So for the past couple weeks the starter on my old '76 Ford hsa been acting up. Thuncking every now and then and maybe a slight hesitation on disengagement. Nothing terrible or consitant just faint and every now and then. But enough to make me hear it. I don't drive the truck daily so I figured when I got a little free time I'd toss a new starter in it.
Bu as in most things mechanical, the truck made the decision for me and decided I wasn't going to wait as long as I thought I was. Went out a few days ago to start it and all I got were rapid clicks. So figured the starter gave up the ghost.
And that is where I would have started if I hadn't of tried her the next morning just out of curiousity. She was completely dead. No juice no way. So then I got to thinking the battery went tits and maybe the weakening battery had been the cause of the starter issue.
Had to work so no real time to mess with it but I did pick up a new battery. Figured even that wasn't the issue I could stand to put a new one in the Bronco so it wouldn't be a waste of money either way.
But before I tossed ina new battery and risked ruining it somehow I decided to jump the truck off the Bronco and see what happened. Got her fired, ran her around to get her all charged up and decided to see what would happen after she sat for a while. As I suspected, 12 hours later she barely had any juice.
So now I'm thinking either the alternator went tits or I got a draw somewhere. Again I turned to my wrench-wise brother in law just for his take on it. His advice was to charge the battery and test for a draw, which he explained to me how to do. See, I hate electricity. It confuses me and beyond the most rudimentary understanding I know jack damnit about it.
Well, the charger wouldn't charge the battery. Nope, nada, ain't gonna work says the charger. Hooked the charger up to the Bronco just to eliminate it as a potential problem and it worked fine. So, why no chargey Joe???
Set the new battery in and did the draw test, sure enough, I had one. Oh yay. First disconnected the alternator in hopes it grounded itself out. Nope, still got the light. Then it was pull each fuse one by and test after each. Got a light on every one. Humph. Pulled the only in-line fuses I could find and still no dice. Damn.
Pulled the two heavy wires off the positive side of the solenoid, put one and the cable back on. No light! Pulled that one off, put the other one on, got a light. Now where getting somewhere. Only that particular wire feeds multiple things and disappears into thick bundle of well wrapped wiring. So, disconnected the coil, still got a light. Unplugged the ignition, yep still got a light.
So it was start ripping off electrical tape and tracing the wire. First stop, the condensor. Disconnected it and hey no light! Pins looked terrible so I cleaned up did the magical, fix everything, quick blows on the plug, reconnected and still no light!
Hooked everything back up and she fired right up!
Now, I'm not positive (no pun intended) I actually fixed the problem or just isolated it. I'll run it by my BIL later. Likely he'll tell me to change the condensor which is no biggy. I'm just a little stoked because I am so not good with electrical troubleshooting and all the quick stuff turned up dry.
So hopefully I got it. And more importantly I learned some new things and gained a new skill or two. And that is always a good outcome!
Gazza would be proud of me.