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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I have just completed my restoration on my Chevelle and I was ready to take the car for the first ride in over three year and little did I know the alternator is not giving any charge. How I found this out that the battery was dying on me is that I placed a FLUKE tester on the positive and negative terminal wires and the battery was only giving out a 12.2 charge when it should be between 13 -14 charge. Again the engine harness wiring is brand-new reproduction, the alternator is rebuilt new, voltage regulator is brand-new and the battery is brand-new. I am going to have the alternator checked this morning to see if the product is faulty. My concern is if I find out the alternator is giving off a good charge. What else could be the problem? What else should I look at starter wires crossed, coil wires crossed???
The connection to the alternator (wire clip and connector) connection is fine. Any suggestions? All help is appreciated.....

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ACES Member #2987
1972 Chevelle SS
1987 GTA
1998 Camaro SS (Y2Y)
1978 Pontiac TransAm
 

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If you "grounded" yourself out on the car with a tool (which I have done a 1,000 times) it could blow a new voltage reg. When you have the alt. bench tested, have them bench test the volt. reg just incase. Like I mentioned, I have gone through about 4 new volt regs. because my dumbass leaves the battery connected too often and I always ground out
Also double check connections like the alternator ground, run a test light to the battery terminal on the alt. If its a '72, the "Gen" light should stay on when it's running if the charging system is messed up.

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The starter has nothing to do with the charging system. Good guess to first check out the alternator. If that doesn't do it, post back. 70Bowtie is right about disconnecting the battery first. Could damage the diodes in the alternator.
 

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IF you have a remote mechanical regulator you can test the alternator as follows:

Look at the regulator plug receptacle (4 wire) on the piece of plastic that the plug slides under and you will see that there are 4 symbols there F, 2, 3& 4.

Remove the 4 wire plug from the regulator and carefully bridge the F & 3 slots in the plug with a bent paperclip. Lay the paper clip bridged plug on a shop rag such that the paper clip does not ground out on the car.
You have now made maximum field current available to your alternator for your alternator test.

Rev your engine to NOT MORE than 2000 RPM. and note the voltage. You should see voltages upwards of 16 to 18 or more volts. DO NOT continue to rev the engine for longer than is necessary to observe voltage readings ( a voltmeter across the battery is just fine for this test.). If your alternator produced voltage in the range I have indicated it may be assumed to be good and in all probability your regulator is faulty OR you have circuit problems preventing your charging system from operating. If your alternator does not charge up to the level that I indicated replace it.

When you take your alternator to the parts store to have it tested the above is what they do except they have their test bench.

[This message has been edited by charbilly2001 (edited 07-01-2002).]
 

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Try measuring the voltage right off the alt. Unhook the charging wire and you can see if it's putting out anything.

Later
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I took a ride over to my local Napa buddies in the neighborhood and they were able to test the alternator. The alternator test was a success, it was giving us a reading of 15.3 (We tested this twice). Now I am really confused, I have a new alternator, battery (antique auto batteries original looking 900cc), new wiring harness, new terminals. The connection on the alternator was fine it was not loose and it was correctly connected.

Their are only two wires that work the alternator, right? I have the boot/connnector that goes on the male end of the alternator and then I have the plastic connector which snaps into the top of the alternator. My only next guess is to check fuses??? Any suggestions? Ideas?
HELP!
All Help Is Appreciated


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ACES Member #2987
1972 Chevelle SS
1987 GTA
1998 Camaro SS (Y2Y)
1978 Pontiac TransAm
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Also I would like to mention that my ammeter gauge is upside down but works?? Does not make sense picture where the needle is on your factory ammeter gauge but upside down and functional, cause when I turn the lights on when the car is running it make a movement???? What could this be from? Also are their any fuses in the car that control the alternator, I cannot remember ????

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ACES Member #2987
1972 Chevelle SS
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1998 Camaro SS (Y2Y)
1978 Pontiac TransAm
 

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Bill detailed out a very good check-out procedure. If that doesn't help you, I'd suggest you try installing a solid state regulator. These have no adjustment. Pick up a Wells VR715 for around $15.00 at the chain auto parts stores. Disconnect the battery before installing. These units must be grounded. Either use a ground strap to the core support or a screw and nut through one of its mounting feet.
The 15.3 volts coming out of that alternator during the test is a little high. I wouldn't expect any more than 14.75.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Where would I be able to purchase a Wells VR715, the only parts stores located in my vicinity are Autozone, Napa, R&S Strauss, Pep Boys. Would Pep boys carry this regulator. Also where would I ground the voltage regulator from the regulator? Oh yeah I alos have a pertronix ignition system installed. Do you happen to know why my ammeter is going haywire?

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Stores like AutoZone, Napa, and Pep Boys are what I call chain auto parts stores. Basically carry the same products throughout the country. AutoZone here carries the Wells VR715 for around $11.00 or somewhere around that. This may not fix your problem but with everything you have being brand new it's what I would try next. I've had new mechanical regulators, straight out of the box, not work properly. It is possible to try and adjust a mechanical regulator but it's a little difficult over the net to see if you are doing it right. Far easier to recommend the solid state Wells unit. It has no adjustments and plugs into your new harness without any cutting. Be sure to disconnect the battery before installing.
You can ground the regulator either of two ways. The Wells unit has a hole in the body for a sheet metal screw. A short ground strap from there to a hole in the core support should do it. Others have removed one of the three rubber regulator mounting well nuts in the core support. Use a bolt and nut in place of the well nut to ground the Wells regulator to the core support.
The Pertronix ignition has nothing to do with the charging circuit.
Others have reported that their ammeters have worked upside down. Usually after awhile they correct themselves. I haven't an answer for you except I don't think it's your problem.
 

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Use the search and look for other posts by me here. I've posted a whole alternator/regulator troubleshooting guide a few times.

The ammeter just reads the voltage drop across a piece of wire on the rad support harness so it shouldn't affect the charging circuit.

A mechanical regulator will have a coil with a lever above it that has a set of points that contact a fixed contact on both sides. You usually have to move both fixed contacts further away from the regulator base. Often, there's a screw that you loosen to move it.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I installed the VR715 Wells regulator and had the alternator checked again which everything seems fine, however my battery is not getting the proper charge. I have to charge the battery and start the car to realize that the only charge I see is from the battery which is 12.2 volts when I use my fluke???? Again I checked everything and the wiring harness is brand-new.. i even checked the horn relay to make sure everything is plugged in along with the starter and fuse box? IS THEIR A GROUND THAT COMES OF THE ALTERNATOR? All help is appreciated because I am totally lost???

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ACES Member #2987
1972 Chevelle SS
1987 GTA
1998 Camaro SS (Y2Y)
1978 Pontiac TransAm
 

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No, the alternator gets a ground through its case. On the 72 the negative battery cable screws to the alternator bracket.
What are you measuring off the alternator output stud? The stud where the large red wire is attached. Measure between there and the negative battery cable.
*EDIT*
If you don't see 13.5+ volts at that point, try flashing the alternator. With the car running, for a second or two only:
Touch a piece of wire between the alternator blue wire and the red wire on the alternator rear. See if that starts the alternator.

[This message has been edited by John_Muha (edited 07-06-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Would the horn relay play a major role in my charging problem. I just cannot figure this out and I am going nutz...... Thansk everyone for your patience and help...

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ACES Member #2987
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With the car off, what are you measuring on the alternator large B+ stud to ground? Did you try flashing the alternator? Did you ground the Wells regulator to the core support?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
John,
The Wells regulator is already grounded to the core support by being bolted directly to the core support (metal to metal) is that good enough? We are doing those tests this weekend as you mention... Hopefully we are successful in our mission... Also I am going to ground the block to the frame, just for kicks.....

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ACES Member #2987
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1978 Pontiac TransAm
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Agugliel72SS:
John,
The Wells regulator is already grounded to the core support by being bolted directly to the core support (metal to metal) is that good enough? We are doing those tests this weekend as you mention... Hopefully we are successful in our mission... Also I am going to ground the block to the frame, just for kicks.....
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good Enough on the regulator. The horn relay only acts as a terminal block for the changing wires. Even a dead relay shouldn't stop the alternator from working. Keep us posted on your findings.
 

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Just for clarification, you mention the external regulator you've newly installed, but you also mention the "plug that goes into the top of the alternator."

My externally regulated alternator had the plug in the back, and not the top of the alternator. However, my internally regulated alternator did have the plug that went in the top.

What I'm wondering is if you have connected an external regulator and an internally regulated alternator together.

Take no offense if this is not the case, I'm just trying to come up with some different angles on the problem.

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Tom H.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
On my alternator I have the male connection in the back which on of the wires from the harness screw into with a small nut. You also have a two prong clip which connects from wiring harness to the top of the alternator that has a male connection that is embeddeded into the alternator? Again thanks all for your help I will keep everyone posted.

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ACES Member #2987
1972 Chevelle SS
1987 GTA
1998 Camaro SS (Y2Y)
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