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'51 Land Cruiser, swatting gremlins, sometimes charges

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  • Electrical: '51 Land Cruiser, swatting gremlins, sometimes charges

    My '51 Land Cruiser sometimes charges, mostly doesn't, where to start? After it cools down and after supper, I'm going to check the two dry rotted wires covered in electrical tape from the regulator to the generator.
    1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
    1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
    1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
    1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
    1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
    1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

  • #2
    Doug, I'd suggest cleaning the electrical terminals related to the voltage regulator and generator first. And make sure the regulator has a good ground. These cars had good quality voltage regulators that were adjustable; the Shop Manual gives good instructions. Could be the regulator points just need cleaning, I use a clean piece of heavy denim (old blue jean material).

    You mentioned the wires........for areas where the old cotton insulation is starting to wear and cracking, I use this on my '54 sedan: https://plastidip.com/our-products/liquid-tape/
    It soaks into the insulation and seals it. You can use it on areas where there is small areas of bare wire, but will require several coats. For wires that have a lot of bare wire, that's calling for replacement.

    You got a great looking car Doug. Enjoy it!!
    Paul
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Paul, but if your car still has original wiring, I think you should seriously consider a new harness. Besides checking all the terminal connections, you could have a generator brush worn to the point of giving up, or merely hanging up in its holder, or a set of regulator points only working intermittently. But really, from my experience, most likely a small amount of corrosion, loose connection, or even a broken wire inside the insulation that could also be making and losing contact.

      It is certainly a great looking car. As I haven't had much time to give my Land Cruiser any attention in months, I'll probably be chasing similar problems once I buy a new battery and begin to see what needs to be done to get 'er running again.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

      Comment


      • #4
        Update: I made up new wires and replaced the crumbly old ones. I tightened up the fan belt. It charges now. My guesses are because the fan belt doesn't slip and knocking some crud off the connections. It doesn't want to charge at idle. Is that normal for these old things?
        1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
        1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
        1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
        1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
        1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
        1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

        Comment


        • #5
          Watch the Ammeter when it idles and turn on the Headlights, if the Charge System compensates for the Load and shows a charge it is working, if it goes Negative it is not. It may need the Regulator adjusted as mentioned or replaced, but just know you will likely NOT find as good a Regulator as an Original Delco Remy made in USA unit.
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

          Comment


          • #6
            I turn on the headlights at idle and it discharges at 15amps. So where do I start adjusting the regulator?
            1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
            1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
            1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
            1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
            1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
            1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

            Comment


            • #7
              1950's Motor's Manuals have good generator and regulator sections, as well as the specs.
              Your Studebaker shop manual for the car should also have good information.

              Comment


              • #8
                I found it! It's under old car has a weird problem dept. One of the metals clips for the battery to regulator wire wasn't screwed down to anything and was sometimes rubbing between the battery terminal and the galvanized bottom of the regulator. I mounted it to one of the screws holding the regulator down. The car fully charges now, even with the headlights on, maybe even making up for lost time. I'm scratching my head on why that wasn't draining the battery. So where is that clip officially supposed to go?

                Dumb fact: earlier today I was confusing the heater switch on the left side of the column with the headlight switch on the right side of the column. I was fretting about the lights not coming on and a long overly involved trouble shooting for that.
                1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
                1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
                1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
                1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
                1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
                1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

                Comment


                • #9
                  If an owner's manual didn't come with the car, then I'd buy one from one of the Studebaker parts houses. Originals also show up on ebay.
                  I like to have that as well as shop and parts books for each of my cars.

                  Comment

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