SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 05, 5:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

Has anyone had any experience with the gauge conversion kits for 70-72 Chevelle SS? I installed the kit to replace the warning lites in the SS dash on my 70 Chevelle and am having a problem with the amp gauge. It is installed as instructed with one lead to the horn relay and the other to the junction block behind the battery. It will show a discharge when lights and heavy draw accessories are turned on but will never show a charge. The charging system is working and putting out a good charge. The supplier hasnt been much help in answering my questions. Any ideas out there??
Thanks! Steve
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 05, 7:08 PM
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Re: SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

Those ammeters actually work by measuring voltage - very small voltage. What it's doing is measuring the voltage drop from the battery to the horn relay. The voltage drop is due to heavy current flowing through the fixed resistance of the wiring. The current in the wire times the resistance of the wire gives the voltage drop. If it is charging, there should be a voltage rise, indicated by the needle swinging the other way. But, if everything is working right, you should be seeing no current, all current demands are being met by the alternator, and the battery does not need charging. I think it's working correctly. You could jumper in a known dead battery to the good battery, and see if you get more charging current, but be careful of sparks.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 05, 8:57 PM
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Re: SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

How is your alternator hooked up and what kind of alternator? Internal or external regulator? It's possible, depending on where the positive lead from the alt is hooked you may only see a drain on the battery but not see the alternator charging.

Hank

70 Chevelle SS396(454), M20, 3.73

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 05, 9:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

Thanks for the replies!! I just registered for this site today so it's good to see it really works!
Even if I run the battery partially down and turn off all draws the guage will still not ever show to the charge side. The alternator is a new rebuilt 63 amp internal regulator. I converted the car from external regulator using info & links from this site. The positive lead from the alternator goes to the junction block behind the battery- the same place I have one side of the gauge to. I wonder if there is a way to test the gauge to be sure it's working??
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 05, 10:00 PM
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Re: SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

I'm sure someone else can tell you how the originals were hooked up but given what you said here is what I think. If the alt is hooked to the junction block current will flow from the alt to the battery. Since the meter is across the junction block and horn relay it will never sense this current flow. When the alt is not charging enough, battery drain, the meter will see this, a voltage drop between these two points. Since current never flows from horn relay to junction block in your setup the meter will never show charging. The alternator positive would have to be hooked to the horn relay to sense current flow in both directions, charge/discharge. Not saying that is how it should be hooked, I'd have to look in the factory assembly manual to verify.

Hank

70 Chevelle SS396(454), M20, 3.73

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 05, 4:49 AM
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Re: SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally
I'm sure someone else can tell you how the originals were hooked up .
Originally the alternator charge wire went to a 4 way splice that is on the drivers side fenderwell. It is about a foot from the horn relay. Heres a pic.


Of the 4 wires one goes to the alternator, one goes to the junction block, one goes to the voltage regulator ( when using a external regulator), and one goes to the horn relay. You would need to move your alternator charge wire to this point. If this splice is no longer there you can use another common point like the horn relay buss bar. Since you converted to a internally regulated alternator and are no longer using the external voltage regulator, your internally regulated alternators sense wire "2" would go here as you need to control the voltage at this point. Wired this way the amp meter should work correctly. There are several fusible links in the wiring protecting the amp gauge, the feed to the fuse box and the battery charge wire. Make sure these are in place to protect all of the cars wiring. For more info on the original wiring go here http://www.madelectrical.com/electri...evymain1.shtml

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 05, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Lightbulb Re: SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

Thanks All !! It makes sense that it won't show a charge when I have it wired as is. I am going to move the charge lead over to the horn relay buss and give that a try. In a few weeks I will let you know how it worked out.

P.S. thanks for the reminder to check fusible links-- I did have one missing
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 05, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Smile Re: SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

Problem solved!!!

I finally got the motor done and the guage now works perfect. It will now show both discharging and charging

Thanks for the help !!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 05, 2:15 PM
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Re: SS Dash Conversion- Amp gauge question

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgnmf
Problem solved!!!

I finally got the motor done and the guage now works perfect. It will now show both discharging and charging

Thanks for the help !!
Glad everything works for you.

Greg U



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