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Discussion Starter #1
after re-curving my distributor the other night, my buddy and I noticed that the voltmeter read "16" all the way home like it was charging somethin' fierce! That was yesterday. tonight, I went to move the car, and everything was dead! nothing was left on (I checked all the accessories), but the battery was deader than a doornail, it took about 5 minutes to jump it. After we got it started, even with the engine up around 3000rpm, the voltmeter still read 10.5...like it was draining. Does it sound like it's time for a new alternator? Is there any way to check if that's the culprit? Could the timing light have messed with the system?
 

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Might have both the battery and alternator tested. Kragen or Autozone usually checked them for free. Might have a dead cell in the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
isnt there some kind of deal where if the alternator is good, you can unplug the battery while the engine is running, and the engine will continue to run?
 

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Originally posted by Swingkid2002:
isnt there some kind of deal where if the alternator is good, you can unplug the battery while the engine is running, and the engine will continue to run?
That's an idea that some dumb people came up with years ago. It doesn't provide much information. Don't do it.
 

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The theory is that while running, the alternator (if charging) will provide the amperage / current necessary to keep the engine running. If you have a multi-meter you can check for charging. It should be putting out 14.?? Depending on several variables, IE how dead the battery is, how well your voltage regulator works, the RPM of the engine, ect. Start with the easy – less expensive stuff. Take the battery out and have it load tested. If it checks ok then have the alternator & voltage regulator checked. They might be separate depending of what alterations have been made in the past. **You can also check for current draw. With the engine off, disconnect the positive lead and hook your test light clamp on the positive cable and the probe and to the terminal. With everything off and the doors closed the testlight should be off. If you open the door, turn on the lights the test light will come on. If the testlight is on with everything turned off and the doors closed you have a current draw problem that needs to be addressed. In this case you can start pulling fuses until the testlight goes off this will help you isolate the problem.
 
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