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General Maintenance - Electrical System

The electrical system of the car consists of the 12-volt generator, starter motor and ignition circuits, which includes circuits for the fuel gauge, horns, lights, indicators, and heater blower motor (when fitted) and other accessories.The complete car wiring circuit can be found here, and shows the locations of the various electrical units as can be visualised from a plan view of the car.

The Battery
The battery is a 12-volt lead acid type with nine plates in each cell and a 38 ampere hour (51 AH Special Equipment) capacity. The battery is easily accessible by raising the engine bonnet.

The generator charging system is automatically controlled to suit the needs of the battery and, as a result, the battery should seldom require any attention other than topping up with distilled water. If however it does become run down for any reason, it should be recharged as a soon as possible;: it will deteriorate if it is allowed to stand for any length of time in a discharged condition.

The positive terminal can be easily identified by an embossed + (positive) mark adjacent to it. The positive terminal base may also be red in colour. When replacing the battery, always ensure that the positive terminal is earthed to the body by means of the short earth strap. (Warning – If the vehicle has been changed to “Negative Earth”, then please ensure that the earth strap is attached to the – (negative) terminal of the battery.)

It is most important to ensure that the battery is firmly secured and not allowed to shake loose in its mountings. High resistances in the battery circuit can also be caused by loose, dirty or corroded battery terminals. Always keep the connections clean and tight and the top of the battery

To Replace the Battery
To replace a failed or faulty battery, first remove the leads from the battery terminals. Unscrew the wing nuts on the battery clamp and unclip the battery arms from the battery tray. The battery can now be lifted out.

Refit the new battery, ensuring that the negative and positive terminal posts are the correct way around. Refit the battery clamp and battery leads.

Warning – Do not tip the battery over allowing the electrolyte to discharge as this may cause injury. Do not dispose of the old battery in your refuse. Take it to your local Council Recycling Centre.

Check the Battery Electrolyte Level - (Weekly Service)
The battery is accessibly located under the bonnet, within the engine compartment. Remove the filler caps and check that the electrolyte in each cell is 1/4 to 3/8 in (6.35 to 9.525 mm) above the tops of the plates. If below this level add distilled water as necessary. (In cold weather the distilled water should only be added immediately before running the engine, so that when the generator is charging, the water and electrolye will mix and prevent freezing.) The filler caps can now be refitted.

Keep the battery filler caps and battery connections tight and the top of the battery clean. A coating of petroleum jelly will protect the battery terminals. Occasionally check the battery clamp to ensure that the mounting wings nuts are tight and the battery is still secure in the battery tray. Excessive use of distilled water by the battery is usually an indication of an unduly high generator-charging rate and you should consult an Auto Electrician and have the charging system checked.

Battery Specific Gravity
The specific gravity is an indication of the state of charge of the battery and should be checked regularly with a hydrometer. The specific gravity of the electrolyte of a fully charged battery should be between 1.270 and 1.285 at 70 F
When the acid temperature varies from 70 F a correction must be made as follows:-
For every 10 F above 70 F, add 0.004 to the specific gravity reading.
For every 10 F below 70 F, subtract 0.004 from the specific gravity reading.

If the level of electrolyte is so low that a hydrometer reading cannot be taken, no attempt should be made to take a reading until the battery has been charging for at least an hour after adding distilled water. This is to ensure that the acid mixes thoroughly with the water to form a uniform mixture. If the specific gravity of the electrolyte is found to be low, the battery should be recharged, preferably by your Authorised Ford Dealer.

Hydro Test
Generator (Dynamo)
A two-brush generator is mounted on the left hand side of the engine and its output is automatically controlled by a separate voltage control regulator. If it is suspected that the generator charge rate is not being regulated correctly in accordance with the needs of the battery, your Authorised Ford Dealer should be allowed the check the regulator voltage and adjust it if necessary. Periodically, it is recommended that you have the generator voltage checked with the aid of a master voltmeter.
Cleaning the Generator Commutator and Brushes
Occasionally, it may be necessary to clean the commutator and brush gear. To do this, the generator must be removed from the car and the endplate withdrawn so that a thorough inspection of the commutator can be made. If this latter component requires attention, then the generator will have to be further dismantled. If it is just a matter of a greasy or dirty commutator, this may be leaned with a petrol-moistened non-fluffy cloth held lightly against the commutator whilst the armature is being rotated.
If the commutator is found to be scored, take it to your Authorised Ford Dealer, who has the necessary equipment to restore the surfaces to a good working condition without damaging the segments. Never use emery cloth to clean the commutator.

Ensure that the bushes are free to move in their holders. If the brushes are found to be tight or sticking then they should be drawn from their holders and the sides of the brushes eased with a fine file.
If the brushes are exceptionally worn and reduced in length, they should be renewed, as there would otherwise be insufficient spring tension to keep them pressed against the commutator.

Voltage Control Regulator

Voltage Control Regulator

Starter Motor
The starter motor is mounted on the right hand side of the engine and is operated by a solenoid switch mounted on the right hand side of the engine bulkhead. Should it be necessary to rotate the engine while working under the bonnet, this may be achieved by pressing the rubber cap on the starter switch after checking that the ignition is “off” and the gear lever is in neutral.

It requires no attention beyond seeing that the cable connections are clean and tight, the commutator is kept clean and the brushes are renewed when necessary. Should the need arise, the starter pinion can be manually disengaged by removing the starter motor end cap and turning the squared end of the shaft.

Information taken from Various Ford Anglia Instruction Books and Handbooks..

Warning - The Health and Safety bit.
Please note your health may be at risk if you do not take sensible safety precautions. Never work under an unsupported vehicle, do not take shortcuts. If you feel that the task is beyond your capabilities, then employ the services of a trained professional. The Owner of this Website nor the author cannot be held responsible for any accidents or injury arising from advice given on this webpage. Safety advice can be obtained from the RoSPA.