Let us suppose that the right head lamp does not burn, when
lighting switch is put in the "on" position, although the left
head lamp burns- with its natural brightness. This shows con-
clusively, by looking at figure No. 2, that there is a completed
circuit as far as through the left head lamp, which centralizes
the trouble in lead "H" from the left head lamp to the right
or the right, head lamp bulb or lamp connection.
With the foregoing information and the following blue-
prints one can readily repair or adjust any part of the elec-
trical equipment of any car. However, just as the repair and
adjustment of the mechanical elements of the car require
special tools and gauges, satisfactory work on the electrical
equipment necessitates the use of electrical tools and measur-
Probably the most universal and convenient tool for check-
ing various points about the electrical equipment, both
assembled or removed from the car, is a pair of test points.
A very satisfactory set of test points can be made from an
electric light extension cord by cutting one of the conductors
and soldering a brass point made from one-quarter inch brass
rod six inches long, to each end, or extension of the cut wire.
With the plug in the light socket and the current turned on,
the lamp will light if the points are in contact, either directly
or thru some electrical conductor, and will not light if the
points are not in contact. With these test points it is pos-
sible to determine the presence as well as the location of open
or short circuit, cross connections and grounds. As an illus-
(ration of the use of the test points: it is desired to locate
;ble in a two-unit starting and lighting system of which
OTIC pole of both the motor and generator is normally
grounded. The difficulty is that the battery does not stay
charged. The generator is found to be of the third brush
ntrolled type and mechanical corrections, such as cleaning
e commutator, sanding in the brushes and tightening all
f the connections docs not correct the fault. First remove
he inherent ground connection and insulate all of the brushes
from the commutator. This can be done very easily by placing
a piece of paper between each brush and the commutator.
remove the connection to the battery or cutout relay.
The generator circuits are now isolated, and by referring to
the blueprint showing the internal connections of the unit
one can determine the correct connections and circuits. For
instance, the shunt field is connected across the third brush
and the positive post of the machine. If we place one of the
points on the third brush and the other on the positive
post of the generator, the lamp will light if the circuit be con-
tinuous, but not if the circuit be open. If this shunt field be
! there is no magnetic field thru which the armature must
re to generate any current. One usually finds an open
circuit of this nature in the leads connecting the different
coils of the field or that leading to the brush or brush pigtail.
Correction can be made by soldering intact and winding tape
the connection. Supposing that the circuits are all com-
plete, then test for short circuit or grounds. The blueprints
show what these circuits should be and one can very readily,
with the test points, determine whether or not they be properly
connected to or insulated from each other.
One of the more common troubles encountered is that of
grounds or failure of the insulation between the conductors
of the machine and the machine frame. This condition, if
present, can be determined by testing for circuit between the
conductors of the various circuits and the machine frame.
For instance, as in the case just cited, of the generator with
brushes insulated from the commutator, place one of the test
points on one of the brushes and the other point on any part
of the machine frame. In case of ground, the lamp will light.
The armature can be tested for ground by placing one of
the test points on the commutator and the other on the arma-
ture shaft. If ground is found in the armature coils, as well
as short or open circuit, it is advisable to return the complete
armature to the factory for repair since very extensive equip-
ment is necessary to properly dip in insulating varnish and
bake after the coils nave once been disturbed. This same
practice should prevail when one encounters difficulty within
any coil of wire used in connection with electrical work when
the coil has been treated with varnish. Supposing a ground
were found between a field coil and the pole piece ; correction
can be made by inserting suitable insulation between the coil
and pole piece at that point where the insulation is broken.
Failure of the insulating bushings or washers that are used
with the binding post studs which act as the conductors
through the machine frame or housings can be corrected only
by replacement of the bushings or washers.
The wear of the brushes leaves a carbon dust deposit on
all of the parts in the commutator end of the machine, and
if this accumulation becomes sufficient, short circuit or ground
will ensue which makes the machine inoperative. It is very
essential that the commutator end of the machine be kept
clean and free from this dust at all times as it tends to work
into the bearing points of the brush holder, causing the latter
to become so sluggish in its action that the brush cannot follow
the variations of the commutator. With this condition pres-
ent excessive arcing at the brushes results, and the brushes
and commutator will both burn away in a very short time, ne-
cessitating new brushes, turning off the commutator and pos-
sibly new brush springs. Another condition that will cause
excessive arcing at the brushes is that of high mica in the com-
mutator. The copper may wear away faster than the insula-
tion, the latter projecting above the surface somewhat. In
all generator commutators the mica should be undercut about
1-32 inch with a hack saw blade, which will eliminate this
No garage can be considered complete unless an ammeter
and a voltmeter of suitable calibration be listed in their
equipment. The electrical equipment of an automobile may
be satisfactory in every way, apparently, and still give the
owner of the car a great deal of trouble. For example, the
generator may be charging the storage battery when the
motor is running but still the battery does not hold its charge.
One may suppose that the charging rate of the generator is
not sufficient to keep the system in condition but without some
means of measuring the actual current flowing he remains
in the dark. Further it is very inconvenient, at times, to test
for short or open circuit or ground with the test points. For
example, it is desirable to determine whether an open circuit
exists on a lighting circuit on a car. By placing the ammeter
in that particular circuit with the switch in the "on" posi-
tion one can determine whether current be flowing or not.
If there is current flowing, which is in excess of that drawn
by the lamp, a short circuit exists which permits the current
to flow thrti the circuit, but not thru the lamp which is of
rather high resistance.
Again, the test points may show continuity of circuit but
still no current will flow when in its normal operation. This
condition would be caused by a loose or dirty connection in
the circuit which introduces a high resistance and causes an
excessive voltage drop at that point which, tho allowing cur-
rent to flow when the higher voltage of the test lamp circuit
is employed, virtually opens the circuit on the lower voltage.
This condition is usually found more in the starting system
than the lighting or generating, and its location can some-
times be determined by the heating of the connection. How-
ever, the more satisfactory method is to measure the voltage
drop, with the current turned on, across all of the connections
in the circuit, with a voltmeter of suitable scale and calibra-
tion. That which shows the greatest drop is, of course, the
one that is giving the trouble. For example, a starting system
fails to operate even tho the battery be fully charged and all
connections tight. The commutator of the starting motor is
inspected, sanded smooth if necessary and still the starter- will
not crank the motor. By measuring with a voltmeter the drop
across the various connections, we find that the voltage thru
the starting switch is very much lower than that of the bat-
tery. This condition would absolutely prohibit sufficient cur-
rent reaching the starter to develop any appreciable power.
Upon dissembling the switch a very unsatisfactory contact
surface would be found, either burned or dirty or, due to loss
of tension of the springs, the contact surfaces are not held
together tight enough.
A further use of the ammeter and voltmeter together is
to test for open or short circuits in armature coils. To test
for an open circuited coil, disconnect the field coils from the
machine, but leave the brushes in contact. Now connect a
dry cell in the circuit so that about eight amperes will flow
thru the armature. With a pair of soft points as leads from
the voltmeter, measure the voltage drop between adjacent
bars of the commutator. A sudden increase in this voltage
state, the same condition results. This is due to
the minute eryst.-ils of lead sulphate, which are formed on
both plates of all lead batteries during discharge, slightly dis-
solving in the electrolyte, and recrystalling out, one upon the
other, until there are appreciable crystals formed, making a
white and shiny layer over the whole plate. A battery in this
iition acts very similarly to one which is worn out, in
that its capacity in ampere hours has fallen far below the
manufacturer's rating, leading one to believe that a great deal
of the active material has fallen out of the plates. The rem-
edy for a sulphated battery is a long, slow over-charge, at
about one quarter the normal charging rate. This continued
ovrr-char^o is necessary because of the difficulty of breaking
sulphate down by means of an electric current. In fact,
the fault is corrected in part only after the treatment pre-
scribed. Great care should be exercised in this charge, as
well as for any other correction or in the operation of a stor-
bnttery, that the temperature of the electrolyte never
eds 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above this
point arc accompanied by a hardening of the plates, resulting
in lower terminal voltage on discharge, and carbonizing of the
irators which reduce their insulating value and cause pre-
Failure of insulation in a storage battery, as well as any
internal short circuit due to foreign material or high sedi-
ment, is shown by partial or total loss of voltage of that cell,
or if only a very slight internal short circuit, by rapid loss
Evidence of a broken jar is very apparent through leakage
of the electrolyte.
Breakage of a pillar post or strap connector is noticeable
either by the wabble, or excessive heat generated at the faulty
connection when the battery is being discharged at a high rate.
One condition that may confront the battery repair man
which is very easily explained, but at times difficult to detect,
is the failure of separator insulation due to excessively strong
electrolyte. The strong acid very rapidly attacks the wood
fiber of the separator and makes it appear as mussy wet
chocolate. The specific gravity of the electrolyte in this case
is usually at least 1320 and the voltage on charge is normal
but falls off rapidly on discharge. Remedy for this fault, in
case the plates have not been too heavily sulphated, is replace-
ment of separators and very low electrolyte, bringing the
gravity back with a slow charge.
LEAD CONNECTOR-SEALED TYPE
Before starting to dismantle a battery, a sketch should be
made showing the inter-cell connections and position of termi-
nals for guidance in re-assembling.
To remove terminals and cell connectors center-punch the
tops of each over the terminal posts and drill to a depth of
% inch, using % inch drill for 12 volt batteries and % inch
for 6 volt batteries. Do not drill deeper than necessary as it
involves extra labor in building up the post again when re-
To remove top connections after being drilled, place a flat
piece of steel along edge of case to prevent marring or crush-
ing of edges; then use lever underneath connector and pry
off. Brush off the accumulation of lead and dirt from top of
battery. Care should be exercised to keep foreign substances
from the inside of the battery, especially metal which may
become lodged between the plates and cause short circuiting.
Remove vent plugs and blow in the holes in the covers.
This should always be done before bringing an open flame
near the battery, as an explosive gas, (hydrogen), is generated
in the battery during both charge and discharge. Explosion
of this gas in the confined space of the battery cell usually
results in a broken jar. The moulded rubber vent plugs being
very brittle and easily broken, the use of pliers for their re-
moval is not advisable.
Soften the sealing by playing a soft flame over the com-
pound. Care must be taken so that the flame does not burn
the covers. It is. best to play the flame back and forth, not
steadily in one place as this will cause the compound to melt
and run. A small flame used for several minutes brings better
results than a strong flame which melts only the surface com-
pound and leaves that below hard.
Use a heated screw driver (to prevent adhering) and dig
out the compound. After all the compound has thus been
removed apply the flame to the inside of the jar (through vent
tube) for an instant, then run a hot putty knife around the
edges between jar and cover.
Place the battery on the floor and, holding firmly between
the feet, grasp the terminal posts with two pairs of pliers and
lift the element and cover out together. Let the elements rest
at an angle on top of jars to drain. While the elements are
draining, apply flame around the terminal posts and lift off
If separators are in good condition, and a jar replacement
only is necessary, set the element in electrolyte or water until
ready to replace. If separators are to be changed, separate
the positive and negative groups by grasping the elements
firmly by the posts and working slowly back and forth.
The smallest opening in a separator may cause a short cir-
cuit which may not be discovered until the battery has been in
use again for some time. When separators have turned black,
they are carbonized and their life is virtually gone. To re-
move separators, take a long bladed knife and run it between
the plate and the separator. It is always best to renew the
separators. Separators should never be allowed to become
dry, but should be kept immersed in a very weak solution of
Inspect plates to determine whether or not they require
replacement. If battery has been overheated through over-
charging or snort circuiting, this will be indicated by brittle
and buckled plates, with active material granular and falling
away from the grid. Plates in this condition will have to be
The condition of the positive plates can be ascertained by
using the blade of a knife. If they are fairly hard and have
neither lost too much of their surface nor become extremely
buckled they can be used again.
The condition of the negative plates is very often such that
they may be used attain with new positives. In this case the
five' group should he immersed in water to prevent the
mil drying out through heating by exposure to thP air.
Occasionally it hap])ens that one or two plates in a group
:re replaeement while the balance of the plates are in good
iticii. In this ease ne\v plates may be used in replacement.
nip of Imckled plates which, when re-assembled, will not
go into the jar readily, should be replaced with a new group.
Invert the case over a sink and thoroughly cleanse the jars
hy inserting a hose and injecting a stream of water into each.
Be sure that all sediment and foreign matter is removed be-
fore replacing the elements.
Inspect the jars carefully for cracks or holes. Jars ex-
hibiting such, regardless of the size of the imperfections,
uld be replaced with new ones.
To remove a jar fill it with boiling water and allow it to
stand for a few minute's. This will loosen the sealing com-
pound surrounding the jar. Grasp the edges of the jar with
two pairs of pliers and pull it straight up. Care should be
so as not to damage adjacent jars.
The new jar should be heated before being placed in the
case. When the jar has been heated either with boiling water
or flame, it should be pushed into place, taking care that the
top of the jar is level with the others. If not lined up, the
top connectors will be uneven, and as a result present a very .
To assemble an dement, place the positive and negative
groups on a clean, tl.it surface. Always make sure that it is
free from lead scrapings or foreign substances of any kind,
as these substances will adhere to wet separators, which will
cause short circuiting of the plates. Intermesh the positive
and negative group. As the negative group contains one
more plate than does the positive, both outside plates will be
Lay the element on its edge and insert the separators be-
tween each pair of plates, the grooved side of the separator
next to the positive plate. Carefully check up separators
after assembling, as omitting a separator would cause con-
Take the element by the pillar posts and lower gently into
the jar. This should be done very carefully to avoid breaking
If the cover does not fit close to the terminal posts, or the
wall of the jar, the openings should be calked to prevent the
melted sealing compound from flowing into the jar.
Pour the compound so that it will fill all spaces and reach
to a height level with the top of the case. Also see that it flows
evenly over the whole surface.
Before applying connectors, , see that the terminal posts
are free of all compound and dirt.
Using an ordinary pocket knife, clean the inside of the
connectors. Then clean the tops of the connectors with a file,
to remove dirt and oxide, so that they can be properly united.
Before applying the terminal connectors, test all cells with
a voltmeter to see if they are set up properly. The connectors
should be applied so that the positive of one cell is connected
to the negative of the next cell.
In welding connectors and terminals to the posts, fuse the
top of the post with the edges of the hole in the connector.
Melt strips of lead and allow the molten metal to run into the
hole in the connector. Care must be taken to see that the top
of post and the inside edges of the connectors are properly
melted together before adding additional lead. If this is not
done, poor contact will result. Care should be taken not to
melt the outer edges of the connectors.
After burning the connectors and terminals, mark the posi-
tive terminal (+) and the negative ( ).
Fill battery with electrolyte and start to charge at one half
the normal charging rate and continue until gravity stops ris-
ing. During the development charge take occasional temper-
ature readings and if the temperature of any cell exceeds
100 F., lower the charging rate, or discontinue charge until
the cell cools. The strength of the electrolyte used for filling
the battery largely depends upon the condition of the plates.
If all new plates are used, gravity should be 1.300 ; if positive
renewal, 1.285 ; if old and sulphated plates, 1.100, and if old
and not sulphated plates, 1.250.
If the battery has new plates, twice its rated capacity will
be required for the development charge. If the plates are old
and badly sulphated, more time may be required.
Any cells which have not been repaired should be left out
of the circuit during the first half of the developing charge.
They may then be connected into the circuit and the whole
battery brought to full charge.
When the charge is complete, adjust the gravity of the
electrolyte to 1.280 to 1.300. To do this remove some elec-
trolyte from the cell and replace with pure water until de-
sired gravity is reached ; or remove electrolyte from the cell
and replace with 1.400 acid, according to whether the cell
reading is high or low.
Clean off the top and sides of battery, cover terminals and
connectors with vaseline and the battery is then ready for
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