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While there will always be those who froth at a Maserati, Ferrari, et al, the fact remains that they’re relatively common when you consider media exposure and those on the road. Sure, they’re fast and all that, but many car enthusiasts understand there’s more to it than that.

Just how many have ever seen a 444 in ANY form? It’s always amusing when people see an old Volvo for the first time.
 

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Yeah, and money makes them what they are. The 444 isn't a thing like it.
 

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As a slight side topic, I put an electric fuel pump in my project car as well as a new mechanical one. If I don't drive it often, the electric pump will prime the mechanical one and it should start up quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #165
Very nice summer weather, so I've driven the Volvo to work a few days during the past two weeks. It is only 3/4 of a mile - and the way to work is almost completely downhill, so mostly at idle.

I've noticed that the car doesn't want start after a few trips; and I've needed to resort to charging the battery. At first, I thought the control box / regulator needed adjustment, but that doesn't look to be a DIY. Then I thought that maybe I should change the size of the pulley on the generator so that it spins faster at slow speed - and that may still be an option. But then I thought the battery might be old and not holding a charge. I found a receipt indicating that the battery is only 13 years old, so just getting broken in. And by multi-meter, it seems to hold a charge over several days, anyway.

Today, I drove for 4 miles to put the car in storage. After parking for a few minutes, to move another car, I was unable to start the Volvo. Weak crank.

Fortunately, I had a few tools and pulled the battery terminal connections and scraped with a screwdriver for some shiny surfaces. Made a significant difference and I was able to start the car and move on. Can it just be slightly dirty (more tarnish than dirt) terminals? I'll clean them better and see.
 

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I would highly recommend converting to an alternator. I've always used my 544 for just short, city driving errands and always had trouble with weak starting, especially in the winter. I've tried a rebuild generator, new battery and new regulator and the battery would still die after a few months. I would rev the engine at stop lights just to get the generator to charge more. I switched to an alternator about 8 years ago and haven't had a problem since. The conversion was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
 

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I found a receipt indicating that the battery is only 13 years old, so just getting broken in.
Is that sarcastic? Because standard batteries start to show their age after perhaps 6 or 7, and 13 is beyond the pale. Especially in an infrequently-driven vehicle. Maintenance chargers can extend their life in such a situation, but in my experience never to that kind of age.
 

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Discussion Starter #168
Well, I don't think "sarcastic" is the right word. I certainly wasn't expressing any contempt.

But I did intend to convey some humorous irony.

I agree that 13 years is a long time for a car battery, but given that time span in operation, I think I should allow it to carry on to the extent it is able. I'm getting to the age where my kids are thinking of putting me out of my misery, so I need to set small examples that gives them the idea that I should be allowed to keep going despite my age. :)
 

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:D :thumbup:

I bought a new battery charger the other day that has some interesting features for maintaining and "reconditioning" lead-acid batteries. It's a Swedish design, the CTek 7002. Comes with a harness to install in the car, making it super-easy to hook up, and it has a fully automatic maintenance mode. The reconditioning mode claims to reduce sulphating in "many cases". They make a bunch of different models, and are available from lots of places (at various discounts).
 

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Discussion Starter #170
I have some sort of CTek battery tender hooked up to the car right now. But I should look more closely at the harness. It gets pretty hot if I hook up and battery is low.
 

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bo90;

Battery Tender is not a Bat Charger!...it is intended to replace the minimal self-discharge of a Bat during storage only, and its' wallwort is likely rated for under 1 A...if you hook it to a discharged Bat, the Bat will draw a lot more than that trying to attain full charge (to the current limiting point of the BT), so you are doing that BT no favors, and I would be little surprised if in a future posting you tell us that your Bat destroyed your BT...I recommend against it! Charge Bat either with properly functioning vehicle Chg Sys or a line powered charger, and use the BT for its intended purpose only...

Cheers
 

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The CTek7002 is not strictly a battery tender, and it's absolutely positively not a 1A wall-wart. Check it out.
 

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tm;

... so it's not a Tender, but a Charger/Tender...I was going by what it was called, and explaining "Pretty hot"...and that is not a good operating point for electronics as a general rule...

$165 seems pretty steep for a 7A Charger/Tender in any case...

Cheers
 

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Like I mentioned it sells for a lot less, below $120 and there are other models.

It has other useful features, a big one for me is it's battery eliminator function, which allows removing the battery and/or powering the car during ECU reprogramming, and adaptively supporting AGM cells. Obviously those are topics for another part of the forum. 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #175
Well, I'm starting to learn about voltage drop.

The car ('57 PV 444) just doesn't want to start. The Optima Red Top battery, although 13 years old, seems to hold a charge, albeit it is only a 6 volt battery. There seems to be a small voltage drop between the positive battery post and the positive battery connector and a larger voltage drop between the negative post and the stud where the negative lead attaches to the bulkhead. I haven't tested while trying to engage the starter, just with the car sitting there.

After work, I cleaned both sides of the negative battery connection where I thought I had voltage drop. The battery post and the place where the wire attaches to the body. I also cleaned the positive battery post and connector. Nothing looked all that compromised - at best, nothing more than some mild oxidation / tarnish. Once complete, though, car started right up.

So I'm thinking that I'll need to make cleaning all of these connectors a "maintenance item", to be done once a year when I change the oil. I also think that the battery cables are perhaps undersized. I am planning to investigate 2/0 sized cables.

But for today, chalk it up as a small success. :partywave:
 

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bo90;

Congrats on success!

There is nothing inherently wrong with a 6V system, but again, at 6V, you have even less that you can afford to loose across marginal connections (or for ANY reason!)...a tenth here, and a tenth there...and maybe a Batt, that's not not as young as it used to be, and so develops an ever-increasing internal resistance, which leads to voltages dropping when drawing high current of starting...it all adds up to less at the Starter and with which to power Ignition, and both are obviously critical for getting started.

As far as the gauge of Batt cables, bigger is better is a general rule, but an actual voltage drop measurement will allow a more intelligently informed decision...if you measure any more than a few tenths (across clean and tight connections), considering an improvement is not out of line...the name of the game is cross-sectional conductor area!!

BTW, if you treat all those connection you cleaned with ACZP, you wont need to redo them yearly!...just saying!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #177
Urged on by people, I bit the bullet and ordered a new Optima Red Top 6 volt battery. It was a depressing decision that cost me about $195 U.S., after tax. My current battery is only 13 years old and is hardly broken in. But I have two back country driving events planned for September in the remote mountains of Upstate New York where cell service is spotty at best. And my navigator (wife) said she refused to hike out for help if we broke down.

It's so hard to get good help these days! ;)
 

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Perhaps... but when that help is ENCOURAGING investment in your car (motive notwithstanding), you’ve got the best auto partner you could hope for!
 

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I have not visited your thread for a few years, but it seems you are doing a great job with your 444. Your industriousness puts me to shame. I BADLY need to replace door and window seals in my 544. What kind of weatherstrip adhesive are you using? I think there are several formulations out there and worried I might use the wrong one. I bought the seal for the trunk years ago and it is still in the box.

I watched your video, and so many of those areas are familiar to me, especially while peering over that cream white hood with the ridge down the center (though I do not have that bar in the middle of the windshield). We know Bulls Bridge very well, and that road that takes you to Lake Waramaug. I was also quite impressed with your wife's knowledge of old Scandinavian history. Perhaps we will bump into each other (figuratively of course) sometime as we drive up to that area of CT on many sunny weekend days.

Your MGA build seems pretty interesting. I have never seen a crank like that. Silly English with three main bearings and two fake ones. Seems to me like it would make the crank even more flexy? I am preparing to drop my freshly built Lampredi 1608 in the 1971 Fiat Spider I have been struggling with for the last several years. At least all five of those bearings are real!
 

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Discussion Starter #180
Thanks, ScoopMan. I made a list of my "accomplishments" - assuming that you could call them that. So far, I've taken 33 different actions on the car in the effort to improve it's condition.

This week I made the final push to finish and install the driver's side door card. What a pain! It had been languishing in my basement. I made the card part out of ABS plastic, which is black, so I had to do a lot of drilling and fitting blind. But it came out quite nice. And although I was dreading having to pop it onto the door, it went on fairly easily; and looks much better than the shabby original. Too bad I'm matching the interior work to the pre-existing drab brown.

Some time back, I noticed that the driver's side pivot bolt for the front hood had shifted. This was something that had existed for quite some time as the front clip was damaged by the opening and closing of the hood. Paint is down to bare metal. I had put a socket wrench on it a few times, but was never able to turn the nut. Well, this time I pulled the wheel and but a breaker bar on it and got the nut to spin. I removed the nut, cleaned the bolt threads with a die and reinstalled with one extra washer. Got the hood to sit up off of the clip and to open and shut without scraping. The hood sits a little too far back against the windshield cowl and may chip paint there, but so far I was unable to move the hood forward. But I'm really happy that I was able to address this annoying issue.

My car had some front end damage and the hood support (the thing that pivots the hoot up and down) is a bit mangled and will require some attention. And the hood itself need to be repainted as the paint is starting to bubble.

As far as the door and window seals are concerned, most of the seals sit in a grooved track and do not require adhesive. There is a strip that goes at the top of the window, however, that needs to be glued. And on my door, about 2 feet of the grooved track had rusted out. The track can be replaced with some welding, but I decided against that as it would ruin the paint on the door. So I used 3M Auto (Advanced) Black Super Weatherstrip and Gasket Adhesive, part # 08008. It is essentially a contact adhesive that you apply to both sides, let dry a bit and then attach the rubber piece. There are some videos of it in use on the web.

Finally, yesterday I also installed the new Optima Red Top 6 volt battery. Chris, the navigator will be very happy! The car fires right up - it makes a huge difference!
 
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