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1970 elcamino- standard style externally regulated alternator-

I've been working on the radio in my car, playing with the dashboard & wiring- had everything working- drove the car this morning- this afternoon, i took the dash pad back off to try and fix a sqeak- As soon as i went to start the car now, the GEN light remains on.

What does this mean?

I did have the car in the "ON" position listening to the radio for a long time yesterday when working on the radio, and again today when i was working on the dash.... I vaguly remember someone saying that was bad for the car, but have never had a problem before.

Just trying to get an idea, hopeing that it was just a fluke.

Thanks for any info.
Ben



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Ben Rambow
1970 El Camino SS
My old 1969 El Camino
The El Camino Classics Club
"Whats the matter with the car I'm Driving? Can't ya tell that its out of style..."
 

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You probably just drained the battery quite a bit with the stereo on and the car not. If you have a volt meter, check the voltage at the battery when the car it started. Should be reading between 14 and 14.5 volts. Drive the car or let it run for 30 minutes to allow the battery to charge. If you do not get 14+ volts at the battery, check for voltage at the alternator. If it's 14+ volts at the alt. and not the battery, I suspect the volt. regulator. If it stays below 14 volts, alt. is probably going bad. Good luck!
 

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a friendly piece of advice. DO NOT use the "ON" position to listen to the radio! That's what the "ACC" position is for. This is especially important if you still have the "points style" ignition. If the points are closed, excessive current flows thought the points and through the coil, draining the battery AND, possibly, buring up the resistive wire in series with the + side of the coil. As far as your GEN light staying on, the above post gave the correct advice. Check the voltage on the rear post on the alternator for around 14 volts with the engine running. If you don't have at least 13.8 volts or so, either the voltage regulator or the alternator is bad.

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MalibuJerry350
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Original owner '70 Chevelle.
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Troubleshooting a GEN light problem.
1, Remove the plug from the regulator.
2, Turn the ignition key to the ON position.
3, Measure the regulator connector brown wire to a good ground.
You should have around 12 volts.
4, If (3) is around 12 volts, switch the key to OFF.
5, Install the regulator connector.
6, Remove the plug from the alternator.
7, Turn the ignition key to the ON position.
8, Measure the alternator connector blue wire to a good ground.
You should have around 12 volts.
9, If (8) is around 12 volts, switch the key to OFF.
10, Install the alternator connector and start the engine.
11, Again measure the alternator connector blue wire to a good ground. You should have around 12+ volts.
Post back the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did the above steps, check battery voltage, and alt + pole voltage while car is running- both read a hair below 15volts (probably 14.5, its an old analog)

I ran it for 30 minutes (drove) and then stopped and started, light still on.

Tried Johns steps- Can't get the connector out of the regulator- but measured the blue wire at the alt while "on" engine off- reads 12 volts

blue wire when "on" engine running is like 7.5 volts

i will keep trying to get the regulator peice off, and report back.

[This message has been edited by AHSOM70 (edited 07-18-2002).]
 

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"blue wire when "on" engine running is like 7.5 volts

i will keep trying to get the regulator peice off, and report back."

Don't worry about getting the connector off the regulator. You have 12 volts from the ignition side of the idiot lamp. You don't have 12+ volts out of the alternator blue wire when it is running. Unless you know how to fix an alternator, it's time for a replacement alternator. Be sure to disconnect the battery before installing it.
 

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Try flashing the alternator. When it is running touch a piece of wire from the blue field wire to the red BAT wire on the alternator rear terminal. Do this for only a second or to. See if that starts the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you... Solved the probelem thrusday morn, and took off for the car show.

Turns out the battery in my new volt meter (the one that came with the package) was dying. When i first started checking connections, it read pretty much correct, then by the time i installed thenew alt, it was reading low.

Changed the battery in the meter, new alt reads fine too. Figured i'd just hit the road and change the reg if i had to- about 10 mins down the road, the GEN light went out. So it probably was just a drained battery, the alt and reg were probably fine.

:)
Thanks for all the quick replies and help!
Ben
 

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I had a similar problem on my 66 but the light would light up VERY dim you could see it at night but even then it was faint but ON. Mine was a bad regulator. Had to go through 2 borg warner units before I could get a good one. Which makes me consider teh convertor kit form OPG/Year one for 20.00 and switch to internal regulator/higher output.
 

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Good thread, mine is in the garage with charger on right now. Generator light remains on Volts read about 11 or so on the underdash gauge (I just hooked it up, that might be the problem). The alternator is new/rebuilt from AutoZone two months ago, I hope the charge fixes it.

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Bob

My 69 Malibu
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BobFmTyler:
Good thread, mine is in the garage with charger on right now. Generator light remains on Volts read about 11 or so on the underdash gauge (I just hooked it up, that might be the problem). The alternator is new/rebuilt from AutoZone two months ago, I hope the charge fixes it.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

If it does, I hope someone will explain it to me. My guess was that Ben didn't flash his new alternattor, but that it finally started itself.
 

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Well, after charging the battery the light is still on. The voltage now reads a little over 12 on the underdash gauge. When the lights turned on the voltage drops down slightly below 12. I guess it's troubleshooting time.

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Bob

My 69 Malibu
 

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John:

with regulator plug off Brown to ground is about 10.5 Volts

Blue to ground at alternator was less than 8 Volts

Blue to ground with engine running was only about 2.5 Volts

My meter is almost as old as me but I think it's right.



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Bob

My 69 Malibu
 

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"with regulator plug off Brown to ground is about 10.5 Volts"

Is your battery still weak? With the regulator connector pulled you are measuring battery voltage from the ignition switch. This should be real close to what you would read on the horn relay or the switched ignition terminals. Close to 12 volts.

"Blue to ground at alternator was less than 8 Volts"

I wouldn't expect the regulator to drop 2.5 volts. If the 10.5 volts is a weak battery, best suggestion long distance is to swap the regulator. It may be misadjusted but I don't mess with them. Pick up a Wells solid state VR 715 for around $12.00 at places like AutoZone. Disconnect the battery while installing and ground the Wells case to the core support. See if that gets rid of the loss through the regulator.

"Blue to ground with engine running was only about 2.5 Volts"

At the moment, the alternator is not putting out or starting. This may be due to the problems on the blue/brown wire. Need to look at those first.
 

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DARN JOHN, YOU DA MAN!

I replaced the regulator and the light went out with voltage up at about 14.5 on the gauge. Works great!


Thanks, I owe you a cold one.

(p.s. you were 10 cents high on the price though, it was only $11.90 tax included. That's a lot cheaper than it would be on some dark night on the highway)



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Bob

My 69 Malibu
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BobFmTyler:
(p.s. you were 10 cents high on the price though, it was only $11.90 tax included. That's a lot cheaper than it would be on some dark night on the highway)

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Great but I wasn't off by much. Taxes are higher in Los Angeles County.
Next time you are in there price an aftermarket mechanical regulator. The Wells unit is normally cheaper.
 
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