'27 Super six losing losing power while driving (dead battery)

NewportClassicCarsNewportClassicCars Posts: 2Member
edited March 2021 in Hudson 1916 - 1929
Hello everyone, 

I'm a new owner of a 1927 Hudson which I have been using for a few months now. I love the car but have been experiencing a strange problem.

The car will intermittently lose power. I say intermittently because I could put 100 miles on it and it doesn't have a problem until the next time I use the car. Or the other scenario is that I use the car and have power loss 2 days in a row after using the car for an hour each day. Its never consitent but I will say that it seems to be happening more often now (getting worse)

Ill explain the power loss issue in detail as well. This car has a rebuilt starter, rebuilt generator, new generator cutoff, new points, new coil, new optima red top 6v battery. (I have NOT changed the condeser out yet because I cant find that flat square condenser that fits in the slot.....anyone know where I can get one? lol)

The car will be driving along for an indiscriminate amount of time when all of a sudden the car starts losing power, backfiring, running rough, etc etc. So... clearly its losing spark. Once this starts I know I'm in trouble and if the car stalls or if I drive it too much longer (the car will shut off) I will not be able to restart the car because the battery will be flat dead. Sometimes less than 4 volts when checked with a meter. I can then immediately change to another fully charged 6v optima and the car will start right up, run and drive for another indiscriminate amount of time until the problem occurs again sometime down the road. Maybe two hours later, maybe 2 weeks, 10 miles, 50 miles. Doesnt seem to matter. Any thoughts? Thank you very very much for your help



  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 2,377Expert Adviser
    Not knowing anything specific about a 1927 a guess is your generator regulator is inconsistent in operation. Or the generator interface ( wiring ) is deteriorated creating irregular connections to the regulator ... and of course the generator works and then does not?  Good luck
  • barrysweet52barrysweet52 Posts: 655Expert Adviser
    Try dbraham.aop@bigpond.com in Australia for condensor. He gets a lot of parts from USA
  • RocketRocket Posts: 505Senior Contributor
    it sounds to me that somewere in your wiring you have a bad wire that bounces around and is shorting out on something and draining your battery I had this happen on one of my cars and it did the same thing that yours is doing if I charged the battery or changed to a fully charged one it was fine until it shorted out again as the battery drains down you loose power because you no longer have the voltage to fire the plugs 
  • NewportClassicCarsNewportClassicCars Posts: 2Member
    edited March 2021
    Alright so I figured it out! Come to find out its something to do with the ammeter. Generator was good, cutout was good, but battery wasnt charging. Ammeter was wired backwards so it was acting as a diode . electricity couldnt pass through so it wasnt getting to the battery. Bypassed it with a wire from cutout to battery and bingo! Shes charging very well. How about that!? Lol 
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 2,377Expert Adviser
    Thanks for thanks for sharing solution!?
  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 4,623Senior Contributor
    I find this incomprehensible, sorry.   There is no way an ammeter could act like a diode.  It is simply a means of measuring current flow, and it makes no difference (apart from the needle deflecting  the wrong way) which way it is connected.  I suggest you study the wiring diagram and  make sure that the wire from the  battery goes to one side of the ammeter, and all other wires, including from the generator cut-out go to the other side.  
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • strangeplantstrangeplant Posts: 106Member
    I agree with Geoff completely. Asking "why is an ammeter like a diode" is a little like asking "why is a raven like a writing desk". The ammeter's function is to show what is going in and out of the battery (except for starting.) One side of the ammeter connects to the voltage regulator on the generator and everything else. The other side connects to the starting relay on the back of the starter (medium size wire), and from there to the battery (big wire). Nothing else. 

    But, not necessarily so simple.

    However, suppose that either the ammeter, externally or internally, or the starting switch have a high resistance short to ground (or these two connecting wires have a high resistance short to ground.) Then the battery could go dead even when your car is parked and not running. And, to make matters worse, this drain would not show up on the ammeter because the drain isn't going through the meter at all.

    Now, to 'fix it', you effectively short the ammeter by jumpering around it. That does not necessarily remove the high resistance short that may be inside the ammeter, but makes it much less significant, because, if the ammeter coil is broken or open while shorting to ground, now current can flow to charge the battery while running. However, when you put the jumper wire on the ammeter, it is possible that you accidently removed the spurious short to ground that could have been just one strand from a connecting wire loosely touching the case, which is grounded. I think you should examine the innards of the ammeter to see what's going on. 

    My suspicion is that the ammeter coil is corroded open (broken), and that one end is intermittently touching ground (or corroded to ground) inside the case. Take a look. The ammeter comes out by removing two screws.
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