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Thread: No power

  1. #1
    Speedster Member whitehawk759's Avatar
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    No power

    I drove the Hawk to the alignment shop yesterday and while it started just fine and drove to the shop, when I shut it off in the parking lot and went in side, I was soon told by the technician that it would not start. When I went outside, thinking that they weren't holding their mouth quite right, I was faced with no power whatsoever. I ended up having to call AAA and have it towed home. Today through a "jiggle and shake" inspection under the dash I was able to get power and the engine started right up, but then when I flipped the headlights on, all went dead again. I did this a couple of times but then I couldn't get anything. I checked all the light switch connections, but it had also seemed to occur with the dash light switch as well. I have had to replace the relay on the headlight switch before but don't know if that could be involved. Any help appreciated
    Don Watson
    61 Hawk

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member
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    Not sure that it fits all of your description, but my first guess is the ignition switch.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  3. #3
    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    Not sure that it fits all of your description, but my first guess is the ignition switch.
    Or a bad wire connection on the ign. switch.
    I don't think it has anything to do with any light switch. It's just when you turn on a light, the extra current draw causes the bad connection (where ever it is) to open.
    Jerry Forrester
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  4. #4
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I agree with a bad ignition switch or loose wire on it. My 50 Champion had similar problems when I bought it 4 years ago, and it was loose nuts on the ignition switch.

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Sounds like a loose Battery Cable to me, they just get acid and moisture between the Clamp and the Post, then under Load the heat from the High resistance boils the moisture out and temporarily you have power.

    Also check the battery Cable TERMINAL, for looseness from the Cable, especially if it is one of those cheap Clamp-on repair Terminals.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 07-09-2018 at 02:03 PM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
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  6. #6
    Silver Hawk Member bezhawk's Avatar
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    Check connections to the ammeter

  7. #7
    Speedster Member whitehawk759's Avatar
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    All great suggestions, I have checked the battery and battery terminals. The battery is brand new and the terminals are tight and clean. I have power to the starter solenoid, but nothing past that. The starter switch is brand new from SI. I will check the connections on it, which at this point seems the most likely suspect. Thanks guys.
    Don Watson
    61 Hawk

  8. #8
    Speedster Member whitehawk759's Avatar
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    I found the problem and it was a loose wire on the Amp meter. Thanks Bez. I am wondering, after I tightened the connection the connector still seemed to get really hot, is that normal?
    Don Watson
    61 Hawk

  9. #9
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    Depending on how hot is gets, hot is not normal. Heat usually comes from a connection that is corroded internally. Think about what is happening at the microscopic level.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
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  10. #10
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I like to clean and grease my connections. Hopefully that will take care of the heat problem, so you don't have to go inside the gauge.

  11. #11
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    Sounds a lot like the problem I had with wife's 62 Hawk. It went stone cold dead. Had to jump start it to get it into shop. The wire that goes from batt terminal on regulator to ammeter was shorted out. It was a perfectly healthy looking wire. Regulator died but gen survived. Ran another 12 wire from reg to ammeter. (Then I noticed the leaking rear main seal... Oh, well this hobby keeps us off the streets...)

  12. #12
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
    Oh, well this hobby keeps us off the streets...)
    Haha! We are supposed to be ON the streets with our hobby.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  13. #13
    Speedster Member whitehawk759's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioRoy View Post
    Depending on how hot is gets, hot is not normal. Heat usually comes from a connection that is corroded internally. Think about what is happening at the microscopic level.
    Hot enough to burn my finger, which I did. I tried to tighten it as much as I could and then put liquid tape on it. Could it be shorted inside the gauge. I am also running a Volt meter since the am meter only shows discharge not charge. How do I take the am meter out of the loop?
    Don Watson
    61 Hawk

  14. #14
    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitehawk759 View Post
    How do I take the am meter out of the loop?
    If it's still getting hot you still have a bad connection where it's getting hot.
    To bypass the amp gauge, take all the wires off one terminal and add them to the other terminal.

    But the bad connection is the most important thing. You could lose the car, your bikes, the garage, the house, your life, your loved one lives. DO NOT LEAVE THE BATTERY CONNECTED WHEN AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE!
    Last edited by Jerry Forrester; 07-13-2018 at 06:22 AM.
    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
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  15. #15
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    It's not likely to be a short circuit, although that is possible. It's most likely a high resistance point that is generating heat as the voltage forces the current through the bad connection.

    All connection/transitioning points that are getting hot need to be taken apart and cleaned and inspected to determine the cause of the high resistance. likely causes are:
    -dirt/corrosion on the meter stud or nut
    -bad surface on the wire lug
    -bad connection between wire lug and wire, especially if it is a crimp-on connector
    -possibly the meter body itself has twisted and one terminal is within touching distance of the mounting bracket

    Getting under the dash with a strong light would be a good idea. You can probe around with something insulated, like a chop stick from Chinese take out.

    I would do that first with the battery disconnected.

    It is also interesting that the ammeter shows discharge, but does not show charge. Sounds like more problems with the alternator or generator.
    Last edited by RadioRoy; 07-12-2018 at 10:59 PM.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

  16. #16
    Speedster Member whitehawk759's Avatar
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    I have a GM style one pole alternator. It is also interesting that my Tachometer will not go past 2500 RPM. I fear I may have several gremlins running around under there. I only have two wires on the ammeter. One red main hot wire, where the short was, and one black wire. Should there be more wires?
    Don Watson
    61 Hawk

  17. #17
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    The wire being hot indicates a lot of resistance and one would have to suspect that it is corroded and will soon go the way of Ceci's 62. Or catch fire! Just run another wire--it'll be safer.

  18. #18
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    If you have access to a Thermal Camera it will show you a lot. (fire depts use them)
    What they are saying about a High Resistance connection at the point of connection sounds about right. A good cleaning will help, but make sure to pay attention to it for a while to make sure that it doesn't continue getting hot, as this may be a harbinger of more to come. Electrical gremlins can ruin your day, and burn down your car, etc. I nearly lost my 2R5 some years back due to a stuck regulator.

  19. #19
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    I just saw a thermal camera, on the snap on truck the other day. Probably too spendy, for an occasional use, but shops must be using them to diagnose problems, as noted above.

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