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Old 07-12-2005, 07:42 PM
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Frying a GEL battery

Cruising along the hwy today in my '49 F-1 with a 302 H.O., AOD, etc. noticing a sulpher smell increasing for 10 minutes or so but brushed it off as I'm near a pulp mill & the odours are normal...then the engine just quit! Opening the hood & the GEL battery was smokin'...even the top was warped!! So, I guess the regulator failed overcharging the battery (yes, I will replace it but wanted to get it going temporarily) so I pulled the battery & replaced with another battery & while it cranked very well, no go to start! No fuses blown, no resistor blown, no wires fried, ....so what else could have I done?? Blown coil?? anything else??

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Old 07-13-2005, 02:06 PM
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Updating this as I did a continuity through the primary coil & it was ok, then one through the ballast resistor & viola! no flow! So, checking my distributor inside I find a pertronics "ignitor" box has replaced the points/condenser even though it retains the outside coil. No need to stay with the ballast w/o points is there??
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Old 07-13-2005, 05:00 PM
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Your pertronics setup should use the full 12V and not need the ballast resistor. The resistors get warm with the normal use of points and will overheat with any HEI/Pertronixs setup. This could have caused the insulation to melt and short the ignition wire. You seem surprised that there are no points, does this car have proper fuses & fuse links? If not you were VERY lucky and your car could have gone up in flames. You should:

1. remove the ballast resistor
2. check & make sure you don't have any burnt insulation and/or bare strands along the ignition wire
3. verify with a multimeter that the wire is not shorted to ground on either side of removed ballast resistor
4. patch the wire back together minus the ballast, if you need to lengthen the wire, be sure to use the same or thicker gauge wire as the original
5. put a fresh battery in & check for approx 12-13 volts across the terminals
6. try to start the car
-if it cranks but doesn't start, check for 11-12 volts to the pertronix unit with the ignition to 'on' or 'start', this may require a friend
-if no voltage check all the fuses
-if the voltage is low, you need to check your wiring for melting or corrosion

7. once it's running, check for 14.4 volts across the battery. If it's over that the regulator is shot.
8. report back to us and fill us in on whether it works or not!
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:23 PM
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Yep, it has proper fuses etc. I was surprised at no points as this is a new vehicle to me, just bought needing a full go through & seeing a coil I thought it had points. No it doesn't, it has the little pertronics box inside the dist. instead. My other car ('37 ford w sbc) has a pertronics also but its an HEI so totally different. By passed the ballast today & got a new regulator even though the one in there wuz reportedly new. Started fine, showed off range on volts for a few minutes then settled down to 14-16 volts while running @ about 3000rpm. Seems fine now though I've had input about the solid state regs. causing problems for quite a few people. Most though were old time points in reg guys.
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:53 PM
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1st off, thanks for letting everyone know the solution, too many people leave a thread hanging!

14-16 volts? 16 will fry a battery in a few months (I've had it happen to me!) you should only have 14.4 , 15 max. This is especially important if you have any fancy electronics like a DVD player or expensive audio. that flutter could be high enough to fry them.
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Old 07-13-2005, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78novaman
1st off, thanks for letting everyone know the solution, too many people leave a thread hanging!

14-16 volts? 16 will fry a battery in a few months (I've had it happen to me!) you should only have 14.4 , 15 max. This is especially important if you have any fancy electronics like a DVD player or expensive audio. that flutter could be high enough to fry them.
Ok, thanks... I have NO fancy stuff in the truck ..not even an AM radio! I'll check every time out for over charge & see where it goes!
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Old 07-21-2005, 01:33 PM
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Just an update & also in the sticky above. I've now tried 3 different reulators & they all show 18v. or more when the engine is revved up just a few hundred over idle!
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Old 07-21-2005, 01:51 PM
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Are you using a meter or just the gauge in the dash? gauge could be off,maybe? just a thought
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Old 07-21-2005, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lo59apache
Are you using a meter or just the gauge in the dash? gauge could be off,maybe? just a thought
I've used both the aftermarket gauge in the dash & my multimeter & they show the same.
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Old 07-22-2005, 05:38 PM
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There are two possibilities with the high voltage you're getting.

1. The alternator is bad. Easiest thing to do is buy a rebuild kit for it. There is a FAQ about rebuilds in the knowledge base and floating around the forum.

2. You have an intermittent/bad connection in the wiring that goes to the regulator. I have a 1969 Rambler with the external regulator. One of the wires that connects to the alternator fell of, preventing the regulator from doing it's job. The factory gauge cluster & the battery fried because of it.

First thing is to trace & verify continuity on all the wires to & from the regulator. If all checks out, then buy a rebuild kit or another alternator.

Since you already have a modern engine & drivetrain, you may just want to go ahead and upgrade to the internally regulated ford alternator that bolts on your 302 just to make things a bit easier on you in the future. The internal regulators tend to be more reliable anyway.
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78novaman
There are two possibilities with the high voltage you're getting.

1. The alternator is bad. Easiest thing to do is buy a rebuild kit for it. There is a FAQ about rebuilds in the knowledge base and floating around the forum.

2. You have an intermittent/bad connection in the wiring that goes to the regulator. I have a 1969 Rambler with the external regulator. One of the wires that connects to the alternator fell of, preventing the regulator from doing it's job. The factory gauge cluster & the battery fried because of it.

First thing is to trace & verify continuity on all the wires to & from the regulator. If all checks out, then buy a rebuild kit or another alternator.

Since you already have a modern engine & drivetrain, you may just want to go ahead and upgrade to the internally regulated ford alternator that bolts on your 302 just to make things a bit easier on you in the future. The internal regulators tend to be more reliable anyway.
I appreciate the input here ... I'm with you on a single wire alt. though my Summit catalogue , latest doesn't show any with normal Ford, serpentine, small pulley though I could swear I saw it B4 in the Summit cat. ?? Am I just having senior's moments??
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Old 07-23-2005, 09:15 AM
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Sorry, can't help you on finding a alternator that will fit your particular app. I was talking about getting a three wire, but since you don't have any other electronics, a one wire would probably work fine.
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Old 07-23-2005, 05:18 PM
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37, call the 800 number at Summit. Their catalog is only a sampling of what they have. Chances are they will have what you want or can get it. In the past, they have put me in direct contact with their suppliers so we could sort out what it was I really wanted and then arrange a direct shipment etc. I rate Summit as one of the best mail order institutions in our country.

Trees
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Old 08-07-2005, 01:32 PM
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Just another update on this. I did find a bad wire from field to the reg. repaired & now max's at 14.5 V..however, my tach is now stuck at 8000 though there is power to it...also the electric fan doesn't work anymore! So, possible to have fried both??
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Old 08-07-2005, 02:51 PM
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Tach Fan

Doc here,

Check the Meter End of the Tach, It may be mechanically bound, If you have a Zeroing screw try moving it about a bit to see if the index pointer will free up. If you can remove the faceplate , inspect the index pointer to magnet for obstruction, or bent receiver. Short of that, the magnet coil may have opened and the burned winding is obstructing the index pointer.

Most likely, the Relay has suffered a control voltage overload and the coil on the relay has opened up. If you don't have a control voltage fuse, (or if it's good) cycle the relay a few times, If it does not click, replace it.

You may want to closer inspect your Vehicle for subtle damage, from what you describe, sounds like your alternator suffered some internal winding shorts, and with the right combination, and bad luck...can produce up to 177 volts AC..So you might want to take a closer look at anything else that may be failing.

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