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  1. #1
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    Default D special battery

    Ok brains trust, at the risk of embarrassing myself again...

    After several weeks parked up, I go to start the D Special yesterday and nothing, no charge. So I use a battery pack to jump start the car and I drive 5km home.

    the car won't restart. Never mind, methinks, the battery hasn't had time to recharge. Jump start again, another short drive and same again. I am beginning to think the battery might be dead, or not charging, or both.

    last night, another short drive (to go see The Birdman, can highly recommend it), and same problem. This time, however, the car has problems idling with the headlights on. Gradually they will dim, the idle speed will slow, and the car will stall. With the headlights off, no such problem. I don't quite understand this - shouldn't the idle be enough to keep the electrics up? What is going on here?

    anyway, will get the battery and charging checked out. Can anyone advise the correct spec battery?

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I'd say your alternator is on the way out, it shouldn't be dear to DIY. Brushes would be a prime suspect.

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    Well, just got back from a 70km burn around the M1 and M3. Now seems to be fine. Here's hoping....

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    check your connections too, battery terminals, give them a going over with fine steel wool, or wet and dry paper, your battery covering with some newspaper, (preferably not a News Limited one!)
    Go over all the alternator/ coil and regulator contacts with the same, definitely sounds like an unhappy alternator as Mr Addo suggests.

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    p.s. Dummies test for a battery; if the sides are not flat (ie, bulging) it is stuffed.

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    A voltmeter will reveal all
    A cheap one is fine ($10) approx

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    Fanbelts are snug?

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    Default Batteries !!

    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxvte View Post
    Ok brains trust, at the risk of embarrassing myself again...
    After several weeks parked up, I go to start the D Special yesterday and nothing, no charge. So I use a battery pack to jump start the car and I drive 5km home.
    the car won't restart. Never mind, methinks, the battery hasn't had time to recharge. Jump start again, another short drive and same again. I am beginning to think the battery might be dead, or not charging, or both.
    last night, another short drive (to go see The Birdman, can highly recommend it), and same problem. This time, however, the car has problems idling with the headlights on. Gradually they will dim, the idle speed will slow, and the car will stall. With the headlights off, no such problem. I don't quite understand this - shouldn't the idle be enough to keep the electrics up? What is going on here?
    anyway, will get the battery and charging checked out. Can anyone advise the correct spec battery?
    AM
    Hi AM
    All good suggestion from others and here are my
    If you want to save the battery then charge it now !! A small amp charger will be perfect and leave it on for a day or so. Best if it is the type to self regulate when charged. A 5 minute drive will not fix a very flat battery even if the car is charging OK.

    Find out why the battery was flat. Perhaps there is a current drain in the car or something turned on

    Now look at the charging system ! If the car will not idle and the engine is dying with the lights on then it is obviously not charging enough but with the battery very flat, who knows exactly. Sounds like a trip to someone who will know, is necessary.
    Jaahn

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    Many thanks for various replies. Yes, I have gone over connections with steel wool etc, and checked fluid levels in battery. Fanbelts snug. At first I thought I must have left the radio on or something, but was not the case and have tried to find out what might be draining the battery (albeit over more than a month). A longish drive seems to have restored the charge to the battery. Now starting fine etc. Next stop check charging system, on advice...

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxvte View Post
    Many thanks for various replies. Yes, I have gone over connections with steel wool etc, and checked fluid levels in battery. Fanbelts snug. At first I thought I must have left the radio on or something, but was not the case and have tried to find out what might be draining the battery (albeit over more than a month). A longish drive seems to have restored the charge to the battery. Now starting fine etc. Next stop check charging system, on advice...
    pull the earth terminal next time you leave it sit and see if it still goes flat If you have a modern radio wired in ... they can use a remarkable amount of power if not wired through the ignition circuit so they shutdown too "stand by" correctly.

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    So, next installment....

    the he car is at the office, and I haven't had a chance to drive it for a while. Earlier this week, I go to start it, wondering if the battery has again lost charge. Sure enough, nothing. Hmm, methinks.

    So I grab the (office) charger pack and connect leads to jump start. I notice, in turning the ignition, that the yellow battery warning light does NOT illuminate like it normally does. The engine turns over just fine, but won't fire. I then notice smoke coming from the battery area. I disconnect starter leads and reconnect. This time, without even turning ignition to trying to start, more smoke - it looks like from the regulator.

    (separately, I have previously posted on the issue of an occasionally flashing battery warning light and some have speculated that this might be the regulator on the way out)

    My limited knowledge and skills in car maintenance is perhaps at its lowest when it comes to auto electrics. Is this a burned out/deteriorating regulator that results in no spark at the plugs and therefore no ignition. I am not going to try again now, because I suspect the whole things is now cactus and all I'll get is more of the regulator destroying itself and burning up.

    Is the information above enough to diagnose possible causes? assuming it is the regulator (I have a reconditioned one), is it a straightforward job (bolt on, connect) replacing it? What else should I be looking at or for?

    AM
    Last edited by ajaxvte; 20th February 2015 at 08:59 PM.

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    I'm going to throw my hat into the ring and say your regulator is cactus. However, I would have the alternator checked (mechanically and electrically), and very carefully inspect all wiring around that area and from the back of the alt. The way you describe it, your "new" regulator should be an easy swap. Remember that there are four connections:
    1) white color sleeve- connection between reg at "R" to alternator at "R". Careful here- it's really easy to mistake the rotor connection stud with one of the case assembly studs.
    2) yellow color sleeve- connection between reg at "EXC" and the yellow marked spade terminal at the top of the alternator.
    3) red color sleeve- connection to the dash cluster. Supplies ground for the charge lamp.
    4) violet color sleeve- connection from ignition switch at "BOB". This is a 6.3mm spade terminal.

    Don't throw the old regulator away. It can be modified to accept a newer Ford (US) regulator.
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    I'd say the reason you are having problems is the car is not being driven often enough. The battery will self discharge a bit and lead acid batteries do not like living in the not fully charged zone. You will quickly stuff the battery if you keep treating it like this. Could also have put enough strain on the regulator to tip it over the edge. Before you go pulling wires off etc, swap the battery. Optima batteries or calcium batteries are more tolerant of limited use but even then you need to drive the car once a week or if not put a charger on the battery once a week to look after the battery.
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    Appreciate the comments. Normally I drive the car at least weekly, and usually for a long drive. But I've hardly touched it since November, for various reasons...

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    There's your problem. I had to move my daughters Xantia mid January that had not been started since 1 November. The only way to get it going was a jump start from the CX. And that had a 1 year old battery and electrically perfect. Our SX was not used when we did our 3 week CX goes west jaunt. That killed its 3 year old battery. My record for leaving the CX and getting it to start without assistance is 2 weeks.

    If the battery in your D is fairly new, charging it with a mains charger overnight might get it back. You can buy ones that slow down the charge as the battery gets full. My old Arlec 8 amp unit drops down to a charge of 100mA so I just leave it on overnight. However if the battery is a few years old 3 months of no action has probably killed it. Fairly cheap and easy repair to shout it a new one.
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    For what it's worth I have my motorbike on a trickle charger all year... this tops up the battery without cooking it. The bike only gets out once or twice a year. The current battery has been going for 6 yrs with this set up.

    Matthew

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    So, the story goes on.

    I bit the bullet and replaced the regulator this week. All connections as they were with the previous set-up etc. I am reasonably confident with what was a pretty straight forward job.

    Now the car simply won't fire at all. It turns over just fine (on jumper leads, as the battery is still flat), but no ignition. Hmmm. Is this something to do with the regulator, or perhaps the two Ingram relays that also sit beside it on the battery frame in what seems a fairly complex wiring set-up.

    I think I am going to need some help...

    AM

    D special battery-image.jpgD special battery-image.jpg
    Last edited by ajaxvte; 26th February 2015 at 04:47 PM.

  18. #18
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    check the fuses ... you may have blown one when all the smoke escaped. It's also likely you have bumped the coil -> dizzie wire off while messing in that area.

    As for batteries going flat .............. Gee's guys, if your not using them for months at a time ... pull the earth terminal (or get one of those disconnect terminals that you can unscrew). Old cars such as ID19's with no modern radios etc.. seem happy to sit, but anything modern where there is backup settings to be saved will flatten a battery quite quickly. You don't have alternator issues where the battery is discharging through that do you

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    Unless I have missed a connection somewhere, I think I have probably burned out a relay. Will mess around a bit more before getting someone to have a look.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxvte View Post
    Unless I have missed a connection somewhere, I think I have probably burned out a relay. Will mess around a bit more before getting someone to have a look.
    Shane has the suggestion, and it is a very good one, to check all connections at the coil and the distributor. The regulator going tits up has very little to do with the car not firing. To try and get the ignition operable, clip a test lead from the battery (+) to the coil (+), then crank the car over. This is only for test- don't try driving the car like this!

    There should be relays only for the main high beams and the air horn, and later on the cooling fan and fuel injection. Anything else is an add-on. I see the Bosch ice-cube in your pics. That is definitely not factory. Do you know what that is for? Perhaps some aftermarket anti theft device?
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    Roger that. I appreciate the regulator has little to do with the car not firing. The purpose of replacing it was not because of ignition problems. I will have to trace it all through. Would the extra relay be something to do with the 123 ignition unit? I can't think what else. There's no air horn or any other after market item.

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajaxvte View Post
    Roger that. I appreciate the regulator has little to do with the car not firing. The purpose of replacing it was not because of ignition problems. I will have to trace it all through. Would the extra relay be something to do with the 123 ignition unit? I can't think what else. There's no air horn or any other after market item.
    Nono, I get it. Your regulator had a mushroom cloud of worth of majik smoke escape. Very toasty, I'm guessing. What Shane and I were pointing out was since the dizzy is so very near the regulator the wire leading from the coil to the distributor may have been displaced. Hot wiring the coil will tell you if the system problem is deeper or in another spot, such as fuel delivery.

    Pop the dizzy cap and make sure nothing is obviously burnt.

    I'm curious to know what those secondary aftermarket relays are all about.
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  23. #23
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    Very toasty indeed. Will attend to all your suggestions tomorrow. And report back, no doubt.

    D special battery-image.jpgD special battery-image.jpgD special battery-image.jpg
    Last edited by ajaxvte; 27th February 2015 at 03:45 PM.

  24. #24
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    Well, replaced relay and checked and cleaned connections to distributor, 123 ignition etc. to no avail, still no spark. Hmmm. Reluctantly coming to the conclusion that I will have to get an auto-electrician in. ALS automotive in South Melbourne have been recommended to me....

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    Can you try popping in a points distributor for giggles? Be sure to set the dwell correctly.

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