not charging - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
hello, i know it isnt a camaro, but my 84 cutlass with 400 chevy engine has been acting up lately. It would run fine until i used something, like windows or lights then it would die in 5 minutes and battery would be drained. Then i remembered when it hd the olds engine, it had a wire going from back of alternator to the starter, i put a wire on it, and it seemed to work fine for about a week, now after about twenty minutes, it goes dead again, my alternator is workin, because, a screwdriver sticks to the back of it, is it a bad ground, i have two coming from firewall to transmission bolts, one from battery to alternator bracket, and the little one from battery to the fender, should i run one from the block to the frame, sorry this is such a long post, thanks
mylittle307 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
oh yeah, this is an internally regulated, one wire alternator.
mylittle307 is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 11:55 AM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Temple City, Ca
Posts: 523
If this is a true one-wire alternator. That is, there is only 1 wire, a large red one attached to it, try this:
Bring the engine RPM up to around 2100 RPM to self excite the alternator, then back to idle. With a test meter measure between the red output stud and the alternator case. You should have around 14.5 volts. If not, you have alternator problems. The screwdriver test, on the case, is not a very accurate test.
John_Muha is offline  
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
thanks, maybe i was wrong about the one wire, it has the white plug in thing with two wires coming off of it, one goes to back of alternator,then, the other one, a brown one goes to some other wire, dont know where it goes
mylittle307 is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 08:35 PM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Temple City, Ca
Posts: 523
Brown wire goes to the idiot light. Does the idiot light test OK when you start the car?
John_Muha is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
yes, idiot light goes check ok when ignition is on and it did come on before my car died last time, but now that i think about it, i dont think it came on this time when it died, i was adjusting timing by ear, and i got it where i wanted it, then shut it off to see if it would start again, didnt know if it was advanced too far, it fired right up, then i waited a minute, ad it cranked over slow, so i moved it just a tad to retartded and it fired righ up, then i shut it off, and it was just clicking.
mylittle307 is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 07:30 AM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Temple City, Ca
Posts: 523
At the moment it sounds like the battery is weak. Jump the car to start it. Measure the alternator red wire to ground after it is going. You should have 14.5 volts to the alternator frame (ground). If you do, alternator is good.
John_Muha is offline  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
ok, i lost my voltage tester so will buy one today, but earlier, i threw a different battery in it, drove it with nothing on except heater, and it started up fine. Then i turned on my lights, heate, radio, an rear defroster and ran it for 5 minutes. When i shut it off and tried to restart... click, nothin. I turn on my headlights nd they are just as bright as when charging normally, but go real dim when trying to start, then get bright again.
mylittle307 is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
oh yeah, idiot light didnt come on either, but faintly looked like it was on, just brely looked liek lit up, but though maybe it was from other lights on in dash(my check engine light is on at all times even though my car has no computer in it.
mylittle307 is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 11:46 AM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Ashby,MN, USA
Posts: 8,305
try your battery in a different car, and also try a different battery in your car. check all cables and connections. the alternator isn't designed to compensate for a dead battery- it's job is to keep the battery full of energy so everything works. if the battery is toast, the alt is doing all the work, and will die in short order. loop the red wire out of the plug on top of the alt to the back post, and run a big wire from the post on the back of the alt to the positive post on your battery- the bigger the wire, the better. that's the wire that charges the battery.

------------------
1971 Nova(looks like 69 camaro from underneath!)
355sb, vortec heads, HOT cam,T-10 tranny, 3.70 gears 16X8" IROC wheels. 12" Corvette brakes on the way.
see pics here http://community.webshots.com/user/novaderrik
novaderrik is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
yes thanks, that red wire does go to back post on alt, and i have one big red wire going from that post to the open post on starter, looks same as ignition wire post, but on other side. Thisa is basically the same setup, can i run a wire from post onalternator, wouldnt that drain my battery over night, when its sitting around?
mylittle307 is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
sorry i ment tosay can i run a wire from pos on alternator, to battery without it draining my battery when the car isnt running?
mylittle307 is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 04:20 PM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Ashby,MN, USA
Posts: 8,305
you have a wire that goes from the post on the back of the alternator to the extra small terminal on the solenoid? if so, that isn't right. the wire should go to the same post the battery cable goes to- the big one in the middle. personally, i would take it off the starter, and run it straight to the positive post on the battery. that's the way my Nova is setup. the alternator will only kill a battery when the car is parked with the switch off if the internal regulator is shot.
the brown wire on the plug goes to the idiot light, the red one is the sensor wire that tells the alt when to charge- that's why it loops to the back post on the alt, because that is supposed to be hooked up to constant battery power, which is where the electricity goes from the alternator to the battery.
i know you aren't supposed to test them this way, but have you tried unhooking the battery while the car is running? if it dies right away, the alternator isn't getting juice to the battery. if it keeps on running, the alt is charging. check the wiring, and go from there.

------------------
1971 Nova(looks like 69 camaro from underneath!)
355sb, vortec heads, HOT cam,T-10 tranny, 3.70 gears 16X8" IROC wheels. 12" Corvette brakes on the way.
see pics here http://community.webshots.com/user/novaderrik
novaderrik is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 4th, 03, 04:24 PM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: ocala, FL
Posts: 210
call the dealer and find out what the stock battery cranking amps were for that cutlass. as for the alternator test tricks, the voltmeter is the most accurate. if the alternator is fine, your electrolyte level may be low in the battery or you might have a dead cell in the battery. heres a tip, if you cant get to the parts store soon, unhook the postitve terminal at the battery when you park it to keep it from being drained.
nate is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Jan 5th, 03, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: davisburg, michigan, united states
Posts: 114
ok, still no volt meter, but this morning, i put all three of the batteries my car killed back in it, and click, but headlights are bright and radio, turn signals, everything works, i the removed grond from alternator bracket and hit the ignition and made soem cck as when it was hooked up,now im thinking i dont have a good enough ground, somewhere.
butit will still start if i recharge battery, and wont die until windows or headlights are on, then when i shut it off, it doesnt start again. but battery seems to still have a lot of juice, all three of them.
mylittle307 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome