Voltage question...again - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 00, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
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Sorry for the long post.

I posted a question in troubleshooting a few days ago and am afraid it didnt make much sense.

In my 69 SB, I have changed to a 100 amp 1 wire alt. to cure my dim headlight problems. During the day with no lights on my voltmeter reads 14v. at cruise, 13v. at idle Even with my stereo cranked (roughly 800 watts worth of amps) the volt meter reads 13.5v. cruise, 13v. at idle.

When I turn on my parking lights only, it drops to 12.5v at cruise, 12v. at idle. With headlights and parking lights its 12v. cruise, and 11.5 at idle. With the stereo on the bass cuts out at mid volume volt meter drops to 11 at cruise headlights dim, etc. When I turn on my signals the voltmeter jumps a half a volt each time it blinks. Is that a clue?

Now I figure (with ohms law) that my headlights and parking lights etc. are drawing no more than 15 to 20 amps. Now I know my stereo draws way more than that!

So my question is...Is there something simple I am overlooking? Everything is fairly new and in good condition. I am not as entirely as familiar with 12v. systems as I am 120v. and 240v. systems. Am I somehow losing voltage somewhere. Can bad grounds cause this?

Any suggestions will be put to good use. I just need a push in the right direction.
BTW. I had Sylvania X-tra brights for headlights, and switched back to normal hologen to see if that made a difference, only difference it made was to make the hologens obsolete, but no change in voltage drop. Thanx, Sean.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 00, 05:29 PM
 
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I'm not sure if it would solve your problems, but with that kind of wattage in your stereo I would install a cap.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 00, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanx, I have thought about that, and probably will someday.

I guess what I'm really trying to figure out is how to bring the whole charging system up to todays standards.

I know that a lot of the newer cars run up to and above 140 amp alternators to compensate for all the gadgets. How do these electrically starved beasts maintain such a high voltage while running every power accessory known to man? I will soon be doing a power window and door conversion and would hate to kill my battery at night rolling up my windows.

I just cant figure out why the low amperage lights are putting such a strain on my alternator, when nothing else does. I am hoping that someone has had a similar experience and could tell me where to start.

One last thing...(I will double check tomorrow) but I think that my volt meter pulsates with the signals only when my lights are on. Does that seem odd? Thanx. Sean

[This message has been edited by SAyers69 (edited 10-01-2000).]
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 00, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanx Z,

Yes I did have the dimming headlights before, but its been quite sometime (4 years) since I started returning it to its former glory, so I cant remember exactly if its the same. But I thought for sure that a newer internally regulated H.O. alt. would solve the prob.

Tomorrow I am going to go thru the wiring and see if I can find anything. Like I said, I am still learning that 12v. sytems are much different from domestic systems.

A thought had occured to me. I have no ground straps anywhere on the car. I used to have a couple I replaced 10 years ago or so but the eventually dissappeared.

Can someone explain to me the importance of these to me? Since my battery is grounded to the block, And most of the light grounds are attached to the radiator support, could that be the problem? I am just used to the fact that generally if you have a bad ground things just dont work.

Also do ground straps need to be actual straps? I have a ton of #8 wire that I would like to use instead. Is that an option?

I really appreciate all the advice. Besides, if it wasn't for this forum my car wouldnt even be the loud, obnoxious, gas guzzling monster it is now. Thanx. Sean
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 00, 06:27 AM
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I would run a separate battery for the stereo system.

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68 RS, Ash Gold,pwr windows,Hounds tooth
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 00, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanx for all the suggestions. As far as I can figure I just needed a few ground straps and cleaner grounds. Now with the lights AND stereo on it doesnt drop below 13v. Sean
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