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  • No Power Question

    Hello! Car is in storage for the winter, and I start it up every couple weeks. But I havent had a chance to do so for about a month and now Im having an issue with no power.

    Battery positive terminal is always disconnected so battery doesn't drain. When I attached the positive terminal I noticed no spark which is unusual. No power to the car, and wouldnt start nor have any interior lights come on. So I hooked up the trickle charger until the battery was fully charged by next day, but when I attached the battery terminal I noticed only the tiniest spark and then I pulled the connection away and then back to the battery and no more spark. Again no power to the car. Jump starting from a jumper box also did nothing.

    What could cause this? Would this be normal for a part to go bad while sitting in storage for a month when it worked fine before this? Regulator/Generator? The battery itself? Thanks for any suggestions!

  • #2
    Hi Kirsten, it is good to hear from you again. Depending on the age of the battery, it could be that it has gone bad. At this time of night, you may not get an answer to your questions until morning, when John ~ jopizz or others come back on the Forum. Unless Dave ~ simplyconnected sees this and responds. It could be a number of things that might have caused that. If you pull the battery today and take it to an Autozone or O'Reilly's, they should be able to check your battery for free and let you know if it is okay or not.. At least that should tell you if it has died.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

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

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    • #3
      Most likely your battery is discharged to the point that it will not accept a charge. Did you try the lights to see if you got anything after you charged it. As Ray pointed out I recommend that you take it to an auto store and have it checked. The only other thing is to make sure your shift lever is fully up in park or it will not crank.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

      Thunderbird Registry #36223
      jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

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

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      • #4
        Thank you both! My trickle charger says the battery is now fully charged, but there is still no spark when attaching the terminal, and no lights come on inside the car when i open the door. I'll try taking the battery to get checcked out! Thank you so much. Sorry I havent been around. I havent been to a car show since 2019 summer. And the car has only been out a couple times since then. Its boring with no shows!

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        • #5
          Kirsten, I have been doing some battery investigation for you from info on the Forum regarding what Battery to get, should it turn out that is the problem. It may be difficult to find a Group 27F battery these days, but here is some info that might help if you have replace it.

          From a thread on Battery Recommendations... If you need to go that route...

          https://www.squarebirds.org/vbulleti...ecommendations

          Your car originally came with a size 29NF but those batteries are hard to find. I recommend a 27F although if you still have the original hold down bracket it will not fit. A hold down that fits the 27F battery is available from any of the Thunderbird vendors.

          The size of the battery isn't as important as the CCA rating (cold cranking amps). A group 24 battery can have just as much power as a group 27. Group 24 batteries are more common so they are easier to find. I would recommend getting a group 27 battery and the correct hold down. Most batteries will have specs that tell the exact size in width, length and height. The hold down that the vendors sell should fit most group 27 batteries

          John ~ jopizz

          I've used Motorcraft batteries in the past because they were accepted by VTCI as an authorized replacement for judging. Now, both the Mortorcraft 27F and 29F have been discontinued. Last November I bought an Exide 27F and it was all black and cell openings were connected by two rectangular holders. In August, the Exide 27F I purchased had much bigger rectangular holders and a cast in carry handle, so there are changes in the same brand. Interstate makes an excellent battery but it is green and white. The NAPA batteries are all black and also good and if judging is your thing, you can purchase individual caps in different colors to replace the rectangular covers. I think this would be better for judging.
          Carl ~ partsetal

          John gave you some good information. Here is some more. Group 27F - 12 1/2" Length, 6 13/16" wide, 8 15/16" high, You can find them in 600-1000 CCA (Cold Cranking Amps). If you can't find one rated at 1000CCA, try looking for a 810 or a 840 CCA battery.. Here are two that were recommended in the TRL. Interstate MTP-27 (or maybe an MT-27) and Exide 27X.

          Batteries Plus advertises a Duracell 27F 840CCA $159.99

          Me - YellowRose






          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the great info!! Especially measurements. Mine is a 24C battery (Exide). If it's not good, I'll look for a 27 as suggested, or another 24C to replace this one if they don't carry 27.

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            • #7
              Hi Kirsten! It is good that you had the power off the wiring. As you probably know, there have been a few Squarebirds lost due to a wiring short in the wiring harness. For more than one reason, one being that you never know what a PO has done to the OEM wiring in the car. The other being that after 60 years, the OEM wiring becomes degraded, and a short can happen, setting the car on fire, which often is in the garage. And there goes the car, the garage, and maybe the whole house. A good way to trickle charge a battery during Winter, or long periods of nonuse, is to disconnect the battery from the wiring entirely, and put it on a trickle charger. Either while in the car, or on the bench. Another thing that I found useful while I had Tweety Bird is using the Smart Lock Disconnect Switch. See the picture. They do not cost much at all. When I brought Tweety into the garage each time, I would pop the hood, leave the drivers door open, turn the cutoff knob on the switch, until I saw the overhead light go out. Then I would give it an extra turn or so, to make sure the power stayed off. I never left the power on the wiring harness when the car was not in use. When I went to car shows, restaurants, anywhere, with Tweety, I did the same thing. If I was going to be away from the car, I unscrewed the knob, put it in my pocket, closed the hood and went inside. If anyone tried to hotwire her and steal her, she was not gonna go anywhere without that knob in place... When I was ready to use the car again, I screwed the knob back down to make the connection to the wiring harness, shut the hood, started the engine, and I was on my way. I see you are still up! I would love to talk with you, so call me at 210-875-1411 if you are up to talking a bit...

              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
              The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Update - it was totally the battery! Replaced it and now it started right up!! Thank you for the super helpful info. Sorry I haven't been active here. It's just that missing last year's car shows bc covid meant I haven't been on the road but once or twice in what feels like forever

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                • #9
                  Hi Kirsten! Great! I thought perhaps the extreme cold might have gotten to that battery. It probably has been in that car for some years now. What did you get to replace it with? A 27F or another 24C? In either case, that should take care of your battery problem. As for going to car shows, we, as a Tbird club have not been going to many here last year either. Because a lot of them were cancelled due to Covid. But the So.TX Tbird Club has been holding monthly meetings as best we can, though we cancelled our Christmas Party last year. We go to a school in the area that has a nice parking lot, an area under cover we can sit under in the shade, if the sun is out. We go masked, take our lawn chairs with us, and brown bag, and practice social distancing. Have a meeting, as necessarily, conduct business, and just enjoy getting our Tbirds out in public and spending time with each other. We have also made a couple or more cruises, to a drive through, picked up food and drinks, through the drive through, cruised on to a park. Got out our chairs, masked, social distancing, ate lunch, and spent time together. This is what we have been doing since Covid started, even over the Winter months. Except for what happened last week, South Texas is usually in the 50-80 temperature range at this time of year! Not last week though when all kinds of weather records were shattered. We will do the same on Saturday, going to that area school this time. We do not have our full complement of members showing up, mostly because some of the older ones, do not want to risk getting Covid. But we do the best we can to prevent that from happening. No hugging, touching, close contact. We can't got to restaurants yet due to Covid limits, but it looks like it is winding down here for us now, and they will be raising the number of people who can go in as groups. When they do that, we will go back to meeting in our local restaurants again...

                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  The Terminator..... VTCI #11178
                  Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

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

                  Comment

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