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#811873 Sat Dec 31 2011 02:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 21
New Guy
Looking for some direction on where to start my troubleshooting on this one. I was driving my 51 half ton yesterday and the engine died, tried to restart and the battery was gone. Tried to jump, engine turned over but would not start. Truck was in a high traffic area so I had to get it towed home. Engine is a 55 second generation 235 and all 12 volt elec items were transferred over with it - coil, distributor, generator, voltage reg. Battery is brand new, gas tank is full. Im thinking that the voltage reg is the culprit but thought I should be able to jump start even if the voltage reg went bad. Also can I trouble shoot a voltage reg with just a standard voltage/ohm meter? Thanks much.

surfryder #811878 Sat Dec 31 2011 03:16 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 21
New Guy
While searching the forums I found one item that I may have missed when converting from 6 to 12 volts and that is the ballast resistor, this has not been installed.

surfryder #811883 Sat Dec 31 2011 03:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 3,904
Master Gabster
regulator won't keep it from starting, check the ignition circuit, make sure you're getting spark, might have fried the points or damaged the coil


Moved over to the Passing Lane

"When we tug a single thing in nature we find it attached to the rest of the world" John Muir
"When we tug a single thing on an old truck, we find it falls off" me
Some TF series details & TF heater pics & Rust-a-holics Unanimous parking lot
squeeze #811966 Sat Dec 31 2011 09:40 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 21
New Guy
Thanks Bill, waited for the battery to charge and started checking voltage, no voltage going into coil. Started tracking down that issue and found that the power wire going into the ignition switch came loose. That was an easy fix so we're running again but that does not explain the dead battery. I don't have an ammeter so I can't check the voltage reg but I pulled the cover and the voltage reg looks very new, that does not confirm it is set up properly however. I may have the generator tested first to make sure that is ok.

surfryder #812009 Sun Jan 01 2012 12:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,864
Master Gabster
A simple check it to remove the positive terminal to the battery when the truck is at about 1100 rpm. If it continues to run when the engine is revved up, the generator is doing what it is supposed to do.

Here's a LINK that I have for understanding the electrical system.

GMONIZ #812017 Sun Jan 01 2012 01:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,558
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Pulling a cable is a very risky way of checking the generator output. It's a lot simpler to ground the Field terminal at the generator and see if the voltage rises when the engine speed is increased slightly (the lights get brighter). Don't overdo it- - - -I've seen a 12 volt system go above 20 volts with the field grounded with only a moderate increase in engine speed. Pulling a battery cable can result in a voltage spike of around 100 volts in some cases. I've seen it on an oscilloscope several times.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
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GMONIZ #812018 Sun Jan 01 2012 01:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,144
I wouldn't continue to drive it without an ammeter. You probably would have seen some trouble coming if you had a working one.

GMONIZ #812177 Sun Jan 01 2012 05:05 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 21
New Guy
Thanks for the info sheet on the charging system, great to have!

truckernix #812179 Sun Jan 01 2012 05:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 21
New Guy
To clarify my early post-truck does have an ammeter gauge in the dash, the ammeter I was referring to was the one in the service manual with the four leads, thanks.

Hotrod Lincoln #812193 Sun Jan 01 2012 05:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 21
New Guy
Jerry, I'm going to give this a try. If I want to put a meter on this to check out voltage increase, where is the best place to check?

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