Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 07, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

I have been reading this forum for quite a while but this is my first post.

To give a little history:
I have a '69 camaro with a sb 400, electric water pump, electric fan, electric fuel pump and msd ignition and boost retard box. I just replaced a weiand 177 supercharger with a 6-71 and new bg carbs. I was previously running a 3 valley crank pulley which allowed me to run a full size 1-wire alternator on a driver side low mount bracket. With the new setup I switched to a 2 valley pulley and the full size alternator will no longer fit.

The problem:
I purchase a denso 65 amp mini alternator (1-wire) and installed it without a problem. When I went outside the next day the battery was dead. I charged the battery and started the car. I placed a voltmeter on the battery and it was reading 13.5 to 14.3 volts depending on rpms. I checked all connections and there was no loose wires or any wire grounded out. Due to the fact that I have had no problems until I installed the new alternator I assumed it was a bad alternator and just ordered a new one.

The new alternator is a Taylor vertex 85 amp mini alternator (1-wire). I installed this one without any problems, I even replaced the hot wire just in case. I started the car and the voltmeter was reading 14.4+ depending on rpms. This alternator caused the same thing. Battery went dead overnight. Upon doing research on this forum I pulled the negative battery cable loose and touched one end of my test light to the negative terminal and the other end to the ground and the light was very bright. I disconnected my ignition and all the wires from the starter one at a time. Once I removed the hot wire the light went out. I left everything disconnected and reconnected just the hot wire to the alternator and the light came back on. I used my voltmeter and touched the ground to the negative battery terminal and the positive to the chassis and get a reading of 12.51 volts, the same as the battery.

I know this post has been long, but I need help. I have got to be doing something stupid!! Is it possible that I get two alternators in a row from two different manufacturers that have the same exact problem?

Any suggestions

Desperately waiting,
bigbadblown
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 07, 03:24 PM
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

That's a stumper. It is possible to get consecutive bad parts - especially if they are from the same batch. My first inclination was that you still have the external regulator connected. But if it is in fact a single wire alternator, then it shouldn't be causing any problems.

Typically when an alternator causes a voltage drain, a shorted internal diode is the cause. Voltage regulators can also short, but it is less common in my experience. Shorted diodes are typically caused by some sort of electrical system trauma like jump starting the battery with the leads reversed and such. Not sure what I can offer.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 07, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

Well, if it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any. I am going to take both alternators to the local auto electric shop and see what they can tell me. I was hoping maybel I was just doing something stupid, but I don't see how. Hot wire goes from the battery to the starter and directly to the alternator. I disconnected every wire from the starter and alternator but the hot and I have voltage, take the hot off of the alternator and I don't. It has to be the starter.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 07, 06:24 PM
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

Did I miss something here, If you have a one wire alt, you have to disconnect old external reg ? Why be connected to both? That what you said, you were still connnected to old reg?

Don
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 07, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

Sorry for the confusion. When I said I disconnected the other wires I am referring to the dummy light and the ignition wire (going to the msd box). I also have a hot wire running from my alternator to a relay for my electric fan and water pump. The external regulator is no longer connected.
Hope this clears it up.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 07, 08:31 PM
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

i assume you've tried contacting the manufacturers of the alternators to see what they have to say??

you don't plan sincerity.
you have to make it up on the spot.

wanna hear about 20 years ago when i was too smart to know any better?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

I am unable to contact the manufacturers because I don't know who manufactured them. I bought both alternators off ebay as new. Both appeared to be new and never used. I have emailed the sellers trying to ascertain the manufacturer but have not had any response.

If I disconnect the negative battery cable and touch the negative probe from a voltmeter to the negative post on the battery and touch the positive probe to the frame of the car shouldn't the voltage read 0? Or does reading votage just indicate a draw?

I did an ohm test from the case of the alternator to the frame of the car and it zeroes out, so the ground is good I believe.

Still stumped!!!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 04:12 PM
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

Denso made one
http://www.densoaftermarket.com/

Taylor made the other one.
http://www.taylorvertex.com/

you don't plan sincerity.
you have to make it up on the spot.

wanna hear about 20 years ago when i was too smart to know any better?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

Thanks for the links. I have emailed both manufacturers.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

Just went outside to piddle with the car some more. I realized that the alternator was hot to the touch. Car has been sitting for about 1.5 hours with the fully charged battery connected. So the alternator is constantly running even with the car off.

I was reading a similar post on another forum and the problem was overcame by putting a shutoff relay or switch between the alternator and battery. Is this necessary or just ducking the real problem?
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 11th, 07, 10:51 PM
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

The alternator should be off with the engine stopped on a one wire and the ignition off on a 3 wire setup.

A shutoff relay or switch on a one wire I think is ducking the problem.

You are sounding like a customer I had years ago in that the first two or three things he bought would break but after that he was fine. Hopefully the manufacturer's will come through for you or the seller you buoght it from.

Jim

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 07, 03:56 AM
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

As said by others, internal failure has happened, as you've felt by the hot case.

A relay should not be necessary normally, unless so stated by manufacturer. Any instructions?

Alternators will have a very high resistance to ground at the BAT terminal to case, but this resistance is like 5 meg to 100 megohms, resulting in a microamp current amount. Basically, the battery would self-discharge before this miniscule drainage would kill the battery.

As said, hopefully the manf will come through.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 07, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Battery drain being caused by alternator... desperately need help!!

Well, my bad luck just keeps going. Taylor Vertex said they have not sold alternators for the last 10 years, nothing they can do. Denso said they do not sell individuals I would need to contact a dealer. I can't return either alternator for exchange because I had to drill out the holes in the cases to make them fit my low mount bracket.

Guess I will take them to the local shop and have them rebuilt.

Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions.
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