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Old 09-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #81
P.S.
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Default Re: Is There An Electrician In The House?

OK, excellent! Thanks! Now, we know what's going on here. You apparently have a battery that is going weak. One cell is calcified or has developed current leakage most likely.

Especially easy to spot if that 7 volts drops back down to 6.2 fairly quickly. It should take several days to get down to 6.2. Assuming a correctly working charging system, a good strong battery should sit around 6.7 after a day or so. 6.2 would be after a week or more.

As an afterthought... One could install some zener diodes across the light sockets as an over-voltage protection of sorts. This assumes headlights are on their own fuse (someday).

Steve S- Thanks for the picture. That's sorta what I am going to do, but with a different style block that has the bus built in, uses blade fuses, and has places to put labels next to each fuse. But, electrically, same idea. Will try to remember this thread and post a pic when finished if you like.

Very best regards.

Last edited by P.S.; 09-27-2012 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Spelling (again)
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:59 AM   #82
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Default Re: Is There An Electrician In The House?

This is the blade fuse block I'm going to use.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:08 AM   #83
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That's the same one I am going to install, except for color. Mine is all black for use with white letter on black labels. Good choice!
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:43 AM   #84
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This is the blade fuse block I'm going to use.

You do not need all of the stuff on a Model "A". Fuse the generator output and the fuse on the starter that feeds the entire electrical system. Simple basic engineering and not a bunch wires and fuses. Two fuses to check and easy to replace.

You are creating more problems and solving none.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:31 AM   #85
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... That's sorta what I am going to do, but with a different style block that has the bus built in, uses blade fuses, and has places to put labels next to each fuse. But, electrically, same idea. ....
Maybe you can come with a better approach, but I found it necessary to not have every fuse on a common bus, like when I wanted to insert a fuse into an already-hot wire. You can see that only half of mine are on the "bus."

For folks who are inclined to use only one or two fuses, I have two thoughts. Remember, it's the wiring that the fuse is protecting, and different gauge wires have different safe current/fuse loads. And, of course, it's really nice to not have everything shut down when there's a problem with only one item, like, not losing your headlights, or ignition, if the stoplight switch shorts out.

Steve

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Old 09-27-2012, 12:02 PM   #86
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You do not need all of the stuff on a Model "A". Fuse the generator output and the fuse on the starter that feeds the entire electrical system. Simple basic engineering and not a bunch wires and fuses. Two fuses to check and easy to replace.

You are creating more problems and solving none.

I disagree.

Then again, I am an electronics engineer by trade with degree in electrical engineering, so it seems overly simple to me.

There is a keen advantage to having everything on its own fuse. For one, if your headlight wiring shorts, you still have everything else functional. If not for the headlights being on their own fuse, you'd be dead in the water doing it your way.

Currently, my car is wired with the one fuse on the starter mounted fuse block, and when the horn got stupid, the whole car was dead. That made me cuss (and I don't cuss as a rule). Once the horn is fed off of its own fuse, the next time (if ever) the horn wants to get a mind of its own, the car is still fully functional, lights work, etc.

Also, having seperate fuses for items like interior lights, etc. makes troubleshooting easy. If your interior wiring was shorting out, you can pull the interior lights fuse and drive the car to the parts store to get the parts to fix it!

And, it's just plain a lot safer. For example, let's use the above interior lighting wiring scenario. Let's say the wire running to the interior light in the headliner was rubbing on the body metal and wore through and was making intermittent contact. There's enough small diameter wire between the short and the 30 amp fuse on your starter mounted fuse block to allow enough current to pass to create heat, but not enough to blow the 30 amp fuse open. What does that mean? That means enough current will flow through the small wire in the headliner to create enough heat to catch the headliner or cotton batting on fire and cause your car to burn to the ground. When having the interior lights on its own smaller 5 amp fuse, any shorts in the small wire would blow that small value fuse open, disconnecting the circuit, and saving your car (and garage) from catastrophic ends.

For those who do not have the ability or expertise to rewire your car correctly, the starter mounted fuse block is sure better than nothing! But, for thos of us who do have the expertise, it is a LOT safer way to go. Besdies, after re-wiring the car with brand new (period correct looking cotton covered) wire, it will be good for another 80 years or more, right?
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:09 PM   #87
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Maybe you can come with a better approach, but I found it necessary to not have every fuse on a common bus, like when I wanted to insert a fuse into an already-hot wire. You can see that only half of mine are on the "bus."
Steve

The 'bus' on mine will be the connection from the ammeter to the fuse block. From there, new period-correct looking wiring will go to each item from the block through a harness. 1 wire to the ignition system, 2 wires to the light switch at the end of the steering block (1 for headlights, 1 for tail lights), 1 wire to the horn, 1 wire to the brake light switch, and 1 wire to the interior lights. That will take up all 6 fuse positions.

If I ever add anything like a GPS or radio that will actually run off of the 6 volt system, I'll probably wire directly to the battery with an inline fuse since such an item would be temporary anyway and not something I'd likely leave in the car all the time.

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Old 09-27-2012, 01:00 PM   #88
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...Will try to remember this thread and post a pic when finished if you like...
Do you have a schematic that you could post?
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:36 PM   #89
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The 'bus' on mine will be the connection from the ammeter to the fuse block. From there, new period-correct looking wiring will go to each item from the block through a harness. 1 wire to the ignition system, 2 wires to the light switch at the end of the steering block (1 for headlights, 1 for tail lights), 1 wire to the horn, 1 wire to the brake light switch, and 1 wire to the interior lights. That will take up all 6 fuse positions. ... .
So, you're not going to have the yellow and yellow/black wires from the alternator to the horn and light switch on the bottom of the steering column, right?

What gauge wire will you use from the alternator to junction box/ammeter/bus?

Steve

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:01 PM   #90
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So, you're not going to have the yellow and yellow/black wires from the alternator to the horn and light switch on the bottom of the steering column, right?

What gauge wire will you use from the alternator to junction box/ammeter/bus?

Steve

Nope. The yellow with black tracer will only be used to feed the fuse block and go to the alternator.

The yellow wire to the horn will come from a terminal on the fuse block.

The yellow with black tracer to the lights will be re-routed, replaced with separate wires for headlights (yellow/black) and for the brake/tail lights (planning to use green wire) that will feed the light switch from the fuse block rather than from the generator lug.

The instrument panel lamp and interior light will be fed with black wires from their terminal on the fuse block.

Since I'm such a huge fan of electrical wiring overkill, the plan is to use #10 wire for almost all of it. I may even go slightly larger #8 on the feed to the fuse block.

I have already obtained the period-correct looking wire. I'm going to use some decently period correct looking wire loom to encase everything and make it look as original as possible. I have extra repro wire clips and clamps already to fasten everything to the frame, etc. and keep it from vibrating or getting in the way.

All connections and ring terminals will be soldered, no crimp type! If I have to do any inline splicing (plan is to avoid that), then the plan is to solder and heat shrink, then pull cotton cover over and wax. Should look pretty decent if anyone wanted to get nosy.

After I'm dead and gone, somebody is going to lose the schematic and dig into this car and wonder "What the heck??"

Last edited by P.S.; 09-27-2012 at 02:04 PM. Reason: info
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:28 PM   #91
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I have to agree with P.S. on this one. While it may sound like more fuses is more complicated the opposite is true. Having individual fuses for each load (lights, horn, ignition, etc) not only provides better protection but if a fuse blows it becomes easier to troubleshoot and identify the problem by narrowing it down to a specific circuit. All while keeping the car running (unless the problem is in the ignition). Modern Electrical Design/Engineering has come a long way since the 20's/30's and utilize progressive and coordinated overload protection. Take a look at how mine is wired. Some may call this overkill but it really is a simple, reliable system. Lets face it: Model A's vibrate and where there's vibration there's chaffing and where there's chaffing there's the possibility of a short circuit. Granted if proper wiring techniques and attention to detail are used in a stock wiring system, the probability of short is small. But I have peace of mind that a short anywhere in my system, except the main batt cable to the cut-out switch, will blow a fuse and not cause a fire, something no Model A without a fuse can guarantee.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:40 PM   #92
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Default Re: Is There An Electrician In The House?

PS,

Sorry if I'm dense; trying to understand exactly how your plan will work and what the tradeoffs will be.

There will be only one wire coming off the generator post, and it will join a wire from the ammeter at the fuse bus, or maybe they'll join at the junction box and then a wire from there to the fuse bus. Right?

Are you still going to use the original light switch on end of steering column? If so, I don't understand how you will keep the headlight and taillight circuits separate.

Thanks.

Steve

Last edited by steve s; 09-27-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:44 PM   #93
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How old is the battery? As P.S. said a new battery should read higher, probably closer to 6.4 to 6.7 volts. I'm still using the $2 battery I bought from a junk yard 8 years ago and it also reads 6.2 volts and works fine.

I wonder if you are putting out more than 4 amps? Have you checked the output with a quality amp guage? I find original ammeters fairly accurate if the pivots are oiled, but I find repro ammeters often stick and don't have an accurate reading.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:36 PM   #94
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Battery (it is a 6 volt) is approximately 3 years old, give or take. I had it tested several weeks ago, it tested good. It was fully charged for testing purposes and sat on my work bench for over a week without any drop in voltage.
Only have the Model A amp gauge that's in the car plus a few others I purchased at swap meets many moons ago.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #95
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OK, I've never had a 6 volt battery go bad in 3 years and since it tested good, I'd say it's OK. My Sperry SP-152A analog multimeter has a 20 amp scale, so it would be ideal to check the accuracy of your ammeter.

If you're using a digital meter to do your checks, I'd recommend a change to an analog meter as mentioned. This meter can be delivered to your house for under $15, if you look on ebay for it.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:06 PM   #96
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Tom - thanks for the info. Using an inexpensive analog meter. Highest Amp setting is 150 milliamps, just a wee bit low for the Model A.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:32 PM   #97
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Well one thing we can all agree on is that this is a very interesting thread and I sure hope the eventual outcome is posted so we can all learn something!
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:45 PM   #98
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I have to agree with P.S. on this one. While it may sound like more fuses is more complicated the opposite is true. Having individual fuses for each load (lights, horn, ignition, etc) not only provides better protection but if a fuse blows it becomes easier to troubleshoot and identify the problem by narrowing it down to a specific circuit. All while keeping the car running (unless the problem is in the ignition). Modern Electrical Design/Engineering has come a long way since the 20's/30's and utilize progressive and coordinated overload protection. Take a look at how mine is wired. Some may call this overkill but it really is a simple, reliable system. Lets face it: Model A's vibrate and where there's vibration there's chaffing and where there's chaffing there's the possibility of a short circuit. Granted if proper wiring techniques and attention to detail are used in a stock wiring system, the probability of short is small. But I have peace of mind that a short anywhere in my system, except the main batt cable to the cut-out switch, will blow a fuse and not cause a fire, something no Model A without a fuse can guarantee.
You have convinced me that more fuses are needed. I am also going to run redundant circuits double pole double throw toggle switches as soon as pigs fly. I am an eighth grade graduate from St. Patrick's Catholic Grade School.

I still have 82 % mobility in my left arm so I will not be installing turn signals.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:54 PM   #99
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OK, now I'm really lost. I'm trying to figure this out. If the battery is good and the generator is good and there's no resistance in the wiring or the ground connections, then there should be no problem, right?

I'd still swap another battery in and compare voltage readings with the car running. I'm still betting on the battery.

Steve- Yes, one wire from the gen (swpped to alternator) to the main bus. Yellow with black tracer at the terminal block.
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:47 PM   #100
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Come to think of it, I did have a 6 Volt battery load test good and it turned out it was bad; it had me fooled. Drove me nuts. But having said that , a load test is the only way to go, just surface voltage readings without a load equiv. of the starter tell very little.
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