69 Charging system - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 03, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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Paul
 
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Location: Queen Creek AZ
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I have a 69 with the original(rebuilt) alternator and replacement horn relay and voltage regulator. When I drive the car to work in the morning the lights will be dim and the ammeter needle will be over to the left(negative side) for a while and then the lights will come up and the ammeter needle will swing to around zero.

Could you guys educate me on the relationship between the alternator, voltage regulator and horn relay?

From my understanding the voltage regulator senses when the battery needs to be charged and does it allow the alternator to charge or is the alternator always charging and the regulator just makes a connection to allow the charge to go into the battery? Does the voltage regulator also drain the battery if the is sees that the battery is overcharged?

I'm not sure if the horn relay plays any role in this except to be connector for several wires.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 03, 07:03 AM
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The requlator is a simple relay. Since it will get to a point that is is switching on and off constantly, especially when it has a good load on it, the contacts on the regulator burn up. take the cover off of it and you'll see it flashing. If its old, just replace it, there cheap

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 03, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Paul
 
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I'm not really diagnosing a problem, just trying to make sure that I understand how the components work together.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 03, 07:56 AM
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PaulM check out this site. www.madelectrical.com
They have some very good articals on charging systems and how they work.
Eric
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 03, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Perfect!!! Thanks!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Paul
 
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I guess I'll have to eat my words, now I have a problem!!

Yesterday the on the way to work the alternator eventually kicked in and everything was fine. Today on the way to work the alternator never kicked in and now I'm at work with a dead battery. I can get a jump to start it, but without the alternator charging I don't know how long the battery will be able to power the coil, etc. I guess I'll try switching the voltage regulator if I can get it home.



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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 05:35 AM
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Now that you have a good idea how things work, try this test. It's quicker that the one I usually type.
Jumper the regulator plug from F to 3(not the regulator...the plug.) Start the car and measure voltage across the battery at around 2000RPM. What you have done at this point is to give the alternator full field current. If the alternator does not give you maximum output then it is bad. If it does work properly then your regulator is bad or you have some other wiring problem.
I usually replace regulators with a solid state unit instead of an aftermarket mechanic one. The Wells VR715 solid state is available at AutoZone for about $11.00.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Paul
 
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Thanks John!! I'll do that when I get home!

I have a wells unit from autozone on there right now. I've only had it for about 6 months so I'll be pretty disappointed in there product if it is bad.

I'm here at work with no tools, meters, etc and the car is in the parking garage with a dead battery....I may run out(with someones help, Napa is one mile away) at lunch and get a regulator to try. I have to do something as I don't have a way to charge the battery and without the alternator charging I don't think the dead battery will run the coil so that I can get home.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 06:13 AM
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Hey Paul in that warm weather, stick your thumb out on the highway and you might get some gorgeous BayWatch type lady to stop and give you a ride home
It was zero here this morning. brrrrrrrr
Arent these cars fun?

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 06:18 AM
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Does the 69 regulator mount on rubber wellnuts? Those rubber things that are used for vibration? Or is it screwed down to the core support with sheet metal screw? The reason I ask is the solid state unit needs a good ground. Wells said the changed the instructions about a year ago to point out the need for a ground. I use a separate ground strap if I put one in. Autozone usually offers a good warranty on their items if that's where you bought it. However, I haven't heard that these units go out very often. Most last for years.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 06:27 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by click:
Hey Paul in that warm weather, stick your thumb out on the highway and you might get some gorgeous BayWatch type lady to stop and give you a ride home
It was zero here this morning. brrrrrrrr
Arent these cars fun?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Celsius or Fahrenheit? Either way a little too cold for me. My tan might fade.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Paul
 
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click,

I know all about the cold! I was born and raised in Wisconsin, that's why I live in Arizona now.

I'll just call my wife to give me a lift! She's as good(to me) as one of those "gorgeous BayWatch type ladies". Although then she'll give me a hard time about breaking down....on second thought I better get it home under it's own power somehow!

John,

I don't know if 69's had the rubber wellnuts. I think jackr told me his 67 did have them, but I don't know if my 69(or my 67) did. I just screwed it onto the core support on my 69. From what you are saying it could be possible that the unit didn't have a good ground which may have caused it to fail. It wouldn't be the first time(or the last) that I've done something dumb and caused myself a problem. Before I kick myself too hard, I'll see if a new regulator fixes the problem.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 07:02 AM
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That guy at MAD electronics is also a great technician. He has helped me out with a few problems so you might give him a try, but you should be able to figure it out with the knowledge on this board.
Eric
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 03, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Paul
 
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I got a new regulator from Napa and hooked it up.....Now everthing works great!!

Now I don't have to call my wife for a ride home!

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