Charging issue - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 16, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Charging issue

I have a strange charging issues that I can't seem to figure out on my chevelle. I have all new parts and the battery is dying. I pulled the alternator, externally regulated and had it tested at the local auto zone. The alternator tested bad so I bought a new one and installed it, but still not charging correctly. So I picked up a VR715 voltage regulator and swapped that out hoping to fix my problem, but still not charging. I double checked to make sure the belts are tight and they are fine. What could I be missing?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 16, 10:59 AM
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Re: Charging issue

Is there 12v to the exciter or field wire(s) ? what I am getting at is, is the car and battery "telling" the alternator that it is running and needs the alternator to start charging? I don't have a wiring diagram handy to speak from, but it seems like the Alternator is not getting "turned on " that or, the power it IS making is not getting to the battery
You should hear it " singing" when it is charging

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 16, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging issue

I didn't think the test the voltage at the exciter wire. I know there is a blue and a white one, but I will need to figure out which is which. The car is pretty loud so I am not sure If I will be able to hear it over the motor, but I will check again tonight.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 16, 12:42 PM
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Re: Charging issue

Make sure the voltage regulator is grounded well. When the alternator is charging it creates a magnetic field. You can stick a wrench to the back bearing from the magnetic field to quickly know if it is charging. Just be careful to not short out the battery connetion stud wire!

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 16, 1:39 PM
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Re: Charging issue

I'd be interested in knowing the actual charge voltage at the alternator. It should be around 14.3 volts.

If the output is in the correct range than it's possible that the battery will not take a charge and it should be load tested to confirm if it's good or not. Once a battery goes below 11.8 volts a few times they usually will not come back from that no matter how much you charge them.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 16, 1:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging issue

The battery holds a good charge when I take it off of the battery charger. When the car is running the voltage is around 12.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 16, 2:32 PM
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Re: Charging issue

Yes 12 volts isn't going to cut it. Is the Gen light coming on?

In order to find out if the alternator is working try unplugging the connector at the voltage regulator. Then connect a volt meter across the battery and start the engine. Jump the 3 to the F at the voltage regulator, this will make the alternator charge at maximum output. Only do this only for 5 seconds. You should be seeing 15+ volts on the meter if the alternator is good.

Also be sure and check the connectors going to the voltage regulator, they must be clean brass not corroded. You can usually clean them up if they are corroded.

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Last edited by 65chevelle300post; Mar 11th, 16 at 2:55 PM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 16, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging issue

OK so this is driving me crazy. I tried jumping out the wires at teh voltage regulator as described above and still nothing. The wiring harness is brand new from AAW so I am not ruling out a problem there, but I am hoping maybe I am missing something. I know I received an email about the gen lights, but I have a gauge car and do not have the idiot lights. Anyone have any other ideas?

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 16, 1:03 AM
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Re: Charging issue

Had one where the blue and white were wired incorrectly at the alternator. Blue should be outboard to the pass side, white inboard. Check them at the regulator as well. Should be brown, orange, white then blue from the top down.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 16, 3:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging issue

I checked all of the wiring and still no luck. I am thinking maybe I should try a one wire alternator and see if that fixes it. The wiring on this thing seems fairly simple so I am sure I am missing something stupid.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 16, 10:10 AM
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Re: Charging issue

Jon, have a read through here. It may reveal a clue on your charging system.
Another question as well. Has the charging system ever worked or was it working then quit?


https://www.chevelles.com/forums/27-e...tor-works.html

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 16, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging issue

Levon it is a frame off restoration and everything in new or rebuilt, but it has not worked since I got it all together. I will read through your article today and hopefully figure it out. Thanks!

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 16, 11:15 AM
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Re: Charging issue

Jon, I've seen this behavior before on frame off's. Folks over paint/coat things which can cause the grounds to not be intact. Try doing a ground connection from the alternator to the battery and from the regulator to battery.
Make sure they are clean and solid.

Often it is at the fender where the ground is applied AND the alternator mounts are too coated to provide a ground path to the block.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 16, 11:30 AM
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Re: Charging issue

This might help, or confuse more depending. Lots of good reading under the "electrical tech" section.
MadElectrical.com - Mad Enterprises

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 16, 4:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Charging issue

Problem solved. Thanks everyone. Levon I did your step by step instructions and found my problem very quickly. The connector from the headlight harness and the engine harness was not completely connected. A quick squeeze until it clipped and my problems were solved.

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