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Help please. Electrical

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  • Help please. Electrical

    Hi. So I went down the street for a cruise, came home, restarted the car, which turned over more then usual, I smelt burning plastic, shut the car off, popped the hood, and noticed the yellow wire from the solenoid down to the Gen, and from the Gen, all the across the radiator bottom support, and up to the voltage regulator...all FRIED! Completely melted, just bare copper wire laying there. What the H e double hockey sticks is going on here?
    Did I crank it over too long?
    A Family that Hot Rods together, stays together...

  • #2
    I assume we're talking about a Squarebird... If the wire was fried from the Generator; the small wire is your field, the large wire is your armature. Both have windings inside your generator.

    Evidently, one of these shorted to ground.
    Your charging system has NOTING to do with your starting system. Cranking could not have damaged your generator. - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes '60 Squarebird. The yellow wire from the starter solenoid runs down to the Gen, also melted and fried. That's why I was asking. I've heard of poorly grounded starters causing problems like this, but I'm no auto electrical wizard. So you think it was something inside the Gen? Or possibly one of the wires grounded out on the rad support? It is original wiring. Thank you for the help. I'm new to birds.
      A Family that Hot Rods together, stays together...

      Comment


      • #4
        The yellow wire should go from the solenoid to the voltage regulator and then from the voltage regulator to the generator. If it goes from the solenoid directly to the generator then it's wired wrong.

        John
        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

        Thunderbird Registry #36223
        jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jopizz View Post
          The yellow wire should go from the solenoid to the voltage regulator and then from the voltage regulator to the generator. If it goes from the solenoid directly to the generator then it's wired wrong.

          John
          Definitely wired wrong then. Going off of the wiring schematics from the technical resource library, and what you just mentioned, I'm pretty sure it was wired entirely wrong.
          Can I go off of the diagram in the library to rewire the whole front end of my bird? What I'm asking is, is there anything missing from the wiring diagram? I will attempt this with new wire, cut and crimped myself. I just don't know what the gauges were before they melted, and its really hard to tell now... Would be cool if the wiring diagrams also stated the gauge of wire.
          1960 Thunderbird hdtp 352, no A/C.
          Everything works (or did for that matter) except the door switches for the dome light.
          A Family that Hot Rods together, stays together...

          Comment


          • #6
            The wiring diagram is correct. The yellow wire is pretty heavy. I suspect it's probably 8-10 gauge. It's the thickest wire in the entire car besides the battery cables.

            John
            John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

            Thunderbird Registry #36223
            jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              The yellow wire from the solenoid to the voltage regulator is 10 gauge per the shop manual.

              John
              Attached Files
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                I sure do appreciate the help. And thank you for the gauge info.
                I'm just curious as to why it decided to burn out now. After driving for 1000 miles after purchasing the car. It must have been a wire that rubbed through and grounded itself.
                Funny thing, last night I lost headlights and pulled the dimmer out to get a good ground to it, and installed it. Drove the car for 20 miles, and then this happened just by starting it for 5 seconds. It just seems odd to me. If the ibwas wired wrong, wouldn't it have burnt out miles ago, or at first start up?
                A Family that Hot Rods together, stays together...

                Comment


                • #9
                  I kind of doubt that it's wired wrong. If so you would've noticed it before. The GEN light would certainly be on if it was wired incorrectly. The wires go into the harness so it's difficult to tell which direction they go. The main wire on the generator is yellow with a black stripe, not plain yellow. The wires that run along the top of the cross member in front of the radiator are exposed to a lot of heat so it's not unusual for the insulation to become brittle and crack. I would rerun all the wires and then use an ohmmeter to check for grounds or shorts before I started the car again.

                  John
                  John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                  Thunderbird Registry #36223
                  jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                  http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bird-in-the-bush View Post
                    ...Funny thing, last night I lost headlights and pulled the dimmer out to get a good ground to it, and installed it...
                    Nothing on the headlight switch or headlight dimmer switch has or needs a ground. All wires to both switches are 'power' wires and neither switch needs a 'case ground'.

                    If what you say is true, that wires burned up starting at the generator, continuing through the voltage regulator, and on to the solenoid switch; if all those wires cooked then the generator AND the regulator need to be tested with a common multimeter for grounds. Your fault ground must have started at the generator, for that entire path to be destroyed. Is there any portion of wire in that path that is NOT burned? If not, where is it?

                    #10 wire safely carries 30 amps continuously. Your voltage regulator is also rated for 30 amps. Cooked wires carried at least twice that current. This is a major ground fault, not a frayed wire that touched the chassis.

                    19-strand #10AWG THHN wire (from Home depot) is ok to use along the body of your car because it doesn't move around. THHN (thermoplastic insulation) is rated for 60C (or 140-degrees F). Use this wire from the starter solenoid to the voltage regulator. They sell yellow OR you can cover any color wire with yellow electrical tape.

                    I would make my own wire harness. Generators generally have a wire harness with two #10 and one #16 wires. The #10 wires are for the armature and ground. The smaller wire is a field wire. All three start at the generator and end at the voltage regulator so, this harness is normally taped into a cable assembly. I realize the schematic shows #18 for the black ground wire but I always use ground wires equal to the size of my power wires.

                    I'm sure you will have more questions as you test your components, before applying power. - Dave
                    My latest project:
                    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                    --Lee Iacocca

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bird-in-the-bush View Post
                      ...Drove the car for 20 miles, and then this happened just by starting it for 5 seconds...
                      Alright I admit, this statement haunted me because I'm trying to visualize your thoughts.
                      First, you drove for 20 miles.
                      THEN, the burnout happened, 'just by starting it for 5 seconds'.

                      How could that be possible?

                      If your engine ground wire came off (burned off, fell off, came loose, etc.), then all your starting current would seek another path (the path of least resistance) back to the battery. Namely, your generator's skinny little ground wire and/or any other path to ground.

                      (This is why I use large ground wires.)

                      Check the wire from your battery (neg) to your engine. Give it a good shake to see if the connections are solid and the strands are not frayed. If you don't have a separate battery neg wire to the body (like modern cars have), install one. - Dave
                      My latest project:
                      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                      --Lee Iacocca

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Alt conversion

                        So far in my journey, I've prepared the car to accept the new alternator conversion. Today I installed the Pertronix ignitor ii distributor. Got everything wired with the help of people from "Squarebirds.org" I really appreciate the time and shared knowledge. Just waiting on the alternator and pigtails to arrive now.
                        A Family that Hot Rods together, stays together...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          130 Amp 3g installed

                          Well I got the 3g installed today using the old generator bracket.
                          I removed the pulley from the old generator and put it in the lathe, and cut the fan blades off. The 3g has it's own internal fan.
                          I elongated the hole that bolts the bracket to the side of the block by 3/4" back towards the rear of the car. This allows you to push the set up forward to align pulleys.
                          Then I took the top bracket that comes from the water pump, to the generator bracket, (upright vertical piece) and took the bend out. With it being straight it pushes the bracket out 1/4".
                          Back to the lathe, I machined one spacer at
                          -2 1/2" to fit between the alternator and the rear dog ear of the bracket that bolts to the block.
                          2 x 1/8" washers go in between the water pump and vertical bracket.
                          I then cut out a piece of 3/16 steel, "half round"
                          Welded at the corner where the bottom and vertical bracket meets, for my adjuster. It wraps half way around the alternator (much like C.R.A.P's adjuster bracket) Milled in a slotted hole for adjustment, and viola. 3G in 1960 Thunderbird. So far the pulley lines up perfect. The cool thing is, it's adjustable back and forth to perfectly align the pulleys. I have room for adjustment in both directions. With everything locked down and tight, it runs smooth.
                          Tomorrow I'll wire it in, and see how it does with a load on it, especially with that single pulley.
                          A Family that Hot Rods together, stays together...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Very cool! I hope you took lots of pictures along the way.

                            If you are using a single sheave, you might want your pulley to be slightly larger in diameter, just to give the belt more surface to grab onto. (You'll find out the first time you sit at a light, and then take off.

                            I love my 130-amp alt. I even run an inverter to give me 115-VAC for when I'm away from power. My trouble light is just a standard cord with a bulb that I keep in the trunk. I use other power tools as well.

                            I'm excited for you to crank it up! Don't forget the fuse and heavy wire on the output lug. AND, make sure you secure the wire to your bracket (or to the block), so the electrical connection doesn't get any vibration. Give extra wire between the fender apron and your engine for vibration. I put a full loop in my wire. "Welding wire" is the best. - Dave
                            My latest project:
                            CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                            "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                            --Lee Iacocca

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              14.3V at idle..

                              14.4v Seems a little excessive lol but I'll take it. Not used to having that much power on tap. Yes sir I got some pics. I'll have to write this out better, with pictures as soon as I sit down.
                              A Family that Hot Rods together, stays together...

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