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MG MGA - Battery Recharge Help

I've been spending some time working on the interior of my coupe rather than driving it. As a result, the battery has died. I have never dealt with electrics before, but in a fit of self-confidence, I purchased a battery charger. I was hoping to recharge the battery in situ; but, quite frankly, the number of warnings in the charger's instructions are scaring me. My MGA is positvie ground and runs on a single battery. Am I better off (1) replacing the battery, (2) removing the battery and charging it outside the vehicle, or (3) charging the battery in the vehicle? If 3, can I leave the battery connections in place and attach the charger cables to the existing connections (the battery posts do not extend above the existing connectsion)? I am hoping I can do this without disturbing the wiring, however, if that is not safe I will take the plunge. Thanks in advance for any advice.

'57 coupe
M. D.

MD My way is to charge the battery in the car with nothing disconnected. Remember that red is positive so the red battery lead goes on the terminal with the earth connector strap. If your battery is not sealed then its best to leave the doors open if your charging overnight. If your in a hurry you can even charge the battery at the starter switch with the red lead on a good earth point,engine or body and the black on the incoming connection to the switch.
J H Cole

Thanks JH. Two follow-up questions:

1. The charger instructions for a positive ground battery said to attach the negative charger lead to the negative battery post and the positive charger lead to the chassis. Are you saying that if the battery is hooked-up, I should attach the positive lead directly to the positive battery connection, and not to the chassis?

2. Again, the existing battery connections leave no space on the posts to directly connect to the battery. Will the battery charge if I connect the charger to the existing connectors rather than the battery posts?

M. D.

Hi MD - Like JD I trickle charge my battery in situ still connected - it is positive earth with a dynamo. (Don't do this if you have an alternator or you risk blowing the diodes). If your battery is dead flat it will need leaving on charge for several days. Cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

MD You can access a live terminal at the starter switch. If you have a + grounded car, the starter switch will be live negative. Connect the charger neg lead to it and the + lead to any ground - there is a ground lead at the motomount.
Art Pearse

MD, play it safe mate. disconnect both battery leads from the battery, remove or loosen the battery caps (this is important), and connect the charger leads, red lead to thick post (+) and black lead to thin post (-) of the battery. Set charger to normal trickle charge, and if battery is completely flat, leave on charge for 48 hours. You can leave the battry in situ for this and don't forget to check the electrolite level in each cell and top up if necessary prior to charging.

F Camilleri

MD, adding to my post as a precaution I don't normally leave my batteries on charge overnight. Best to do it during daytime so I can keep an eye on them.
F Camilleri

Here's somthing you, and perhaps others, might find useful....

Click on the link. It's a "battery minder".
G T Foster

This thread was discussed between 08/08/2010 and 09/08/2010

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