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Old 09-17-2019, 03:55 PM   #1
flatford8
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Default 239 OHV question

Hello, Iím frequently on the Early V8 site, so first time posting here.
I have a friend who is working on a Ď54 Fordor. Are these still Positive ground? It ran a few years ago and now he canít get spark. I saw a lot of bad wiring so I think he has a lot of work to do.....Thanks, Mark
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

yes positive ground
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

And also still Loadomatic distributors like the '49 - '53 8BA flatheads.


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Old 09-17-2019, 04:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

Some of the replacement condensers these days (made in China) are causing no start and hot stall symptoms. I have heard that condensers from NAPA (Echlin ?) are about the best and still made in the USA.


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Old 09-17-2019, 04:35 PM   #5
flatford8
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

Thank you guys!!! That’s what I thought.....a lot of work to do to make this one run again... wiring looks like it was done by Betty Spaghetti.... bare dead ends all under the hood.
Thanks again......Mark
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

Simple to bypass the spaghetti. Run a jumper wire from the battery negative (hot) post to the coil side terminal marked (-). First remove the existing wire that runs back to the ignition switch or you'll be back feeding the spaghetti. Run another jumper wire from the battery to the small terminal on the starter relay (or solenoid) to energize the starter. If everything else is OK it should start.
Have you cleaned and set the points? After sitting a few years, points corrode and won't carry current.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

My first advice was check, clean and gap the points. He had the batt hooked up neg ground and I wasn’t sure if ‘54 was pos or neg ground and I wasn’t sure about how the coil should be wired. Someone had replaced the coil previously. Thanks to all for the advice !!..... Mark
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatford8 View Post
My first advice was check, clean and gap the points. He had the batt hooked up neg ground and I wasnít sure if Ď54 was pos or neg ground and I wasnít sure about how the coil should be wired. Someone had replaced the coil previously. Thanks to all for the advice !!..... Mark
Tell him to join up here,he will get a lot of good advice for only 1954 Fords. https://www.facebook.com/groups/54FordClub/
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatford8 View Post
.... He had the batt hooked up neg ground and I wasn’t sure if ‘54 was pos or neg ground and I wasn’t sure about how the coil should be wired. Someone had replaced the coil previously. Thanks to all for the advice !!..... Mark
Depending on how the car & battery was hooked up last time it was running, or if the owner would prefer positive or negative ground... the generator needs to be re-polarized.

"... before you start the engine, remove the field wire from the voltage regulator and strike it (draw an arc) to the battery terminal of the voltage regulator in order to properly polarize the generator then reconnect the field wire to it’s position on the voltage regulator."


The ignition coil is polarity sensitive. The "+" terminal wire of the ignition coil goes to the distributor points on a positive ground car.
If the car has a clock they are also polarity sensitive. There may be a tab on the back to change it.
Not sure about a radio. If it was working before you don't want to make a mistake with it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg converted '55 clock, ground tab on back.jpg (46.4 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 09-18-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

Solid state vibrators in later car radios are polarity sensitive but the old ones with a standard vibrator coil are not. Most cars in the 50s weren't solid state equipped yet but a radio repairman might put one in as a replacement.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: 239 OHV question

1955 was the last year for the Ford 6-volt, positive ground electrical system. I think Volkswagen was the only mfr to continue using it clear into the '70's.
On your coil, the distributor wire hooks up to the positive terminal of the coil. The ignition wire hooks up to the negative terminal of the coil.
After you reconnect the battery properly, you will need to re-polarize the generator.


Don't ever take these old cars to ANY shop to have electrical or ignition work done. Those fools always hook up the test equipment negative lead to ground on everything and then scratch their heads trying to figure out what went wrong. As soon as y6ou realize what they have done, you pull your hair out. Never take for granted that the shop fools know ANYTHING.
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