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Triumph TR5 - Battery Problems

Iím posting this question on both the TR5 and TR6 board. The TR5 board is a little quite. I have a TR5 with a relatively new looking battery (installed by the previous owner). On two separate occasions the battery has gone flat whilst driving the car. The most recent experience was yesterday (Sunday). Iíd been for a 75km drive mostly with the lights on and stopped for a coffee for about half an hour. When I came back and started the car there was absolutely no problem - this indicates to me that the charging system is OK. I then drove about 50km home (no lights on) and parked in the street outside my house. About half an hour later I attempted to start the car to put it in the garage and oops Ė flat battery. The interesting thing is that my multi-meter indicated a good 14 volts in the battery. I charged it for a few hours and then there was no problem starting. I donít believe that having the lights on or off has anything to do with it. Could there be dud cell that has a problem with heat (the battery being so close to the motor) and just canít cope with starting the engine or anything else. Any suggestions? I have another little question. The is a small brown wire that comes out the loom near the positive battery terminal and is connected to a small terminal on the fire wall. Does anybody know what this is?
G A Crutchley

Not sure if this is related, but:

I had an elusive starter problem. The field windings were shorting intermittently to ground. Sometimes it would start fine, sometimes my wife or a friend had to push start. (Nice to have a little help, eh?) This was on an early TR4, so I don't know if this would be common on your later car.

I think I was responsible for the problem from tightening the nut on the big wire without using a wrench on the inner nut to hold back movement of this bus bar. Movement inside was enough to bend the bus bar or wear through insulation making a ground inside whenever it felt like it. Intermittent probs are a b**ch.

Good luck on your quest for reliability, it is attainable with patience, and not usually much money. Or take it to the best auto electric service guy in your area. One thing to do first, though, is clean all connectors, even those that don't seem to be giving you trouble at the moment. A brass brush made for cleaning rifle barrels works great for some connectors. I have heard of dielectric grease to prevent more corrosion, but never used it. I did try petroleum jelly on the battery terminals, though, and it seems to keep corrosion down. Anything running to ground should be suspect, too. Like the strap between engine and frame, and where the battery cable bolts to the body. A clean surface on the starter/transmission mounting wouldn't hurt, either.

Tell us what you find that solves your problem, you never know when info like this will come in handy.
Tom

Tom,

thanks for your comments. Battery terminals are spotless. Your comments re the starter are interesting but I notice that even without trying to turn over the engine all other electrical items suffer - even the fuel pump. I'll let you know what I find.

Gary
G A Crutchley

This thread was discussed between 05/04/2004 and 06/04/2004

Triumph TR5 index

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