Mine came on a few months ago. I didn't know why. It was really dimly lit so I thought it was just a ground problem. Well, after driving it for another week or so, my battery died. It turned out that the alternator died. Frying diodes is fairly common and that's what happened to me.
yeah, mine is very dimly lit also. I will do what you guys said and try checking the connectins but I have a feeling it is the alternator EVEN though the battery's voltage is ok. It won't harm the car to drive it until the alternator dies?
To check the light circuit from the power source for the light to the regulator, unplug the regulator connector, identify the light wire (usually terminal 4), then connect a jumper wire to the 4 terminal, and ground-unground it with the ignition switch in the run position. If the light is off when the jumper is ungrounded, on when grounded, the light circuit is fine, and the problem lies within the regulator/wiring/alternator.
The light circuit is a simple circuit, taking 12 volts from the ignition switch when on, then to the bulb, and then to the regulator. When the regulator wire is grounded, the light goes on, when the regulator starts to charge, the wire has 12 volt voltage to flow into the wire, and the differentail voltage turns the light out by removing the grounding inside the regulator circuit.
If the light is dim, there is either a couple of feed wire strands partially grounded between the regulator and bulb, or the regulator/alt has a problem.
When the key is turned to accessory, we see a dim lighting of the charge bulb, because the regulator hasn't been fed voltage from the altermator, and the current isn't great enough to completely turn the light off, normal.
I have a shop manual for my 67 and it had a series of checks that you can do to see if it's the alternator. I just followed them.
You don't have to though. If you take your alternator to Pep Boys, Kragen, etc, they'll almost certainly have an alternator checker. After going through the tests in the manual, I was pretty sure it was the alternator, so I popped it out, brought it over there and voila.
I think it only cost me around $30 for a rebuilt one.
The battery may have some voltage showing, but it may not be able of producing enough current. If you have someone that can crank it while you probe the battery terminals, you'll probably see the voltage drop down. Or, you can just try jumping your car.
Check the wires from your starter back up to the firewall. My son's 72 nova finally died a while back. We found the red and purple wire coming off the starter had at one time burned through. A previous owner had just wrapped the wires back together and rewrapped in tape. We cut the wires up by the firewall and ran new wire to the starter. This took care of his intermittent starting and the generator light being on, dimly, all of the time.
67 ss clone
Ok here's an update. I replaced the alternator and now the car no longer only cranks in 1 secound bursts. It now cranks continuously but the engine doesn't fire up. I am going to check the distributor tommorow. Any suggestions?
If you are still using a conventional(points) type ignition, unplug the coil wire from the distributor and check for spark while cranking. No spark-check for primary voltage at the coil terminal or resistance through the coil, If you haven't done this before let me know. If there is spark then plug it back in and check for spark out of one of the plug wires. No spark here means the problem is in the distributor. Check to see if the points are worn or burned and check the cap and rotor. If you have put in the HEI than check for spark out of one of the plug wires. If no spark then connect your voltmeter positive lead to BAT terminal on the cap and your neg. lead to ground. Voltage should be 7 volts while cranking; if not then there is an open in the primary circuit. If 7 volts are applied there then move the positive lead to the TACH terminal on the cap and turn the ignition switch to on (don't start) You should see battery voltage here. This should put you on the right track. Let us know what you find and maybe we can help some more
You should never put the power (positive) wire to the tach terminal of an HEI, it very much could fry the module. The module doesn't like voltage induced into the tach terminal, I have seen the module glow inside and then fail when this is done (I pulled the top off a module and looked into it as I did this, and saw just waht I said, right before it melted and failed. Once again, don't hook battery or any other outside voltage to the tach terminal.
Today my uncle and I check the points, the gap was fine in the distributor and YES we have spark but the engine doesn't seem to be firing, just turning over. Timing seems to be okay. I am getting worried and am thinking that a call to a mechanic may be ineveitable.
If your sure you've got fuel than make sure you have a good hot spark and that it is happening at the right time. If you take your car to a mechanic he is going to charge you for finding this out. Was the distibutor out and put in 180 deg. off? Plug wires crossed. Distributor loose did it turn? If your sure you've got a good spark than turn the distributor while your cranking over to see what happens? Is your distributor turning when you crank it? Pull the cap and bump the motor---Good luck and keep posting
Unfortunetly after days of tinkering I needed the car back and I am not very knowledgable of car stuff so I took it to the mechanic and he said the distributor was out of line with the engine and that it could only be this way if I removed the distributor (I didn't) or the timing chain jumped, which I am assuming the latter happened. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all for your help. It is really appreciated. Thanks again.
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