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  • Electrical: Identify engine component

    Hello gentlemen.
    I've been trying to locate an electrical drain to my system. What is this piece of equipment that connects to the distributor, I've put a yellow arrow indicating where it is. http://tinypic.com/r/2bvbyp/5. Also if I touch the screw area where the arrow directly points to I get an electric shock. Is this normal or could that indicate a grounding issue? Thanks as always!
    -Cody

  • #2
    Cody: Your arrow appears to be pointing to the negative side of the coil. The small black wire connected to that terminal should be going down into the distributor, below the distributor cap. I can't see that wire entirely, but it appears to be doing just that, so it should be OK.

    Now, the red wire with blue insulator; where does that go? The car didn't have it originally, so I have no idea what it might be doing, or why it is there.

    Depending on where it is going and/or what it is doing, it might be draining your battery if it is going to something "positive." I would disconnect it and see if your battery drain remains. (Don't disconnect the smaller, less-conspicuous black wire, though, or the car won't run!) BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting. Thanks for the info Bob. The red wire is going here http://tinypic.com/r/rbyv83/5 to the bottom left port. I disconnected it and left the small black wire, which is indeed going to the distributor, and started the car just fine however if I still touch that nut I get an electric shock and the drain is still there.

      Comment


      • #4
        The red wire you just disconnected goes to the overdrive kickdown switch, as seen in the second picture. Re-connect it, it isn't causing your battery drain.

        With a running engine, it's perfectly normal to get a slight shock off the coil (-) terminal. Each time the points open, there will be a voltage spike of about a hundred volts there. The condenser dampens most of that spike, but it's still there, and has to be, for the coil to work.

        Note that you can feel a 12 volt shock under some cirumstances. I've done so myself. Get a real good ground on some part of your body, and make hard contact with hot terminal with your hand, you may feel it.

        The most common causes of electrical drain? Stuck cutout relay in voltage regulator, courtesy light, glove box light, or trunk light not going out, stop light switch sticking. Pretty well all other electrical loads are controlled by either the ignition switch or lighting switch.

        Get a 12 volt test light, the kind that looks like a clear-handled ice pick with a wire on it. Clip the wire to a good ground, and with the ignition off, probe both terminals on the coil, both terminals on the generator, and all four terminals on the OD kickdown switch. None of the terminals on the coil or generator should illuminate the lamp at all with the ignition off. Depending upon how the car was wired, the two bottom terminals of the kickdown switch might show 12 volts, but there should be no current flowing. If these terminals light the lamp, disconnect one of the two bottom wires and scratch its end against the terminal on the switch. If you see a spark, the OD solenoid is pulling juice, indicating perhaps a stuck governor.

        If you get some glimmer in the lamp on either generator terminal, you may have a stuck regulator. If you get a glimmer from the lamp off the coil terminals, then you have a bad ignition switch, which I doubt, because then you would not be able to shut the car off.
        Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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        • #5
          Great information Gord. I have been dealing with this drain for a while now. I've replaced the brushes in my gene and replaced the battery and VR but still I get no charge. I'll grab a test light and go to town on my electrical system.

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          • #6
            Disconnect the ground cable from the battery. Connect the test light between the cable and the negative post on the battery. If there's a drain, the test light will light. You may have to make a test light using a two cell flashlight bulb if it's a very small drain. Disconnect one suspect unit at a time until the test light goes off.
            Jerry Forrester
            Forrester's Chrome
            Douglasville, Georgia

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Well it's more that the system isn't charging then there being a drain. I did the test that Jerry suggested and there is no drain with the key off. My car never goes to positive in my amperes gauge and when I hit about 50mph it drops way down to negative drain and with my head lights on my battery dies pretty quick.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CodyC View Post
                Well it's more that the system isn't charging then there being a drain. I did the test that Jerry suggested and there is no drain with the key off. My car never goes to positive in my amperes gauge and when I hit about 50mph it drops way down to negative drain and with my head lights on my battery dies pretty quick.
                I'm guessing...... bad generator armature. My 2 cents, worth what you paid for it.
                Jerry Forrester
                Forrester's Chrome
                Douglasville, Georgia

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CodyC View Post
                  Well it's more that the system isn't charging then there being a drain. I did the test that Jerry suggested and there is no drain with the key off. My car never goes to positive in my amperes gauge and when I hit about 50mph it drops way down to negative drain and with my head lights on my battery dies pretty quick.
                  It sounds to me like you are dealing with a reverse polarity situation where your generator is actually draining and not charging the battery. Let me ask some basic questions since you did not state certain important things and they have not yet been asked. It is obviously 6 cylinder, but what year and model is it? What voltage, 6v or 12v? Negative or positive ground? These things may be immediately obvious to many of the Studebaker guys, but I am still learning on Studebakers and do not immediately recognize everything; however, I am familiar with other classic automotive electrical systems and have rewired my '57 Hawk from the dash forward.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CodyC View Post
                    Interesting. Thanks for the info Bob. The red wire is going here http://tinypic.com/r/rbyv83/5 to the bottom left port. I disconnected it and left the small black wire, which is indeed going to the distributor, and started the car just fine however if I still touch that nut I get an electric shock and the drain is still there.
                    Yep. What Gordon said. The red wire belongs there for the overdrive kickdown. (I couldn't see where it went in your first picture and it did not appear to be a factory wire; in fact, it isn't. Someone either replaced the original overdrive kickdown wire with that one, or the car was built without overdrive and someone had to add that when they installed the overdrive transmission.) BP
                    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                    Ayn Rand:
                    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just for the heck of it, disconnect the wire coming out of the bottom of the steering column for thr horn. I once bought a real nice 64 Challenger 2dr for $50.00 cause it had 'electrical problems! It turned out to be a shorted horn wire in the column, took about an hour to diagnose and repair!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the of replies! to Carussell: it is a 62 lark all original as far as I can tell except someone installed an auxiliary lighter port. It is a 12V system. I'm not sure if it is negative or positive ground. The negative terminal goes to a nut that holds the generator in place so I'm guessing it's the negative. I don't think it's a reverse polarity situation as I have polarized it and it would steadily go to a higher negative when I pump the gas right? It stays around negative 3 or 4 on the amperes gauge until I hit a really high rpm and then shoots way past 20. It is definitely running off of the battery as it won't stay on if I take the negative terminal off.
                        To Radiotech, I ill try that out.

                        Also a bit more info. When I took the generator out I noticed that it doesn't stay firm inside it's container. It's hard to explain but the brushes are pushed slightly off of the end. I'll take a video of it tomorrow to show it better.
                        Thanks for all of the input guys.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CodyC View Post
                          Thanks for all the of replies! to Carussell: it is a 62 lark all original as far as I can tell except someone installed an auxiliary lighter port. It is a 12V system. I'm not sure if it is negative or positive ground. The negative terminal goes to a nut that holds the generator in place so I'm guessing it's the negative. I don't think it's a reverse polarity situation as I have polarized it and it would steadily go to a higher negative when I pump the gas right? It stays around negative 3 or 4 on the amperes gauge until I hit a really high rpm and then shoots way past 20. It is definitely running off of the battery as it won't stay on if I take the negative terminal off.
                          To Radiotech, I ill try that out.

                          Also a bit more info. When I took the generator out I noticed that it doesn't stay firm inside it's container. It's hard to explain but the brushes are pushed slightly off of the end. I'll take a video of it tomorrow to show it better.
                          Thanks for all of the input guys.
                          Being a '62 it is 12 volt and negative ground. Can you supply an image of the generator connections and details of the wire colors? Same on the regulator?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by radiotech View Post
                            Just for the heck of it, disconnect the wire coming out of the bottom of the steering column for thr horn. I once bought a real nice 64 Challenger 2dr for $50.00 cause it had 'electrical problems! It turned out to be a shorted horn wire in the column, took about an hour to diagnose and repair!
                            That would mean the horn would be stuck in the "on" mode as the horn wire (and horn "button" momentary contact) is essentially the ground for the horn relay circuit.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Alright I recorded a couple videos one of the car starting while watching the amps and the other with the generator out. My generator doesn't set snugly and I'm wondering if that's why it won't charge.
                              If you need better pictures of the wiring of the generator let me know carussell. I have it out so I can open it and take lots of pictures.
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVJxLZltSR4
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3TDVDDVCNM

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