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1940 Packard 180
#1
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Michael C Wauhop
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Well I just bought this car about a week ago and as with any old car acquisition I found a few bugs. The charging system seems to have a problem. When it came home and we started it up we noticed a ticking sound coming from the generator gauge ( I have included a link to a youtube video that shows this occurring). The car has an 8 volt heavy duty commercial battery and I know these cars came with 6 volts If you say replace it ill do it tomorrow. The more you step on the gas the more it discharges. Of course my first thought was the generator went bad. But before i throw some money at the problem I want to know some opinions.Here is the link:https://youtu.be/YAxAatfTVKw

Posted on: 2019/6/7 6:11
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Re: 1940 Packard 180
#2
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HH56
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In a well maintained system with clean and tight connections 8v is not needed but was a common thing to do as cars started to age and people did not want to pay for repair on what was maybe a secondary or just another old car. My father was a prime example of an 8v aficionado.

Leaving it in won't hurt anything other than maybe shorten the life of light bulbs as long as the regulator is adjusted to keep it properly charged. If you do change back to 6v, assuming things were done properly when the 8v was installed you will need to go thru the charging system and reset things back to stock.

As to the ammeter direction, a change in speed does not make anything discharge faster. I would verify the battery polarity is hooked up properly, repolarize the generator and check the ammeter again. If it still reads backwards and the needle deflection does seem to be in relation to speed, it could be that the polarity was purposely changed in the past and someone reversed the wires to the ammeter at the time. That would make it read backwards if polarity was later changed back to stock.

Posted on: 2019/6/7 8:38
Howard
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Re: 1940 Packard 180
#3
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Michael C Wauhop
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It did discharge me and a friend who is a mechanic drove it for a few hours and when we went to put it back in my garage the car died and would not restart. We had to push it in and boy that sucker is heavy!I pulled the battery out and it took over 12 hrs to charge it back up to full.

Posted on: 2019/6/7 10:08
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Re: 1940 Packard 180
#4
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HH56
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I would say the generator is not working. Perhaps it was never calibrated to charge the 8v battery or it has actually got a problem. I would still verify the polarity and repolarize when you install the battery again. When the engine is running at a fast idle measure the voltage at the battery. In a properly working charging system the generator should be delivering roughly 1 volt above the standing battery voltage. On a 6.3v battery the generator typically is adjusted to put out between 7 to 7.4v so on an 8v it should be supplying in the neighborhood of 9v. If the battery is measuring 8v or lower because it is discharging you could either put in a 6v battery and see if everything worked or take the car to a shop that has the proper instruments and have it checked. It could be adjustment or could be an actual failure.

An old school electrical shop would be best but maybe you can find an old timer at one of the modern garages that has actually seen a generator and can work on them. Too many of the modern places anymore just seem to have a young guy who plugs in a fancy computer that says the charging system is OK or not and has no idea what to do if the car isn't listed in some book that can tell him what to do next or replace.

Posted on: 2019/6/7 11:56
Howard
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Re: 1940 Packard 180
#5
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Michael C Wauhop
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THANKS GUYS APPRECIATE THE ADVICE!

Posted on: 2019/6/7 12:30
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Re: 1940 Packard 180
#6
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Packard Newbie
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When I went to look at my car, prior to buying it, the owner suspected the battery might be dead, so he instructed his mechanic to pick a new one up and meet us at the car. The guy showed up with a new 6-volt wet cell and proceeded to install it, after which, the owner got in and started the car after much pumping and cranking. The ammeter didn't work, so I had no idea if the generator was charging and when I got the car home after buying it, found that the licensed mechanic had installed the battery with negative to ground. I rounded up a replacement ammeter, switched it back to positive ground, re-polarized the generator and electrically, everything has functioned properly since. When I posted here on P.I. and asked about positive ground/negative ground, it seemed it was quite a common occurrence and not all that catastrophic as there aren't a lot of electronics in these cars, but it is meant to be positive ground and, at the end of the day, it might as well be correct, right??

Posted on: 2019/6/7 17:04
'If you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right!' Henry Ford.
1939 Packard Six, Model 1700
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Re: 1940 Packard 180
#7
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Michael C Wauhop
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Tested the generator put a lead from the field to a good ground. fired up the car stepped on the gas ameter went to the + side of the gauge-NEW VOLTAGE REGULATOR ORDERED> Thanks guys and you too Ross.

Posted on: 2019/6/8 16:41
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