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  • Battery drain

    Brother has to disconnect the battery on his Studebaker pickup to keep the battery from going dead over several days. Is there a logical approach to finding a power drain? I think I read a thread on this a long time back.

    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    1952 Champion Starlight w/overdrive. Searcy, Arkansas
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

  • #2
    A simple way is to remove the negative cable from the battery and attached a voltmeter or a test light between the cable end and battery post. Then pull one fuse at a time. When the light goes off (or voltage drops if using a meter), you've found the circuit the drain is coming from. Then you can isolate it further.

    It could also be a bad generator, alternator or regulator which this approach probably won't find, but you can do the same thing with the generator/alternator by using its wiring with a test light.




    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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    • #3
      Given the age of our cars, it could also be a wire rubbed thru the insulation to the core, grounding a hot wire. The above method will find the leak eventually.

      Sometimes the Green Knob switch on the battery is easier, but you gotta open the hood every time you want to go or stop.

      [img=left]http://www.alink.com/personal/tbredehoft/Avatar1.jpg[/img=left]
      Tom Bredehoft
      '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
      '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
      ....On the road, again....
      '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
      All Indiana built cars

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      • #4
        You didn't say what year truck it is. One of the usual suspects is the brake light switch. I have heard of brake lights coming on after the vehicle sits for a while. Wouldn't hurt to check that. I had a problem with an aftermarket turn signal being wired on a hot circuit with the switch off. Problem with that is that when I forgot to turn off the old style non-cancelling turn signal switch when driving into the man cave during the day, I would fail to notice the signal blinking and close the barn door. After changing the circuit to only operate with the ignition on...no more dead batteries.


        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        Life... is what happens as you are making plans.
        SDC member since 1975
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

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        • #5
          I had a problem with the wireing to the dome light switches.

          Jim Caldwell
          "The view don't change if you ain't the lead dog"
          http://ozarktrails.tripod.com/

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          • #6
            Disconnect one of the battery cables and connect a flashlight bulb in series there. If there's a small drainage it will light. If there's a big drain, it will blow. If it doesn't light, there is no drain.
            If it does light, disconnect one item at a time to see if the light bulb goes out. Reconnect that one and go on to the next one. Start with the voltage reg. then the gen. and contienue on 'til the light goes out.

            Jerry Forrester
            Forrester's Chrome
            Douglasville, Georgia
            Jerry Forrester
            Forrester's Chrome
            Douglasville, Georgia

            See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

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            • #7
              I just repaired the same problem on a friend's 58 Hawk. The reverse current relay in the voltage regulator stuck and caused the generator to receive 12 volts which tried to make it run like a motor. I replaced the voltage regulator and the problem was solved. Bud

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              • #8
                Thanks,
                The truck is 57 with an NOS wiring harness installed a few years ago. He has been putting up with this for longer than I would, but I guess pulling the cable is not that bad.
                The column with turn signals is out of a late 60s Buick and the rest of the system is Studebaker.
                The stop light switch is a possibility. He has been thinking about a mechanical type to eliminate failures.

                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                1952 Champion Starlight w/overdrive. Searcy, Arkansas
                "In the heart of Arkansas."
                Searcy, Arkansas
                1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                1952 2R pickup

                Comment

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