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Discussion Starter #1
Got in the El Camino last night to leave (it's a 66, 283) and experienced the following:

- the left low-beam headlight went out, then within seconds the right low-beam went out. Very weird I thought. I hit the dimmer switch and then both low and high-beams came on; hit the dimmer switch again and no low-beams.

- simultaneously (and I don't know if it's related), the radio was going off and on. I drove home with the high-beams on (loved having people flash me!) but also noticed that when I accelerated, the radio would lose power, but when I came to a stop (or took my foot off the accelerator), the radio would work fine. Yup, I can duplicate this.

Got home, broke out the tools and trouble lights and poked around and didn't see anything real obvious. I've just recently (within the last 6 weeks) changed both the voltage regulator and the alternator.

Any ideas what's going on here? Are the headlight problems related to the radio problem? My first thought I must have a bad voltage regulator or alternator, but since they're both relatively new, it doesn't make sense. Could a dimmer switch cause this?

Help!

Dale
 

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I had the exact same radio problem. Also my lights dimmed and blinkers slowed to almost a halt. Didn't have the total blackout on the lowbeams though. My problem: no body ground. Once I ran a 12 gauge from the neg term on the batt to the body. Everything worked great! You might want to check your body and motor grounds on this one. Hope this helps!

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Better Late than Never Fred
Team Chevelle #400
Madness takes it's toll, please have exact change.
www.geocities.com/motorcity/shop/9385/1970Chevelle.html
 

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I also had the same problem, first thing I would do is cut the wires going into your alternater from your voltage regulator. Then purchase a wire alternater and in about 5
minutes your problem is solved. I have just been through all of this. Let me know how you made out. John Marchese
 

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I failed to mention you need a one wire alternater. I purchased mine through summit and it cured the problem in seconds.

Kazy
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, I've made the problem worse.

I did in fact have the ground wire going from the negative terminal on the battery to body ground. However, I also had a similar connection on the positive battery cable (?). Both lugs were pretty corroded so I disconnected them, cleaned them, put them back on, and now I have no power at all. Zip, nada, nothing.

Any other suggestions now?

Thanks again.
Dale

P.S. I like the one-wire alternator idea.
 

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The internal-regulator alternator is definitely the way to go.
I'm still trying to figure out why a wire would go from pos(+) to body for ground. Suprised you never felt shocks from the car getting in and out. Wish I could be of more help here, but all I can recommend in the internal-regulator alternator.

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Better Late than Never Fred
Team Chevelle #400
Madness takes it's toll, please have exact change.
www.geocities.com/motorcity/shop/9385/1970Chevelle.html
 

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I believe that the smaller wire connected to the positive battery post goes to a terminal on the radiator support. This is on the battery side of the support right in front of the battery. This terminal supplies voltage to everything except the starter. This is a connection point that then takes the voltage to the horn relay where it is distributed to the rest of the car. If this connection is not there you will have a dead car, nothing will work. There might also be a bad crimp connector in this line. As far as the on-wire is concerned, I would fix the original problem first to avoiding adding additional problems which could make it more difficult to troubleshoot.


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Bob Murray 66 Malibu
Greenfield, Indiana (Indianapolis)
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Although I have never had that exact problem I had many others. I bought a kit from MAD Enterprise in california. He makes allkinds of kits. One kit changes the old system (regulater and alternater) to new system. you can use a one wire or new style GM. I use the new GM because easy to find if ever standed. While changing I found a wire that had been causing a slow discharge for the last several years. I also use his start'em up kit works great if you have headers,best things I ever did electrically for the car. Call him at 559-539-7128
 

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Head lights: There bad just replace them. I know it's weird that they'll work on high but not on low but they are most likly dead.

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Lowered '67 Elcamino
ZZ430 eng / 4L60E trans
"Canyon Carver"
 

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Bob M has the problem figured out. the junction is a problem sometimes. All the restorers sell this part and say the problems you are encountering are caused by a faulty junction block. This junction is there to allow electrical power for the whole car, and in other Chevys, the wire is connected to the starter solenoid postitve battery post.

Also, the Wells VR715 electronic regulator (AutoZone, Farm and Fleet) is the only way to go on the remote regulator alternator setups for voltage regulator replacement. Best fix for alternator is the stock Delco-Remy 12SI, as described below.

For the alternator change, you don't need a special alternator, just a late model two wire setup from a mid-80s GM car. The alternator will bolt onto the exhinsting brackets, if needed, the old pulleys will fit the new alternator, and making the whole thing work is easy to wire up.

Post your e/mail address, and I'll send you
all you need to do the wiring.

For those who want to know now, connect the large battery voltage feed wire from the old alternator to the new alternator (large post on rear), next, add a jumper wire from the large post to the number 2 side terminal. The terminals are marked on the rear of the case. When this is done, you have made a single wire alternator, no expensive wiring looms or gadgets. Single wire alts have this jumper connection inside the alt witha special regulator for farm and industrial use, you have done the same thing with a regular alternator. The alternator is now ready for operation, and will work with any system, with or without ammeter, voltmeter and/or charging light.

If you have a charging light, and want to still use it, find the light actuation wire, from the old regulator wiring, and connect it to the number 1 or "R" terminal on the side of the alternator, light will now work as stock did. Finding the light wire is easy, momentarily ground the old regulator wires with then key on, and look at the light, when it goes on, use this wire.

The internal regulator alts you are looking for come in 65/78/94 ampere ratings, the 65/78 units have a single V-belt pulley, the 94 amp unit comes with a serpentine belt pulley, but can be changed to the pulley(s) from your old alternator. These alts came on Chevettes, J2000, J6000, etc.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Wow. Didn't think this would generate this kind of traffic! :)

I posted the original message and all is well now with the 'Camino. I had a nick in the wire that goes from the positive battery terminal to ground and it was shorting against metal intermittenly. I replaced the dimmer switch first, but it didn't help, then
I changed the voltage regulator, and that didn't help. I started tracing wires at that point and found the nick in the wire (and I'm just assuming this fixed the problem). I checked the voltage across the battery and it was over 17 volts.
There wasn't much left, so I replaced the alternator and everything is working again!

Thanks to everyone who helped me troubleshoot this. The Chevelle list and the this tech forum is a goldmine of expertise.

Dale
 
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