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58 Edsel Electrical/Battery Issue

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Working on a friends 58 Edsel while he is laid up.  I have no history with the car so don't know what the bench mark is.  Won't start and sounded like dead battery as the solinoid would click when the key is turned, but nothing else.  Fully charge new batter and new solinoid installed, same thing.  Turn key and rapid buzzing or clicking from the solinoid.  So my first thought is short in starter.  But, with key off and lights on, when I honk the horn, the lights go out and the horn sounds barely activated.  So, some sort of massive drain on the battery.  It's still fully charged and jumping form another vhicle changes nothing.  If it's a starter issue, why the drain on the lights and horn with the key off?

Does all the power go through the starter?

both battery cables look new and connections are good, tight and clean at both ground crossmember, fender bolt and solinoid on the fender.

 

Where should I look?  Thanks in advance.

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It really sounds like a bad ground somewhere or a bad cable even if they look good. Also a bad cell in the battery could cause this but you should be able to jump it which you state that does not work. I think the most likely place to look is to disconnect the ground cable at both ends and make sure the connections are very clean. Make sure there is no corrosion inside the cable covering while it is off. Good luck to you.

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Well, we went through everything this aftermoon with the meter and it all leads us to think it is the starter.  Resistance, or lack of, all look good on the negative and positive side.  Since the "hot" comes off the starter to run the horn and lights, that would help explain why they get low and go out then trying to start the car.  Think it's worth pulling the starter and hving someone go through it.  It's a T bird police engine in the Edsel, so we'll have to research how to pull the starter.

Weill keep you posted for others with same problem down the road.

 

 

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Hope that solves your problem. Please post some pics of the Edsel when you can. Everyone on these forums love pictures. 

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I am researching a new battery for this car.  What is the correct group for the Edsel Ranger with the E400 engine?  Group 29 is the only group number I can find on the web.  I will take the old one with me to have it tested and if I need a new battery, make sure it is the same size.  It is a tough one to find one in stock.  29NF?  Commercial battery?

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NAPA shows the 29NF correct for Edsel and Mercury. Shows in stock here in Fla but may not be where you live.

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29NF is not the same as 29. The "F" as I am sure you already guessed, is reversed post layout like on "24F" or "27F" (for Ford products).

 

If your battery tray is narrower but longer than a group 27, then it is 29NF.

 

If I remember correctly, a plain 29 is the same size as a 31 (truck-bus-diesel) battery. It is as long as a 29NF, but much wider, more like the width of a 27.

 

More than likely, a 29 will not fit where a 29NF belongs.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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I'll take the old battery in and have NAPA test it and replace it, if necessary.  It was set in the battery box with the negative ground cable toward the radioator and facing the engine block with a secondary ground wire coming off the negative terminal and bolted to the passenger fender.  The positive terminal was towards the firewall and block with the positive cable going to the solinoid mounted on the passenger fender as well.

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Here is a pic of a Mercury with the commercial battery. Should be similar to the Edsel setup.58merc71398-4.jpg

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Well, we took the battery up to NAPA, they tested it and it was so dead, it would not even pass through a jump from another battery.  So we reluctantly purchased a new battery and put it in the car and crossed our fingers, thinking this was not going to solve anything, but remove one item from the check list.  The engine turned right over.  A little starting fluid and it started right up after sitting for a year.  Ran it up to the car wash, filled up the tank with ethynol free gas and parked it back in my friends garage.

 

After taking a photo, of course.  Thanks to all who helped.

edsel 2.jpeg

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Congratulations! Looks likea fun car. take her out for a drive often.

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