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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys.....here's my story, sorry it's so long. I just swapped my 454/th350 from my 85 Camaro into my 72 Cutlass. Just got it on the road last week and love it. Here's the problem. I had a 5" Proform tach with shift lite and memory. It never quite read right at idle but was accurate otherwise. I swapped it into the Cutlass and it was reading too high and the light was flicking on and off. I figured the tach got banged around too much so I bought an Autogage 5" 0-8000 tach with external shift light. Wouldn't you know it, same problem minus the flickering. When it's almost stalling out it reads at 1000- 1500. This is driving me nuts.

Here's the BIG question. I have it grounded just under the dash by the steering column. Typical know-it-all guy LOL i read the instructions AFTER. I notice they said "good engine ground. Has anyone had this problem and solved it by moving there ground directly to the engine block???? I'll try hooking it up right where the battery cable meets the block tomorrow, but was wondering if anyone has solved this problem by simply changing the ground location?????

Thanks, and again, sorry for being so longwinded.



[This message has been edited by CrazyRob75 (edited 10-17-2002).]
 

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A poor dash ground or a poor ground to the inside right fender could cause a few different problems. An engine ground is a cleaner ground tied right to the battery by the large negative cable. Try it and see. You could just try it by using a large gage wire, toss it out the window, tie to the negative battery post, and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well i tried hooking it up straight to the battery. It's not the ground. It's another problem. If i start the car up but don't rev it high enough to get alternator charging, it's ok, soon as i hit the gas and the alternator starts charging it bounces around and the alt. light is on. The alt light has constantly stayed on since i bought the car even with the 350 olds in there. I just thought bad alternator, no biggie i'm swapping the motor anyways. I've driven it about 400 miles in the last week with the alt. light on and have had ZERO charging problems. I did pop the hood and notice that the alternator is not wired up like it was in the Camaro. No wire going from the + terminal straight to the back of the battery. Is it possibly that an internally regulated alternator was installed without bypassing the external regulator? Would it still charge like it is even though it's being regulated "twice"?. I have no problems building motors, diffs, trannies or anything mechanical, but i'm horrible with electrical. Someone help please!!!


thanks.
 

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The Cutless may be wired like a 72 Chevelle. That is, there is no wire directly from the battery to the alternator.
Where does the large red wire from the alternator go to? Does it head towards the firewall? Is the horn relay mounted up by the windshield wiper motor? If so, you probably have another large wire tied to it there that goes down to the starter solenoid. That would be how the alternator ties to the battery.
I can't tell from here if the alternator is an internal or an external regulated. Look at the pictures of the alternator connector in these pictures. This is an internal. Does the connector blades on your alternator go the same way or are they parallel to each other?
http://www.madelectrical.com/electricaltech/delcoremy.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it's a 94A alt. from an 84 Camaro, so it is internally regulated. The cutlass is wired the same as a chevelle. I found my Cutlass manual and located the voltage regulator. Instead of it being by the rad cradle it's on the firewall. I popped the hood and sure enough, there's the voltage regulator with all 4 wires still plugged in an it hasn't been tampered with. Looks like the previous owner swapped to an internal alt. and i mistakenly assumed he had cleaned up the wiring. I won't be able to get to it until tomorrow night, but i sure hope this cures it. I still don't understand why it's charging fine though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the diagram. That is what i'll be doing tomorrow night. For the last week, it sits at home all day, then i take it out for a 1-2 hour cruise per evening with the lights on and the heat cranked. Regardless, i should find out tomorrow. Thanks for your help!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok.....I yanked the external regulator, loop the blue and brown together and capped off the other 2. Also ran a wire from the stud directly to the + battery post and the first terminal on the top. Then connected the last terminal to the blue wire in the harness. Results......
Car charges steady at 14.3-14.5. Tach also operates smoothly and normal now BUT the alt. light is still on. Slightly dimmer then before, but when i put the shifter into 1,2 or D it gets super bright. Cured one problem found another. Any ideas?????
 
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