ammeter gauge "broken?" - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 06, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Jeff
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Posts: 883
ammeter gauge "broken?"

Guys,

I was replacing my battery cables last night and got a spark when a wrench touched the radiator. at any rate, i put everything back together and started it up and everything seems fine, but im not sure about my ammeter gauge. With the key on (engine off), the bright lights on and the heater on full blast, it dips down about 2 or 3 needle widths to the discharge side. when i shut things off, it takes it good old time going back to straight up, but it does get there after a second or 2. Can these things get damaged?

I had an old one and took it apart to see whats inside. it looks like its just a coil, but it did look coated with something... maybe a lube to help the needle move.

now i know these things are really voltmeters (millivolts) that measure the voltage drop across the red 10G wire from the battery junction box to the horn relay. i measured the resistance in my red wire and got about 2.5-3 ohms. I have not modified the wire.

What i have modified is just about everything else. i did the 105 Amp CS alternator conversion as shown in the techrefs on these pages (http://www.chevelles.com/techref/tecref14.html )
and no longer have an external voltage regulator.

I also replaced the fusable links in front of the ammeter black and black/white wires with fuses and fuse holders. the fuses are 4 amp ratings.

I really dont remember if my ammeter gauge moved more than just a few needles away from center with the same loads before. its one of those things that i dont look at when im not driving.

Does this ammeter reading sound "normal" with the load presented (lights, heater) or should it be moving way more than that?

Has my inline fuse wiring messed up the "calibration" of the ammeter gauge, causing decent sized loads to appear to be drawing much less current than they are?

Can these ammeters really go "bad" if too much juice goes through them (ie: can the coil wiring "insulation" in the gauge "melt" or something and cause the guage to short somewhere, indicating a smaller voltage drop throught the coil?)

Is it ok to drive the car like this?

Any thoughts?

thanks

jeff

1967 SS 396, M20.
now a 10.4:1 540, AFR 315 heads, UDHarold SR Cam with a Tremec TKO
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 06, 01:55 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: ammeter gauge "broken?"

I've never had one, but from what I've read here, your ammeter is behaving normally.

I don't believe hitting the wrench against the fender support is going to hurt the ammeter one lil bit. Pretty much every Camaro out there, including mine, has a wrench print permanently marked on the pass side fender support!

From now on, I bet the neg cable is the first off and last on, right?

If you gotta voltmeter in the shop, you might verify the charging voltage, then saddle up, drop that tko in high, and meet us in Billings, Montana on July 8!





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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 06, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Jeff
 
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Re: ammeter gauge "broken?"

haha hey Jim,

you know, the neg battery cable is the first off/last on. im still not exactly sure how it happened. it may have been a wrench that was laying on the battey or something, but i jumped, the dog jumped and afterwords, i looked at everything and the neg battery cable was still disconnected and covered.

i just thought that maybe the ammeter ought to move a little more thats all.

do you know what kind of coating is on the ammeter coil wires? those magnetic fields that move the needle might not like it if theres a short in the coil somewhere.

id really like to know how much they are supposed to move... maybe someone else with gauges will chime in.

charging voltage is good. i checked that last night.

as for the run to the rockies, id love to, and the TKO would probably make it, but i dont know about the rearend and subframe mounts maybe next july anyone else from the bay area going?

1967 SS 396, M20.
now a 10.4:1 540, AFR 315 heads, UDHarold SR Cam with a Tremec TKO
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 06, 02:18 PM
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Jim
 
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Location: Yorkville, Illinois USA
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Re: ammeter gauge "broken?"

the covering on the coils is enamel. They paint the wire to insulate it before they wind the coil.

There was a post last week, someone asked how much was normal, his only moved about a needle width right with engine on and a needle width left with engine off and headlights on. Mark C called it normal, good enuf for me.

No one else from they bay area going at this moment. 4 Heck yes's and 2 maybe's six months ago has tuned into 2 "I'm too busy at works" 3 "my car is not done's" and 1 "I'm getting a new roof" I did not say "bunchaweenies" and will happily toast my missing comrades while watching the sun set over the mountains behind a row of bug covered Camaros!





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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 06, 02:50 PM
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Re: ammeter gauge "broken?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jks67SS396
Has my inline fuse wiring messed up the "calibration" of the ammeter gauge, causing decent sized loads to appear to be drawing much less current than they are?
It could. Did you solder all connections? Your readings are normal. You would have to have everything on to be close to max, wiper on high, dome on, cig lighter in ect...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jks67SS396
Can these ammeters really go "bad" if too much juice goes through them (ie: can the coil wiring "insulation" in the gauge "melt" or something and cause the guage to short somewhere, indicating a smaller voltage drop throught the coil?)
Yes they can. They only show voltage drop on the battery charge wire. Very little power goes through them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jks67SS396
id really like to know how much they are supposed to move... maybe someone else with gauges will chime in.
Did you see my post here, https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=84943

Greg U

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