View Full Version : Willys 1946 CJ2A not charging

11-27-2015, 05:04 PM
Hi Everyone,

I have a 1946 cj2a which is pretty much original (some repro parts replaced over time) but still 6volt system with original drivetrain etc.

I'm having an issue with my battery not charging. I have replaced the battery, battery cables, ammeter, wiring from ammeter to voltage regulator. The generator has been rebuilt and the voltage regulator just got replaced both tested in front of me on a bench. All ground connections have been cleaned and retightened.

What happens is I get great starts on a fully charged battery but then after 6 starts or so mixed with driving the battery goes dead. The ammeter never shows a positive charge on the needle (stays flat at zero) but shows a drop when lights are turned on. If I disconnect the negative leg on the battery the car immediately dies.

In looking at the back of the ammeter the bat cable to the voltage regulator is connected to the negative side and the positive side goes to the starter solenoid . There are more wires connected to both + and - sides of the ammeter which I have traced and are connected to the correct post. Just to test bare bones configuration I have even removed everything auxiliary on the ammeter and left just the essentials (battery connection to volt reg, starter switch, and cable to starter solenoid) - same problem.

I did replace the battery with an 8 volt battery and had the voltage regulator modified to put out 9.5 volts which I witnessed by the guy who rebuilt the generator. I also put in a battery kill switch in between the battery and the starter to eliminate battery drainage issues. I went to 8 volts because of the sluggish staring with 6 volts. (8 volt battery starts like a 12 volt system and I get to keep the look of the original generator). Also just to test it I put in a 6 volt battery back in, put a direct connection from positive terminal on battery to the post on the starter solenoid and it still does not charge).

I feel confident in saying the generator,voltage regulator,grounding and wiring from the generator to the voltage regulator are all good.

Any ideas where to look next?



11-28-2015, 02:16 PM
When I look in the 1953 edition of the Willys Mechanic's Manual, Figure H-1 - the wiring diagram for the Model CJ-2A does not show a starter solenoid. It appears someone may have added something to your electrical system. In the diagram in the book, positive side of battery goes to a big terminal on the starter switch, and a smaller wire goes to the ammeter. On that terminal of the ammeter is a wire to the horn. You can blow the horn and not show a discharge on the ammeter!

The other terminal of the ammeter has the BAT wire to the voltage regulator, a wire to feed the light switch and a lead over to the coil.

Hmmm - if someone has added a starter solenoid, could the lead from the ammeter be connected to the wrong place on the solenoid, maybe?

11-29-2015, 03:30 PM
I found a picture of the electrical stuff around the starter and the starter switch. Huge cables!

Foot switch to activate starter. Big black wire off the switch to the ammeter and horn

No solenoid.