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1952 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe


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It's positive ground. To help try to keep it straight, someone along the way painted the ground strap red and the battery cable to the solenoid green. It's hooked up right - drove it many hundreds of miles like this, until it effectively "passed away" and decided it's not moving another inch with what's under the hood.

 

When I bought it (about 3 years ago), the generator had lost its polarity or whatever it is. I looked that up and touched the wire from whatever to whatever, and the generator worked just fine. Right now, the generator isn't even part of it. The wire out from the voltage regulator is disconnected while I'm working out just where all this electricity is going.

 

The supreme mystery of all this is, how is all the voltage being sucked up before it can power ANYTHING else on the car? There's got to be a short somewhere. That would logically mean that something that is typically connected to both polarities at once, as in it's got a "hot" wire to it and the other side of the device is grounded to the structure, is shorted. But nothing is still connected in such a way.

 

Things NOT connected: ALL lights, turn signal switch, heater/defroster fans, windshield wipers, the gauges (temp, gas level, ammeter), ignition coil, horns, starter solenoid, starter, voltage regulator - I'm probably forgetting something, but if it's in the car, it DOESN'T have both poles going to it. At least not in an obvious physical sense. I seem to have discovered haunting, perpetual motion, mysterious beams powering the car, or some other supernatural force. Maybe my garage is an energy vortex. Maybe it wants to be on the jack stands again...

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Ok, it's all back to normal now. Had an unbiased outside observer help with some things this morning. He had a portable 12V jump start pack & we touched that to a couple of things. Everything worked then. So charge the battery!

 

I didn't suspect that because I've had this battery about a month, and the previous (unknown vintage, but fairly recent) battery would make many more starts than this.

 

I knew there was a hint in my first description of the problem - press start button, starter just starts, then stops = charge the battery!

 

I might just take this battery back for a check. It seems much weaker than the exact same model of battery that I took out.

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I just logged on this minute to say if you are having a power source problem start with the power source, the battery. Get a new one, even new ones or almost new ones can be defective and have plates shorting out. Glad to hear you it sounds like you are on the way to solving this and aliens haven't taken over your Studebaker!

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