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Customs Help a dummy out- 6V charging system on 1953 Ford not working correctly.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chris, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Grab one of these on ebay, if you don't have one already, best $30 you will ever spend. IMG_1477057313.985123.jpg
    Chris likes this.
  2. Thank you everyone for the help. You guys all know more then I do on this subject and I appreciate the explanations. I will try a few more test and see what happens. Knowing it is charging is a good piece of mind, I am going on my trip tomorrow (not far, probably 150-200 miles round trip) and will keep and eye on things.

    The car is hard staring warm, and I will admit I was coasting when I shut it off and tried starting it on my last test run (In case the battery was dead I could bump start). Beings I was coasting I left the lights on as I was on a public road. It could have been a combination of that and a low battery that caused it to crank very slow? When cold (yesterday) it fired right up. But nothing will outweigh reading actual numbers. I think I need to get to know my multi meter more :)
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  3. A slow crank may also be a timing concern.
  4. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 870


    I hate to even mention it, but make sure the belt is OK and tight enough. I had one bite me once many years ago, everything checked OK at idle but when I speeded up the belt slipped and didnt charge right. No tell-tale squeal, just not enough charging with the lights on, and I was on an all night trip. Good Luck
  5. This is probably pointless. :oops: But if it was me, I'd take that battery disconnect switch out of the circuit while doing any troubleshooting. And by the way, I'm no electrical expert either... :( (If that isn't already obvious.)
  6. Thanks everyone for the advise. I did go on the run, about 250 miles sun up to sun down through out the North Idaho panhandle and the car did great. It still cranks slower when warm, it may be the starter or a weak battery battery. I will also look into the battery disconnect, I did not know that those things wear out but I heard they can after usage. But it does always start, and I tested the battery the whole drive and it was always at 6.4 when not running and low to mid 7 volts when running.


    cactus1 likes this.
  7. I'm late to the party but just want to add this. The charging circuit makes Volts. The Starter requires Amps. I read this post and didn't see where this was talked about. A Batt can take a full charge and kick the Regulator out saying "I'm fully charged". As Batt's get old they loose the ability to hold and discharge Amps. Now the starter isn't happy and turns slower and slower. This effect is clearly Age related. You can't do anything about it. So, new issue is Shelf life. There aren't many 6-V systems running around out there so New Batt's seem to sit on the shelf longer and longer getting Older. Even though they are fully charged they aren't making/giving you good cold cranking amps. This low Amp issue will also make your starter pull harder, get hotter and throw solder causing it to need more and more Amps from poor connections leading to total starter fail. All this thanks to the Batt. My advice is take the Batt. to someone that can put a Carbon Pile test on it. That will tell you how the Cranking Amp side of the Batt is doing. I'm not even going to mention Batt. cable size for 6-V being you said you didn't have any issues prior to replacing the Batt. Always go back to where the new Issues first showed up.
    The Wizzard
  8. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,891


  9. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,003

    from Ioway

    Great picture!

    Those disconnects are great in theory, but in practice the materials and construction aren't very good, they are a "choke point". The way to see that, is performing the "voltage drop" test. Set your voltmeter to the lowest DC range. Place one probe on the battery post itself, and the other on the far end of the disconnect. Crank the engine over w/ignition disabled. The voltage drop is displayed as a positive voltage, and each cable, each connection, on both sides of the circuit is cumulative. Resistance cannot be measured effectively in a high amp circuit, but the resulting voltage drop can, but only under load. In fact, the battery disconnect may be the problem.

    Just .06 hundredths of an ohm resistance will cripple the charging system by 30%, maybe not enough to notice at idle (with an alternator) but under load it will choke.

    Generators cutout at idle RPM and do not charge effectively at low RPM. Unlike alternators under these situations the entire electrical system is dependent on the battery to provide sufficient reserve current for the ignition, lights, and accessories. Any generator equipped vehicle therefore needs the biggest, heaviest battery that will fit. CCAs get all the attention but reserve capacity is an important consideration here.
  10. mercuryct
    Joined: May 23, 2010
    Posts: 5

    from 10011

    Hoping I can revive this's the closest I can find that might have something to do with my '51 Merc, original 6V + ground. Its battery gauge sometimes makes a sharp audible ping, off and on every 5 seconds or so, especially as the engine warms up. With the ping, the needle jerks toward +, then moments later back to normal charge, slightly right of center. Over and over. I've changed the regualtor, generator, battery.... Gauge? Grounds? Anyone ever had this particular issue before? Thanks--
  11. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 675

    rusty valley

    the only electrical thing i can think of that can make noise is a circuit breaker. look to see if you have one, and if so it will be hot, and make noise when it opens. if its doing this, you have a short some where in that circuit
  12. Any time a generator is disconnected for any reason it needs to be polarized. A momentary tap with a jumper wire from the field terminal to the battery.for instance. Positive ground vehicles...field to neg.on battery . Neg .ground vehicles....field to pos.on battery
    Bearcat_V8 likes this.
  13. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 3,003

    from Ioway

    No that's an old, old wive's tale. Can disconnect battery, disconnect regulator, remove generator etc, absolutely no problem, enough residual magnetism will remain. A rebuilt generator will need polarizing, and if pole shoes replaced.

    There's also completely different methods of polarizing depending on generator design. Using the jumper method described on Ford type "B" circuit can permanently damage the regulator.
    GreenMonster48 likes this.
  14. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,135


    You might want to start a new thread with some words in the thread title to catch peoples attention about the strange noise.

    I have 12v Delco generator, and regulator is mounted on the firewall. Last time I drove it, I could hear a new noise like a thunk coming from that area of the firewall while I was driving. Seemed to be "cycling", random thunks at idle or very slow speed approaching a stop. Mine also shows a momentary spike up in the dash voltmeter, but just a split second after each thunk.

    I have the radiator out for a recore, so I can't chase the problem right now

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