Frustration overload - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 2:28 PM Thread Starter
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Chad
 
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Frustration overload

Looking for advice on what to do next...
A few years ago the wiring in my 66 SS started going on the fritz. I looked behind the dash and it was a train wreck and started to have a parasitic drain.
I have spent the past year installing a painless wiring system. New, upgraded bulkhead, knife style fuses, rewired front to back. She fire right up! 🎉🎉
But, still have a drain on the battery. I removed the fuses from the bulkhead for systems I don't use (radio, AC, fan, etc.). I then tested each of the fuses with a multimeter to see if I could pinpoint the drain. I could not find a voltage drop at 20mV DC across any of the fuses. I tested using the multimeter and touching each side of the fuses from the backside of the fuses.
The battery was about 5 years old, so, I replaced the battery. Good right? No.
Last weekend I was driving at night and slowly watched everything go dead. A friend met me, charged the battery and followed me until it went dead again and recharged until I got home. Pretty scary doing this at 11pm on the side of the Interstate...
So, this made me think it was the alternator. Although I tested it with the multimeter across the battery posts with the car running and couldn't see an issue, I still had a battery drain and felt maybe the diode was going bad. So, i replaced it. Good, right? No 😡😡
I checked the battery this morning and it's dead again...
What am I not looking at?? Any advice is much appreciated!!!
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 2:36 PM
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Re: Frustration overload

You need to put an ammeter on the output wire of the alternator with it running and see that the alt is charging. I would guess not based on the fact that it dies when engine is running. Start there. You get it, don't give up.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 4:48 PM
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Re: Frustration overload

Original alt or internally regulated?

Don't know a picture will do and check to see if there is a regulator, a big black box, mounted on the left front engine compartment on the radiator support.

Check your battery voltage with the engine off. Then start and check the voltage at the back of the alt (big terminal) at idle and reved up to about 1500rpm. Report and we'll go from there.

Sounds like your regulator isn't doing its job. Might be poor connections or a defective regulator.

Once the charging system is up to par we can check for any parasitic draws with the engine off. A bad regulator can also cause such a draw.

The recommended regulator is a Wells VR715 available at Autozone. I suggest you buy locally because these have a recent high failure rate out of the box. But when you get a good one, you're in like Flynn.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 5:15 PM Thread Starter
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It is the original alternator style, but a new alternator put in this week. When I put the new wiring in, there were no connections for the voltage regulator, so I took out. I assumed the upgraded wiring kit didn't need a voltage regulator or it would have had wiring instructions for one.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 5:35 PM
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Re: Frustration overload

Quote:
Originally Posted by chado View Post
It is the original alternator style, but a new alternator put in this week. When I put the new wiring in, there were no connections for the voltage regulator, so I took out. I assumed the upgraded wiring kit didn't need a voltage regulator or it would have had wiring instructions for one.
They probably upgraded to an internally regulated alt. Do the tests outlined above and get me a picture of the alt so I can see the terminals and connectors.

Who's new wiring kit did you install? GOT IT, PAINLESS. Do you still know the part number for the kit? Can you post a link to the instructions or pictures of the instructions?

When you turn on the key to the first forward position without the engine running, does your alt light come on? When you start the car does the alt light go off.

I need to figure out what you have going on, that's the reason for the questions. Without being there, answering questions on the net is like a blind man reading Playboy in a dark closet.

You'll probably have to charge your battery fully with an external charger to proceed in the testing. If you need to leave with a fully charged battery, disconnect the neg lead so the battery doesn't drain overnight. While you are there, look for a tiny spark when you connect or disconnect the neg terminal. This would indicate a draw. Like I said, we'll find that once we get a properly functioning charging system. Right now it looks like the alt is not charging. We'll trace the reason for that.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 6:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUTCH MAX HEADWORK View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by chado View Post
It is the original alternator style, but a new alternator put in this week. When I put the new wiring in, there were no connections for the voltage regulator, so I took out. I assumed the upgraded wiring kit didn't need a voltage regulator or it would have had wiring instructions for one.
They probably upgraded to an internally regulated alt. Do the tests outlined above and get me a picture of the alt so I can see the terminals and connectors.

Who's new wiring kit did you install? GOT IT, PAINLESS. Do you still know the part number for the kit? Can you post a link to the instructions or pictures of the instructions?

When you turn on the key to the first forward position without the engine running, does your alt light come on? When you start the car does the alt light go off.

I need to figure out what you have going on, that's the reason for the questions. Without being there, answering questions on the net is like a blind man reading Playboy in a dark closet.[IMG class=inlineimg]/forums/images/Chevelles_2016/smilies/tango_face_grin.png[/IMG]

You'll probably have to charge your battery fully with an external charger to proceed in the testing. If you need to leave with a fully charged battery, disconnect the neg lead so the battery doesn't drain overnight. While you are there, look for a tiny spark when you connect or disconnect the neg terminal. This would indicate a draw. Like I said, we'll find that once we get a properly functioning charging system. Right now it looks like the alt is not charging. We'll trace the reason for that.

Great! Thank you! I have the battery charging now and wont be back at it for a few days. Thanks for all your input!!!
I do recall the small sparks when I connect the battery. I have tested everything that has a fuse associated with it and have been unable to find the draw there.
I was thinking maybe the starter, alternator or something similar could be causing the drain but am unsure how to test the starter...?
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 6:13 PM Thread Starter
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I installed the American Autowire kit, 500981. For some reason I can't upload the instructions though...
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 6:18 PM Thread Starter
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 6:24 PM
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Re: Frustration overload

I'm looking at it now. Go dig your regulator out and associated wiring out of the garbage...or prepare to purchase another alt.

https://www.americanautowire.com/kit...00981&find=any
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 6:39 PM
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Re: Frustration overload

1: Engine off, a good and charged battery should show about 12 volts. Engine running, you should see about 14 volts at the battery, which indicates the alternator is functioning and charging the battery.

2: If you suspect you have a power draw when the car is shut down, rig up a dome light bulb with wires. Disconnect a battery terminal. One wire from the lamp to the battery, the other to the battery terminal. Now with this small lamp having the entire car's power going through it, if there's any draw with the car shut down, you'll see it light (or glow for a very small load). Now, unplug one fuse at a time until the lamp goes out. That's your load.

3: As you say this is a complete AAW harness, front to rear, you should get with them for some support. You sent them a bunch of money and it costs them nothing to speak with you on the phone.

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 7:05 PM
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Re: Frustration overload

With this kit AAW assumes you'll be using a one-wire alt. Your stock 68 alt is externally regulated. A one-wire alt is internally regulated. If you hook up a stock 68 alt as a one wire, it won't charge and you'll experience the symptoms you described.

The TuffStuff alt will allow the use of the charge indicator light if you have one. If your car us an SS, your amp gauge may or may not be supported by the aaw system. Have to dig in to determine. Painless wiring system does not, that's the reason I deleted the previous post. The original post said you had painless wiring system..,
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 92972153 510476 IN 0.1.pdf (587.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: pdf 92968182 500982 IN 3.0.pdf (7.99 MB, 5 views)
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 7:14 PM Thread Starter
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Chad
 
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Thanks!!! You guys are awesome!!! Once my frustration levels normalize (🤣🤣&#x1f923 and my battery charges, I'll give it another go!

Again, thank you!!
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 7:16 PM Thread Starter
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Chad
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUTCH MAX HEADWORK View Post
With this kit AAW assumes you'll be using a one-wire alt. Your stock 68 alt is externally regulated. A one-wire alt is internally regulated. If you hook up a stock 68 alt as a one wire, it won't charge and you'll experience the symptoms you described.

The TuffStuff alt will allow the use of the charge indicator light if you have one. If your car us an SS, your amp gauge may or may not be supported by the aaw system. Have to dig in to determine. Painless wiring system does not, that's the reason I deleted the previous post. The original post said you had painless wiring system..,
This would explain why the kit didn't have the connector needed for my alternator. I recycled the original connector...
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 7:29 PM
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Re: Frustration overload

Gonna drop this here so we can find it when we need it.

500981 AAW Classic Update Kit - 1964-67 Chevy Chevelle

https://www.americanautowire.com/sho...64-67-chevelle

https://www.americanautowire.com/kit...00981&find=any

"14. Engine wiring includes connectors for original points type as well as H.E.I. distributors. Power and tach connectors supplied for GM H.E.I. distributors. Alternator connectors are supplied for GM SI series internally regulated alternators. GM CS series alternator adapter is available separately."

Forget the One wire alt and get a standard internally regulated 12 SI ALT in your choice of amperage output.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 19, 7:31 PM
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Re: Frustration overload

Chad, when you installed the new engine wiring harness, did you replace the original alternator (which needed an external voltage regulator) to an alternator with an internal voltage regulator?

I don't like one wire alternators. The usually don't produce any useful voltage/current at lower engine speeds.

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