Classic/Antique Car Repair/Electrical short



Thank you for trouble shooting help a couple of weeks ago seems everything looked correct, at that time it was a bad fuse connection on the starter after reading someone had this happened to them.

My problem now Jack is I seem to have a short somewhere. I have hot to the coil with the key on and off, the fuse on the starter looks like it started to melt the mounting bracket under the fuse assembly. I'm drawing power somewhere and I'm not sure how to tackle this or where to start. any suggestions where to start, steering column if so where would I find info on disassembly ?

ANSWER: Pull off the light circuit from the generator.  It is the one connector that goes to the harness connected to the horn, lights etc.  Take that off and see if you still have a short.  The fuse should blow and not get hot.  Start at the battery and follow each wire from there.  Use a volt meter or test light.  You should have power on both sides of the coil when the key is off, or when the key is on and the points are OPEN.  Close, or short across the points and see if the light goes out.  It should.  If something is getting hot, you have a big short.  Don't burn the car or your house down.  Just keep taking things apart to isolate the problem.  Some where, a hot wire is touching the body sheet metal.  Let me know how you stand.  jack

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QUESTION: I forgot to mention the lights and horn don't work, I took off the light circuit disconnected it totally and noticed soot on the left hand terminal area on the generator, also still hot somewhere I have followed some wires just taking a break.

ANSWER: Now, with that circuit out of the picture, does the car run?  Check the ignition and fix what's wrong. Are you near a local model a club?  Where are you?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I'm in a small town called Cumberland also called Dodge City on Vancouver Island Canada.

I bought the car a month ago yesterday, drove it a couple of times, it's in pretty good shape don't think the past owner drove it much, it has been in storage last three years, it has an anti freeze leak around the packing nut and the nipple beside it also has a constant drip. Rad flow etc seems to be ok, no other issues that I have found at this point, besides the short somewhere.

Buy some new packing, back off the nut and stuff the packing strip into the nut and run it on and just get it snug, not tight.  On the fitting, that is to lube the front brg.  It should have a small screw-on cap to seal it.  Buy one if it is missing.  jack

Classic/Antique Car Repair

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jack bahm


Only repair type questions on the 1928-1931 Ford Model A.


Owned one when I was 15 yrs old, and now have owned 5. Still own and play with 2 of them.

Oakleaf region of MARC. Model A Restorers Club. I have put several Model A videos on the Oakleaf site that may be of help. Things like how to start the A, how to Time it, how to troubleshoot it.. Go to and you will find them. Also, go to and search for "jackbahm" and you will find over a hundred videos. Many about the Model A and our outings. jack

"More than you need to know about cars." Just a small book for Car Nuts. "Model A Ford Tips and Hints" "Get A Horse" (What to do when Henry's Lady quits on you.) or Snyder's Antique Parts. "Engineering Stuff" (For the Kid who likes to take things apart and get them back together). Kids book for ages 10-16. 2012 Many Model A movies that can be found on

BSME LSU, 1958, Masters of automotive engineering from the Chrysler Institute of engineering, 1960, MBA Mich State, 1976. Worked as an engineer at Chrysler from 1958 to the end of 1991.

Awards and Honors
Two patents while working in auto industry. Go to this site for my Model A videos.

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