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Discussion Starter #1
hi all! heres the deal. I have a 70 el camino, 350 mostly stock. I am second owner and know for sure no wires have been cut anywhere. it's a virgin. I had a bad heater blower switch last year and replaced it with a copy from year one. seemed fine but 5 month's into it the 3rd position went out. I bought another, they're cheap, just haven't installed it yet. pain the but to get at. you know. well it started working again, and I don't know if this has anything to do with it but the switch lever gets real hot, almost like its drawing amps. I don't know ecactly when it began but now I notice a strange smell too and I won't leave it on too long. I had an elec. fire once that's enough never want that again. different car long ago. ok anyway, I recently noticed that even with the wipers heater and lights on the car still puts out 15-16 volts at idle. it used to always drop to 10 or so at idle. as long as I can remember I have had to keep the revs up at stop lights to keep the lights from dimming. I am almost certain my voltage regulator needs replacing, although the bad reg's I have had in the past have all created low voltage issues when they failed, this is the first high voltage issue. I guess the big question is if it is the volt reg, can this be the cause of my hot switch?? the other switches around it are normal. only slightly warm because the defrost ducts pass behind them. thank's in advance for your help, mike
 

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By "third position", do you mean the "HI" position? First of all, your charging voltage is TOO high! You'll be "boiling" the battery in no time flat. I would start with changing the voltage regulator. I would (and DID) replace the regulator with a Wells VR715 solid state model. It fits in the original footprint and plugs right in! AND, the cost is around 10 bucks. Just be sure that the mounting ears are grounded to the radiator support for proper operation. NOW, the blower switch getting hot COULD be caused by an arcing condition between the wire harness plug and the switch connectors. If you can, unplug the connector from the switch and check the spade connectors for any signs of burning...the plastic connector might be slightly "deformed" if the connections were overheating. First, correct your overcharging problem, and then take a look at the heater switch connections.
 

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Is this a factory A/C car? If so the switch runs a relay under the hood.
The high voltage is not causing the switch to get hot. That switch is designed to carry a higher voltage than it will ever see. Problem is a high current draw across the switch. If the fan motor is running in the high position, this is not an A/C car, and the second switch is getting hot, I'd replace the blower motor. Should be able to get one through the auto parts store.
 

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It could be a low voltage problem as well, causing the system to draw more amps. So, it could very well be that his regulator is going bad, like he suspects. Or, it could be that he grounded one of the wires on the switch when he installed it as well.
 

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Originally posted by SNFU Mobile:
Oops - he said 15 - 16 volts... not amps - sorry. Disregard the last post.
OK will do but remember the 2 resistors, in the heater box, drop the voltage in the lower switch positions. That's what makes the motor run slower. They also will limit current. A shorted wire should pop the fuse. Just guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
hi again, and thank's guy's!! YES the car is an original a/c car. I bought a volt reg for the wifes car a couple month's ago, I'm gonna "borrow" it today and see how it goes.

so if I'm reading this correctly, an air conditioned car runs a higher load through the switch due to a relay? could my relay be the cause? the a/c works, just weak, needs a recharge.

can anyone tell me what is the most common thing to happen to make the volt reg go out? is it age? heat? load? I'm wondering if our big freeze and snowstorm here in seattle could have been the cause. even when I wasn't driving it, I would start it every day. it was down to single digit temps and reluctant to start, but always did. then running the heater full blast and the wipers too. what do ya think? oh yeah, then I used it a couple times to jump start my beater toyota, could that spike or somehow damage the regulator?

just trying to learn more and prevent it in the future. thank's, mike
 

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No an A/C car is just wired differently than a non-A/C car. If it's the high speed position that's getting hot, first try unplugging the relay under the hood. See if the switch runs cooler.
 
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