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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone... I'm trying to help a buddy out with his '69 SS-350 car.

This all started last fall. The battery died for some unknown reason. He replaced the battery, but it still kept going dead and having to be charged.

Thinking that it was some type of leak, he replaced the starter and the voltage regulator... but with no improvement. Then he changed the alternator to a new 61 amp conventional unit, but then ran into this problem.

The battery this spring was dead again. So... he pulled it, charged it , and had it load tested. Junk. So.. now he is running ANOTHER brand new 700 cca battery.

The voltage on the system is 12.65 when the car is off.
When the car is started... the voltage settles in at 14.6 V.
However, when he brings up the RPM at all... the voltage climbs to 15.5-15.7 Volts and sits there. We replaced the external voltage regulator, again, thinking that this could be the issue... but it didn't change a thing.

He is worried that he will be overcharging his battery. My understanding is that over 15 volts is too much. Suggestions?

We are at a loss.
 

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I agress, 15+ volts is too high.
I've used a heavy duty regulator to calm the system down.
Most likely the regulator is a electronic, not the points type.
I believe you still have a regulator problem.
What does the voltage do if the alternator is full fielded?
I believe you jump the 1st and 3rd wire at the regulator plug in to full field it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Huh? I don't know how comfortable I would be jumping wires ... since it isn't my car. ;)

But seriously... what is full fielded? I assume it is taking the regulator out of the equation?
 

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Check to make sure the regulator base has a GOOD ground. Do a voltage check from the reg base, to the alternator case, it must be ZERO.

Replace the wiring harness terminals in the regulator connector, particularly the third pin fron the top. The terminals can be bought, Napa has them in thier old paper books, bring the guy a sample to match up to.
 

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I agree with Jim. Make sure all connectors are in good shape. Sometimes a wire can go into a connector and be all corroded inside where you cant see it. It could be more issues within the wiring harness. Is the wiring original? Was this symptom not happening before and just start flaring up?
 

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Battery charge voltage is also dependent upon electrolyte temperature, a cold battery will take more current to charge than a hotter battery.

I would suggest, after checking ground connection and connectors are in good shape, the regulator be replaced with a Wells P/N VR715, an electronic reg replacing the OE mechanical style reg. I would believe the batch the store has been giving you are adjusted too high.

There is a way to adjust a mechanical reg, but for simplicity sake, its easier to change/try to the Wells unit.

By full fielding the alternator removes the regulator from the circuit and will force the alternator for max voltage and current output, i.e., max current output as stamped on the alt case.
 

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I had the same problems.

Converted over to an internally regulated Alternator and haven't had a bit of problem since.
I highly recommend the changeover.

:cool:
 

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Good advice here regarding the regulator. Batteries do drain down over time. It's known as self discharge and they all do it. If a battery is stored for the winter it's a good idea to charge it every few weeks or put a float charger on it. I'd also recommend checking to make sure you don't have an electrical drain when the ignition is off. Remove a battery cable (negative is safest) and install a test light between the battery and the loose cable end. The light should not illuminate if the ignition is off, door is closed (dome light) etc. Some car stereos have a hot-all-the-time lead, but that should barely cause the test light to glow if at all.
 

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I agree with Jim and Ev and others Steve. Probably regulator, but the wires going to it need to be pristene condition, tabs all clean and fully engaged when the plastic flat plug is pushed in. I ran my car for weeks not knowing the flat plug into the regulator was not 'caught' by the tab that holds it in, and it wiggled off just enuf to not charge the battery at all. After jumping it and pushing that plug in tight and 'snapped' by the catch, it worked fine. I agree with the Wells 715 as well. Best thing you can do and so cheap. Also check grounds as Jim said, use star washers to dig into the metal in case paint is not allowing good ground. Check also ground tab off battery to the fender, star washer that too. Those should find your issue resolved.
Good to see you in here again Steve :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies, all... the tabs on the regultor plug were pulled from their sockets and look to be fairly clean.

I think the suggestion of going with a HD Electronic Wells regulator or a 1-wire modern regultor are probably the best route.

I will propose those to him tomorrow....

Thanks again~!
 

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If you deside to go with a modern alternator (internally regulated) consider going with a CS130 or similar 5-wire (only 3 wires used) instead of a 1-wire. You'll get the benefits of remote sensing and retain your GEN light. Jim posted an article I wrote under the Electrical Basics sticky at the top of this forum you might be interested in. http://www.camaros.net/techref/electrical/dnult_alt/. There is also a good article under the tech references on the home page of this site that shows photo graphs and gives the mechanical (and some electrical) details of the conversion. It's in the series II section http://www.camaros.net/techref/ftecref14.html I think your friend will be much happier with this type of alternator than the 1-wire type.
 
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