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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-18-17, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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69 Ford Wagon Electrical Issue

Hello all,

I have a 69 Ford Country Sedan wagon that I recently purchased that has been sitting since the 90's. The wagon is complete, has low miles, and was running well when parked. I am in the process of trying to get it running but seem to have run into an electrical issue. When I hooked up a good battery for the first time and tried to turned the key I immediately noticed smoke coming from behind the alternator (the starter did not engage when I turned the key). I unhooked the battery as quickly as I could and decided to removed the alternator and inspect it. Once I got it off I noticed that the wires going to the alternator were bare, I dont know if the wire casings melted or were already worn down due to age. I kinda thought maybe one of the wires was grounding out which was causing the problems, so I re-wrapped all the wires going to the back of the alt. I installed the alternator again and hooked up the battery and again smoke started coming from the back of the alternator. I also noticed that the wires heading to the starter relay were super hot. I took the alternator to Autozone and had them test it and their machine said it was no good. So I purchased a new alternator and installed it and sure enough the exact same thing happened.

I have inspected all the wiring from the alternator, to the starter relay, to the starter itself and haven't found any other issues. Could a bad starter relay cause this? Any help would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-17, 09:41 AM
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Re: 69 Ford Wagon Electrical Issue

Yup, it's probably seized. Your car is pushing 50 with 20-some years of sitting, keep on the alert for corrosion and degradation of parts. I wouldn't trust the brakes and I'd go through the electrical connectors, cleaning as much as possible before ever putting it on the road. My truck is about 4 years younger and I'm forever chasing electrical issues. I keep saying I ought to go through the body and replace everything... Good luck, have fun, and enjoy.

Ever notice that there's so many high performance parts available for GM products?

Did you ever think that maybe they NEED them?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-17, 10:18 AM
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Re: 69 Ford Wagon Electrical Issue

Try turning engine by hand to check if seized or not and check all earths / grounds .Could also use a jumper wire as a temporary earth for testing and pull plugs to make it easier to turn ..

Never, never, never give up.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-17, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 Ford Wagon Electrical Issue

The motor is not seized, it will turn over by hand.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-17, 09:52 AM
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Re: 69 Ford Wagon Electrical Issue

I think you are on the right track with the idea of the wire between the battery and the alternator shorting to ground. If it has an external regulator it may have had water, insects or unwanted invaders in it and/or corroded and shorted to ground so I would thoroughly check or replace that as well. Then I would be using a multimeter (with the wagon's battery left disconnected) to check if the wire between the battery and the alternator is shorting to ground (test using both the low ohms resistance settings and the continuity setting on the multimeter) or even if the B+ terminal post on the alternator is grounded. Similarly with the battery out check that starter to battery positive wire is not shorting to earth.

I assume there is no chance you have reversed the polarity of the battery (connected the battery leads the wrong way around).

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-17, 11:33 AM
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Re: 69 Ford Wagon Electrical Issue

" I assume there is no chance you have reversed the polarity of the battery (connected the battery leads the wrong way around). "

Great point .Also double check earth / ground wires from engine to firewall or body .

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-17, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 Ford Wagon Electrical Issue

The terminals are definitely connected properly, but I suppose I could recheck all the ground wires and make sure they aren't corroded. I also wonder if maybe the neutral safety switch might be bad. I'll have some time tomorrow to work on it a little more, so hopefully I can figure something out.
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