Chevelle Tech - View Single Post - Alternator & External Regulators
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post #6 of (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 14, 7:02 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,477
Re: Alternator & External Regulators

The first thing any manual from GM states, dating back to when alternators were first introduced is "Never run the Delcotron (that's the alternator) open circuit".

This means you never disconnect any or both battery leads from the battery when the engine is running.

The battery acts as a giant "filter" or capacitor. It smoothes out the pulsating voltage from the diodes in the alternator. This ripple can contain nasty damaging spikes. You didn't do any justice to your factory and aftermarket equipment by running it in this manner. What appears to be good, may have had it's "life" shortened....

The first thing to do is replace your regulator (as suggested earlier) with the Wells/Duralast VR-715 solid state regulator. Now with the battery in place, start car and run engine at about 1500-2000 rpm's. Take a voltmeter and measure the voltage at the battery terminals. Should be at least 13.8 volts. Higher than 14.8 volts is a problem too.

The previous voltage regulator is not necessarily damaged, but time to get with modern times and upgrade to solid state technology. For your previous question, some early regulators can not handle larger amperage alternators. 1966 model year is a good example with a specific part number for the regulator that has a built in diode to prevent contact damage when using with the high output 61+ amp alternators.

-If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
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