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 Power Drain

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PontiaCat59

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PostSubject: Power Drain   Wed May 06, 2009 10:32 pm

Not too long ago I installed a new CD player (in my glove box) and apparently it does a slow drain on my battery. The battery is not that old and is supposedly appropriate for the car. If I don't actually drive the car every7-10 days I have to jump the battery. Idling only doesn't seem to sufficient. I think I heard somewhere that high rpms are needed because of the generator setup. Car starts fine after the initial jump-start as long as I don't go too long between starts.

No problem with starting when I disconnect the player however all the player settings (pre-set channels, time, etc.) return to defaults because of the power interruption. Obvious inconvenience to unplug all the time.

During warm seasons and weather permitting I drive the car 2-3 times a week so "frequency recharging' isn't a problem... just a pain those other times.

I may be connecting to power incorrectly or something, don't know. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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starchief1959

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Thu May 07, 2009 8:17 am

Sounds like you may have the radio wired to a constant 12V source. It'll always have power to it slowly draining the battery. It needs to be wired to a 12V source that's on when the ignition is on, then it won't drain the battery.

You have anything added other than just a deck? If not, you should be fine just watch your Ammeter. As long as it's at 0 or charging you're ok, when it goes negative then you're drawing more current than the generator is putting out causing a drain on your battery.

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1959 Pontiac Custom Star Chief
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59canadianponcho

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Fri May 08, 2009 12:03 am

i would suggest putting an alternator in. stereos today draw too much power and the generator just wont do. This is what ive read and been told by a couple guys. if you put in a period correct radio you might be alright. im going to put in the altenator before i put a big stereo in(deck,amp, 15 inch sub and speakers). Im a musician, i like my tunes!!!
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starchief1959

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Fri May 08, 2009 9:01 am

I'm running a 100 Watt amp in mine and have no trouble. Even with the headlights on. If you're running JUST a deck you should be ok. Like I said though, watch the Ammeter.

CP is right about our generators though. I think they only put out like 8 or 9 amps. Not much more than the car itself can it support.

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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Fri May 08, 2009 12:11 pm

I had the same problems - the 'generator' on these old vars is a DC type with low amp rating. However, if you dont go crazy with at several kW stereo it should not be a problem. First you should check that only the memory + wire of the stereo is connected to permanent positive. The other + wire should go to a ignition +. If the battery drains fast it might not be charged properly. Check the voltage with engine off after driving the car for a while (battery should be fully charged). You should have appx 13.3 V. This should go up to little over 14 when you start it.

That was the problem with mine. The voltage coil of the charge control relay (on inside of wheelwell, in the drivers side) might be misadjusted, so that the battery is not fully charged before it switches off. I adjusted it a little by bending the arm that holds the spring. Be careful though, only a little at the time. Spring tension should be increased. By the way the voltage coil is the one with the many thin windings.

After doing this there has been no problems with starting, but during the winter, and when i don't drive it for a few weeks i connect a maintenance charger - always a good idea. My alarm system draws a small current (maybe similar to stereo memory, but properbly more). There are many specific maintenance chargers (usually a small box with indicator lamps) available. Don't use a large high power charger, since these are usually only equipped with primitive control, and may boil off your battery if left on for long periods.

By the way, a starting battery is not designed to be discharged more than about 30 % of it's full capacity on a regular basis, or it will not last very long. This is another good reason for fixing this problem before it kills your battery.

Good luck with solving your problem....
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starchief_59
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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Sat May 09, 2009 3:25 am

Alternators are so ugly!!! I'm hoping my generator will last. I'd almost ditch the CD player before I ditched the generator

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59canadianponcho

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Sun May 10, 2009 7:55 am

after driveing the car now i might not even put a stereo in, i cant hear it over the exhaust anyways!! I agree that it looks better with the generator, old school kool!!
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starchief_59
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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Sun May 10, 2009 3:16 pm

Hell yeah!!!

How different is the Chevy X frame from the Pontiac X frame? I'm trying to figure out how I want to run my exhaust. Do you have any more pictures of your exhaust?

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59canadianponcho

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Sun May 10, 2009 8:26 pm

i will take some pics and email them to ya, but i think i have some of a restored 59 impala on this puter somewhere.I'll take a look and send em.
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PontiaCat59

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Mon May 11, 2009 7:40 am

Thanks fellas, I appreciate everyone's input.
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starchief1959

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Mon May 11, 2009 4:30 pm

Don't like the alternator look? Niether to I. When I switch I'll put one of these bad boys in. Spendy but no change in looks or mounting. Just what I'm looking for.

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=PWM%2D82111&N=700+4294923676+4294908153+4294906959+4294925143+4294839060+4294880793+115&autoview=sku

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59canadianponcho

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Mon May 11, 2009 8:06 pm

can you pick me one up too!! that is awesome, might have to pick one up some day also.
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starchief_59
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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Tue May 12, 2009 1:56 am

Yeah I've seen those but for $400? That's crazy

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Robert Lewis      
                               
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59canadianponcho

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Tue May 12, 2009 9:07 am

it is a little pricey. I was wondering if i could put an alt. in the generator housing? I have an alt from a minivan and it looks like it might fit. Im going to try and get a generator at a junkyard and try it out.
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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: Power Drain   Tue May 12, 2009 5:02 pm

I thought about this too, but most generators are larger diameter. The original should keep your battery charged under normal conditions - check the charge relay, or try overriding it and se if it helps...
I also thought about putting an alternator in a lower position, where it is not so visible, and keep the original in its original position.
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