Alternator question - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Alternator question

I have been traveling lately and not able to drive my car. I tried to crank it and it is dead. It does not make a sound. The batter is new. I used jumper cables and it firedd right up, ran for 10 minutes and cut of. It will not start again. I figure it is the alternator or voltage regulator. I will have the alternator tested this weekend. My question is pertaining to the amps. Rick's is selling an 55 Amp alternator for 327 and the local auto parts store is selling 61 amp alternator for the 327. Does it matter which one I use? Sorry for the simple question, but I am new to this and just learning to work on things myself.

Thanks,
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 02:03 PM
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Re: Alternator question

Starting your car for only 10 minutes will not charge you battery enough. It needs a good couple hour charge then the alternator will top of the charge. Your alternator should be fine, 5 amps does make that much difference. I would assume you have a small current draw and that is why your battery is dead.

You need to find out what is draining the battery. Do a search on here for battery dead problems and they talk about what to look at. They also tell you how to use a test light to find your problem.

Your battery should not go dead in 2 weeks.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator question

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Originally Posted by prostreet69camaro View Post
Starting your car for only 10 minutes will not charge you battery enough. It needs a good couple hour charge then the alternator will top of the charge. Your alternator should be fine, 5 amps does make that much difference. I would assume you have a small current draw and that is why your battery is dead.

You need to find out what is draining the battery. Do a search on here for battery dead problems and they talk about what to look at. They also tell you how to use a test light to find your problem.

Your battery should not go dead in 2 weeks.
Sorry, my post above is not very clear. The car fired up immediately when jumped. I let it run. It cut off by itself after 10 minutes... I did not cut it off. I did not try to jump it after that. I have been moving and not able to spend any time researching it. Could it still be the alternator. The last time I dorve it was 6 weeks ago. I drove it for about an hour and did not try to crank it until last week.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 03:47 PM
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Re: Alternator question

It would help to know what kind of car/year,and how old the battery is.Do yourself a favor and don't throw parts at it until you rule out all the simple things.A good ground is important as well as clean cables at the battery.Just my .02.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator question

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Originally Posted by langss View Post
It would help to know what kind of car/year,and how old the battery is.Do yourself a favor and don't throw parts at it until you rule out all the simple things.A good ground is important as well as clean cables at the battery.Just my .02.
1967 Camaro, 327 2 Barrel.. I have had the car since May. The previous owner has a new Optima red top battery in it. It has driven great and fired right up until the last time I drove it. The engine is the only part that has not been restored. The wiring is a mess. I just jumped it again. It only ran for 3-4 minutes before it shut off this time.

Would it be worth my time to take the alternator up to Auto Zone to have them test it?

Thanks for the input.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 05:42 PM
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Re: Alternator question

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Originally Posted by Tarheelkidd View Post
1967 Camaro, 327 2 Barrel.. I have had the car since May. The previous owner has a new Optima red top battery in it. It has driven great and fired right up until the last time I drove it. The engine is the only part that has not been restored. The wiring is a mess. I just jumped it again. It only ran for 3-4 minutes before it shut off this time.

Would it be worth my time to take the alternator up to Auto Zone to have them test it?

Thanks for the input.
The wiring being a "mess" is sign of a problem. Try checking the cleanlinesss of the junction block behind the battery and the bussbar on the horn relay and obviously the battery terminals. You jumped the car and it ran. Sometimes jumping will boost the system to overcome a bad connection. Losing the main feed from the battery will cause your car to die.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 06:22 PM
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Re: Alternator question

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Originally Posted by Sauron67MM View Post
The wiring being a "mess" is sign of a problem. Try checking the cleanlinesss of the junction block behind the battery and the bussbar on the horn relay and obviously the battery terminals. You jumped the car and it ran. Sometimes jumping will boost the system to overcome a bad connection. Losing the main feed from the battery will cause your car to die.
That's what I was getting at.You need to check each wire and the connection at each end and make sure the wire and connection are good.This means the connector to the wire as well.Any corrosion,loose,frayed, damaged in any way.Clean the battery terminals.Sometimes just the pressure of the jumper cables makes the connection tight.Make sure you have enough gas.Do you have a "Manual" so you can follow the wiring diagram.You have a very basic system.It should be easy to figure out.You can make a test light with a junkyard light socket and two alligator clips.You might have a broken wire.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 06:55 PM
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Re: Alternator question

Jumping will give the battery a small charge that will keep it runing for a few minutes. If the alternator is not charging it will die. If you try to charge a completely dead battery too many times the alternator will die. I was previously sold on Optima batteries when they were new because they held a charge while not in use. I am now changing my opinion. Something is different on the newer ones.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 25th, 09, 07:09 PM
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Re: Alternator question

When you fix the problem, do yourself another favor.........go to AutoZone and buy a Battery Tender for your car and hook it up to the battery if the car is gonna stay stationary for any length of time........your battery will last much longer. I use one and it's worth it compared to the cost of a new battery.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 09, 03:31 AM
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Re: Alternator question

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Originally Posted by 1969ProStreetCamaro View Post
When you fix the problem, do yourself another favor.........go to AutoZone and buy a Battery Tender for your car and hook it up to the battery if the car is gonna stay stationary for any length of time........your battery will last much longer. I use one and it's worth it compared to the cost of a new battery.

David F.

Good point David.

I have one too, it is a life saver. My car sits for 2 weeks at a time while I am at work,, sometimes 3 weeks. Never have a problem with starting it.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 09, 04:09 AM
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Re: Alternator question

I'm sure a tender performs as stated. I've never used one. My car sits all winter and sometimes for weeks in the summer and it always starts. The battery is 4 years old. Wouldn't a battery being drained be indicative of an excessive current draw, a faulty charging system or battery needing replacement anyway?
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 26th, 09, 11:18 AM
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Re: Alternator question

All batteries including lead acid batteries will self discharge. The battery tender will counter act the self discharge. Personally, I'd get a smart charger which will act as a charger and a tender.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 28th, 09, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator question

Update.... I found out the battery is actually two years old, even thought it looks new. I have only had the car since May. The PO did not drive it much, so it sits alot between drives. I had the alternator tested and it was bad. I replaced the alternator and voltage regulator as well as cleaning up some of the suspect wiring. The car jumps immediately and ran until I cut it off. Then it will not start again until jumped off. While the car is running, I disconnected the positive terminal and the car immediately shuts off. I only ran the engine for 10 minutes. Is it possible the battery is bad or is there something else I need to look for?

On a side note, I am picking up a battery tender tonight for future use once the problem has been solved.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 09, 03:15 AM
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Re: Alternator question

You should check the wiring from the alt BAT terminal to the positive cable to make sure there is continuity.

You should have a red wire from the alt to a crimp in the harness and it ends up at the horn relay buss bar, all 10 AWG red, and also goes through a fusible link to terminal #3 at the volt regulator.

Now would be a good time to remove the terminals at the horn relay buss bar and the battery junction block, and wire brush all of the components and reassemble.

You should have less than 0.5 volt when reading between alt BAT terminal and positive battery post. Ensure ground side is good also, got to have a good return path.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 29th, 09, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator question

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Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
You should check the wiring from the alt BAT terminal to the positive cable to make sure there is continuity.

You should have a red wire from the alt to a crimp in the harness and it ends up at the horn relay buss bar, all 10 AWG red, and also goes through a fusible link to terminal #3 at the volt regulator.

Now would be a good time to remove the terminals at the horn relay buss bar and the battery junction block, and wire brush all of the components and reassemble.

You should have less than 0.5 volt when reading between alt BAT terminal and positive battery post. Ensure ground side is good also, got to have a good return path.

Why can't you live local? LOL.... I do not have any way of testing the voltage. I am sure that will be my next purchase. I did notice some wires in poor shape as well as the connections. I replaced all of the worn wires and connectors. I am still learning my way around the engine compartment. I will do some more research on this site to make sure I check everything mentioned. I do appreciate all of the information provided.

Last edited by Tarheelkidd; Sep 29th, 09 at 02:16 PM.
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