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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1970 SS396 that is completely stock/original. I just purchased the car and we had to charge the battery when I picked it up. After about 2 days, that battery was dead. Since the battery was 6 years old, I put a new battery in the car and it lasted for about 5 days and was dead. I did drive the car about 100 miles on Sunday and when I got home it wouldn't start until I charged the battery; so I believe it is being drained down while the engine is running. I pulled the alternator off last night and it appears to be the original one dated March, 13, 1970. I believe is was a 37 amp (It was thirty something). Does this sound like the alternator or voltage regulator problem? I have ready many of the posts here about the internal regulated alternators. I do not want to alter the wiring at all on my car, but I am interested in upgrading the alternator if possible to do so without wiring modifications. I have a local shop that can rebuild the alternator for me if necessary. Thanks.
 

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Any decent parts store should be able to do a spin test on your alternator. This will determine it's output and remove all doubt. If the alternator tests OK, then it's likely a problem in the voltage regular. I respect that you like the original/stock condition of your car. IMO you should have the original one rebuilt if that's the problem.

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Bob Von Kaenel
70 SS 53k orig miles
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I do have the original rebuilt, should I go to the internal regulator? If so, would any other changes be necessary? I called the rebuild shop an he is estimating a minimum of $50 to rebuild. I can get an AC/DELCO 321-169 (GM # 12321156) with lifetime warranty for $59 + $3 core charge since I want to keep my original. This is a 63 amp; whereas my old one is 37 or 34 (I don't have it with me). I will get a 1 year warranty with the rebuilt unit.

I don't mind paying extra as long as I know what I'm getting. Thanks......Dwayne

[This message has been edited by Dwayne Martin (edited 05-14-2002).]
 

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I don't think your original unit could be only 37 amps, especially with the big block engine but even if it is, your auto parts store should be able to send out your original alternator, have it rebuilt and upgraded to a higher output. I had my original 63 amp unit rebuilt to produce 85 amps in my 65 chevelle. It might cost a little more, but in the interest of keeping your vehicle original, it might be worth it.
 

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You can install an internally regulated alternator without modifying the wiring. I believe M&H has a kit to do it. Basically, it jumpers 2 sets of wires at the regulator and then has a small pigtail that converts the parallel connector to an in-line connector.

You could go stealth and modify the regulator to be just a jumper block and then carefully pull the wires from the alternator connector and reinstall them into an in-line housing for the internally regulated unit. Other than the slightly different looking alternator case it would look stock.

Peter
 

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Non A/C big blocks got the 37 amp alternator in 70.
 
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