Battery Drain/Regulator Click - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 19, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Battery Drain/Regulator Click

OK, I have installed a new front end and engine wiring harness during my big block conversion. New alternator, new regulator. The battery will drain overnight. When installing the battery cable, the regulator will click. I reinstalled the original regulator, same thing. It's grounded, the wires on the new harness are connected correctly....or as illustrated. This is a period correct 396 with points distributor. Everything electrical works as it should expect for the overnight (new) battery drain.

Any ideas?

Thanks much!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 19, 04:00 AM
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Re: Battery Drain/Regulator Click

Try removing the fuses, then install one at a time until you hear the regulator " click ". At that point, you would know what circuit is drawing current with the vehicle off. Then you can troubleshoot the items of that circuit.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 19, 01:11 PM
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Re: Battery Drain/Regulator Click

It's probably a grounding issue somewhere else. Such as an individual component. Double check all of your connections especially your engine grounding strap. But Kevin is on point with the fuses to narrow your search. Also you will want to have a volt meter on hand. I have seen a lot of issues with brand new alternators lately that have an internal grounding issue that has been the problem. Good luck chasing the electrical gremlins!!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 19, 01:53 PM
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Re: Battery Drain/Regulator Click

I had the same issue. The voltage regulator seemed to be the culprit so I replaced it with a repro Delco one. After a few weeks that failed so then I replaced it with a solid state one and haven't had the problem since.

Kevin

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 19, 07:23 PM
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Re: Battery Drain/Regulator Click

Not trying to be a smart arse but are you sure it is the voltage regulator clicking ?. The reason I'm asking is right next to the voltage regulator on a stock setup is the horn relay and the original style horn relay as well as the original style mechanical voltage regulators can make a clicking noise when the contacts inside open and close and being right next to each other one could think one is making the noise while it fact it is the other one. Just throwing this out.

I'm also wondering, is this issue with a 1969 Camaro ?.

OK, Let's say it is the voltage regulator making the clicking noise. If you have it wired and grounded properly, try disconnecting the 2 wire connector on the back of the alternator and see what happens. If with this two wire connector unplugged and you reconnect the battery and the voltage regulator clicks still, then my next step would be to leave that 2 wire plug disconnected at the back of the alternator and then disconnect the 4 wire connector plug on the voltage regulator. Now with a volt meter verify that on the plug that all except the orange wire (battery/voltage sense wire) show no power. Of course to check this you would have to have the battery connected.

As far as pulling out fuses and then putting the proper fuse back into the proper spot could be done but remember not all circuits in an original 1969 Camaro are protected by the fuses in the fuse block. These cars also have fusible links in place in the harness and not located in the fuse block inside the car.

Jim
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 19, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Battery Drain/Regulator Click

Jim, Yes.... At first I thought the horn relay but by physically touching the relay, it's clicking. You are correct, this is a 69 Camaro. I'm going to answer the other questions as well in this one post. It had a chrome alternator on it so I changed to a standard finish repro from Summit. I have swapped the regulator out from a car that I know is fine. It does have a painless harness from the firewall forward for the engine and lighting. As a recap, this car was born with a 396 but over the years it ended up with a 383. The engine mount etc were never changed out so the installation went pretty smooth. I have install all new grounding straps per the assemble manual locations. I found a solid state regulator that I am going to try tomorrow plus the original chrome alternator. I'm going to just wire it up and ground it to see if it is in the alt. Guess the next step will be pulling fuses. Oh, I did notice the aftermarket din radio only....stayed on with the switch off. Never has done that before so I took it out of the loop.

I'll run these suggestions on the car tomorrow and get back with what I find. I do not like gremlins of the electrical kind!

Thanks guys for your replies and your time!

Craig

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Originally Posted by SOA-Nova View Post
Not trying to be a smart arse but are you sure it is the voltage regulator clicking ?. The reason I'm asking is right next to the voltage regulator on a stock setup is the horn relay and the original style horn relay as well as the original style mechanical voltage regulators can make a clicking noise when the contacts inside open and close and being right next to each other one could think one is making the noise while it fact it is the other one. Just throwing this out.

I'm also wondering, is this issue with a 1969 Camaro ?.

OK, Let's say it is the voltage regulator making the clicking noise. If you have it wired and grounded properly, try disconnecting the 2 wire connector on the back of the alternator and see what happens. If with this two wire connector unplugged and you reconnect the battery and the voltage regulator clicks still, then my next step would be to leave that 2 wire plug disconnected at the back of the alternator and then disconnect the 4 wire connector plug on the voltage regulator. Now with a volt meter verify that on the plug that all except the orange wire (battery/voltage sense wire) show no power. Of course to check this you would have to have the battery connected.

As far as pulling out fuses and then putting the proper fuse back into the proper spot could be done but remember not all circuits in an original 1969 Camaro are protected by the fuses in the fuse block. These cars also have fusible links in place in the harness and not located in the fuse block inside the car.

Jim

Prepare to be the center of attention when you drive a first generation Camaro. You will be gawked at. Grown men & women will coo like children when you drive past. Children will scream like babies. Dogs & cats will get along. Does it get any better?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 19, 02:41 AM
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Re: Battery Drain/Regulator Click

Its possible that the radio being on may have drained the battery. With it now out of the loop, it will be interesting to see if your battery stays charged up now.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 19, 08:21 AM
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Re: Battery Drain/Regulator Click

Would be a good idea to externally charge battery. Also, Amazon sells a plug in cig lighter voltmeter cheap.
With this meter, the elec voltage can be measured while running and driving.
Battery needing charging, elect VR will limit to 14.2 volts, mech VR can go above 14.7 and beyond.
The more alternator charging, the less system voltage comes down, maybe to 13.8 for a fully charged battery.
It helps to wire brush all connections from battery to horn relay buss bar to alternator BATT stud.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 19, 09:30 AM
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Re: Battery Drain/Regulator Click

From one of my posts last year-ish...this may help...or not! Good luck!

Hey folks, did a search on the above problem, and many suggestions were put forth. This problem is new, but the car has been back together for almost 10 years, with no issues. Ran it around the block the other day, parked it back in the garage, and the GEN light stayed on. ??? Started the car, light off, shut the car off, light on...full color! So popped the hood, and pulled the battery cable, and heard the regulator click. Cable back on, light off. Started the car, then off, light goes on. Pulled the cable, "click", and light off even with cable back on. I suspect leaky diodes. Did a test according to the 1969 GM Service Manual, and the diode test failed. Bought a new/reman alternator, and bingo, away we go. I suspect the old unit would charge, but then leak current through the diodes.

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