharge side) Unless I rev it up... then it stops ( and the ammeter shows zero)

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I can't think of anything in or on an ammeter that would or could click. However, there is a self-resetting circuit breaker in the headlight circuit that could do that.  It is close enough that it could seem like the meter was making the noise   And, that coupled with a short in the light circuit could account for one of your other problems.

t

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Also if the regulator is faulty it could cause jumps in the current that would cause the ammeter to read low, and/or make the needle jump. I had this problem a few years ago.  I tried to adjust the regulator according to the manual, but after a few tries I gave up and replaced the regulator.   I have not had a problem since.

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Well,  every one was correct.  Battery cables!!!! Generator changes,  most of the lights work,  no headlights,  but fan works,  windshield wipers.....i was impressed!!!!!!   Still gotta figure out the headlights and radio..... But who cares,  generator and regulator both work.... And just to think..... the guy we bought it from sold it to us with the idea that the motor was frozen solid!!

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before you did too deep on the headlights....exercise the dimmer switch.....it is located in a not so eco friendly environment and will corrode with lack of use, good news is that they self clean so exercising the switch may prove fruitful....you got nothing to lose and everything to gain...

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It is possible that both headlight bulbs are burned out.  Take a bulb out and test the socket to see if you get power to it.  The other thing to check is the high beam switch.  Before tearing it apart try stomping on it several times to cycle the switch, this sometimes works. ... I typed too slow, Tim beat me to the reply.

Edited by busycoupe

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On 4/14/2018 at 2:45 PM, 49wind said:

Well,  every one was correct.  Battery cables!!!! Generator changes,  most of the lights work,  no headlights,  but fan works,  windshield wipers.....i was impressed!!!!!!   Still gotta figure out the headlights and radio..... But who cares,  generator and regulator both work.... And just to think..... the guy we bought it from sold it to us with the idea that the motor was frozen solid!!

I bought a 49 plymouth 2 door sedan back in 93 for 500 because it wouldn't start, the poor guy had replaced everything he could buy for it and still no luck, no trouble shooting mind you just throwing of money. Asked him for a glass  of ice water and when he was gone popped the gas cap and the rotten smell of dead gas wafted outside. Residue in the filter bowl was gummy from a visual and a quick check of the needle it was crusted and dried out.

So a deal was struck and I had my buddy tow it home. First my Dad and I removed the old carb and soaked it in cleaner, adjusted the float, and soaked the accel pump in oil overnite. While he rebuilt the carb the next dayI ran a new line to the fuel pump and connected it to a 2.5 gas can spot tied to the front bumper....lol.

we cleaned the pump to carb line and installed the new needle, added a coupla quarts of earl and 2 dead batteries later we fired her up........lots and lots of billowing smoke then it cleared and ran for 16 more years of faithful service, we were lucky.

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You have a classic "voltage drop" issue. No matter if its 12 volt system 6 volt system positive or negative ground. Perform a voltage drop test on the starting circuit. Get a good digital vom meter and go to you tube for how to per form the test. Its hard to explain in technical terms , seems counter intuitive to where you place the test leads ( you are just measuring voltage between two points) I struggled with the concept but use it regularly now in chasing down electrical issues on old and new cars. The circuit has to be loaded to get accurate reading. The university of Tenn. auto shop video on you tube is especially good one. P.S. my 39 Chevy street rod has 4 braided ground straps on it from block to chassis, frame to body, alternator to block ,and a ground kit inside body that grounds all components to batt neg terminal  (this kit was used normally on a fiberglass body) my buddies give lots of grief about over kill but you should here this thing crank over . P.S. again rode with a friend in his old car to frog follies and car was slow to crank , Someone said we had sparks under rear of car . Found out he was using cassis as return ground  for rear mount battery and it  was trying to find a ground from spring shackle to metal shied on GAS TANK!!! I could of wound up playing a harp somewhere!

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