69 Camaro Volt Gauge - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 15, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
Mike
 
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69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Hello all, I installed a center console with gauges in my 69 Base model (non factor console car.) Everything but the volt gauge is working good. Side bar - console came with an amp gauge and I wired it up with new 16 G wire, 1 wire to the horn relay bus bar and 1 wire to the terminal block for the Alt/battery wires. So wired in series just as it should be, no ground. Still burned the gauge up. Reading all the bad about amp gauges, bought a volt gauge. Directions say looking at the back of the gauge, (3 pegs) right peg is pos, bottom peg is ground, and left peg is not used. Hooked it up power to right peg to ignition on fuse box, ground to good ground on dash metal. Ground reads .2 ohms. Volt meter pegs 18+ volts when touched to the right peg. Hot wire touched to the left peg for geewiz and it reads less than 2 volts. Put a MM on the raw wire connection and it read 12.3 volts with the motor off. Sound to me like I got a bad gauge. Still waiting for tech support from the manufacture, 3 days now. So, any thoughts on what else may be wrong? Thanks, Mike.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 15, 11:27 AM
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

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Originally Posted by mkform View Post
Hello all, I installed a center console with gauges in my 69 Base model (non factor console car.) Everything but the volt gauge is working good. Side bar - console came with an amp gauge and I wired it up with new 16 G wire, 1 wire to the horn relay bus bar and 1 wire to the terminal block for the Alt/battery wires. So wired in series just as it should be, no ground. Still burned the gauge up. Reading all the bad about amp gauges, bought a volt gauge. Directions say looking at the back of the gauge, (3 pegs) right peg is pos, bottom peg is ground, and left peg is not used. Hooked it up power to right peg to ignition on fuse box, ground to good ground on dash metal. Ground reads .2 ohms. Volt meter pegs 18+ volts when touched to the right peg. Hot wire touched to the left peg for geewiz and it reads less than 2 volts. Put a MM on the raw wire connection and it read 12.3 volts with the motor off. Sound to me like I got a bad gauge. Still waiting for tech support from the manufacture, 3 days now. So, any thoughts on what else may be wrong? Thanks, Mike.
Mike...to smoke an amp gauge would indicate an overload of current through the meter's movement which would suggest a "bad" VR allowing full current output of the alternator flowing in the charging system. If your original amp gauge was a -40/+40 movement and you have one of the new 120 amp alternators without regulation...bad news! I would have the VR and alternator checked if it were mine!

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 15, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

The original Alt was a 63 amp and during this console upgrade I did buy and install a new 10SI 3 wire, 105 amp Alt with an internal voltage regulator. I rewired everything from the alt to the battery etc. using 8 gauge wire, and a new terminal block(s). Also I ran new wires for the "F" and "S" wires removing the original voltage regulator. "F" to the brown ignition wire and "S" to the horn relay bus bar. The amp gauge fried with only battery power as I hadn't started it yet, so I am stumped as to why. I shouldn't have been pulling more that the 40 amps since this is a non A/C car and doesn't have a 500 watt plus stereo. So the system really didn't have much current draw. Things that make you go Huh...

Anyway, I have wrote that gauge off and just want to get the volt gauge working, which so far, I can't explain why it is not. Thanks for your input. Guess I will keep troubleshooting and looking for more input. Any other ideas? V/r Mike
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 15, 03:57 PM
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

If you remove the voltmeter from the console and just temporarily connect/wire it directly to a 12 volt source, what does it do?

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 15, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Hi NH, I haven't tried that as of today. Not sure it would do anything different since it is hooked up directly to the fuse box ignition terminal lug, but what are you thinking may be getting in the way that maybe I'm missing here? BTW I bought the correct adaptor wiring harness and am hooking it up to that...cut the ends and spliced in. However, volt gauge is not part of the harness, so two new separate wires, hot and ground... Please let me know your thoughts, thanks Mike
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 15, 10:10 PM
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Just thinking that sometimes it is best to back away from a problem and reset. Temporarily connecting the new voltmeter to a battery is as simple as it gets. If it still doesn't work correctly you have a bad voltmeter. If it does work there is a wiring issue.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 15, 06:25 AM
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkform View Post
The original Alt was a 63 amp and during this console upgrade I did buy and install a new 10SI 3 wire, 105 amp Alt with an internal voltage regulator. I rewired everything from the alt to the battery etc. using 8 gauge wire, and a new terminal block(s). Also I ran new wires for the "F" and "S" wires removing the original voltage regulator. "F" to the brown ignition wire and "S" to the horn relay bus bar. The amp gauge fried with only battery power as I hadn't started it yet, so I am stumped as to why. I shouldn't have been pulling more that the 40 amps since this is a non A/C car and doesn't have a 500 watt plus stereo. So the system really didn't have much current draw. Things that make you go Huh...

Anyway, I have wrote that gauge off and just want to get the volt gauge working, which so far, I can't explain why it is not. Thanks for your input. Guess I will keep troubleshooting and looking for more input. Any other ideas? V/r Mike
Mike...I did virtually the same IR conversion, except, I ran the "sense" lead, using the supplied pigtail, directly to the "bat" terminal on the back of the alternator rather than going to the horn relay. It shouldn't make a difference...I'm kind of stumped also!

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 15, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

NH - That's a great point, I will try it and see what happens. If nothing else, it eliminates potential issues. Thanks
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 15, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Hi Karl, Just when you think you know exactly what you are doing, (I was a jet avionics technician for years, pretty knowledgeable on this kind of stuff) you turn the key and it doesn't work. Other than running a wire direct from the battery, (which I will try tonight) I must have a bad gauge. The good news is the other console company is replacing the Amp gauge for no cost, but I am still trying to get the company I bought the volt gauge from to answer the tech question. They said they had to ask the manufacture why it's not working, it's been three days. Anyway, if you think of anything else, Please let me know and thank you.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 15, 07:42 AM
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

I thought all the volt replacements were actually made by or for American Auto Wire.

In theory they are a site sponsor but haven't logged in since Dec 8th, 2014 at 02:22 PM so posting in their forum might rattle their cage to login and answer your questions.


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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 15, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

I think you are right about the manufacturer. I am working with Tamraz's, which is who I bought it from. Seems like they want to help, I guess I'm just not a high priority maybe until I tell them I have a bad from supply part and want a replacement. Thanks for the suggestion, I will try.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 17th, 15, 08:00 AM
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Ok Yeah they are a smaller outfit and more than likely have to push these issues to their supplies and or vendors which maybe AAW direct or someone in between.


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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 15, 04:44 AM
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Check gauge by itself as Scott & others suggested across battery or an external battery charger. Voltmeter will either work or not.

Harbor Freight sells a 2" voltmeter for less than $10 and nice tool to have.

As far as connecting voltmeter, hook it to the ACC spade on the fuse panel and dash ground, this way power is to the gauge when ign key is in ACC, START, or IGN.

The OE designed ammeter is actually a millivoltmeter and shows the polarity of voltage (discharge/charge) and the amount of difference of voltage between two points.
These two points are horn relay buss bar and the battery junction block on the radiator support - the red #10 AWG wire is the subject of the measurement. OE wire harness uses 16 AWG wire.

Aftermarket ammeters are shunt meters and yes, current flows through it thus needing the big gauge, 10 AWG and smaller, ie, #8, #6, etc. harbor Freight sells 50-0-50 ammeter and a good place to install is on a copper strip, 1/8 inch thick, at the battery junction block. Remove cable pigtail, install ammeter on strip, attach cable pigtail onto gauge, done. Turn on lights, ammeter should show discharge. If not, reverse gauge hookup. Ammeters function since time, measures battery charge/discharge only. Best device in checking battery function.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 15, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Thanks for the information Everrett, I appreciate it. I will be checking the volt gauge as described. A coworker even suggested hooking the gauge to a 9v battery to check the reading. One question...Why are you saying to hook the power to the ACC, vs. the IGN. I read in other forums to hook it to the IGN tab because it could read the cranking/voltage usage from the battery while starting. That is why I went to this point. However, I to agree with you and think it could be any of the three extra points on the fuse panel. I know the Batt tab one is always hot, thus, volt gauge would be too. But reading forms in here, it would take years to drain the battery this way. I await your answer and still suspect a bad gauge...Thank you sir, Mike.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 15, 07:18 PM
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Re: 69 Camaro Volt Gauge

Most OE circuit designs have voltmeter on ACC source drawing less power from IGN circuit as ACC is turned on by ign switch. Some ACC will read starting voltage, some won't.

It is easy enough o do as the spades are 1/4 inch wide male gender, and for the most part, voltmeters have a high impedance to not demand a lot of power. Easy enough to do in moving the female spade from ACC to IGN depending on your desire. Choice is yours.
But yes, a voltmeter hooked to BAT spade will drain battery in a week.

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