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Old 10-16-2019, 11:30 PM   #1
mgtf1500
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Default Car has Zero Electric

I started my 31 A Sunday after not being ran in a month. No problem. I came back Tuesday to take a tour and when I tried to start the car NOTHING. No click, no lights, no horn. The fuse on the starter was replaced as a first check, but no results. What can be wrong??? The battery was on a tender and it showed full charge.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:46 PM   #2
J Franklin
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

Check the battery cables for good, solid, clean connections.
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Old 10-17-2019, 12:07 AM   #3
Magicbox51
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

Do you have a battery cut-off switch that needs to be turned back on? Sounds too simple, but I have been fooled by the silliest stuff.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:15 AM   #4
marty in Ohio
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

I agree with J Franklin. Several years ago I drove my "A" to church and when I came out nothing would work. I was under the hood in my Sunday clothes and my red face when an old timer came and looked and said "better tighten up those battery cables, boy." I tapped the cables with the end of the crank and drove it home.
Sometimes the old folks have the best advice.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

Quote:
Originally Posted by marty in Ohio View Post
I agree with J Franklin. Several years ago I drove my "A" to church and when I came out nothing would work. I was under the hood in my Sunday clothes and my red face when an old timer came and looked and said "better tighten up those battery cables, boy." I tapped the cables with the end of the crank and drove it home.
Sometimes the old folks have the best advice.
Marty

Yup - had a nearly identical experience about six years ago - I had brought my car to a local "classic car night" at a nearby beach town (and purposely parked next to another Model A).


Come time to leave - I had the same experience as Marty. Thankfully, within a few minutes the owner of the Cabriolet wandered up, saw I was having problems and knew exactly what to do. He lifted the floorboard, gave the battery posts a couple of whacks with a wrench, and problem solved. In my case, the cables seemed tight - but somehow giving them a few hard knocks was exactly what was needed. I think the fellow was named "Jimmy King", but my memory could be off on that.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

add to above (as a long shot) duff battery - yes I' have had one that was OK, then suddenly would hold no charge at all.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

When you mention NOTHING, I have to wonder what that means. Nothing to me means the starter wasn't working either.
That also leads me to the battery connections, all the connections especially the frame ground. Cleaning terminals means removing the ends and cleaning/brushing them as well as the terminals.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicbox51 View Post
Do you have a battery cut-off switch that needs to be turned back on? Sounds too simple, but I have been fooled by the silliest stuff.
I have done that!! Went so far as to try to jump start. Needless to say I was late for the start of the tour. In my MODERN!!
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

I wouldn't beat on the battery cable ends . Its fairly easy to knock the battery post loose. I haven't knocked a battery post loose , but did see the old brother in law do exactly that . If nothin electrical works , I would remove the cable ends from the battery post and clean and tighten both .

A couple times over the years I've had an experience when the starter would still spin but nothing else would work . To get the model A running again I removed all of the wires from the terminal box .I scuffed the wire ends with sand paper until shiney and all was well .
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

Don’t be fooled by a bad joint between the cable wires and the connector on the end. This is a crimped joint and corrosion in there can drive you crazy trying to find the problem.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

The functions of battery tenders can be misleading. They do their best at maintaining battery voltage, but cannot maintain battery load capacity. A load test will sort that out.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:46 PM   #12
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

I agree completely with post number ten . Usually if the cable connections and cable wires aren't cleaned and tightened , the next time an attempt to start the engine , may result in a click or nothing . For me , I've found it best not to put off cleaning or take a short cut .
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:35 PM   #13
mgtf1500
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

I want to thank everyone for their responses. After getting it out of the car the battery of less than 2 years was bummed out. It looks to have an internal short somewhere. Now is the time to see how good guarantees are.
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Car has Zero Electric

Batteries these days are certainly not what they use to be!
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