06 April 2017

6-volt woes

That deep amber headlight glow,
the slow like molasses whirr of the starter,
leaving the please start this time feeling...
All the tendencies of a 6-volt system.
It's a bit masochistic,
I've wondered why to stick with it many times.
This Oregon winter was extra rough.
The old hot rod out in the weather,
with just a flimsy cover or two.
Months ago there wasn't enough juice to start.
A spare 12v battery would jump start no problem,
after that there was just enough charging,
to keep the flathead running.
Finally a nice non-rainy weekend,
time to tackle the issue.
The voltmeter showed a trickle charge of 5.94 volts.
First thing was cleaning the generator armature.
Definitely suspect,
but a thorough shining didn't fix the problem,
only changed it.
Now the voltmeter read an intermittent charge,
blinking from 4-7 volts.
Uncapping the regulator,
led to a couple pieces of melted solder,
and a broken joint.
That would do it!
I tried resoldering resulting in a total flatline.
Fortunately I had a stash of regulators,
of course 1000 miles away.
Jaxon picked out some winners,
and sent a care package up,
including my knife I couldn't take carry-on,
and the good ole parks and rec check.
Thanks Jax!!
For now the charging system is working,
but I'll need to clean the starter soon.
I'll be screwed once these batteries die,
new Optima 6-volts are notoriously less long lasting.
These two are 8-10 years old!!
The flat battery storage will need rearranging if a change is needed.
For now...

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