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1976 Ford F-250 won't start

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Sep 22, 2008, 8:35 PM

Post #1 of 2 (3667 views)
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I just replaced the old battery with a "OPTIMA" battery. I tried to start the truck today but it was completely dead. Took the battery to AUTOZONE to test said the battery was very low. This is for a 1976 FORD-F250, 390 with a new engine. I have already replaced the fuel filter and one fuel line, brakes, thermostat and gasket. I have not replaced the old alternator or voltage regulator. Could that be what is draining the battery? It also has oil leaking into the radiator. Please help. I will be using this truck as my primary transportation.

(This post was edited by oldie on Sep 22, 2008, 8:55 PM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Sep 24, 2008, 7:26 PM

Post #2 of 2 (3647 views)
Re: 1976 Ford F-250 won't start [In reply to] Sign In

The plug to the voltage regualtor was a problem spot. Will battery hold a charge if battery is disconnected after charged up by separate charger? Try that and then test for drain by disconnecting this plug if suspected and check if drain stops with this disconnected at regualtor.

Ok: If you want this as primary transportation you really will need to go thru it at the age and there could be plenty on any vehicle to do but this needs a full extensive check up. Oil in radiator is not causing a voltage drain on battery but must be figured out. Just how much oil? If an automatic trans it's possible for trans fluid to get into radiator if radiator has cooling lines for trans. Is either trans or engine oil low or showing signs of anti-freeze (milkiness) in them?

Either would cause hoses to get soft and require replacement of all cooling system hoses and perhaps water pump also. Head gasket could allow oil into cooling system.

There's two things going on so try to figure out where the oil is from first and just leave battery disconnected when not in use for now as this oil thing is more important.

You really need to allow some time to check out this truck overall and try to give some history as anything is possible. Cooling system pressure test, spark plugs may show evidence of head gasket issues and more, compression test and a host of things.

This could be an involved job to make dependable. Take the engine first as if it needs engine work, head gasket that needs immediate attention and if there's battery drain we can help chase that down which will be easier of the two issues right now,

Long retired now

1976 Ford F-250 won't start

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