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Old 11-08-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
jack39nyc
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Default positive ground

59 ab with a 6v positive ground. My problem is someone who did some work on the car thought the battery was connected wrong and change it to negative ground. Now where do I start or what do I need to replace? Will not start with out a jump, will not hold a charge. He said he only moved the car out of the garage and parked it. I would appreciate any help.
Thanks, Jack
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: positive ground

Just swap the cables and jump it , it should just start charging the other way .
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: positive ground

thanks Tom I will let it charge and see what happens. Jack
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:13 PM   #4
Mike51Merc
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Default Re: positive ground

Don't forget to polarize the regulator.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: positive ground

Thank you Mike, Ted and Ford Barn I love this place. Jack
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: positive ground

What you really have to polorize is your generator. Do so by disconnecting the FIELD terminal wire at the regulator and momentarily touch this wire to the BAT terminal of the regulator. NEVER use a jumper wire to keep from disconnecting the fieldwire at the regulator. It’ll ruin the regulator in a hurry. You'll get a spark when you touch the field wire to the battery terminal on the regulator. That's OK. As soon as you get the spark, take the wire off. In that short instant, the current will create a very small residual magnetism in the generator coil so that it will charge correctly when operated.

After my '47 Sedan sat for 31 years by my mothers house and we started restoring it, I had no idea about positive ground so when we put the battery in we hooked it up negative ground just like all the cars I knew. We drove it that way for three years. Everything worked fine except the battery gauge. It read backwards (charging when it should have been discharging and discharging when it should have been charging.) I had no idea why until I had the engine rebuilt. The mechanic said, "Oh, by the way. Did you know you have your battery hooked up backward?" Duh. I didn't know. After he finished the engine and hooked everything back up he just had to repolorize the generator as I have explained above and all was well.

P.S. If I hadn't told the guy that rebuilt my radio that it would be negative ground, it wouldn't have worked because the original vibrator in it will only work with positive ground. Since he put a vibrator in it that didn't care what was grounded it didn't matter, fortunately.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: positive ground

Henry: Thanks, that explanation is what I needed. I will remind the next young person who works on my old Ford "Positive Ground" Thanks Jack
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: positive ground

The SAE (society of automotive engineers) believed that an electrical system on an automobile should be positive grounded.General Motors proved them wrong,although I worked on a GMC truck,1946 vintage thet was indeed positve ground.It was not a GI truck either.I found out that they came both ways.I have a Bentley that was 12 volt,positive ground. James
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: positive ground

I thought that the old original vibraters would work with either neg or pos ground and ground polarity did not become an issue until they started making solid state vibraters.

Of course my radio is a 35 so .............
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: positive ground

I had an early 60's Jaguar that was 12 volt positive earth (ground).
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: positive ground

The best thing to do is discharge the batt, ( turn the headlights on and leave it overnight) then recharge the batt the correct way with a batt charger, install the batt pos. ground, polarize the gen and your on your way. Walt
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:50 AM   #12
jack39nyc
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Default Re: positive ground

Walt: Thanks thats what I'll do. The battery went dead yesterday I am recharging it now. What started this was noise coming from the bell housing area the clutch. The guy I bought this 39 tdr said he had put a new clutch so don't replace it. I went a head any way and got a new clutch from Ft Wayne clutch, one of your suggestions, Thank you. Had that clutch installed car drove nice for about 150 miles. Started another sound from the clutch. What could this be? Two new clutches not right yet. I think maybe a new flywheel would help I looked for a flywheel at hershey could not find one. I really did not know what to look for not enough RnR. I went speedway they had what I needed had that put in. The guy who put in the flywheel saw the battery on positive ground, hooked the battery up negative ground. The old flywheel was coming apart at the ring gear. So I think we saved another old Ford. Thank you all, Jack
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