Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 17, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

I have had the same parts store 37 amp alternator on my '68 for many, many years. It's pretty ratty looking now and since it's not the original, I would just as soon buy a new one rather than go through the trouble of cleaning and detailing it to make it look new.

I want to stay with an externally regulated original looking alternator with the voltage regulator on the core support......Also, I want to convert to a Wells VR715 solid state voltage regulator.

I do not have AC and the only electrical accessory I am adding to an otherwise factory stock electrical set up is having my stock AM radio converted to AM/FM with the 180 watt amplifier.

With those things in mind, am I still good with a 37 amp alternator or do I need more amps?

How important is the clock position of the wiring harness plug receptacle? The original position is 3:00. I see some alternators out there where it is the 12:00 position. Does it make a difference as long as the wires reach?

Also, I see on the Autozone website in the specs for the VR715, it says "Except 62 amp." So is there a limit as to how many amps the VR715 can handle?

Thanks........Dave

1968, 327 210 HP, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Custom Interior, 4 Speed, Console, Gauges, Tilt Wheel, Speed Warning, Fiber Optics, 10 Bolt 3.55 Posi Rear end......Owned since 1978.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 17, 08:25 PM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

Yes the VR715 will burn up the circuit board over 62 amps.
Your system will be just fine with those accessory loads with 37 amps, and the addition of the Airtex/Wells VR solid state regulator takes all the tinkering out of regular maintenance.

Replacing same with same means no fussing with wire, extensions, or new plugs, but all are doable.

Brian


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 17, 08:48 PM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

I replaced my original style VR with the Wells 715 probably 20 years ago now and have had no issues. The alternator is a stock replacement, probably 37 amps, and I have about a 100 watt stereo. The cover from your old points type VR can easily be adapted to fit the Wells VR to retail that stock appearance.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 17, 05:26 AM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

I agree with the others, you'll be fine with the 37 amp alternator. I run an original 37 amp alternator with a Wells solid state regulator and I have a 200 watt amplifier plus an aftermarket electronic ignition that draws more current than the original points ignition, and there is plenty of capacity with the original 37 amp alternator. What most people don't figure into audio amplifier current requirements is that an amplifier doesn't draw a constant current, it varies depending on the music being amplified and how loud the volume control is set. Placing an amp meter on the wiring to an amplifier will reveal how little they draw most of the time.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 17, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

Thanks for all the replies.

I will go with the 37 amp alternator or similar and the VR715.

Does anyone know the amp limit of the VR715? I saw a replacement AC Delco alternator at Rock Auto that was 42 amps but don't know what the amp number is that you can't exceed with the VR715.

I am a little confused by the range of prices I am seeing for the VR715.....Advance Auto lists the "Wells" VR715 for $84.....Autozone lists the "Duralast" VR715 that is manufactured by Wells for only $22.....I even saw it at some company online for $10. I am wondering if these are all the same thing. The price differences seem to great for the same item.

Dave

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 17, 08:46 AM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

You could just by pass the reg all together and go with a one wire. I removed my reg but used a 80 amp alt off an 86 GM vehicle. I don't run boom boxes or neon lights nor electric fans.

Don
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 17, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

Thanks for all the replies.

I will go with the 37 amp alternator or similar and the VR715.

Does anyone know the amp limit of the VR715? I saw a replacement AC Delco alternator at Rock Auto that was 42 amps but don't know what the amp number is that you can't exceed with the VR715.

I am a little confused by the range of prices I am seeing for the VR715.....Advance Auto lists the "Wells" VR715 for $84.....Autozone lists the "Duralast" VR715 that is manufactured by Wells for only $22.....I even saw it at some company online for $10. I am wondering if these are all the same thing. The price differences seem to great for the same item.

Dave

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 17, 06:32 PM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

I used a VR715 for several years with a 61A 10DN alternator w/o issue. I think I paid $15 for for it. Just because your alt is rated for X amps doesn't mean it will always be producing that - it is only giving what the system is demanding. I eventually swapped to a 63A 10si 3 wire for the better idle output.

It's easy to re-clock the alternator if you have to.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 17, 07:06 PM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daven1256 View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I will go with the 37 amp alternator or similar and the VR715. Does anyone know the amp limit of the VR715? I saw a replacement AC Delco alternator at Rock Auto that was 42 amps but don't know what the amp number is that you can't exceed with the VR715.
61 amps and below and you are golden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daven1256 View Post
I am a little confused by the range of prices I am seeing for the VR715.....Advance Auto lists the "Wells" VR715 for $84.....Autozone lists the "Duralast" VR715 that is manufactured by Wells for only $22.....I even saw it at some company online for $10. I am wondering if these are all the same thing. The price differences seem to great for the same item.

Dave
AirTex makes the unit under many custom nameplates such as Duralast for AutoZone,as well as their own retail name "Wells". The guts are all the same. I pick them up all the time on RockAuto.com for under 25 bucks usually before the Team Camaro discount. I keep one in the parts box at all times just in case. Never can have too many at under 25 bucks delivered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BPOS View Post
It's easy to re-clock the alternator if you have to.
They are designed to be clocked in many orientations.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 17, 07:07 AM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

Long ago , when behind the GM parts books, I checked to see what the options were for , just changing the windings to the larger alt , I don't recall what it was and could have been the 42 or 63 amp.
I doubt any parts stores could supply the same but I would bet an alternator shop could soup it up internally.

Don
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 17, 07:15 AM
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I bought the $20 duralast vr715 from autozone about 1.5 years ago. It works fine so far with a stock alternator. It has a warranty also but id have to check how long it is for.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 17, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

I went ahead and bought the VR715 from Autozone.

I was a little disappointed in the metal frame in that it is so thin compared to an original voltage regulator. 1/32 inch thickness on the VR715 vs. 1/16 on an original. It looks a little cheesy but that's OK.

At Autozone, it's sold under the Duralast name. I went to Advance Auto to look at one sold under the Wells name to see if they were identical but was told no Advance Auto in the area has one in stock and you would have to special order it. I wasn't going to go through that trouble just to look. I still can't figure the difference in prices between the two stores of $62 for what is supposed to be the same thing.

I want to remove the black plastic cover so I can swap it for an original taller metal cover. It looks like a white glue or sealant holding it on. Those who have done that swap, how did you get it off? Just pry it?

Thanks.......Dave

1968, 327 210 HP, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Custom Interior, 4 Speed, Console, Gauges, Tilt Wheel, Speed Warning, Fiber Optics, 10 Bolt 3.55 Posi Rear end......Owned since 1978.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 17, 06:30 PM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daven1256 View Post
I went ahead and bought the VR715 from Autozone.

I was a little disappointed in the metal frame in that it is so thin compared to an original voltage regulator. 1/32 inch thickness on the VR715 vs. 1/16 on an original. It looks a little cheesy but that's OK.

At Autozone, it's sold under the Duralast name. I went to Advance Auto to look at one sold under the Wells name to see if they were identical but was told no Advance Auto in the area has one in stock and you would have to special order it. I wasn't going to go through that trouble just to look. I still can't figure the difference in prices between the two stores of $62 for what is supposed to be the same thing.

I want to remove the black plastic cover so I can swap it for an original taller metal cover. It looks like a white glue or sealant holding it on. Those who have done that swap, how did you get it off? Just pry it?

Thanks.......Dave
Yes, just pry it off. Then with the stock cover it'll fit right on and you drill 2 holes to match in the new VR and it'll look totally stock after you screw the cover on.

Rockauto has them for $35 which is quite a bit more than what I paid for them a couple of years ago. https://www.rockauto.com/en/parts/ai...regulator,4884

I'm not clear on the 62 amp alternator limit thing, I was running a 100 amp chrome alternator with the VR715 without any problems at all. This is after I burned the electrical shop's 2 "stock" voltage regulators with this 100 amp alternator, so it must mean the VR715 is a real good regulator.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 17, 06:59 PM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

I've done a lot more than a few 60's ampere alternator/VR715 setups, stock wiring, none of them have had problems.

Everyone is aware that the VR715 operates the alternator completely differently than the point type regulators, aren't you all?
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 17, 12:15 PM
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Re: Alternator choice ? VR715 voltage regulator?

Dave - When the VR first hit the market, it was more expensive, and actually had the two holes for the cap drilled already.
As time went by the price came down, it appeared under re-sellers product lines and lost some of it's bulk as well as the holes for the high-hat cover swap.
But in general the changes have been all good for the price and availability.

While the plastic cap just pry's off, make sure you do not damage the guts if you are using a tool to pry it off. A little sunshine will soften the glue.

The fact that these units are maintenance free is the clear advantage so she will never need any adjustments as with most solid state devices. HOWEVER follow the simple instructions for installation. Mount to grounded surface BEFORE you connect it or you run the risk of frying it. People have done it and reported dead devices here before.

Enjoy the improved charging response.


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