Technical aspects of automobiles

Weird wiring for a weird car

OK, I am pretty sure it doesn’t matter what specific car I have, other
than that it is a 12 volt negative grounded vehicle, with a separate
alternator, regulator, but I’ll go ahead and say it… this is a 1971
Citroen 2CV.

Here are the two things I think are weird.  The first may not be an
issue, because I haven’t tested any other cars to see if they do the
same thing, but instinctively I think it’s not right.  When I put
connect a test light from the postive to negative battery terminals,
with the ignition OFF, the light lights up.  When I turn the key, so
ignition is ON, but the engine is not running, the test light does not
light up.  That just seems wrong to me, as if the ignition wasn’t
grounded or something.  But you experts tell me.

The second thing, that is more at the heart of the problem I’m having
(charging system not charging the battery) — is this.  With this car,
ignition OFF, the alternator’s + terminal should have power, and
indeed, the test light lights up.  And, both the Field wire on
alternator, and Field and Ignition wires on regulator all do NOT light
up with ignition OFF, engine OFF.

However — with ignition ON, engine OFF, all FOUR of those wires light
up! — though, I would estimate that the + terminal of Alternator and
the Ignition wire of the regulator are getting more volts than the
Field wire on both Alternator and Regulator, because the light is
brighter on the + or ignition wires.

Now, someone advised me that in that last scenario, ONLY the Field
light should be on unless the battery is discharged (granted, which
mine probably is), but I still think there’s something screwy going
on…. My next step is going to be bypassing the harness and connecting
wires directly between Regulator Field and Alternator Field, and
Regulator Ignition to Battery Positive Terminal.

Any tips/suggestions/name calling?

Thank you,

.
posted by admin in Без рубрики and have Comments (15)

15 Responses to “Weird wiring for a weird car”

  1. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    Will wrote:
    > OK, I am pretty sure it doesn’t matter what specific car I have, other
    > than that it is a 12 volt negative grounded vehicle, with a separate
    > alternator, regulator, but I’ll go ahead and say it… this is a 1971
    > Citroen 2CV.

    > Here are the two things I think are weird.  The first may not be an
    > issue, because I haven’t tested any other cars to see if they do the
    > same thing, but instinctively I think it’s not right.  When I put
    > connect a test light from the postive to negative battery terminals,
    > with the ignition OFF, the light lights up.  When I turn the key, so
    > ignition is ON, but the engine is not running, the test light does not
    > light up.  That just seems wrong to me, as if the ignition wasn’t
    > grounded or something.  But you experts tell me.

    > The second thing, that is more at the heart of the problem I’m having
    > (charging system not charging the battery) — is this.  With this car,
    > ignition OFF, the alternator’s + terminal should have power, and
    > indeed, the test light lights up.  And, both the Field wire on
    > alternator, and Field and Ignition wires on regulator all do NOT light
    > up with ignition OFF, engine OFF.

    > However — with ignition ON, engine OFF, all FOUR of those wires light
    > up! — though, I would estimate that the + terminal of Alternator and
    > the Ignition wire of the regulator are getting more volts than the
    > Field wire on both Alternator and Regulator, because the light is
    > brighter on the + or ignition wires.

    > Now, someone advised me that in that last scenario, ONLY the Field
    > light should be on unless the battery is discharged (granted, which
    > mine probably is), but I still think there’s something screwy going
    > on…. My next step is going to be bypassing the harness and connecting
    > wires directly between Regulator Field and Alternator Field, and
    > Regulator Ignition to Battery Positive Terminal.

    > Any tips/suggestions/name calling?

    > Thank you,

    Nothing weird going on there. Start with a new or charged battery. Your
    battery is so dead it barely supports a test light and goes off when
    the ignition is turned on. If you could invest in a $10 VOM you could
    measure this as it happened.

  2. admin says:

    Really?  I know this probably sounds naive, but hey, I have no problem
    sounding naive!  :-)

    When I tested this last night and got the results above, I had charged
    the battery, and driven maybe 20 minutes, tops. I’ve been finding I can
    drive at least 60 minutes on this charged battery, though admittedly
    I’m sure the battery’s not in great shape from frequent
    charging/discharging.

    I was thinking that the instant off of the test light was more due to a
    short or missing ground somewhere… but you really think it’s a dead
    battery giving that result?

    Thank you,

  3. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    Will wrote:
    > Really?  I know this probably sounds naive, but hey, I have no problem
    > sounding naive!  :-)

    > When I tested this last night and got the results above, I had charged
    > the battery, and driven maybe 20 minutes, tops. I’ve been finding I can
    > drive at least 60 minutes on this charged battery, though admittedly
    > I’m sure the battery’s not in great shape from frequent
    > charging/discharging.

    > I was thinking that the instant off of the test light was more due to a
    > short or missing ground somewhere… but you really think it’s a dead
    > battery giving that result?

    > Thank you,

    It would have to be one bad short and you would see the smoke and stink
    to go with it.

    The battery is bad.


    Thank you,

    "Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
    man’s wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard." Ecclesiastes 9:16

  4. admin says:

    My first guess would be a bad connection between the cable clamp and
    battery post.  This connection can pass enough for the test light, but
    put a small load on it and it fails so the light goes out.  Put a large
    load on it and it can arc so the starter can turn.

    It is unlikely you have a battery that flat dead if you can start it and
    drive it for an hour after it ‘takes’ a charge.  If the battery is bad
    enough to show 0 for a test light, the charger shouldn’t work.

    Mike
    86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33×9.5 BFG Muds, ‘glass nose to tail in ’00
    88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT’s
    Canadian Off Road Trips Photos:  Non members can still view!
    Jan/06 http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2115147590
    (More Off Road album links at bottom of the view page)

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    Will wrote:

    > OK, I am pretty sure it doesn’t matter what specific car I have, other
    > than that it is a 12 volt negative grounded vehicle, with a separate
    > alternator, regulator, but I’ll go ahead and say it… this is a 1971
    > Citroen 2CV.

    > Here are the two things I think are weird.  The first may not be an
    > issue, because I haven’t tested any other cars to see if they do the
    > same thing, but instinctively I think it’s not right.  When I put
    > connect a test light from the postive to negative battery terminals,
    > with the ignition OFF, the light lights up.  When I turn the key, so
    > ignition is ON, but the engine is not running, the test light does not
    > light up.  That just seems wrong to me, as if the ignition wasn’t
    > grounded or something.  But you experts tell me.

    > The second thing, that is more at the heart of the problem I’m having
    > (charging system not charging the battery) — is this.  With this car,
    > ignition OFF, the alternator’s + terminal should have power, and
    > indeed, the test light lights up.  And, both the Field wire on
    > alternator, and Field and Ignition wires on regulator all do NOT light
    > up with ignition OFF, engine OFF.

    > However — with ignition ON, engine OFF, all FOUR of those wires light
    > up! — though, I would estimate that the + terminal of Alternator and
    > the Ignition wire of the regulator are getting more volts than the
    > Field wire on both Alternator and Regulator, because the light is
    > brighter on the + or ignition wires.

    > Now, someone advised me that in that last scenario, ONLY the Field
    > light should be on unless the battery is discharged (granted, which
    > mine probably is), but I still think there’s something screwy going
    > on…. My next step is going to be bypassing the harness and connecting
    > wires directly between Regulator Field and Alternator Field, and
    > Regulator Ignition to Battery Positive Terminal.

    > Any tips/suggestions/name calling?

    > Thank you,

  5. admin says:

    Will <cyclomet…@gmail.com> wrote:

    >Here are the two things I think are weird.  The first may not be an
    >issue, because I haven’t tested any other cars to see if they do the
    >same thing, but instinctively I think it’s not right.  When I put
    >connect a test light from the postive to negative battery terminals,
    >with the ignition OFF, the light lights up.  When I turn the key, so
    >ignition is ON, but the engine is not running, the test light does not
    >light up.  That just seems wrong to me, as if the ignition wasn’t
    >grounded or something.  But you experts tell me.

    No, the light isn’t lighting up because you are placing a heavy load
    on the battery.  Either the battery is almost dead and unable to light
    anything other than that single test light, or you are placing something
    close to a dead short across the battery.

    >The second thing, that is more at the heart of the problem I’m having
    >(charging system not charging the battery) — is this.  With this car,
    >ignition OFF, the alternator’s + terminal should have power, and
    >indeed, the test light lights up.  And, both the Field wire on
    >alternator, and Field and Ignition wires on regulator all do NOT light
    >up with ignition OFF, engine OFF.
    >However — with ignition ON, engine OFF, all FOUR of those wires light
    >up! — though, I would estimate that the + terminal of Alternator and
    >the Ignition wire of the regulator are getting more volts than the
    >Field wire on both Alternator and Regulator, because the light is
    >brighter on the + or ignition wires.

    This does not correlate well at all with the earlier assertion up there
    that a light across the battery doesn’t even light up when the ignition
    is turned on.

    But, it’s reasonable enough.

    >Now, someone advised me that in that last scenario, ONLY the Field
    >light should be on unless the battery is discharged (granted, which
    >mine probably is), but I still think there’s something screwy going
    >on…. My next step is going to be bypassing the harness and connecting
    >wires directly between Regulator Field and Alternator Field, and
    >Regulator Ignition to Battery Positive Terminal.

    >Any tips/suggestions/name calling?

    I’d go back and check and make absolutely sure that the lamp across
    the battery isn’t lighting with the thing on.  And if that really is
    the case, I’d try and find out why.

    I’d also get a voltmeter, and measure battery voltage with the ignition off,
    with the ignition on, an with the engine running.  That is really your
    first step.

    And if the battery is good, but is being pulled down when you turn the
    engine to on, I’d check the ignition switch.  As I recall it’s fails
    in bizarre ways on the 2CV.
    –scott

    "C’est un Nagra.  C’est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

  6. admin says:

    you can drive 60 minutes and then what? It quits?
    your charging system is hosed for one thing.

  7. admin says:

    I *know* the charging system is not working.  I’ve known that for a
    long time.  What I’m trying to get at is the cause, because the alt is
    putting out voltage, and the regulator is new (though, granted, could
    be faulty), and the battery must be at least good enough to take some
    charge, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to turn the engine over and drive
    around.

    I thought not having any voltage showing up across the battery
    terminals was a good indicator of a short, or rather, a missing ground
    somewhere — ignition switch was my inclination.

    I started to trace each of the 4 wires from the ignition switch, but I
    don’t think I know how to test a ground wire — my test light won’t
    light up when connected to a good ground wire, will it?  What else can
    I do?

    Thank very much for your help,

  8. admin says:

    Will <cyclomet…@gmail.com> wrote:

    >I started to trace each of the 4 wires from the ignition switch, but I
    >don’t think I know how to test a ground wire — my test light won’t
    >light up when connected to a good ground wire, will it?  What else can
    >I do?

    Connect one side of the test light to the positive terminal on the battery.
    If you touch the other side to a good ground, the lamp will light.
    –scott


    "C’est un Nagra.  C’est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

  9. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    Will wrote:
    > I *know* the charging system is not working.  I’ve known that for a
    > long time.  What I’m trying to get at is the cause, because the alt is
    > putting out voltage, and the regulator is new (though, granted, could
    > be faulty), and the battery must be at least good enough to take some
    > charge, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to turn the engine over and drive
    > around.

    > I thought not having any voltage showing up across the battery
    > terminals was a good indicator of a short, or rather, a missing ground
    > somewhere — ignition switch was my inclination.

    > I started to trace each of the 4 wires from the ignition switch, but I
    > don’t think I know how to test a ground wire — my test light won’t
    > light up when connected to a good ground wire, will it?  What else can
    > I do?

    > Thank very much for your help,

    Somebody once said that if the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer,
    everything looks like a nail. Think about using a tool other than that
    one test light you have.

  10. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    Al Bundy wrote:

    > Will wrote:
    > > I *know* the charging system is not working.  I’ve known that for a
    > > long time.  What I’m trying to get at is the cause, because the alt is
    > > putting out voltage, and the regulator is new (though, granted, could
    > > be faulty), and the battery must be at least good enough to take some
    > > charge, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to turn the engine over and drive
    > > around.

    > > I thought not having any voltage showing up across the battery
    > > terminals was a good indicator of a short, or rather, a missing ground
    > > somewhere — ignition switch was my inclination.

    > > I started to trace each of the 4 wires from the ignition switch, but I
    > > don’t think I know how to test a ground wire — my test light won’t
    > > light up when connected to a good ground wire, will it?  What else can
    > > I do?

    > > Thank very much for your help,
    > Somebody once said that if the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer,
    > everything looks like a nail. Think about using a tool other than that
    > one test light you have.

    That should be: If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like
    a thumb.  ;-)

    But its the right idea. The test light can’t tell you whether the
    battery is good, but dead and the charging system is hosed, or vice
    versa. Take the car to a shop with a charging system tester.


    Paul Hovnanian     mailto:P…@Hovnanian.com
    ——————————————————————
    Why are so many towns named after water towers?

  11. admin says:

    <djohnso…@gmail.com> wrote in message

    news:1141291167.976859.232900@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.com…

    > Is there any realistic chance that this can be fixed for under $500?

    Not likely.
    When you say you have to race the engine to get speed, it makes me
    believe the clutches are burned out of it. With that many miles, there will
    be other parts worn or deteriorated most likely.  This signals a teardown
    and rebuild.

    You are likely looking at $1000-$2000

  12. admin says:

    time for a new trans.

  13. admin says:

    djohnso…@gmail.com wrote:
    > My wife has a 1990 S-10, automatic, 2wd, 4.something liter V-6, over
    > 200,000 miles..  A few days ago, she told me she had transmission
    > problems–I drove it, and found that when it was time to go into third,
    > it would almost disconnect, and you’d need to race the engine fairly
    > severely to get any speed at all–you’d get more speed with fewer RPM
    > by switching manually to second.   Trans fluid was below the dipstick,
    > took 4 quarts (taken in park with engine running) to get to the low end
    > of "ok" range.  problems continued after filling.  She drove home
    > racing in third rather than downshifting to second.

    > Is there any realistic chance that this can be fixed for under $500?

    Not a realistic chance.  It sounds like the direct clutch, a holding
    device that’s critical for 3rd gear, has a bad piston seal(s).  If this
    is true, the overhaul cost would be cheap.  If you haven’t broken any
    hard parts like the sun gear/shell, then your 700R4 trans has led a
    good life.  Even so, a seals and frictions overhaul with removal and
    installation would be probably $1000 on the low side for a decent
    mechanic to do it.  This is basically a wild off the cuff guess, but
    more realistic than $500.

    Toyota MDT in MO

  14. admin says:

    with 200,000 miles on the truck, it might be cheaper to get a used
    trans.

  15. admin says:

    jfrancis…@gmail.com wrote:
    > with 200,000 miles on the truck, it might be cheaper to get a used
    > trans.

    More likely get a different used truck…The reason for the $500 cutoff
    was because it doesn’t make sense to spend more on a repair than the
    vehicle will be worth after the repair is finished.  We paid $600 for
    it last year as a temporary emergency replacment, but my wife likes it
    ragged as it is, and we never got around to shopping for something
    better.  

    Thanks everyone.

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