not charging - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old May 26th, 20, 5:02 PM Thread Starter
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not charging

I'm having charging problems on my Nova. Everything is new, wiring, tried multiple new alternators. Just can't get car to charge the battery. checked and rechecked wiring. Had the alternator custom made from a regular shop. Alternator is magnetized on the back side of alternator when running, any thoughts or ideas?Click image for larger version

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1970 LS6, unrestored, 4 speed,special ordered orange

1972 Nova, 557ci, Legend 5 speed, FiTech EFI 8, lemons Headers, 723hp/690tq
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old May 26th, 20, 5:28 PM
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Re: not charging

Give us some more specifics about the alternator. If it requires a signal to turn the alternator on and it's missing, then the alternator will not charge anything. If it's a one wire alternator, sometimes the engine RPM has to be blipped to above a high idel to kick the alternator on.

Also too, is your battery in the trunk or under the hood ?.

Do you have a decent volt meter ?.

Could the draw of all of the accessories be larger than the output of the alternator at idle ?. Alternators at idle put out a lot less than at a highway engine speed. Just because it might be a 100A alternator, at idle you might only be getting 50A and then if the draw is 60A from your electronics, the battery will never be charged back up after starting the car as the 10A needed are now being pulled out of the battery.

Jim

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old May 26th, 20, 6:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: not charging

thanks for the response Jim. Alternator is 110amp that I had made. Battery is mounted in trunk with a 2awg wire. (had this set up with a different engine). I call this a 1 wire alternator? 1 wire for idiot light, other wire (red) to alternator lug on back then to starter then battery. I do have a volt meter from Mac Tools. I raced the engine to 2,000rpm's and was still the same. Basic accessories are fuel injection, fuel pump, MSD box and lights, ground to frame. i'm going to run a wire from block to frame and try that, maybe its a grounding issue. I did check output of alternator some time ago, but don't remember the readings, it was putting out.

1970 LS6, unrestored, 4 speed,special ordered orange

1972 Nova, 557ci, Legend 5 speed, FiTech EFI 8, lemons Headers, 723hp/690tq
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old May 26th, 20, 11:55 PM
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Re: not charging

I had started a reply a few hours ago but now continuing on, verify you have voltage off of the idiot light wire. This is the wire that should turn on the alternator.

If you are showing voltage on the idiot light wire with the key in the run position, leave the engine off and then measure the voltage at the alternators output post and then at the battery and post those numbers and where the meter leads were at as far as the ground side.

Now start the car and again take the two measurements as well as verifying voltage on the idiot light wire and write these numbers down.

Now put the engine on a high idle and agan do some measurements and post those numbers.

What we should be seeing is with the engine off and the key off is around 12.5 volts at the output stud of the alternator and if the battery is fully charged and it possibly being a wet cell, have it showing around 12.7V. The idiot light wire should show 0 volts.

Now turn on the ignition but not start the car and you should now see voltage on the idiot light wire.

Now start the car and now the alternator output post needs to be showing more than 12.5V and at the battery, the measurement should be above 12.7V. If not raise the engine RPM's and while holding the RPM up higher, measure things again.

If there is no increase then the alternator has issues.

As far as grounding, the alternator case needs to be grounded well to the engine block and the engine block grounded well to the battery negative post as well as having an additional ground from either the motor or from the battery negative post to the body of the car in an area like the firewall and/or trunk area. Nova/Camaro subframes normally do not require a ground connection except if you have turn signal/parking lights in the front bumper with the bumper then needing to be grounded to the front subframe.

Jim
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old May 27th, 20, 9:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: not charging

Thanks Jim, I'll give all this a try in a couple days. It's been some time since I worked on this issue (been off of it for a while). I want to say I did all this and everything was good. Thats why this is such a head scratcher. Everything is painted heavily, so I'm really hoping for a bad ground. Battery is in trunk grounded to frame (took it off and cleaned also). One more thing, the alternator gets really hot to the touch, can't touch it. Is this normal ?

1970 LS6, unrestored, 4 speed,special ordered orange

1972 Nova, 557ci, Legend 5 speed, FiTech EFI 8, lemons Headers, 723hp/690tq
slimsls6 is offline  
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