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Thread: Embarrassing moment

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  1. #1
    Obi Wan
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    Embarrassing moment

    Did you ever have this happen? Took the Alfa out today to pick up some birdseed and give it some running time. Hooked up the quick disconnect battery switch and took off. Picked up the seed and decided to come back on the busiest street in town. On the busiest street in town at the busiest intersection - the Merritt Parkway exit ramp, I pulled up to a light. Letting out the clutch the car stalled and...would not start. Totally dead. Oh s&%$t. Got out of car. Traffic pileup behind me with horns blaring. Couldn't find the 4-way flasher.Got out of car and thought I'd push it out of the way. Push it where? What was I thinking? It started to roll backwards towards SUV. I frantically yanked up the hand brake. Opened the trunk to check the battery. Sure enough, the quick disconnect had in fact disconnected itself. Why? I had hooked it up bass ackwards with the female part on the top so the green plastic knob was screwed into...nothing. Since I had no wrench in the trunk other than a 1/2 x 7/16 for the main cable, I could not disconnect the quicky plate so I just slipped it back on stuck the green knob through the hole and hoped for the best. I made it home ok. In the driveway trying to get the thing on right, I dropped the green knob and it fell - right under the spare tire. My magnetic tool didn't work so I had to struggle to raise the tire and reach under for the knob, sweat pouring down my face. And I have a heart condition. Moral - from now on, I disconnect the battery cable itself. Has to disconnect or battery goes dead. Dead battery=dead car. LBC with mechanical fuel pump? Don't think it's a problem once the car starts. I'm getting too old for this stuff.

  2. #2
    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Sounds like the story of my life. If it can go wrong, it will - and in the worst possible location.

    Cars don't usually die at home - they wait until the "situation is right". My 1960 M-B died at rush hour on the busiest interstate in El Paso Texas back in 2013. Fuel pump. Fun!

    Why not just reverse that quick disconnect so it's on correctly? I've never had a problem with them.

    TM
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Can't be done. Plates fit together with a groove. Problem is holes are hard to line up and green knob begins to cross-thread into bottom plate. I could buy another quick disconnect that might work better. Why do these things always happen to me?

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Seems to me something is telling you to fix the current drain ...

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Apparently "they all do it" according to Alfa threads on the web. Radio and clock seem to be the culprits. I can't understand how a radio that's off can draw current - maybe someone can enlighten me? Plus according to my son, the battery is the wrong one - undersized. It doesn't fill up the battery box in the trunk. Alternator seems to be ok - battery goes up to 13.7 volts when engine is running, about 12.67 when off. Should it be higher? Alternator was replaced a few months ago in Florida. A call to Luciano in Miami may be in order.

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    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    13.7 and 12.67 volts are just right.

    Maybe pull the fuse or install a switch for the clock and radio, or you could get a Lucas battery disconnect like we have on Healeys.
    John, BN4

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    on the same vein, years ago a friend ran out of gas on his motorcycle in front of a public school literally as the end of class bell was ringing - he was only half a block from home, but, put the bike on the kick stand and leaned on it like he had done it on purpose until all the kids were gone.
    John-Peter Smit
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    Jedi Warrior SD Bugeye's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Put it on a relay
    Door handles,Bootlid,Glovebox all fads
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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Quote Originally Posted by pd
    I can't understand how a radio that's off can draw current - maybe someone can enlighten me?


    A draw on power for the radio memory and clock are constant. Likely Luciano will tell you the same thing... and suggest you ditch the green disconnect thingie and just pull the negative side of the battery when you park.
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    I fixed the green thingy. It had a plastic insert on the female half that prevented the two halves from seating properly, causing the green knob to begin cross-threading. I removed the plastic insert, chased the threads with an 8 mm tap and cured the problem. I was afraid that removing the cable directly would lead to a stripped or broken bolt and I would have to carry a spare. Plus the cable end is all beat up and has trouble seating.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Update. Bought a Type 34 battery at Auto Zone. 800 CCA, 5-year warranty. Fits perfectly in battery box in trunk of Alfa. 12.54 volts before running car and charging. Old smaller battery - a type 26 - was at 12.42 volts fully charged. Left the cables hooked up and will check in a few days if any battery drain. I still don't like the green knob - Hard to put in straight & still wants to cross thread. There may be a better quick disconnect out there. Anyone have a better one?

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Almost any of the ones that mount to a panel should be better than the battery post mount.
    Randall
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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Quote Originally Posted by pdplot View Post
    Update. Bought a Type 34 battery at Auto Zone. 800 CCA, 5-year warranty. Fits perfectly in battery box in trunk of Alfa. 12.54 volts before running car and charging. Old smaller battery - a type 26 - was at 12.42 volts fully charged. Left the cables hooked up and will check in a few days if any battery drain. I still don't like the green knob - Hard to put in straight & still wants to cross thread. There may be a better quick disconnect out there. Anyone have a better one?
    Is this the type of quick disconnect that you are using? If it is, the green knob does not need to be removed, you just loosen it a couple of turns to disconnect the battery. I have this type on my car.
    bds-14301_bbe5aaf2.jpg
    Elliot
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    Jedi Warrior leecreek's Avatar
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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    1. That's the Green Thingy. Maybe that's why it had the plastic strip that I so cleverly removed. Now its metal to metal. But I still don't see how just loosening it would work as long as it is still threaded into the bottom metal piece.
    2. On one of my MG TDs, I did have a kill switch mounted under the dash. I don't recall at what point of the system it cut off the power. The Alfa battery is in the trunk(!?) I don't know whether the under-dash or firewall kill switch would work or whether the battery would still drain because the switch came in after the wiring between the battery and the clock or whatever is draining the current. Like to the ignition switch.

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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    The plastic insulator is supposed to be in there... put it back in and then all you have to do is loosen the green knob.... you don't have to remove it.
    Elliot
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    Yoda Gliderman8's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Quote Originally Posted by pdplot View Post
    1. That's the Green Thingy. Maybe that's why it had the plastic strip that I so cleverly removed. Now its metal to metal. But I still don't see how just loosening it would work as long as it is still threaded into the bottom metal piece.
    The plastic insulator keeps the switch "open" until the green knob is screwed down. It's the bottom of the green knob that completes the circuit when screwed all the way in. Removing the plastic insulator renders the switch useless and you will have to remove the green knob every time you want to disconnect the battery. They are cheap enough... if you don't have the insulator just replace the switch.
    Elliot
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  18. #18
    Darth Vader judow's Avatar
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gliderman8 View Post
    The plastic insulator keeps the switch "open" until the green knob is screwed down. It's the bottom of the green knob that completes the circuit when screwed all the way in. Removing the plastic insulator renders the switch useless and you will have to remove the green knob every time you want to disconnect the battery. They are cheap enough... if you don't have the insulator just replace the switch.
    Well now, I suspect you are feeling stupid upon being embarrassed? I can so relate to these feelings. Some day I’ll tell you about the disconnect in my Jag or not.
    Proud Caregiver to:

    Agatha A Healey & Onslow A Jaguar

  19. #19
    Obi Wan
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Now you tell me about the plastic strip. I'll have to fish it out of the trash. I thought I was so smart. If I can't get it back in - I'll have to get a new one.

  20. #20
    Obi Wan
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    Re: Embarrassing moment

    Continuing saga.
    1. Fished plastic strip out of the trash and pressed it back in.
    2. Reinstalled and started car.
    3. According to the Net instructions, I unscrewed the green knob about a full turn counterclockwise.
    4. Engine continued to run until I unscrewed the knob all the way out and took it off.
    5. Reversed the two pieces and reinstalled. Started up ok. Backed off knob. Engine continued to run until knob removed.
    In short - this thing does not work unless its either defective or I'm still doing something wrong.

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