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Everything posted by danno

  1. OK, this is what I am thinking. I think the red wire to the ignition turns on a relay in the MSD box. There is very low current in the red wire, it is only turning on a relay. Try it with hooking up the red wire to your msd box to the resistance wire that used to go to your coil. I will bet it will work fine. You can measure the voltage where the red wire connects up to the existing resistance wire in your harness. I will bet it is over 12 volts when the motor is running, which is fine. If you have doubt, ask msd if you can hook the red wire up to the resistance wire that used to go between the ignition switch and coil.
  2. I thought of something else. From what I understand, your negative wire from the battery runs directly to the mounting bolt of the alternator, is this correct? Measure the voltage drop in this wire when you have the fans and lights on, as I discussed above. Put a voltmeter + on the center lead terminal of the battery and the - of the voltmeter on the case of the alternator. With all fans and lights on, this better be under 0.1 volt.
  3. A lot of parts supplier shops have an alternator load tester. You can take it in and they put it on a spinning contraption and hook a load up to it to measure the voltage as the output current increases. Maybe you could send it back to the manufacturer to have it tested? Shipping makes that difficult. Maybe take it to a shop to measure the current when the fan and lights are on? That should be a 2 minute test if they have the clamp on ampmeter. I would hate to have you purchase a new alternator and find out the problem is something else. Have you checked the wire from the starter relay to the battery? This could also be a problem, even though it is not likely. I have seen these poorly contructed and causing an issue. Turn on the car and run all the fans and all the lights. Measure the voltage at each end of this wire. Put the + lead of a voltmeter right on the lead terminal of the battery and the - of the voltmeter on the wire going to the alternator from the starter solenoid. This will give you an idea if the voltage drop is in this wire. It is a slim chance, but I have seen these fail. I also know that, if everything is working correctly and the car is running, there should never be any current in this wire. All power the car needs to run everything should come from the alternator.
  4. Unfortunately, the + wire from the key switch to the + terminal on the coil is a resistance wire on the factory harness. So you will not get the full 12 volts needed to run the MSD module. There is no good place to get the 12 volts when the key is in the "run" and "start" position. Which MSD box have you got? Some can work with a lower voltage because they have an internal relay system. For the kill switch, a switch rated for about 5 amps should work fine. Keep in mind that this switch should never see any amps going through it. It is off when you want to use the car. When it is on, you will not be trying to start the car. The only time the switch will see any current is when someone is trying to start the car without knowing about the switch. You also might be able to ask MSD the amperage needed for the switch, but I would think 5 amps is fine, 10 amps is plenty.
  5. I am happy with Halogen lights, but you must have the headlight relays on both the high and low beam for the use of halogens to be of any value. Without headlight relays, use standard bulbs. I was amazed at the difference when I added the halogen bulbs and the relays.
  6. So the facts are that a #8 copper wire has 0.00063 ohms per foot at 68 degrees. Let's say your wire is 3 feet long from the alternator to the battery. That is 0.00189 ohms. If you have lights, fans, and everything on and drawing 100 amps, that is a voltage drop of .189 volts in the connection between the alternator and the battery. There are also voltage drops in the connections on each end and at the fuse. And then there is also a voltage drop on the negative wires to the battery. One thing you can do is meaure the voltage drop from one end of the wire to the alternator to the other. Use clipleaads on your voltmeter and measure from the bolt on the back of the alternator to the battery terminal. Start your car, and turn on lights, engine fans, and heater fan inside the car. If that voltage exceeds 1 volt, that is your problem. Also measure the voltage between the ground terminal on the alternator and the minus terminal of the battery. Maybe you have dirty connections on the ground wire from the engine block to the firewall? These tests will prove it. I also have to wonder about the use of a 60 amp fuse with a 140 amp alternator. If this fuse has not blown, that tells me you are never using more than 60 amps. I would not worry about the lights for now, figure out the charging problem. Adding the relays on the lights is a great idea, and can be done later. You have different things contributing to the problem. Alternator wire, ground wire connections (maybe), weak headlight wire connections, headlight wire voltage drops, etc.
  7. Your alternator is certainly large enough. How large is the wire from it to the battery? For that much current, you need at least a #8 wire. I assume this is ok. A small wire will create a voltage drop and contribute to dim lights. So with the fans off and the engine running, you should easily have more than 14 volts at the battery. Measure it, but I do not think that is the problem. You either have a bad ground on the headlights ( as midlife suggested) or a weak connection to the lights. I assume you do not have the headlight relays that so many of us have. If you are using the factory wire harness and halogen headlights, the lights will be dim. If the lights used to be brighter and you made no other changes, then you have a weak connection somewhere. Perhaps even in the light switch. Try turning on the lights on high beam, and disconnect the harness to one side to shut off both lights on one side. If the other side gets brighter, than you definately have a weak connection or high resistance in the wires. Check these things after your show and let us know.
  8. To understand the problem completely, we need voltage measurements. With dim lights, the voltage is dropping more than it should somewhere. I would not automatically assume the problem is the alternator, it can be elsewhere. Do you have halogen lights that require a lot of current? You need to measure the voltage at your battery during several different times. Warm up the car. 1. with the lights and fans off, what is the battery voltage. 2. with the fan off and the lights on, what is the voltage. 3. with the lights off and fan on, what is the voltage? 4, with both on, what is the voltage? The answers for a good operating system is the volages are all over 13.5 volts. I would guess the answers are 1. 14.2 volts, 2. 14.0 votls, 3. 13.5 volts, and 4. 13 volts. If the voltage at step 4 is more than 2 volts below what it is in step 1, then you have too much load on the battery for the alternator to keep up. I would guess this is not the case. If your lights were bright before and now dim, you have a problem with the charging system. It might not be the alternator, but probably is. What alternator are you using? Let us know what you find.
  9. OK, let's step back for a moment from the belt issue. The issue could be electrical with the alternator or elsewhere. Just because you have a 100 amp alternator, it does NOT mean the alternator is putting out 100 amps when the car is running. It puts out the amount of amps needed to keep the car running. It could be 10 amps. I see that you do not have electric fans, and no A/C, so what is taking all the amps? The truth is, maybe nothing is taking all those amps, and the alternator is really not working that hard. Maybe something is taking all the amps that should not be? What are your special items in the car that consume all the amps? Halogen lights can, turn them off. The A/C can, but you do not have it. A sound system can, so turn it off. You need to find out if your car is consuming a lot of power, and where is it going? I think you have an electrical problem, espicially when you see the voltage drop when the car is running. Something is fishy. You need to go about some electrical tests, we can help with that.
  10. I am sure you have considered this, but are you sure the V of the pulley is the correct top width, bottom width, and angle? Is the belt correct for the pulley? Going along with what Mach1 suggested, another option is to have the V belt wrap further around the alternator pulley. This requires a flat surface pulley to push the back side of the belt in, I have seen serpentines use these all the time. Also as suggested, maybe it is the bearing? It is also odd that the voltage drops from 12.8 to 12.3 when the car is running. It is supposed to increase to 14.4. That indicates it is being overloaded, and that will heat it up. Disconnect all wires to the alternator and run it to see if it gets hot. That will definately tell you if the heat is from the mechanical spinning or electrical load. Without lights and a fully charged battery, a car should run for an hour or more on just the battery.
  11. Just curious, what is worng with the factory booster and system? It fits. Maybe we need dimensions. How far from the firewall to the Master cylinder side of the booster? is the Master longer? is that why it is hitting?
  12. Does this mean you need to count the teeth? That can be a real tedious process. beer helps.
  13. If you are having a hard time starting the motor when hot, I would think replacing the starter is chasing the wrong problem. If the starter does not have the same power when hot, the odds are it could be something else is contributing to issue that is not the starter. Perhaps there is a weak connection somewhere that gets weaker when hot? The problem certainly could be the starter, but it might not be. I had a similar problem. I attached a wire from the connection on the starter to the plus side of a voltmeter, and connected the negative side of the voltmeter to the engine block header bolts. I could see the voltage during cranking was dropping significantly. I had a bad starter solenoid. Consider vapor lock or a gas issue that could be the problem. A new starter will not solve that problem.
  14. I might be able to get another one. I will check.
  15. I also have one from a 69. I do not think the push rods can easily be swapped. I had no idea Napa would rebuild them, and that price seems extremely low. West Coast Cougars charges about $200. You could buy my 69 for $30 and get it rebuilt for $42?
  16. You know, the car you have could be more rare than the high power cars. It is great that you are sticking with it and trying to find a solution. Unfortunately, I cannot help with your search, but I am encouraging the effort. The only solution I might have is West Coast Classic Cougars. Send them an email, it costs zero. Some of the people there really like a challenge.
  17. I am with you, I know how this can happen. A similar thing happened to me with steering. This time fate ( or some higher power) was on your side. So glad to hear of a good outcome to a potential disaster.
  18. Or repair the one you have. I would guess if you asked, there are a hundred of us on this forum who have extra parts like this laying around. I might also have spares. YOu should ask in the parts for sale and needed section of this forum.
  19. I did pretty much the same thing. Added it to existing wires and hooked it up just like the headlight relay. Looking back, it would have been better to add it with the headlight relay, it would have been easier.
  20. For the radiator, I just bought one from CJ Pony parts. It looks very much like the one you found, but about $200 cheaper. Sometimes you pay for what you get, and the one you found could be a much higher quality product, but how would we know? For the AC, if you are going to go to all the trouble of a new system, I suggest the original Ford factory installed one. You can find the parts, but it is a huge task to install it all. In the long run, I think you will be happier with the clean look of it. For the heater hose, you do not need it connected at all. Mine has been disconnected for years.
  21. BTW, my 69 convertible is also Candy Apple Red. It sucks the juice right out of my checking account, but it is worth it. Stick with the red!
  22. Finally my wild ass guess is correct! You have large voltage drop probably in the fuse block connections. Those can become corroded, and corrision is a poor conductor. The connection is resistive, and the more current through it, the more the voltage drop. You turn on the turn signals or back up lights, and the radio cuts out. You might remove the fuse block from the firewall with the bolt in the center, and look at the wires on the back. If they are fine, you might have a simple fix. If you have a Dremel tool, it has a very small wire wheel that can be used on the connections the fuse make. Remove the fuse and polish the connections it makes. Getting a voltmeter and making checks of voltages would certainly help solve the problem. But it looks like the voltage to the radio circuit is dropping, and it is becuase of high resistance in either the wires. fuse, or connections. My next wild ass guess is to repaint your car. The red is sucking juice. Paint it green, it never sucks.
  23. You could check with Tim Baxter at Baxter Classic cars in Shell lake, WI. 715 468 4451. He might have one, but shipping will be an issue. It is worth a call. Tell him Dan from Minneapolis with a 69 convertible gave you the connection.
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