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Old 11-13-2014, 10:33 AM   #1
Gary loves Fords
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Default Putting Model A on battery tender

I have a question on charging my 1931 Model A Deluxe Phaeton. Can I put the positive clamp on the starter bolt and the negative on the frame, to keep the battery charged, without having to pull up the floor board to charge it? I am not real good with electrical chores. It seems my A is wired up in such a way, that the motor has to be be running for the lights and horn to work. It's the first A I have had that needs to be running for them to work. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

Gary
you can do that "BUT"
put positive on frame and neg. on starter
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

You can connect a charger to the starter stud and a good ground. But, the charger needs to be connected the same as the battery. If the vehicle system is positive ground then the positive charger lead needs to go to ground.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

I have a follow-up question about your lights and horn. Are the lights just dim when the motor is not running? And does the horn just growl rather than produce a full Ahooooga? Or do these not work at all when the engine is off?

If they are just diminished when the motor is off, then I suspect poor grounding or bad electrical connections. Have you checked them closely?
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

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I have a follow-up question about your lights and horn. Are the lights just dim when the motor is not running? And does the horn just growl rather than produce a full Ahooooga? Or do these not work at all when the engine is off?If they are just diminished when the motor is off, then I suspect poor grounding or bad electrical connections. Have you checked them closely?
Suspect either a very low charge on battery, or if starter motor turns the engine well then like you I'd suspect poor earth or poor feed somewhere with those components
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

Thanks Ray, I meant to say positive on ground, rather than the other way.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

I meant to say positive to ground instead of the other way around.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

John, there is not power to the horn or lights when the motor is not running. They must have wired it differently than my previous A's.
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Old 11-13-2014, 11:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

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Originally Posted by Gary loves Fords View Post
Thanks Ray, I meant to say positive on ground, rather than the other way.
With over the eigthy years of fettling the polarity can get changed on these old girls- I have useful info like postive or negative ground on a laminated sheet of paper under the drivers carpet.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

Gary, do you have a schematic of the original Model A wiring? They are posted often here on fordbarn. I also carry a laminated copy.

You might consider checking your wiring against the original schematic, and possibly rewiring. That could aid in troubleshooting and roadside repairs. Other Model A owners could quickly isolate issues because of their familiarity with the original wiring. But if electricity is not your strong suit, this could be difficult and may get you into trouble. As they say... if it's not broke, don't fix it!
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

On the lights and horn it sounds like the wires feeding them are hooked
to the generator side of the cut out instead of the battery side.

Bob
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

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Originally Posted by Gary loves Fords View Post
John, there is not power to the horn or lights when the motor is not running. They must have wired it differently than my previous A's.
This would happen if they ran the horn/lights wire to the INPUT side of the cutout, rather than the correct OUTPUT side.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

"car will not start" thread on page 2 of Ford Barn commenced 11/11/14 has a couple of thumbnails of the wiring diagram you need.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

I'l check that out. Thanks for the replies guys. Gary
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

Thanks for the info. I made copies of both. Gary
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

Unless you are 100% sure of how your car is wired, use a volt meter to verify polarity first, or you can have a lot of issues including a destroyed charger and or battery. Or in a worse case scenario an explosion of the battery or fire. Take the few minutes to be sure. Any cheap meter will work as the engine should be off. Also take the time to verify your wiring and document any variation from the original diagram or change it back to original it will save a lot of time latter when something stops working. You will at least know what the "normal" state was.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

I suspect that the wire that feeds the lights, that should be hooked to the output side of the cutout, is instead hooked to the generator side of the cutout. That would explain why the lights and horn ONLY work when the car is running. They only work after the cutout closes.

Something easy to look at.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Putting Model A on battery tender

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob C View Post
On the lights and horn it sounds like the wires feeding them are hooked
to the generator side of the cut out instead of the battery side.

Bob
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
This would happen if they ran the horn/lights wire to the INPUT side of the cutout, rather than the correct OUTPUT side.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveB31 View Post
I suspect that the wire that feeds the lights, that should be hooked to the output side of the cutout, is instead hooked to the generator side of the cutout. That would explain why the lights and horn ONLY work when the car is running. They only work after the cutout closes.

Something easy to look at.
Great minds think alike...
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