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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1969 chevelle sport sedan with a 350/300HP...the lights and blinkers were getting dim/slow when the engine slowed..then got brighter/faster as the rpm's went up.Replaced batt, alt, and voltage reg...still happening, although I replaced flasher and that problem went away...but now batt keeps going dead. Could a bad starter drain the batt?...it's about the only major thing left
 

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If I read everything correctly you still have the original problem with the lights dimming at low RPM. Doubt the starter has much to do with this. Was the car always doing this? Have you added anything large to the car, such as a stereo? Is this on with the lights when you are idling? If not, it's probably best to take some measurements while the car is idling. Look for about 14.5 volts to ground off the large terminal on the alternator. Check the voltage across the battery when the car is idling. You should also see the <14 volt reading.
Anyway, don't assume the alternator and regulator are good because you replaced them. Sometimes they don't work right out of the box. If you didn't disconnect the battery before you installed them, that could have messed them up. Is this an idiot light car? Can't remember if the sports are or aren't.
 

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just wondering if you checked the connections to your starter. my battery was being drained and i didnt know what the hell i could be so i dropped the starter and the wire from the ignition switch( i think), had rested on the battery cable and got melted through so that the two cable were directly exposed to one another. Just an idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just did some quick checks. I checked for a draw using the test light from ground to the neg. cable . The only time I got a draw was when I turned on the ignition switch, so nothing is drawing when the car is just sitting.I jump started the car and was only getting 11.8-12.0 volts across the battery. I adjusted the idle up so that it was showing 13.5 at the battery, but now it's idleing too fast. Any suggestions?
 

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Alternator isn't putting out enough. Should get a higher reading without kicking up the idle. Since you replaced everything I guess it's time to backtrack.
Check battery connections clean and tight.
If OK
Disconnect battery and get the new alternator checked out.
If OK
I'd try replacing the mechanical regulator with a solid state regulator. Get a Wells (part number) VR 715. About $11.00? at AutoZone or other chain stores. Install it with the battery disconnected. BE SURE to ground the Wells unit either with a separate ground strap or a solid screw through one of its feet. This unit should give you around 14.7 volts out of the back of your alternator.
My opinion on how to approach this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I already installed the VR715. It looks to me like it's the altenator. I'll replace it this weekend. I am going to put a stereo and alarm in the car....should I get a higher output altenator? Thanks for all the help so far.
 

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Does the Wells unit have a solid ground to the frame? They don't work without it.
How big is stereo? If it's going to be a biggin' consider going larger on the alternator. Don't know how your warranty works on the alternator you just bought. Will they swap you for a larger internally regulated alternator? Maybe for a A/C 77 Camaro? A little rewiring and you can eliminate the Wells and get more current.
*EDIT*
Wes's info on conversions. http://www.chevelles.com/techref/ftecref14.html

[This message has been edited by John_Muha (edited 03-06-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll have to look into the warranty on the alternator to see if I can upgrade. Before I do that I think I will try running a seperate ground strap from the voltage regulator. I'm sure it's grounded through the mounting screws, but it couldn't hurt to try that first.
 

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I had a similar problem w/my Ranger truck.After pulling out what little hair I had, we found that although my ground cable to battery was tight, it was slightly out of round so that the full charge wasn't getting to the battery.Hammered in a few nails between the post and clamp-battery getting full charge now.Good temp fix!
 

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Your alternator could be wired up wrong. Look at the tech ref on 1 wire versus 2 wire alternators. If your alternator is wired like it has an internal voltage regulator but in fact doesn't, then can get the problem described.



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RLK
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