Problem #1: For whatever reason, my ammeter is showing an approximate 2-amp discharge whenever my engine is idling slowly, so my 12-volt alternator isn't keeping my Optima battery as charged up as I'd like. In fact, last week, the juice was so low, I had to resort to hand-cranking the engine (Heavens!). Iíll worry about that problem later.
Now, regardless of whether I ever figure out what's wrong with the system, it's probably a good idea to own a battery charger, so I mail-ordered one. That brings me to Problem #2: Because my battery is in an inaccessible place, the only way I can top it off is to hook the chargerís positive cable up to the hot terminal of the battery cut-off switch and the negative cable to the frame of the car. That works okay, so I donít really have to deal with Problem #2.
Now, hereís Problem #3 and this is the one with which I could use some advice:
My battery cut-off switch is located in the front, under-seat compartment with the fuel tank. Okay, that's probably not the best place to put a heavy amperage switch and someday I may to relocate it, but for now, thatís where it is. As itís probably not a good idea to be waving a charger cable around the metal walls of the fuel tank compartment on a regular basis, maybe itís a good idea to cover those metal walls (and the end of the fuel tank) with some kind of insulation.
Now, I went and cut up an old tire flap into the shapes I needed, but it turned out that stuff was too flexible, wouldnít lie flat and flipped and flopped all over the place, so gluing it in with silicone would take forty fingers and a couple of hours. No good. What I think I need is some kind of hard rubber sheeting, about one-eighth of an inch thick, that I can cut to shape. Now, hereís my question:
Where can I buy stuff like that and what is it called? And while Iím at it, for this purpose, is there a better adhesive to use than clear silicone in a squeeze tube?
Cheap rubber floor mat. Black adhesive used to attach door gaskets on modern cars - available in tubes at auto store. Or, Contact Cement.
You didn't ask, but I'll offer this anyhow:
I hope you bought an automatic battery charger. See old threads on this topic.
I mounted a lighter socket in each end of the ol' brass picup. I plug the tethered charger cord in when I park in the garage. That way, when I roll the car out of the garage, the cord falls harmlessly to the floor. Doesn't matter if I forget it.
You have to bend down to see it.
I would move the switch sooner than later for safety reasons. In the picture it looks like you have a fuel weep at the tank seam. Might be just the picture.
Why not use the corrugated split loom? As long as those wires aren't being pinched or compressed now, it makes a good cover. Wrap electrical tape around the ends and any where it makes a bend. It's available at most auto parts stores and comes in various diameters. If you're close to a Harbor Freight, they carry it too. If you want to be more period correct, use the tar infused braded loom available from the vendors.
Yikes! Sorry that came out so HUGE.
I was wondering if your alternator was belt driven or gear driven since I have a young friend who is having the same issue and I am supposed to help him find what is going on.
I need something a little stiffer than a cheap mat. Maybe 1/8" neoprene would be good, but where to get it?
I bought an Optima charger because it's designed to work with AGM batteries, which are more than a little hinky when deeply discharged.
No fuel weep at the tank seam or anywhere else. I check the garage for fumes every morning before Wheaties time and every night before hitting the sack. I may have eyes like Mr. Magoo and ears like Beethoven, but my sniffer could put a bloodhound to shame.
My battery leads are okay. What I need is to keep the battery charger's alligator-clamp from touching metal in case some ballerino like me trips over the cable (eyes like Magoo, remember).
Where can I buy 1/8"-thick, stiff rubber tiles?
My alternator is belt-driven. Hmm.
Bob, I use one of these attached to my terminal block on the firewall. Easy to connect and disconnect.
I used a cigarette lighter socket connected directly to the battery on my boat to charge it.
There was a fuse in the line incase something went wrong.
I got a plug that fit the socket and attached the wires from a trickle charger to it and plugged it in when I wanted to charge it.
I could then use the plug for various electrical gadgets like a spot light, depth finder, etc.