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Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: ctcorvair ()
Date: February 08, 2019 02:46PM

Hi...I recently restored a 1963 Monza 4-door. Everything is new...electrical harness, voltage regulator, battery, alternator...everything. I put 1000 miles on it...I hadn't yet hooked up the heater. I hooked up the heater and drove it another 200 miles. I noticed that when I put the brights on the headlights would go out. One day I drove in the rain with the wipers and heater on. The battery drained to 10.5 and was smoking and my friend jumped me...drove it back home. Drove it around with no issues but now can't get it to start. I just charged it to 12.7 and was giving it a jump...disconnected both the brights and headlights jumped it...it almost started then had absolutely no power...and the battery was smoking again...it's back to 10.5V...I'm baffled...appreciate any help -Rich

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: v8vair ()
Date: February 08, 2019 03:33PM

Im guessing you might have a shorted battery, I doubt the generator could overcharge ??? Double check all your Grounds too.

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: kenzen ()
Date: February 08, 2019 03:35PM

I'm not familiar direct with EM's but I'd check the hi/lo beam switch to make sure it's working properly.

A good battery should charge to about 14.5v or so. Get the battery load tested. A "smoking" battery (actually venting) is a sign of a bad cell, which would take you to 12.7 vs. 14.5 volts.

kenzen
66 Monza Coupe 110/PG
Bel Air, MD

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: ctcorvair ()
Date: February 08, 2019 03:40PM

Thanks Guys! Just back from my FLAPS with a Battery tester (for the cells)...the acid...I think that's what it is too. I also think I have a short in one of the switches but first things first...Much Appreciated...will post what I've found for future troubleshooting and rename post "Battery Issues"

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: RexJohnson ()
Date: February 08, 2019 06:04PM

A fully charged battery with no surface charge is 12.6 volts or 2.1 per cell.

RJ tools
Salem,Oregon

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: February 08, 2019 07:40PM

I suspect battery too. Be extra careful with it, bad batteries produce lots of hydrogen and can easily self ignite and explode. A good test for a battery is to load it and watch for bubbles in the cells, a bad cell will start boiling pretty quickly, the bubbles are hydrogen. Anytime you look in the battery wear protection, glasses, face shield is better. Assuming you do not have a load tester you can load test it by simply turning on the headlights on bright, should be enough load to trigger a bad cell to boil.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: ctcorvair ()
Date: February 08, 2019 07:51PM

Wow! Didn't know it could be that dangerous...I couldn't get the cap off...I'm bringing it back to O'Reilley's...I think it's still under warranty, Or I'll just buy a new one...lesson learned, don't need my pretty face being deformed...I gotta girlfriend I'm tryin to keep...ha ha

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 08, 2019 09:13PM

I used to work at a battery shop that rebuilt/reconditioned forklift batteries. The only way you can get one to blow up is with a torch or spark. They don't do it by themselves and I've had plenty with shorted cells that got HOT. Battery acid will ruin your clothes and it isn't much good for your teeth but it won't hurt your skin unless you soak in it. I've had plenty blow up in my face. I don't recommend it but it didn't hurt me. Makes your teeth chalky and is pretty uncomfortable in your eyes.
Generators can overcharge.
Headlights going out when you switch to high is a classic dirty dimmer switch. Most of the time you can click it off and on several times and then it will work fine.
Once the battery is verified good start looking for shorts. Heater duct touching the starter will run the battery down pretty quick and is difficult to diagnose if you don't know to look for it.

Joel
Northlake, TX
4 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: February 09, 2019 02:28AM

Sounds like a maintenance free battery. Good decision about getting it back to the selling store. No need to mess with batteries anymore. Just jerk them out and toss/return them when bad. Get a new one and get moving again.

Al Lane
Ellabell, GA 31308

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1966 Monza More Door 110 hp, PG
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ hp PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: February 09, 2019 02:35AM

Ctcorvair. Before installing battery. Inspect the entire run of the positive cable and make sure the covering is intact and not contacting anything. Make sure heater duct did not drop and contact the starter positive stud. Inspect the connector in engine compartment for burnt or shorted terminals. Looking mainly at the big red wire that is not going to the front.

Al Lane
Ellabell, GA 31308

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1966 Monza More Door 110 hp, PG
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ hp PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: ctcorvair ()
Date: February 09, 2019 02:19PM

Yes...maintenance free battery...it was still under warranty. I inspected the red wires in the engine compartment, I see how it would be easy to miss the heater duct falling into the starter terminal. the duct on the other side had fallen and was rubbing on my rear axle but looks like I caught it in time. My batter was charged to 12.5 volts but only had 50 amps (not enough cranking amperage) That's why it wouldn't turn over, even though 12.5V is adequate (the amps were not) OK...so my (fairly new) battery shit the bed...why?

#1 Faulty manufactured battery (prolly not)

#2 The short/bad ground that is hiding somewhere (prolly bright switch) gradually wore it down

#3 Driving it n the rain...some water could have gotten terminals wet...I have a junction box I pieced together when converting my Gen to alternator, it is open and exposed...if water splashed on that or the battery terminals itself it may have caused a short and compromised the battery

Anyone wanna chime in on that or add other possibilities please go ahead

I'm going to put the new battery in and attempt to troubleshoot the ground...my friend told me if I hook up a test light from the neg post on battery to the chassis then the light will come on when the circuit of the ground is used, i can then isolate the faulty circuit...if anyone wants to chime in on that? Cheers! -R



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2019 02:26PM by ctcorvair.

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 09, 2019 02:30PM

Water shouldn't bother anything unless it has a lot of salt in it.
My vote is on a faulty battery. Not that you don't have anything else wrong but generally unless you run the battery completely dead and leave it that way for a while it isn't something you did.

Joel
Northlake, TX
4 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: ctcorvair ()
Date: February 09, 2019 02:41PM

OK...good to know...I just got back from a 3 week trip abroad. It was acting up before I left but leaving it in the cold couldn't have been good. I charged it for an hour (2Amp slow charger) and it was still only at 2amps...I must have run it completely down while I was gone. That said...it was on it's way out. Thanks for clearing up my water theory...good to know that's not a thing. i thought water would act as a conductor to short stuff out, but I guess it would have to be very salty water...makes sense

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 09, 2019 05:24PM

Also a completely dead car battery will take a couple of days to charge with a 2A charger.

Joel
Northlake, TX
4 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: moomba32 ()
Date: February 09, 2019 06:44PM

Joel I've personally had two batteries explode, first one went while hooked to a charger in my first car, second one was in my boat, wouldn't crank the engine at the ramp, I pull started the engine so we could go skiing, did not shut it off until it was back on the trailer, I tried to crank it to see if it had charged and boom, covered me in electrolyte but water was right there so just jumped in and washed it off. The boat shop I worked at also had remnants from a battery top stuck in the ceiling so I'm certain they can explode but I agree the danger is only during charging or discharging.

Don Marlowe
66 Monza 2Dr 140/pg
64 Spyder convertible now, 110/pg
Eutawville SC

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 09, 2019 07:14PM

Pretty much had to be an external ignition source. The oxygen and hydrogen they make are highly explosive.

Joel
Northlake, TX
4 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: February 09, 2019 10:24PM

Internal ignition source, something arced inside the battery. Seen it my self in front of the shop with somebody starting a van. Guy went outside, climbed in van, turned key and BOOM.

Saw results of two large Caterpillar batteries exploded in a trailer with the Caterpillar supplied hard wired charger running in the trailer for days with no one in there. Lots of acid. Guy inside the building next to trailer said it was louder than the 5 inch gun they shoot off there!

Also seen external source, coworker turning battery terminal while other employee turned key to start. eye popping smiley Took him to emergency room.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 10, 2019 04:50PM

Did he get cut from some of the plastic case? I've had plenty blow up in my face and never hurt me. God does take care of me.
One shot out a shop light with the cap.

Joel
Northlake, TX
4 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: February 10, 2019 08:38PM

Acid in the eyes. Not a fun day.

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: Help! Weird Electrical Issue
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: February 10, 2019 08:44PM

I've had it in my eyes a lot. Just flushed with lots of water. Not much fun.

Joel
Northlake, TX
4 Ultravans, Lost count at 100 Corvairs...

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