Overcharging problem help! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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Overcharging problem help!

The car is so close to being done! But now, I get to work the bugs out of it, the kind that only show up when you start driving the car. I've been cruising up and down my road with it to see what works/ doesn't work. So far, I've found the tailpipes are hitting the rear diff, the brake light on the dash comes on periodically.

But, my question. With the car idling, the amp gauge hovers just on the charging side, like it should. As soon as you rev the car up, the gauge basically spikes over to 40A and stays there till the revs come down. I put a volt meter on the battery, and at idle, it's around 13volts (perfect!) but when you rev it up, it goes up as high as 17volts. That's way to high for my liking. Almost everything on this car is new (doesn't mean it's good though!). It does have the original voltage regulator. I've read several posts on here about this problem, and I still believe the voltage regulator is the problem. I've read that it was a common practice way back when, to adjust them to produce more voltage, for brighter lights, etc? If so, perhaps I can simply re-adjust to a lower voltage? I just wanted to run this problem past you folks, before I tackle it.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 06:51 AM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

You have to adjust a factory style mechanical Voltage Regulator as designed and that was to accommodate for seasonal changes to the battery and battery life. This was part of the routine maintenance cycles for these vehicles in that era. Its a lost art these days, but the procedure is in the service manuals of that day.

Most common way to rid yourself of the voo-doo mechanics is to replace the mechanical Voltage Regulator with a solid state such as the Wells/Airtex unit. The solid state circuitry self adjusts and corrects the charging rate. Cheap and easy to install. It has the same foot print, mounting points and connections as the factory unit does making installation a breeze. And if you want to hide it, you can mount your hi-hat mechanical regulators cover on the new unit. - Just make sure when installing the new unit that it is attached to the radiator shroud BEFORE you make the electrical connections.


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Last edited by 69-Pace; May 26th, 15 at 11:54 AM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

I agree with you 100% the best way to fix the problem would be to convert to the electronic regulator. If I can convince the owner, that's what I'll do. He may go for it, since I can put the original Delco-Remy cover back on. We'll see. In the meantime though, I wouldn't mind trying to adjust the old regulator. With the cover off, I would turn the adjustment screw CCW to decrease ALT voltage, right?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 07:18 AM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

The frame of the VR must be grounded to the core support. If you mounted it with rubber well nuts in the core support you must add a ground strap. If the core support is freshly painted or powdercoated you might not be getting a ground connection.

Whatever the problem is, don't drive it until you get the voltage issue under control. 17v will cause a battery explosion


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 07:33 AM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

Wells VR 715 is the number easiest upgrade you will ever do


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 07:35 AM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z28BUILD View Post
I agree with you 100% the best way to fix the problem would be to convert to the electronic regulator. If I can convince the owner, that's what I'll do. He may go for it, since I can put the original Delco-Remy cover back on. We'll see. In the meantime though, I wouldn't mind trying to adjust the old regulator. With the cover off, I would turn the adjustment screw CCW to decrease ALT voltage, right?
I had a very similar problem a few years ago with a mechanical voltage regulator, it would be fine for a while when driving around and then all of the sudden the amp meter would spike and stay there no matter what the rpm's were. The only way to get past it was to turn the key to the off position to kill the engine and electrical system and then re-start and continue. For a 67 or 68 the steering doesn't lock when you do this but I had a 69 so doing this while moving wasn't a good idea. I believe the contact points in the mechanical voltage regulator were locking closed and to be honest, the time to continue messing with it was adding up to far more cost wise than replacing it with a solid state Wells/Airtex unit so that's what I did and it works better than I could of hoped for. I did transplant my original full sized cover so it appears to be the old school mechanical voltage regulator. Just make sure as others have mentioned that it is grounded very well before making power connections, otherwise you chance letting the smoke out of the solid state components and then it won't work anymore

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 12:02 PM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z28BUILD View Post
I agree with you 100% the best way to fix the problem would be to convert to the electronic regulator. If I can convince the owner, that's what I'll do. He may go for it, since I can put the original Delco-Remy cover back on. We'll see. In the meantime though, I wouldn't mind trying to adjust the old regulator. With the cover off, I would turn the adjustment screw CCW to decrease ALT voltage, right?
I'm at work so I don't have an manual here to reference but sounds right, and you make the adjustments slowly 1/4 at a time and test if I can remember that far back.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 12:37 PM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

or you could go with a one wire alternator and do away with the regulator
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 01:00 PM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z28BUILD View Post
I agree with you 100% the best way to fix the problem would be to convert to the electronic regulator. If I can convince the owner, that's what I'll do. He may go for it, since I can put the original Delco-Remy cover back on. We'll see. In the meantime though, I wouldn't mind trying to adjust the old regulator. With the cover off, I would turn the adjustment screw CCW to decrease ALT voltage, right?
I have a correct date coded regulator on my 68 Nova and last year I adjusted mine and it's been fine ever since.


If mine ever gets to a point of not being able to work or beyond repair I will probably replace it with a solid state one but I have noticed cars having them replaced even with the old cover on top and how the base is stood off of the mounting surface, on the originals you can see some of the electronics while on the replacement ones with the new cover the underside is changed (and not to mention the stamped factory date code is not there). Not that many people would ever notice that or look that close but there is a visual difference you can see if you look at it closely.

Jim

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 01:55 PM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

Jim there is a thread about swapping the guts of the solid state on to the body of an original, and yet another post on just swapping the hi-hat cover and stamping the date code on the new along with gluing the "springs" on the underside of the new unit to look old. So depends on how much work you are willing to do to look factory and still have modern convenience of solid state instant adjustments.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 02:07 PM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69-Pace View Post
Jim there is a thread about swapping the guts of the solid state on to the body of an original, and yet another post on just swapping the hi-hat cover and stamping the date code on the new along with gluing the "springs" on the underside of the new unit to look old. So depends on how much work you are willing to do to look factory and still have modern convenience of solid state instant adjustments.
I've never dug deep into really detailing out the regulator to have the new guts with the external originality but it's good to know there is information out there.

I can see it now, people questioning restamped voltage regulators.

Thanks for the heads up.

Jim

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 02:31 PM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

Yeah the high-hat seems enough in my book to have the essence of factory. The original run of Wells/Airtex I installed has the screw holes drilled but the last few I have installed on other folks don't have them but have the tabs so you can drill it out no problem.

I kept my original factory issued VR and the "work" unit I installed during restoration and paint to preserve the original but them I became aware of the solid state and didn't think twice about buying one and installing it. as is.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

I pulled the cover off, and saw this little black plastic knob. I turned it CCW 3/4 turn, then started the car. with a voltmeter hooked up to the battery, at idle it was 13v. Revved up to 2500rpm, it climbed to 14v. I was happy, but figured I'd play some more. I turned the adjustment screw 1/4 turn CW, so a total of 1/2 turn CCW from where I started. Now, at idle it was closer to 14v, a little high for me. So, I turned it back the 1/4 turn to get me to 3/4 turn CCW from where I started. I'll leave it there for now, till the car gets some miles on it. Also, the AMP gauge still hovers into the charging side during idle, but now, only climbs slightly when the engine is revved up.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old May 26th, 15, 05:33 PM
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Re: Overcharging problem help!

Quote:
or you could go with a one wire alternator and do away with the regulator
I did that and now I think I regret it. It was easy. I don't have to jack with the original stuff but it comes with other issues. After reading the info at Madd Electric I think I could have better performance with a three sensed wire system even though internally regulated. I have an FI system to install and think the sensed system would work better with more stable voltage. With the one wire the lights still dim with lower RPM. Read up. Good info.

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