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Vintage Battery

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by alberto, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. alberto

    alberto Formula 3
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    Aug 25, 2001
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    Alberto
    Does anyone have pictures of the (various) battery types used on mid to late 1960's and very early 1970's vintage Ferrari's, Lamborghini's or Maserati's that they could share? I have been told that Lamborghini used Tudor and Uranio batteries (?) for example. Any help or additional information would be greatly appreciated as well, including battery dimensions, etc.

    Thank you.

    Alberto
     
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  3. dinogts

    dinogts Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Funny you should have posted about vintage batteries, but I just sent an email to Magneti Marelli on 3/20 about the batteries that they used to supply to Ferrari. My 1972 Dino 246 came with a Marelli 6 AT 11 - 12 Volt 60 AH, and I have the original battery card that came with my car. Interestingly, the manual for my car lists the Marelli, but the photo of the battery location shows a FIAMM.

    From what I can tell, Marelli no longer makes batteries, but I asked them if they knew of anyone who might be rebuilding/restoring them. I also have a concours Austin Healey and I am aware that there are some cottage businesses in England that are making tar-top 6 volt batteries for my car if I were nuts enough to go back to the original positive ground system. Thank God the Healey clubs (in the U.S. anyway) haven't started to require original 6 volt positive ground systems in cars for concours.

    Mark
     
  4. yale

    yale Formula Junior

    May 2, 2004
    735
    New York City
    My car has a contemporary Marelli battery. The car came from Holland so I guess the previous owner was able to get one there. Yale
     
  5. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    16,078
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    Kenneth
    I wonder; can you take a period battery, gut it, and have a modern one inside? It would look great a C events to have an original looking battery.

    Ken
     
  6. drew365

    drew365 Karting

    Jun 22, 2004
    242
    The Valley, L.A.
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    Andy Ritter
    I had a vintage style screw cap type battery made up for my car several years ago. It only lasted for about a year or so. A company in L.A. did it and it's still sitting behind my garage. If you show your car it might be worth it. Otherwise an Optima is the ticket for me.
     
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  8. yale

    yale Formula Junior

    May 2, 2004
    735
    New York City
    I have had problems with Optimas in NYC in the summer. At least the battery I had would get heat soaked and not be able to restart the car after I drove it for a while until I waited a 1/2 hour or so. I have heard of others having this problem. Other then that I loved the battery. Yale
     
  9. alberto

    alberto Formula 3
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    Aug 25, 2001
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    Alberto
    I appreciate everyone's concerns about life with a vintage battery. My daily battery is and will remain an Optima.

    Please know that my quest for pictures and more information is for knowledge and documentation's sake. I want to have one for its own sake (which is why I seek the information).

    Any pictures, dimensions, or other information that anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Alberto
     
  10. 330gt 2+2

    330gt 2+2 Rookie

    Mar 23, 2005
    5
    new castle battery has a tar top series 27 battery (mine has lasted 3 years so far) and you can get different colored screw caps as needed. I run my car a lot and have never had a problem . newcastle battery 1 800 6226733 , regards , buddy
     
  11. 356hunter

    356hunter Rookie

    Mar 25, 2005
    13
    My company imports German hard-rubber, tar top batteries from Germany -- 6 volt 66 and 84 AHr and 12 volt larger ones. No logos, but a blank circle on the front where we put the Varta sticker, Parker Hall has other stickers, I think. Brad 1-800-438-8119 NLA Limited.
     
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  13. alberto

    alberto Formula 3
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    Aug 25, 2001
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    Brad:

    Can you post a picture or provide a web site?

    Thanks.
    Alberto
     
  14. DinoDriver

    DinoDriver Formula Junior

    Mar 14, 2005
    537
    Leesburg, VA
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    Bill Ebert
    Question for Yale: About that Optima battery not allowing you to start your hot engine on hot summer days unless you wait about 1/2 hour, I've got the same problem with my Dino but it's not the battery. It's the starter. Always starts beautifully when cold or warm, but not after it's heat soaked on a hot summer day -- like when you stop for 10 minutes for gas. New batteries didn't fix it. After 4 starter rebuilds, the last by a Lancia Stratos enthusiast, it worked fine for a year. It was some kind of internal short caused by the high temps/high resistance/heat expansion, etc. The problem came back last summer and I'm about to take the starter out for a close look. Thank God for the enlarged notch my engine rebuilder put in the bell housing. Really helps to get the starter out without messing with the exhaust headers.

    Anybody have a fix for this problem. All connections in the system are super clean!

    Bill
     
  15. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    36,878
    Babcock Ranch, FL
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    Dave
    I just spent the better part of a year chasing this problem. We tried shimming, cleaned the connections, etc.

    Turns out the starter was just plain old tired. It shows up first as a reluctance to start when hot. You may find that putting the car in 5th gear, and gently pushing it about 6 inches forward will cause the starter to work.

    That's because the starter really only makes contact at three points on the flywheel ring gear. Those points get worn, the starter will not engage. You can remove the ring gear and move it a 1/4 turn, giving the starter a fresh set of teeth to beat up, or you can flip it over.

    In the long run, we found that the spiral shaped internal gear on my starter had simply worn out. At first it was when the car was hot it wouldn't engage, no spin, nothing, but finally, it was hot, cold and in between.

    You can get your starter rebuilt for some pretty big bucks, if you can find someone who still has the internal parts. Ferrari doesn't have them, but I'm told there are some Alfo parts that will substutute, or you can install new. WE put in the Superformance starter from Mike, and it works great, spins much faster than the original, and starts much faster.

    http://www.superformance.co.uk/parts/dino2/index2k3.htm (first item on the page)

    It is slightly larger than the original, so even your enlarged opening isn't going to be enough. You're going to have to take off the header. While in there, take off the bell housing and flip the ring gear, too.

    I have a thread here somewhere about the starter.

    DM
     
  16. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    Sep 30, 2003
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    Bill, if you have had the starter redone 4? times, i would respectfully suggest you or your technician investigate the possibility that your ignition switch and / or wiring is bad or has an intermitant fault. starter are not that complicated. i have my starter and alternater redone in my GTB in november when i had the belt service done just because the car is 28 years old. i had a local shop do them as oppesed to the shop doung the belts ect. the guys were thrilled to have ferrari parts and said they were all standard stuff inside. yours may be different but i doubt its THAT different.
    i would bet you have a grounding ignition switch problem that comes and goes.
     
  17. champtc

    champtc Formula Junior

    Apr 18, 2004
    732
    I am sure that this will elicit howls of protest from the "purist" crowd but $1200 bucks (695 sterling x1.83) in good old USA dollars for a starter? I have exchanged my XKE & Healey starters for Gustafson gear reduction starters. I think they cost about $150 bucks...couldn't someone figure out an inexpensive way to adapt one of these lightweight ,inexpensive & well built starters to fit a Dino? Heresy I know ...but is there a way?? If you keep the original starter in a box a new owner could re-fit it if he was so inclined. I'll keep quiet now! Champ
     
  18. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
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    Dave
    Hmmm.

    I have my old starter. If you'd like to take it apart and figure out a better, cheaper way, I'm sure we'd all jump on the bandwagon.

    Uh oh, I can't let you do that, 'cuase my original starter is worth more dead, than some are worth alive.

    I'm going to rebuild it, make it better, faster than before, it will be...."THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR STARTER!!!"

    Seriously, $1875 for an original from Dennis McCann, $1495 for a bosch starter from him.

    Betcha I could get a pretty good trade offer for my rebuildable one.

    DM
     
  19. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
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    Dec 14, 2003
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    Bernie
    Why would people go to such extremes to locate a vintage battery?

    If I'm not mistaken, in a Concours setting, you don't get points deducted on parts that need to be replaced regularly such as batteries, oil filters, plug wires, tires, ect.
     
  20. Dave330gtc

    Dave330gtc Formula Junior

    Mar 12, 2002
    601
    NW Indiana
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    David Smith
    It is true that you do not lose points for a modern battery but if you have a nice clean older car, a vintage look battery finishes off the engine compartment nicely.
     
  21. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
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    Dec 14, 2003
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    Agreed. I guess it's a personal choice as to how far one is willing to go to recreate the look of the era. I probably wouldn't go as far as gutting a battery.

    Hmmmm....a Sears Die-Hard in a 330GTC engine bay?
     
  22. DinoDriver

    DinoDriver Formula Junior

    Mar 14, 2005
    537
    Leesburg, VA
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    Bill Ebert
    DM & carreaper:

    Thanks for the good advice. Sounds like you've been there and done that! Misery loves company. I replaced the ignition switch and checked all gounds when this problem first started. I agree that this sounds like a grounding problem OR, because it only happens when the starter is heat soaked, a "high resistance problem" insise the starter. Heat causes resistance to increase in electrical circuits (in this case, inside the starter). Assuming the voltage is constant, with high resistance you get less amps to the starter so the Bendix and /or the starter motor don't have the amps they need to do the job. So where is that high resistance -- in the Bendix unit contacts or winding? Or in the motor drive unit -- the armature or field winding. All moving parts, brushes, bushings have been "reconditioned." As you said, DM, a starter is pretty simple. Shouldn't take $1200 - $1800 to fix this problem by replacing it! There's got to be a solution!
     
  23. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
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    #20 dm_n_stuff, Apr 6, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Look here. There was considerable wear in my starter on this part, which was causing the starter not to engage.

    Also, remember you can flip the ring gear on the flywheel.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  24. DinoDriver

    DinoDriver Formula Junior

    Mar 14, 2005
    537
    Leesburg, VA
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    Bill Ebert
    DM,

    I'll check the gear indicated more closely if it's visible. I've actually had the starter in my lap (cold) and energized the solenoid and all worked well. The starter drive shaft thrust out beautifully and spun like crazy. I did the same with just the solenoid thrusting the drive shaft out w/o the spinning. All was well. But that's an unrealistic scenario -- no heat/no load. What is it that the heat does that causes the problem? All I get is the clicking sound - - the solenoid contacts but no thrusting/spinning drive shaft - - only when it's hot hot.
     
  25. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    36,878
    Babcock Ranch, FL
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    Don't know what causes the problem when hot. I have to assume it's a tolerance issue, that becomes critical when it's hot.

    But, your symptoms are identical to what my car was doing. Not similar, identical.

    It happens all the time when the car is hot-hot. If you drive 5-10 minutes, stop, it will probably start right up. If you run 30 or more, it won't.

    Also try the nudge trick. Car in 5th, starter off. Give it a little push. Then try to start it, I'll bet it starts rught up.

    DM
     
  26. FredParoutaud

    FredParoutaud Formula 3

    Jun 9, 2004
    1,438
    I chased this problem on my 400GT Lamborghini for years -- tried everything. Finally one day I was talking to Claudio Z at lunch and he said "replace the wire from the ignition switch to the starter with a bigger gauge."

    I did that and have never had the problem again. Don't know if you guys have the same setup, but if you do that was the cure. Everything else was just shoring up the system -- it was that wire that fixed the problem.

    Cheers,

    Fred
     
  27. jusdriveit

    jusdriveit Karting

    Sep 11, 2005
    175
    I had the same problem in my Dino. It seems common that the starter heat shield is misplaced over the years and then the starter is subjected to intense heat from its close proximity to the rear header. This results in the solinoid breaking down.
    I had my starter rebuilt with a new solinoid and a heat shield installed and the problem was solved.
    Aloha,
    Mark
     

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