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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, once again she has something broken.
Sigh, wife won't stand for too much more of this.

She was starting slow one day and thought it was my battery. Charged it up and the AdvanceAuto people said my battery was good.
Took off my alternator and had the AdvanceAuto people test it. Zero. Big fat fail.
So replaced the alternator, bench tested new one and it works great.
It still doesn't charge.
Bought me a new voltage regulator. Hooked that up and nope, no charging action happening.
Idle speed alternator putting out 23volts. Multimeter-ed voltage regulator and not getting the 23volts. ?
When I disconnect my battery while she is running the engine dies.

Next? I don't know where the hot from the alternator goes to.
 

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What is the voltage across the battery posts with engine running? What does the ammeter in your dash show at idle, and while revved a little?

Are you sure you hooked up all the wires correctly?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
11.8 volts while running at idle across battery.
Ammeter is dead center. Doesn't move left or right.

Nice, well, there are only two wires on voltage regulator. And Just two on alternator. And two on battery. ;)
Hooked up same on voltage regulator. Only options on alternator. Same on battery. =)
 

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OK, so there is no power through the ammeter, and there should be. All of the car's power goes through that gauge normally, and it should be showing discharge at idle at that voltage.

Without a schematic in front of me, and trying to think back 30+ years, I'll defer for the moment to someone who still owns this vintage or is more familiar with it. But do check the wiring back to the firewall for a burned fusible link. It should look like a bulged section with a little rubber flag indicating the fusing section.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I remember seeing that fusible link. I have recently cleaned the terminal and had to repair one that was burnt to death.
I can take that harness off, again, and try to find the one that links to... my alternator? Then from there to my voltage regulator?
So alternator, ammmeter, voltage regulator...
 

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Do all the lights and car accessories work?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know the lights work. Didn't try anything else. But brake lights and turn signals work too.

So it's getting from battery to... ammeter? I know the 11.8volts gets to the voltage regulator.
 

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This should help:

http://www.highimpactperformance.org/files/mopar001_1_.pdf
 
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Next thing to check would be the amp gauge itself, the insulation tends to deteriorate. Does the gauge move at all when you kick on headlights, both not running and running? If no movement, check it.
 
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Mopar starship captain
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The ammeter might not be working if a previous owner did a bypass on it or just took the two wires and bolted them together. It's been my experience when the ammeter is not working the whole car is not working either since all of the power to the car is running through that gauge. Is that replacement voltage regulator one of the new retrofit solid state units or one of the old style electromechanical voltage regulators? If it's electro mechanical, try to swap it with one of the retrofit solid state regulators. I had a lot of problems with the VIP's electromechanical regulator. It's got contact points in it not unlike well, points and they can get sticky. The solid state unit worked 100 percent better.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ick, doesn't look easy to get to. Replace it or bypass it?

Next thing to check would be the amp gauge itself, the insulation tends to deteriorate. Does the gauge move at all when you kick on headlights, both not running and running? If no movement, check it.
It used to work. It's really did. =/ I removed my bulk head connectors a while back and it worked for a while and stopped. I replaced one main line that pushed the positive to my ammeter. Tried cleaning it but ended up giving it it's own line into my cabin because it was so bad off. =( So I know positive GETS to my ammeter.

The ammeter might not be working if a previous owner did a bypass on it or just took the two wires and bolted them together. It's been my experience when the ammeter is not working the whole car is not working either since all of the power to the car is running through that gauge. Is that replacement voltage regulator one of the new retrofit solid state units or one of the old style electromechanical voltage regulators? If it's electro mechanical, try to swap it with one of the retrofit solid state regulators. I had a lot of problems with the VIP's electromechanical regulator. It's got contact points in it not unlike well, points and they can get sticky. The solid state unit worked 100 percent better.
Over weekend I checked that diagram. Not completely... not sure HOW to get to the back of my ammeter! I took off bulkhead connectors and rerouted the positive from alternator to bypass the bulk head and connecting straight to red wire that is on the cabin side. Much better that the little spade connector. No go still.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So... I should check ammeter... I can not get a signal through it with my little multimeter. Not sure how to test it. Would've imagined it would loop through and back out firewall.
Replace? Wonder if I can find one. Probably just bypass it huh? Wish I could have a working one for trouble shooting in future.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And the regulator I bought is uhm... didn't open it up but it is the right size. Has some sort of resistors underneath. He said it is not electronic like the newer systems. So solid state??
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not sure if it is better to by pass it or replace it... currently I am taking my dash apart. I have been actively not doing this for a while. Dashboards scare me.

It has definitely been taken apart once before. And one screw was like totally stuck. Pressed as hard as I could but still stripped it. ='( Got out the dremel. Almost had it then wife wanted me inside.

Latertoday I hope to work on it some more! Was thinking of documenting with pictures. A few screws in already buy will probably get some pictures going anyway.
 

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A whole lot of people have just bypassed the ammeter and the through-the-bulkhead connector for it given the problems found there. I suggest at least trying that first.
 

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Mopar starship captain
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The part number at Auto Zone for a solid state voltage regulator that hooks up in place of the original is VR706. I think it's made by Wells.

You may want to go through this thread at the C-Body Dry Dock. The link is below. The beauty of it is that he is doing the ammeter bypass to a car exactly like yours. He's also done a headlight relay upgrade as well. I bought the kit to do mine but I'm waiting until I replace both my front fenders so I can get to the headlight wiring. You can search the C-body Dry Dock site for headlight relay and probably find his thread on how he did that as well.

http://www.cbodydrydock.com/forum_viewtopic.php?5.67917.0#67933

Another thing you can do to take the load off the ammeter if its working is to run an additional heavy gauge wire from the alternator over to the battery connection on the starter relay. I added a fusible link to the end of the wire where I attached it at the relay. The ammeter won't be as accurate, but you will at least take the strain off the ancient gauge. I have a voltmeter hooked up to keep an eye on the electrical system.
 
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