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New phantom electrical load #782370 Wed Sep 21 2011 01:10 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 23
Andrew 1433 Offline OP
New Guy
My stock '48 1 ton 216 cid 6 volt has suddenly developed a phantom load that discharges the battery to dead zero overnight. Just like I left the headlights on...but didn't. The battery is new, generator appears to be is charging fine, new regulator and harness last year. Any suggestions on how to track down this problem?

Re: New phantom electrical load [Re: Andrew 1433] #782409 Wed Sep 21 2011 02:59 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 5,519
3B Offline
Master Gabster
Hy Andrew 1433, I would start by disconnecting the bat wire at the regulator terminal overnight, that must be a pretty high draw, it might be that the regulator is stuck and keeps sending power to the generator when the truck is shut down.

Re: New phantom electrical load [Re: 3B] #782414 Wed Sep 21 2011 03:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,278
Hotrod Lincoln Online
Ditto. Take the cover off the regulator and see if the cutout relay points are stuck closed. They're the ones behind the BAT terminal.

The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: New phantom electrical load [Re: Hotrod Lincoln] #782423 Wed Sep 21 2011 03:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 28,911
tclederman Offline

Any chance the interior light is on (I will not admit why I am asking).

1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 48 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: New phantom electrical load [Re: tclederman] #782488 Wed Sep 21 2011 12:51 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 1,625
beltfed Offline
Shop Shark
If the above good advice doesn't work. Start by disconnecting your battery. Hook a test light(looks like an ice pick with a lamp in the handle)or ampmeter between the bat. cable and battery. Either side will do. Start pulling fuses and watch the light. When it goes out you found the bad circuit. If the light does not go out then you have a current drain in a non fused circuit. You must lift these wires off their lugs and such to test.

Six volt guy living in a twelve volt world
Re: New phantom electrical load [Re: Andrew 1433] #783359 Sat Sep 24 2011 04:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 23
Andrew 1433 Offline OP
New Guy
I was away from here for a few days. Thanks for the good advice. I'll try the tests recommneded focusing on the regulator as soon as I can get to the shop. I have an "ice pick tester" and no it isn't the dome light. Thanks again, I'll get back with the results.

Re: New phantom electrical load [Re: Andrew 1433] #783858 Mon Sep 26 2011 07:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 23
Andrew 1433 Offline OP
New Guy
As suggested I removed the Bat wire from the regulator and found I lost no charge overnight. Then took a look at the cutout relay and the points were stuck. I freed them up and polished the contacts with a piece of cardboard. No lost charge overnight. This appears to have solved the problem but I will monitor those contacts for a while to be sure. I may even stock a spare regulator for that truck.

Apparently this discharge situation is very bad for generators as the the points are trying to turn the generator into a motor with battery power. Thanks Shark, Tim and Jerry for your advice on this matter.

Moderated by  Rusty Rod 

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