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?