Testing No Charging problem - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 11, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Testing No Charging problem

Anyone have some quick tests for not charging? Continuity, voltage at regulator / alternator etc? The battery had 12.25 with ignition off and 12.1 running last night so I charged the battery. I just got the car back from the restoration shop for the weekend to see if I can identify any bugs I need fixed - found a few and thought I would look at this one real quick to see if I can figure it out. I remember there's a field wire to either ground or provide voltage to but don't remember where or which one - would prefer to jumper it at the regulator not the alternator - easier I think if I recall correctly.


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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 11, 09:44 AM
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

I just posted a bit here about charging systems. https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=197235

The blue F wire is the field coil wire. Check your connections at the Voltage regulator. Could also be a dead cell in the battery if its been hanging around untended a while while the gal was in the body shop it may have lost the will to charge.


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 11, 09:45 AM
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

BTW nice job on your Z11


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 11, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

Thanks! I've got a permanent smile onm my face I think.

New battery so I think its the charging system. Field wire needs 12 volts supplied to it to charge, right? Or is it grounded?

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 11, 01:42 PM
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

The amount of power sent to the field wire from the Voltage Regulator varies to control's how strong the magnetic field coil is on the Alternator is. That field strength generates more or less power output based on that field strength.

Test the ohms along the F wire with engine off to a good ground. Lower then 2.5 Alternator brushes may need rebuilding.

With engine running and the Voltage Regulator at temp the voltage at battery should be 14.8 volts, if it is lower the field coil should be active generating a charge on the Alternator.

The issue may be the connections on the Alternator not being tight so the F wire or the R wire need to be tightened.

Or the connector at the Voltage Regulator or on the Horn Relay below it maybe loose, or damaged.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 11, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

35 ohms from the F wire at the regulator to the negative battery post, so that's good or bad? It's a new alternator so it should be good, but could be a defective one. The horn relay buzzer stays on anytime the door is open, even with the key out of the ignition. Think there's a ground issue? The car just went through a frame off restoration so everything has been painted, I wouldn't be surprised if something isn't grounded correctly - however it does start right up and headlights burn bright. Battery voltage is lower running than with the key off. 12.89 off, and a few tenths lower running. Generator light comes on at lower RPMs but off when a bit above idle - but the voltage never really comes up to where it should, stays lower than the key off voltage. Thoughts?

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 11, 09:50 AM
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

Thirty-five ohms is good.
Key buzzer on with key out and goes off with door closed means the socket in the tumbler is always closed.
Lower charging voltage when running may mean VR needs adjusting.
Engine off, remove VR cover, lengthen the spring on the regulator to increase voltage.
Replace cover, run engine and let VR come up to temp, 130-140, and approx charge voltage around 13.8 volts. Trial & error adjustment.
Quick check on how heavy alt is working is place a screwdriver flat across rear bearing.
Light pull, low charge, heavy pull, heavy charge.

Harbour Freight sells a 50-0-50 ammeter for $10 to use as a truobleshooting aid either for the alt BATT stud or battery junction block, depending on the circuit you want to measure. Higher volts out, more current, hotter alt casing.

You drive it out here to the Beach and I'll fix it.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 11, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

I'd like to drive it out there and let you fix it Everett, but I wouldn't make it because the battery would be dead long before I get there! Tried the screw drive method reving the engine to 2500 or so - no magnetic effect so I don't think it's charging at all - voltage is always below the key off voltage when it's running. Maybe the regulator needs adjusted - It's going back to the shop Tuesday so I'll probably just let them figure it out. The battery is strong enough I can drive it around for a while and have some fun this weekend anyway. Spent the afternoon putting a half shaft in the Jeep Grand Cherokee to get it ready to sell, think I am done for the day working on stuff.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 11, 02:50 PM
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

I would try a Voltage Regulator swap out.
A solid state Wells VR715 also sold as a Duralast at Autozone stores, and Airtex VR103 are about 12 bucks.
I just snagged an Airtex one at rockauto.com for $6.48 and used our membership discount.

They are direct replacements for the old mechanical GM versions and you can slap the old Delco cap on it to look factory.


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 11, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

I tried putting 12volts to the field wire at the regulator with the regulator unplugged and it still didn't charge, but the R wire was unplugged too - what does it do and would it matter?

Right now I am guessing it's not the regulator but could be wrong. I'm thinking it's the Alternator - both are new but one of them is bad, they are both grounded well and the wiring checks out for continuity.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 11, 04:28 PM
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

Sounds like a good time to swap to a 10si internally regulated alternator - 2 birds one stone deal.


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 11, 04:56 PM
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by srode View Post
I tried putting 12volts to the field wire at the regulator with the regulator unplugged and it still didn't charge, but the R wire was unplugged too - what does it do and would it matter?

Right now I am guessing it's not the regulator but could be wrong. I'm thinking it's the Alternator - both are new but one of them is bad, they are both grounded well and the wiring checks out for continuity.
Yes the F and R wires are used to control the field strength. Both need to be in working order to generate a charge. Brown GEN light wire actually triggers the charge I think, thats why if you remove the bulb the system won't charge.

I have never been able to get a charge without a regulator in place. Don't know how to trick an Alternator to charge without one and what would stop the Alternator from over charging the system without it.

I always had a spare regulator in the tool box. One unit worked for both the 69 Camaro and the 72 Impala I had. It is an ATLAS brand I got cheap back in the day and now use a Wells as my primary and just picked up a new Wells / Airtex as a toolbox spare.

I would just pull your existing Delco and swap in a new solid state unit. You could be driving in 30 minutes if it solves the problem.



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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 11, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

Well I went and looked at the regulator - the cover is rivited on and the back side doesn't look like the old one on my other car so I'm guessing it's solid state. I took the one off my other car and plugged it in, and added a ground wire from the regulator frame to the battery negative and still no charge - has 12.89 running and 13.03 with the Key off (AGM battery). With the key on and not running the gen light is bright red, dims when it's idling and goes out when it's revved up some - so something is going on but I should be getting over 13 volts running. I'm starting to think its the alternator - the on on the other car is bad, and OReily's has one in stock and is open tomorrow - I may just go down and get one and give them the one off my other car for the core. It's only $50 exchange - but I hate going to a 61 amp alternator when the one I have on it is a 100 amp powermaster.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 11, 09:58 PM
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

Applying full field as you did in Post 10, should have forced alt to full ouput as stamped on alt case. No output, bad alt. If alt worked, then regulator bad or harness.

Electronic reg's are short in height compared to mech VR's.
Nice ride, BTW.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 11, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Testing No Charging problem

New alternator fixed it! So much for my new Powermaster alternator. Guess i'll take it apart and see what the problem is. Only good thing out of this was I got to use my new gearwrench ratcht wrenches for the first time. Thanks for the help guys.

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