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Battery charging problem?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The_Monster, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. The_Monster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,754

    The_Monster
    Member

    Ok, I have a 53 belair that I converted to 12 volts a few months ago. No problems. The last time I drove it, a couple weeks ago, it ran great. I went to start it up to take it to work, just a few days after driving it, and it wouldnt start. What I mean is, it gave me nothing. No clicks or humms, just like something was disconnected.

    I figured the ignition switch was bad. Wanting to refresh old components anyways, I bought a new one. Same thing. Needles all show signs of life, and drop when the ignition is in start position, showing load.
    So Im sitting in the car scratching my head and I turn on my light switch. Nothing. Blown fuse? I keep the parking lights on and go to the front to take a look. Theyre on... barely!

    Ok, dead battery... which is brand new, few months old. I charge it up to about 90%. Try the lights, really bright. I try to start it. It turns over ok, doesnt catch. Try a second time, battery goes flat.
    Charge it again, this time I blast a ton of starter fluid in the carb. Almost catches. Another blast, still doesnt catch due to slow starting, battery goes flat.

    So, am I missing something here? Could I take the battery back? Fat chance. What would make the battery go completely dead in just a few days after driving it? Im thinking maybe the altenator, which is new, isnt hooked up right(?) Seemed pretty straight forward. One small wire, one large wire.

    Thanks for any suggestions
     
  2. For sure you need to know if there is something drawing current when everything is turned off. If you take a battery connector off, then brush it against the post and it sparks, something is drawing current and will discharge the battery.
     
  3. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,145

    Ruiner
    Member

    My voltage regulator fried a wire and shorted itself out to it's case...I could start the car, drive 5 blocks and 10 minutes later the battery was dead...just my own personal experience...
     
  4. spooler41
    Joined: Feb 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,099

    spooler41
    Member

    Monster, If you can charge the battery and spin the engine a few seconds, at normal speed, then have it go dead, it sounds like you need to return the battery and have the seller load test it for you. If it fails the load test they should replace the battery . It's not uncommen to get a bad one from time to time. Could have been on the shelf too long or a mfg. defect.

    Good luck ..........Jack
     

  5. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,129

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    While u r down there with the battery, take the alternator with you and have it tested too! Sounds like something is pulling down the battery. Do your horns work? If they are not hooked up, I have seen where the horn relay runs the battery down.
     
  6. jdj9410
    Joined: Sep 4, 2007
    Posts: 324

    jdj9410
    Member
    from Paris TX

    Sounds like battery like Spooler41 said. A hot battery should crank more than a few seconds easily unless it has too small cranking amps. CCA should be at least 2 times cubic inches of engine. A 350 needs 700 CCA.
     
  7. nutajunka
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,466

    nutajunka

    You need a muti-meter that tells you what and how many volts you got at any certain part. They don't cost much and I know I could'nt work on a car's wiring without one. I like the digital types. Makes electrical work simple.
     
  8. The_Monster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,754

    The_Monster
    Member

    Thanks for all the tips! Ill check those out. Heres another question that may or may not be a concern:

    The 2 wires off the alternator pigtail are red and white. I connected them to the original wires that went to the generator. Connected large to large and small to small. Well those two original wires run up to the voltage regulator. I know my alternator has an internal regulator. Can I just leave it be, or should I by pass the voltage regulator on the firewall. If so, can it just be removed from the firewall all together? Havent looked to see where the 3rd wire off of it goes yet.
    Once again, this is a 53 belair with a 12 volt conversion. Thanks!
     
  9. newsomtravis
    Joined: Jun 1, 2009
    Posts: 562

    newsomtravis
    Member
    from pville, ca

    if you have an internally regulated alternator u must bypass the external regulator......and depending on the alternator ishow u wire it....
     
  10. lewislynn
    Joined: Apr 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,511

    lewislynn
    Member

    You need to bypass the original regulator. That might actually be your problem.
    Check this out but don't even try to contact anyone there. http://www.madelectrical.com/index.shtml
    I'd like to thank whoever it is that keeps that site available it's been a big help for a lot of people.

    Here's another: http://www.oldengine.org/unfaq/10si.htm

    If you have two wires from a pigtail terminal, one wire connects direct to the Batt lug (nut) on the alternator that also goes to Batt side of the solenoid. The other wire off the alternator goes to your gage/idiot light. One of the 3 wires from your old regulator goes to the gage/idiot light.

    You should be able to connect your alternator directly to THE WIRES but NOT directly to the old regulator.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  11. The_Monster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,754

    The_Monster
    Member

    Ok I hear what you all are saying. I truely suck at electrical and still have a few questions.

    I mapped out my current cars wiring below. Then I made changes in color to what I think Im hearing. Does this look accurate?

    Also... What does the smaller wire of the two from the alternator do? Is that the exciter wire or is that the big wire? Why wire it to the volt gauge? Sorry for my electrical ignorance.

    Also, after looking at my diagram... it seems kind of odd that my coil gets is juice after passing through my fuel gauge. Is it soppose to be like that? Does this mean that if my guage goes out, Ill have no power to my coil?

    And, will a 12 guage wire be large enough to go from the altenator to the solenoid?

    Thanks again for any help.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. The_Monster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,754

    The_Monster
    Member

    Lewislynn, after posting those illustrations and re-reading your post I made changes to the path of the small (blue) wire from the altenator to the gauge. The post off of the volt gauge that had the red wire going to the regulator is where I have the blue wire connecting to now. Maybe this reflects what you were saying with: "The other wire off the alternator goes to your gage/idiot light. One of the 3 wires from your old regulator goes to the gage/idiot light."

    Let me know if this is correct or needs some adjustments please. Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  13. The_Monster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,754

    The_Monster
    Member

    any help or advise before Monday?
     
  14. lewislynn
    Joined: Apr 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,511

    lewislynn
    Member

    When I converted my 56 F100 I simply connected the new wires from the alternator to the wires on the old regulator. I used the regulator as a junction block but I removed the guts...It works great. I don't know red wire from blue wire. I'll have to go out and refresh my memory later.

    Your new diagram looks like it would/should work.
    Does your system have a warning light, or a voltmeter, or a ampmeter?
    Use the #s on the alternator terminals per the link I posted.
    I would use a #10 wire to the solenoid if you can, I'm surprised it isn't already.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  15. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,129

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    The black wire from the volt gauge to the solenoid looks wrong, unless you are incorrect with the gauge, perhaps you meant ammeter? If you are using ammeter, u had better get a high amperage ammeter, as the alternator is anywhere from 60-110 amps output.
     
  16. mt shasta steve
    Joined: Mar 26, 2010
    Posts: 270

    mt shasta steve
    Member

    If you pull on the headlights and get nothing, but have "small draw" accessories with power, check your ground. Clean both terminals on the battery and ground to frame. Most guys overlook the ground wire, and it's a FREE fix.
     
  17. Dead cell. Battery goes flat while cranking, vehicle isn't charging while cranking.
     
  18. Just a thought only because i had an odd situation like this on my 54 Ford. The electrical was changed to a 12vlt system too, but there were not any ground wires and then the starter selenoid went out. I had the same exact problems with what I thought was a igntion and I also changed the thing out since it probably needed a new one anyway. The whole thing took me about a week to figure out. I have
    now purchased a Rebel Wire kit so that I get rid of all the electrical problems from the conversion that may occur.
    There is a guy on here under the screen name Glenn33, and he is a distributor for Rebel Wires. I paid less than $200.00 for a 9+3 and it got to me in four days. A real sweet deal.
     
  19. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    Take the battery to a good parts store after you have charged it up to get a load test done on it. A bad battery will show good until a load is put on it (like starting the engine) but the voltage will fall like a stone if it need replacing. Are the cells full?
     
  20. The_Monster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,754

    The_Monster
    Member

    Ok, so I went down and had the battery and the alt. checked out and both were fully operational. Im not concerned about those two now. Im certian it was due to my poor wiring that the battery just wasnt getting charged and I ran the car straight off the battery this whole time and ran it flat.

    So, I have since rewired some things.
    I have a heavy gauge wire going from my BATT post on the alt. to my positive post on the solenoid.
    I have ran the large red wire from the alt. pigtail to the BATT post on the alt.
    I have bypassed and removed the old voltage regulator from the firewall.
    The red wire that use to go to the regulator now goes directly to the horn relay box.

    So my unanswered questions are still these:

    1) Where do I connect the small white wire? To the back of the volt gauge? Which side of the gauge? To the side the red wire to the horn relay is connected to? Thats what I believe Im hearing, but I want to make sure.

    2) Does the wiring from my gas gauge to my coil positive look accurate? If my gas gauge fails, will I lose power to my coil? Is this proper wiring?

    Posting my diagrams again for referance
    First diagram is how my car was wired after 12 volt conversion.
    Second diagram shows what Ive done in RED.
    Second and third show the two options for the small white alt. wire connect location. (shown in blue here)

    Thank you all so far!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  21. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,129

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    R U running a volt guage or an ammeter? That wiring appears to be incorrect.

    If it s a volt gauge, the - terminal goes to ground.

    The cigarette lighter, black wire, and horn relay wire go to the battery terminal of the ignition switch. The accessory or ignition terminal of the ignition switch goes to the + terminal of the volt gauge. The white (blue on your diagram) goes from + terminal of volt gauge to the field terminal of the alternator through a diode or idiot light.

    I would check the HAMB technical section for more information on this wiring.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  22. lewislynn
    Joined: Apr 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,511

    lewislynn
    Member

    Any updates with your charging problem?
     
  23. The_Monster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,754

    The_Monster
    Member

    Yea, theres a few updates.

    First off, I bypassed the voltage regulator and removed it completely.
    Second, I realized that my old ignition didnt have an accessory position. When I followed the directions in my "convert 6 to 12 volt" book, it said to hook the small wire from the alt to my accessory tab on the ignition.
    When I did that and tried to turn the car off, it energized the starter solenoid and ground the starter tooth. My ignition had an accessory tab in the back, but didnt have a seperate accessory position.

    I had to buy a newer ignition. I opted for a chrysler ignition because it had the 5 tabs I needed, had a true accessory position and came with some cool lookin keys :D

    Hooked it all up and started and ran fine, and turned off fine.

    I was 12.65 volts on the battery with everything off. I was 14.65 at the altenator while running, and 14.47 at battery. So its charging now just fine.

    The new problem I have is that my gas gauge doesnt work at all now. haha!

    One thing at a time!

    Thanks for all the helpful input from everyone!

    Next Im going to try and install a tach. God help me... more wiring! Agh!
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  24. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,129

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    On the gas gauge, the sending unit goes to one side of the gauge, no other wire should be on this terminal. The other terminal is the blue wire to the ignition, and the red wire to the coil. Did you fix the black wire as I pointed out?
     
  25. tapkoote
    Joined: Feb 6, 2013
    Posts: 70

    tapkoote
    Member

     

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