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I have an internally regulated Alternator and just got a new battery, dont have too much stuff running, just a little stereo amp and the new guages. I drove it for about 40 minutes and it was around 11.8 Then I just went outside to pull it in the driveway and it was close to 13, I think it may be more extreme low when the lights come on.... is this normal?
 

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Was the new replacement battery charged when you put it into the car? Some new batteries don't have a full charge, and so when hooked up will load the alternator down, an alternator under heavy load will put out reduced voltage till the battery is charged. Belt isn't slipping is it?
 

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wayner - I was just going to say the same thing - first thing I would check is the belt to make sure it has tension under load. With the engine off, you should be able to press down on the belt and get less than 1/2 - 1" of deflection. I was having the same problem, and it was a cracked alternator bracket as well.
 

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Where is the gauge connected? You may have the correct voltage at the alt output but read lower voltages in other locations in your wiring. The point is it may not be a problem with the charging system. It could be a bad, high resistance, connection at the horn relay or bulkhead.or??. Measure the voltage at the alt output without the lights on and with the lights on.
 
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