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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/14/2010 :  5:51:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When I bought my bus a year and a half ago I also bought a brand new 8D battery. I typically put it on a trickle charge through the winter. The last time I could get the thing started was a month and half ago. I havent been able to start her since, and am noticing a clicking sound coming from the battery. The batt gauge sinks real low (1/8th) when I try to crank her over. She turns over but will not start. I just put in a new distributor cap/rotor and rebuilt holley 4152, changed fuel filter. Still, the thing turns over but wont start and I hear the clicking from the 8D battery. Is there something I can buy to help maintain the 8D? Do you think I have sulfation build up? I have it on charge right now.

Edited by - Jared on 07/14/2010 6:08:15 PM

wagonmaster
Top Member

USA
2298 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2010 :  04:16:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The battery isn't what you hear clicking, but a relay inside the battery box clicking off and resetting when it cools. Put a full charge on the 8D and check out other issues you may have. An 8D should spin that gas engine over for quite a while before losing it's charge. If the realy keeps clicking off it's getting hot or you have a wiring issues that is surfacing.

Joe
Land of the Free, because of the Brave!
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2324 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2010 :  05:08:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
NAPA sells a battery maintainer that hooks on your battery and plugs into 110. They are used on fire trucks. (I'm a volunteer, maintain & drive trucks mostly. It will soon be 20 years of service!)

Bryan
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Cal Mc
Advanced Member

248 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2010 :  09:43:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Cal Mc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hook up a voltmeter across your battery terminals[not the clamps!] while cranking the engine. The voltage should not drop below 10 volts on that battery. If the voltage stays up you have a problem elsewhere. If it drops there is a problem with the battery.
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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2010 :  11:55:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cal Mc

Hook up a voltmeter across your battery terminals[not the clamps!] while cranking the engine. The voltage should not drop below 10 volts on that battery. If the voltage stays up you have a problem elsewhere. If it drops there is a problem with the battery.



What "should" the dashboard gauge read typically? When the engine is just running and also when your are starting it?

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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2010 :  12:24:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
12.4 volts before you crank. 14.4 running is optimal. I don't like to see below 12v or above 15, usually makes for trouble.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Edited by - Wolf0r on 07/15/2010 12:26:24 PM
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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2010 :  1:52:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wolf0r

12.4 volts before you crank. 14.4 running is optimal. I don't like to see below 12v or above 15, usually makes for trouble.



No wonder I have a problem. I'm registering roughly 6-7 before I crank and 2-3 during crank.

Thanks for the input. I'm learning so much these past few weeks....
PS: Installing the 4152 Holley Carb (or shall I say, just swapping out) was a breeze. If i ever get her started then I'll really find out how good of a job i did.

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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2010 :  4:55:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
After work amateur bus mechanic journal entry#8991:

I brought home a booster battery charger (one of those tall wheeled things) and cranked her up to 12v boost. This slowly raised the needle on the dash from about 6 volts to 16. I let it charge for about 20 minutes and would try to start her. It would turn over of course but the needle quickly dropped to about 3 volts. I would let it charge more and the process would repeat itself. in other words, no success once again.

Does this basically mean that my 1.5 year old 8D is no good?

PS - I did top off the batteries water levels.

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IBTMech
Top Member

USA
973 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2010 :  5:26:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit IBTMech's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jared

After work amateur bus mechanic journal entry#8991:

I brought home a booster battery charger (one of those tall wheeled things) and cranked her up to 12v boost. This slowly raised the needle on the dash from about 6 volts to 16. I let it charge for about 20 minutes and would try to start her. It would turn over of course but the needle quickly dropped to about 3 volts. I would let it charge more and the process would repeat itself. in other words, no success once again.

Does this basically mean that my 1.5 year old 8D is no good?

PS - I did top off the batteries water levels.


If your battery is that dead it's gonna take a lot longer than 20 minutes to charge it. It needs to be at least half charged to do a load test on it, which may take a few days depending on your charger.... the slower the better.... (by measuring the specific gravity) and if it still fails that battery is junk.
Where it's a new battery I would do a voltage drop test across the entire starting and charging circuit focusing on the ground side.

On the opinion side, those 8D batteries really pack a whallop but through my 45 years of dealing with them, they are prone to premature failure, especially when either overcharged or allowed to go completely dead.

A good 8D battery should whip over a gas engine fast enough to get you to a good ASE certified garage for a diagnosis.

If it doesn't fit, FORCE it.
If it breaks, well, it needed replacing anyway.
Pullin' wrenches for 45 years.
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Fastback
Top Member

990 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2010 :  06:12:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We havn't used the 8D batteries in years, we have had much better life and luck using two or three group 31 batteries connected in parallel.
For what you are doing with your classic gas engine bus, one group 31 battery would do fine and be less problematic, IMO of course.

However, as said above, your battery needs to be properly charged and load tested to determine if its failed.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback

Edited by - Fastback on 07/16/2010 06:19:16 AM
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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2010 :  06:58:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When you guys say 2 or 3 batteries. Do you mean 2 or 3 12volt or do you split the voltage up to 6 or 4volts per?

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Fastback
Top Member

990 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2010 :  11:04:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jared

When you guys say 2 or 3 batteries. Do you mean 2 or 3 12volt or do you split the voltage up to 6 or 4volts per?




You hook the 12 volt batteries up in a parallel circuit so no matter how many batteries you use its still 12 volts.

"Parallel circuit" = positive battery terminal on one battery connects to positive on another, this maintains a 12 volt system with a larger reserve capacity than one battery would provide.

If you hooked the 12 volt batteries together, positve terminal to negative terminal this would be a "series circuit" and 2 batteries would yield 24 volts.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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tigger2
Advanced Member

USA
284 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2010 :  11:07:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes three batteries will fit the same hole as an 8d, 750 cca. should spin a gasser for quite a while. If the unit sits for extended periods put a cut off switch on the ground side between batteries and ground point. An 8d will need about 60 amps for 24 hrs. to fully charge it takes a lot to get them up to full charge.
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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2010 :  11:17:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Perfect, thanks for explaining to a newbie. I bought 2 Deka Group 3 12volt 900 CCA that I will swap in after work today. Hopefully with these new batteries I can finally see if swapping the holley carb, distributor cap/rotor made any difference. If not, timing is most likely the next culprit.

For the disconnect switch, how about one of these?
http://www.jcwhitney.com/battery-disconnect-switches/p2006122.jcwx#

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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2010 :  2:59:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ok so this is bad. Got 2 batteries installed. The dash gauge sits at 12 or 11 volts until I crank her which it then drops to 9 or 10 (the lower portion of the gauge). I tried spraying starter fluid in the new carb but nothing.

I did the headlight check: When I cranked on it, the lights dimmed but surely did not go out. What do I look for next? PLEASE tell me its not hydro-locked or something bad!!!

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Edited by - Jared on 07/16/2010 4:41:43 PM
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Cal Mc
Advanced Member

248 Posts

Posted - 07/16/2010 :  11:24:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cal Mc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Now that you have power and can spin the engine over, we are back to
{1} do you have fuel?
-the engine has cranked enough now to fill the fuel bowls on the carb. With the air cleaner removed,pump the throttle lever. You should see the fuel squirt into the primary bores on the carb from the accelerator pump.
{2} do you have spark?
-Pull a plug wire and put a spark plug in the boot. Ground the plug to the block and have helper spin the engine over. With the engine cranking lift the plug from the engine block 1/4"[hold by the plug wire].You should see a good blue spark jump to the engine block.
{3}Is the distributor location correct?
Pull the #1 spark plug. Install an adaptor tube from a compression tester.Mark the distributor housing in line with the #1 terminal on the cap. Remove the distributor cap.Disconnect the battery. {you may need your helper for the next step]Crank the engine clockwise with a ratchet while checking for air escaping from the #1 cylinder. As the piston travels up there will be quite a rush of air from the cylinder. As soon as the rush quits the piston will be close to TDC and you can confirm that by lining up the timing marks. At this point the distributor rotor should be pointing at the mark you made for #1 on the distributor housing.

Re-install dist. cap, plug,plug wire and hook up battery.
{4} Adjust the ignition timing using an inductive timing light. This proccess is normally done with the engine running but can also be done with your helper cranking the engine.

{5} Confirm valve timing{timing chain}
_Pull the valve cover over the #6 cylinder. Disconnect battery!
Crank the engine clockwise with a ratchet[Helper required}Watch the valves on the #6 cylinder for "valve lap"{exhaust valve closing and intake valve just starting to open. At this point #1 cylinder is in the fire position and the timing mark should be at TDC.

You will most likely find your problem prior to set {5}.
GM uses a double roller chain on the 366 engines that I have yet to see one fail, even on engines with over 200,000 miles.
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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2010 :  09:57:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ok I checked for fuel in the carb and the jets are squirting perfectly. I then held one of the spark plugs on the passenger side of the block and held it to the block as a friend cranked her. I lifted it with NO blue spark!!! What should I look for now?

Ps it is still making a slight crackling sound on crank up.

Thanks so much for your help

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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2179 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2010 :  09:53:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Is there 12v on the Batt terminal on the distributor cap? Pull the cap make sure your rotor and cap are not cracked or broken.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Cal Mc
Advanced Member

248 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2010 :  10:04:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit Cal Mc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Do you have 12 volts to the distributor with the key on?
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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2010 :  5:53:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cal Mc

Do you have 12 volts to the distributor with the key on?



I have approximately 12.12 volts with the key on. I ordered a new coil and ignition module from Napa. Do you think either of them could be causing this?

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BJ Henderson
Advanced Member

USA
228 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2010 :  8:02:39 PM  Show Profile  Send BJ Henderson an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Is the distributor rotor turning when you crank the engine over? If it is, do you have a new rotor in the dist? If not, turn it over and look for burned spots on the underside of it. If all that is well, maybe pole piece, or magnet. You might wind up having to get a reman distributor. But you could check coil with a soldering gun while powering coil and spinning the engine. When was the last time the bus ran? And have you flooded it to death pumping the gas pedal? If you have, pull spark plugs and see if they are wet, black or whatever.

Hope this helps...

CMTT,CMAT,CMBT
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Cal Mc
Advanced Member

248 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2010 :  10:34:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cal Mc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As suggested is the distributor turning while cranking? If there are no rotor or cap burns, the next most common failure is the ignition module.

The rotor will commonly burn through in the center. It will be no more than a pin hole that shows to the eye as a SMALL soft spot on the under side. The black rotors are the worst for burning through.

The center terminal of the cap will commonly burn out.
If the coil is not showing signs of rust or corrosion, we do not usually have a problem with them.
We have had to change the occasional pick-up coil in the base of the distributor. The pickup coil is easy to test[ fun too!]if everything else is working.
Take a functional spark plug wire and install a spark plug in the boot. Install a small alligator clip on the other end. Remove the distributor cap and hook the 12v lead and the distributor lead back up to the cap. You will most likely have to disconnect the plug wires to do this. Connect the alligator clip to the center terminal
in the distributor cap. Ground the spark plug to the block. Turn on the key. Hold an electric soldering gun next to the distributor base
and squeeze the trigger. You should have a continuous blue flame at
the plug. Make sure to keep the plug grounded.
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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2010 :  09:32:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your replies as always!

I am going to install a new ignition control module and (if need be) a new solenoid after work today. Hopefully this fixes the issue. The rotor and cap are brand new as of last week so no burns or cracks that I know of.

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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2010 :  4:27:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well I installed the new coil and contrl module but still notta. What's left? The starter, alternator or the actual distributor assembly? I am getting 12v to the distr cap so it's not wiring right?

Edit: Pickup Coil????

All I want to do is enjoy this thing by taking her for a drive!

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Edited by - Jared on 07/22/2010 6:07:53 PM
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BJ Henderson
Advanced Member

USA
228 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2010 :  4:29:39 PM  Show Profile  Send BJ Henderson an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Is the coil grounded?

CMTT,CMAT,CMBT
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Jared
Top Member

USA
1865 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2010 :  5:28:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jared's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BJ Henderson

Is the coil grounded?



I believe so, There is a center spade at the Battery Connection that goes from the connector then under the coil to one of the screw holes. the coil itself also has a wire with a ring terminal that goes to another screw hole.

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BJ Henderson
Advanced Member

USA
228 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2010 :  6:39:32 PM  Show Profile  Send BJ Henderson an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Do you have a test light? If so, hook the ground clamp up to 12 volts somewhere and check to see if you are grounded on the coil leg that goes to that wire in the center terminal.

Test, don't guess!

CMTT,CMAT,CMBT
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