Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 05, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

My Amp guage in the console has always bumped to the right after starting the car, sat a few ticks above center for about 1 min. then back to center, battery recharged from the starting process Im sure.
BUT, last night the Mrs and I went to Caribou for a coffee and while driving there, the Amp guage went up to midway between center and far right. It stayed there the whole time while running, at idle it came back toward center but stayed a tick above center untill revved up and it went back up again.
After having coffee we came home and with lights on and fan running, it still was reading half way between center and right. Its never done that before so now I wonder if I have something iffy in my elec. like Regulator, which is new, or Horn Relay or Alt. which is only 2 years old from rebuild.
Any ideas where to start troubleshooting this before our trip to Denver. Last thing I need is elec. issues on the road.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 05, 09:34 AM
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

The ammeter is showing current flow into or out of the battery... Possible the battery is dying, calling for more charge. Also possible it's the regulator. Also remotely possible (since the ammeter is actually a milivolt meter measuring the voltage drop on the wire from the main splice to the (junction block by the) battery) that a connection on this wire has developed excess resistance and is therefore creating a larger than normal voltage drop.

Check the voltage with a digital VOM at the horn relay and at the pos battery terminal (or preferably the junction block on the core support by the battery)





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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 05, 09:36 AM
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

Have you added anything electrical thats wired to the battery? If so the amp gauge will show the charge amps plus whatever you added. Any add on should be wired to the horn relay for proper amp gauge readings. The alternator could be overcharging the battery, check the voltage at the battery with the car running at a fast idle, should be 14-14.5 volts. If its much higher than that you have charging problems. The battery could be going out. Just before a battery dies it will accept a greater rate of charge. Have you checked the water level in the battery?

Greg U

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 05, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

Thanks Jim and Greg, I will check the voltage this evening, Ive not added anything to the car at all and the battery is sealed type about a year old.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 05, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

Ok since Im cheap and have not yet bought a digital VOM I used my sweep needle VOM. When I first tightened down my neg. post disconnect I heard a click sound from the regulator or horn relay. Im not used to hearing that noise when I tighten the Neg. Anyway the battery tested 100% with the load guage I have for testing batteries. Then I started it up and on 15V setting of the VOM, the battery posts read full 15 volts. On the terminal behind the battery that sends power to the horn relay, that also was reading 15v. The horn relay also was reading 15v on the 3 terminals there. I then revved it up and it stayed steady and now my amp guage in the console is back to normal center when running, no longer at midway between center and full. I then turned on the a/c and lights to load the system and again all areas kept the same reading of 15v so it seems the alt. is keeping up nicely but would the reg. or horn relay have 'hung up' yesterday, more or less holding the alt. to keep putting out voltage that isnt needed? Just wonder if I should watch it for a few days to see if it acts up again. It was humid as heck here, 75 dewpoints and 90 degrees and 'feels like' index of over 100. Wonder if humidity maybe stuck some contacts or something... Easy to change the relay and/or regulator if need be.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 05, 06:09 PM
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

won't be the horn relay, may be the regulator...15v is a lil high, but who knows with an analog meter, and it's certainly not bad high.

Carry the meter, and if it does it again, check the voltage while it's misbehaving. Much more than 15v, things will start failing.

Might carry a spare reg on your road trip. Might also consider a wells vr715. A member here clued me into it, it's a full electronic replacement for the oem reg, looks just like it (after it been run over by a truck, it's only 3/4" thick) They work good, and no contacts and things. Auto Zone has em, 'bout 1/3 the price of a mech reg too.





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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 05, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

good idea to have that Vr 715, I recall guys talking about it too. Easy to have in the trunk parts box with rad. hose, belts and along with an extra relay too in case, small parts are easy to haul around. Gonna check into a DVom too

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 05, 07:05 PM
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

Since were talking about ampmeters I have a question. would a 1969 camaro with factory console gauges with the ampmeter still have a volt light in the dash or not? The reason I ask is that I rewired my dash harness to use the console gauges and the ampmeter does not seem to work I wonder If I need to take the bulb out.

1969 RS convertible 327 1981 Z28 original unrestored
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 05, 12:43 AM
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAMiller
Since were talking about ampmeters I have a question. would a 1969 camaro with factory console gauges with the ampmeter still have a volt light in the dash or not?
No, it would not have a light

Quote:
Originally Posted by BAMiller
The reason I ask is that I rewired my dash harness to use the console gauges and the ampmeter does not seem to work I wonder If I need to take the bulb out.
Did you wire the amp gauge up???. It has 2 connections. One goes to horn relay and the other goes to the junction block on the rad support. If the wires are not original use 5 amp fuses near the connection points. If the gauge reads backwards, reverse the connections.

Greg U

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 05, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Curious Amp reading on my guage all of a sudden ?

I picked up at Wells VR715 tonight, only place that had them was Fleet Farm store, no auto parts stores carries Wells around here. $11.95 not a bad price either, think I will install it and use the other one as backup.

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