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Nice day today so I got out the '29 Dictator to get on the road and put gas in it. On the way back it shut off. Red optima is dead. Won't hit a lick. Wondering what it could be that's draining the battery. 

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I had a bad experience with an Optima, too, they have to be constantly charged, mine sat for a couple of months and died, less than a year old.  A lot of people are big fans, at this point I'm not.  Lead acid batteries will give you some slack on maintenance, an Optima will not......

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Posted (edited)

I have 2 in the car and both are dead. I finally got back and I one on the charger now.

 

And the thing of it is I drove it 3 miles to the gas station no problems. Filled up and started back and 3 miles later, it just dies.

 

And I might need to learn how to hand crank to start it.

Edited by kclark (see edit history)

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You may find that your charger won't work on Optima.  Some chargers can't "see" that there's a battery connected when the voltage goes low, and when an Optima is discharged, the voltage is basically nonexistent.

 

Sometimes you can charge an Optima if it's put in parallel with a good lead acid battery, so the charger recognizes there's a battery there....

 

The old days of using any charger on any battery are gone, and we have to adjust to the times.

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I'm using a NOCO Genius battery charger

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25 minutes ago, trimacar said:

Sometimes you can charge an Optima if it's put in parallel with a good lead acid battery, so the charger recognizes there's a battery there....

+1.  If an Optima goes flat or quite low (e.g., <5.7 volts), connect it in parallel with another reasonably-well-charged 6V battery and charge them together on a time basis.  I haven't invested in fancy chargers, and have done well by charging for 2 hours, check voltage after a 30 minute rest, then continue charging if necessary.  I won't leave my cell phone charging overnight either!

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I have the battery charged but still nothing

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The problem with OPTIMA is that when they fail you have to go to the dealer you 

bought it from.

If you are 2000 miles away from the dealer on vacation you are out of luck.

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Optima battery shows good as I took it and had it tested.  Car still won't do ANYTHING.

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I did but seems to be good too 

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Someone told me to jump the starter. How does one do that?

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50 minutes ago, kclark said:

Someone told me to jump the starter. How does one do that?

Post some good pictures of your starter please. Include any mechanical or electrical connections. Mine is completely mechanical, as you step on the starter pedal in the cabin it pushes in the starter lever to engage the bendix (they call it a pinion) with the ring gear on the flywheel and finally pushes down on the starter switch to energize its motor. 20180331_142737.thumb.jpg.f78aa950714c001504734353675a9dce.jpg

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Are you getting voltage at the starter? At the ignition switch?

 

Check earth = ground to chassis and between chassis and engine and between engine and starter.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Spinneyhill said:

Are you getting voltage at the starter? At the ignition switch?

 

Check earth = ground to chassis and between chassis and engine and between engine and starter.

 

This is where I have to learn as I'm not a gearhead. First off, am I using a test light or voltage meter? and then I assume (if using test light) that I am clamping to ground and then putting the other  end on the starter? and then switch also? and is this with the battery hooked up?

Edited by kclark (see edit history)

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Doesn't this car have separate floor starter switch? Is the current going through the switch to the starter? Try running a jumper cable from the neg terminal of the battery to the cable on the side of the starter. If the starter turns over it may be the switch. The switch on my 28 Dictator died once. I took it apart and found a cocoon inside it. Removed the cocoon and it worked just fine.

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5 hours ago, studeboy said:

Doesn't this car have separate floor starter switch? Is the current going through the switch to the starter? Try running a jumper cable from the neg terminal of the battery to the cable on the side of the starter. If the starter turns over it may be the switch. The switch on my 28 Dictator died once. I took it apart and found a cocoon inside it. Removed the cocoon and it worked just fine.

 

Using keninman's picture above, would that be to the nut on the starter switch?

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Posted (edited)

If you are not a mechanic , I would not mess with it.

Batteries are dangerous and shorting out can lead to fires and

damage. Do not work  in your garage , go outside.

Where are you located?

One of our readers with experience in your area may volunteer to come and help you. If no-one steps up maybe someone can post a step by step

procedure using a good voltmeter to check voltage drops to isolate bad grounds and switch continuity.

 

Edited by rbk (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, rbk said:

If you are not a mechanic , I would not mess with it.

Batteries are dangerous and shorting out can lead to fires and

damage. Do not work  in your garage , go outside.

Where are you located?

One of our readers with experience in your area may volunteer to come and help you. If no-one steps up maybe someone can post a step by step

procedure using a good voltmeter to check voltage drops to isolate bad grounds and switch continuity.

 

 

Right now the car is stuck outside anyway. I can get my voltage meter out and do some checking I just want to make sure that I am looking in the correct places. But if anyone would like to help out, I won't turn it down. I am just north of Charlotte, NC.

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Posted (edited)

I believe the starter motor is bad. When checking out with someone pushing the for pedal, it smokes. 

Edited by kclark (see edit history)

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Where is a good place to find one?

866AF810-CC98-413A-ADA4-70E01147D202.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

Google Delco 720N

The 720 was used in several makes and only a change in the letter behind it.

Most of the parts inside are the same but the nose and bendix changed.

 

IMG_2830.jpg

Edited by rbk (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, rbk said:

Google Delco 720N

The 720 was used in several makes and only a change in the letter behind it.

Most of the parts inside are the same but the nose and bendix changed.

 

IMG_2830.jpg

 

I'll keep searching, but right now most of what comes up is batteries and not starter motors. Will I find a while replacement or better just trying to find rebuild parts?

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Try http://aerrebuild.com .

Jason knows Studebakers and has been helpful to many Studebaker people.

Did you try to hand crank the engine to make sure it is not locked up?

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1 minute ago, rbk said:

Try http://aerrebuild.com .

Jason knows Studebakers and has been helpful to many Studebaker people.

Did you try to hand crank the engine to make sure it is not locked up?

 

I put the handle in it or just spins freely, no resistance

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