Ammeter question - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 12, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Rob
 
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Ammeter question

I am installing a painless (they should change the name) wire harness in my 69 camaro with console gauges, the issue is I have a 100 amp 1 wire altenator and I was told by the tech people at painless that I should not hook the ammeter up because it is not designed to handle the amperage the alternator puts out and that it could start a fire. Is this true? and is there a solution to solve this problem. Thanks, Rob
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 12, 07:38 PM
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Re: Ammeter question

Yes run a volt meter and no amp meter.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 12, 07:39 PM
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Re: Ammeter question

American Auto Wire makes a volt meter that fits in the OEM saw tooth gauge pod.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 12, 06:17 PM
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Re: Ammeter question

There are multiple posts on this but the summary is that your factory gauge IS a voltmeter. It just deflects in either direction based on which direction current is flowing....alt/bus to battery (+A) or battery to alt/bus (-A).

You have two small wires going to your factory "ammeter". In order to get it to read with a one wire alternator, you should put in a junction post to run the large charge cable to (at least 2AWG). Then run an 8-10 AWG cable from the junction post to the horn bus bar (car supply). Run another 2AWG cable from the junction post to your battery positive. Any added on accessories (amplifier etc.) should be connected to the junction post.

Now, run one of the small black wires from your factory gauge to the junction post and the other to the battery + post. The meter may not read exactly accurately as it is designed around the known shunt value of the original charge cable but it will deflect in either direction based on if the battery is charging or discharging. I cannot remember which gauge wire is pos/neg but if the gauge shows discharge when you're running with no loads on then just swap the two.

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Last edited by Steiner; Jan 31st, 12 at 06:32 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 12, 03:04 AM
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Re: Ammeter question

As Steiner says, the OE ammeter will work providing Painless wired/built the new harness by OE design.

The OE ammeter is a millivoltmeter and indicates the voltage drop as current across the #10 AWG red wire across the radiator support connecting the horn relay buss bar and battery junction block.

Regardless of alternator used, the measurement will be the same as long as the #10 AWG red wire is not replaced with a different wire gauge nor another parallel path to the battery from the alt is installed.

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