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  #1  
Old 11-11-2012, 02:29 PM
denis4x4 denis4x4 is offline
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Default Close call!

Been picking away at my 60 Bird for the past 10 months and considered it 99.9% done with the installation of a new radio. Parked it and an hour later, the head lights were on and there was a burning smell. Quickly disconnected the battery and found a number of wires from the generator burned as well wires to the regulator and solenoid. Pulled the cover off the regulator and the points were "welded" closed. This was a brand new NAPA regulator.

The car will be taken to the shop on a flatbed along with a new alternator. Once I have some better answers, I'm going to have a "chat" with NAPA.
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2012, 02:45 PM
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WOW! That WAS a close call! Seems that NAPA has some low-quality parts all around. Picked up gauges from them years ago. The amp meter shorted out and caused a fire under the hood, melted the main wire bundle and basically caused all kinds of trouble.

I installed the PowerTech (?) alternator from Macs Antique Auto Parts in my 60 HT and while I'm breaking in the engine it works great. Looks just like the original generator with a slightly larger housing. With this you can remove the external voltage regulator and all the attaching wiring. Less chance for a fire hazard too. Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2012, 02:55 PM
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I wouldn't be so quick to blame the voltage regulator. It sounds like you might have a short in the headlight switch. The main power wire from the solenoid goes through this first before it goes to the ignition switch. That's the only reason I can think of why your headlights would have come on by themselves. I would also check the ignition switch.

John
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2012, 04:57 PM
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WOW!!

I'm glad you were home when this happened & you caught it in time!!!


-Jon in TX.
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2012, 05:50 PM
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stories like this one are exactly why I installed a battery disconnect switch in my car.
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2012, 12:45 AM
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Red face

There are two circuits that you are discussing. Both are fed from the same Starter Solenoid (batt) post.

The generator feeds the regulator, the the regulator feeds the battery directly (not through the headlight switch). The yellow BATT wire on the Regulator is bolted to the Starter Relay (then on to the battery).

If the Geneator's Armature becomes shorted to ground, Battery power quickly reverses! The Regulator contacts weld together and now current is going from the battery, through the Regulator, to a shorted Armature.

Your Voltage Regulator is only good for 40-amps because that's all your generator makes. It can't handle short circuited Battery power.

***ATT'N*** This is why we install our own fuse. A 50-amp would work just fine. A fuse protects the wires and possibly the Regulator. The Fuse will not stop your Generator from short circuiting. If a fuse blew, the GEN light would shine, the wires would be saved and your battery would still have enough stored power to see you home safely.

New cars have an Alternator Fuse. It's not NAPA's fault your car doesn't have one.

Now may be an opportunity to retrofit a good Alternator with a fuse. Mine came from a bone yard and it's big enough to run an electric fan. All the new Alt's have an internal Voltage Regulator. I personally hate PowerGen's because they are one-wire Alts that don't work the way you would expect, your GEN light won't work, and they don't put out enough amps. You need 100-amps (or more) if you plan on an Electric Fan. - Dave
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:20 AM
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Maybe I should put my battery switch back on. Mine have been connected day & night for 2 years...
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:32 AM
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What good does a switch do? Cars are connected to the battery for many years at a time.

You need a fuse, not a disconnect.
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
What good does a switch do? Cars are connected to the battery for many years at a time.

You need a fuse, not a disconnect.
After seeing what rodents can do to a cars wiring I'll play safe and use the battery disconnect dwitch I have fitted to my T-bird!

Plus it's handy if I'm messin with the 'lectrics, no neead to unhook/rehook the battery several times.
But a fuse would also be good.
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