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1970 XKE Charging problems

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shadowdog John Cole
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
I just purchased a beautiful 1970 Jag XKE, but it has a problem with battery charging. When I start the car, the a) red ignition light stays on, and b) the battery gauge shows the battery not charging. I have had the alternator rebuilt, and put in a new voltage regulator. I have cleaned the connections at the battery cables and to their next point.

This is driving me nuts as I want to get the car inpected by DMV, and then on the road - too pretty to be sitting in the garage!

Any ideas what I can try next?

John in Vegas

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jagboy69 Avatar
jagboy69 Jason A
US, Planet Earth, USA   USA
John, sounds like you have a 3AW issue. Coolcat makes a solid state replacement that is well worth buying. Are you POSITIVE the car is NOT charging? Start it up and stick the VOM on the battery. See what the volts are. If above battery voltage, your charging and the 3AW is toast. Go drive it and enjoy. If it's not charging, you need to see if the field on the alternator is getting 12volts. Do you have a wiring diagram? Here is the BEST series 2 diagram I have ever found. My E is a 1969 and I've been down the 3AW road personally, but the good news is, it's an easy fix. If the red ignition light is on, you are either, Not running, Not charging, or the 3AW is out to lunch, My bet its the 3aw. But you need to see if first the alternator is actually doing any work.

Let me know if I can help.
J

btw, NEVER EVER EVER EVER trust any gauge on these cars. As you'll see from the diagram, there are other components that control what that gauge says. just experience talking here. ;-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-04-20 11:26 PM by jagboy69.


Attachments:
Series 2 Wiring Diagram.jpg    55.4 KB
Series 2 Wiring Diagram.jpg

shadowdog John Cole
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Jason - thanks so much for the information . . . but I have a question, and a request.

The question is - what is a 3AW? Sorry to sound so ignorant, but I have not heard that term before. Let me tell you what I have done - 1) had the alternator rebuilt, 2) put a new voltage regulator in, 3) cleaned some wire contacts around the battery area. Yesterday, I took it out, and it charged for a period of time, but then went back to discharge mode, which hints to me that it may be that I may have to clean more contacts throughout that wiring paths. Runs great when charging, too. Let me know what you think.

And the request - would you be kind enough to send that wiring diagram to my personal email address: jptcole@hotmail.com. I would like to print it, put it in plastic and have it in the garage while working on the car. It's really nice of you to send it because, although I have a diagram, it's not as nice as this one.

Let me know your thoughts on the first paragraph description.

Thanks again!!

John

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jagboy69 Avatar
jagboy69 Jason A
US, Planet Earth, USA   USA
Ok. So you are SURE it charges for awhile then quits? How do you know this? Is the gauge showing a charge and the red light is out? Then after a period of time, the red light comes back on and the gauge then shows no more charging?

The 3AW is only responsible for "monitoring" the charging status. Sounds like it is doing it's job.

Now the 4TR is the control unit responsible for "telling" the alternator it's time to charge or not. At the top left of the diagram is an A though G description of what each terminal does. Did you change the 4TR with a new one? Please understand this thing turns on and off thousands a times an hour by applying 12vts to or removing the 12vts from the field of the alternator thus maintaining the optimal 14.3 volts. If you are POSITIVE the alternator is good by having it tested by a 3rd party (and the idiots at autozone can test these) Then I would really suspect the 4TR or the guy who wired it. Possibly a misconnected wire? For it to charge for awhile and then not charge, that sounds like a component is getting hot and then takes a nap.

The 6RA works with the 4TR, page 2 on the link below explains this. Page 3 is the BEST troubleshooting setup I have ever seen. Print ALL this out and
stick it in your glovebox! LOL

Half of the issues I have ever had with lucas stuff was self induced, but I learned just the same. LOL

Btw, I emailed you the diagram.

Please read this Lucas charging explained

Let me know what you find.
J



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2014-04-21 06:48 PM by jagboy69.

jagboy69 Avatar
jagboy69 Jason A
US, Planet Earth, USA   USA
I just thought of one more "gotcha" Is your ignition switch getting HOT after running the car for say 20minutes? I have actually had this problem personally. My ignition switch was worn out. I know this can wreak havoc as other components downstream dont get their required voltage.
Run that entire troubleshooting list and lets see what that gets you. If you need help locating components, let me know. They are pretty easy really. The 3AW looks like an old school flasher and should be under the heater. Once you find it, grab the thing and pull real hard and toss it in the grass. ;-)
Once I installed the solid state 3AW and cleaned the wires to my 4TR and 6RA, life is good for me.

jagboy69 Avatar
jagboy69 Jason A
US, Planet Earth, USA   USA
Did you have any luck????

jagmgdon Don Kent
Salt lake city, UT, USA   USA
HI How can I get a copy of this diagram to blow up that I can read?

don kent 385 265 2051 dtkent11@hotmail.com

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angelw Bill A
Berwick, Victoria, Australia   AUS
In reply to # 5599 by shadowdog I just purchased a beautiful 1970 Jag XKE, but it has a problem with battery charging. When I start the car, the a) red ignition light stays on, and b) the battery gauge shows the battery not charging. I have had the alternator rebuilt, and put in a new voltage regulator. I have cleaned the connections at the battery cables and to their next point.

This is driving me nuts as I want to get the car inpected by DMV, and then on the road - too pretty to be sitting in the garage!

Any ideas what I can try next?

John in Vegas

Hello John,
It wont be the 3AW that is causing your issue; the 3AW does nothing more than to alert the user that the alternator is not charging. Unlike a Series 3 E-Type, the ignition warning light circuit has nothing to do as to whether the a;alternator charges, or not. With the 3AW disconnected (or no power to the AL terminal of the 3AW), the contact between WL and Earth of the 3AW is normally closed. The ignition warning light is connected to the WL terminal of the 3AW and therefore, when the ignition switch is turned on, the ignition warning light will come on. When the alternator starts charging, current is supplied to the AL terminal of the 3AW, opening the contact between WL and Earth. It does this via a bi-metal coil in the 3AW.

If the alternator and voltage regulator have been tested and prove to be OK, then the most likely cause is the Alternator Relay. You will find that mounted on the inside of the Left Hand inner mud shield, just forward of the battery.

The attached picture shows the relationship of the 3AW and the Alternator Relay to the Alternator.

Regards,

Bill



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-03-26 05:19 AM by angelw.


Attachments:
Ignition1.JPG    56.2 KB
Ignition1.JPG

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