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Discussion Starter #1
Vehicle: 1969 Camaro 350 4-speed
Hey gang. Well just replaced my six year old battery (car sits more than driven) Was having problems after the car would be driven it would not restart. Battery shop said the battery was dead and after charging could not handle a load. Put in a new AC delco battery toady with over 750 cold cranking amps. Also alternator is a new AC delco

Anyhow when I put a volt meter on it with the car running it shows like 13.5 - 13.9 volts. (Battery before start up was like 13.3 volts) With the voltage regulator cover off I can see the device working away tapping. So when I adjust the volt meter to 14.4 to 15 volts the alternator starts to whine and the engine runs rougher. Also no movement out of the voltage regulator.

And to add to this I think my factory reproduction volt gauge is dead. When my meter shows 13.5-13.9 volts the gauges is showing negative past 0 to the left. (It has always been like this since buying the car.)

When my volt meter shows 14.4 to 15 volts the gauge sits at 0 and jumps all around. Any info would be great thanks.

I feel like i can't drive this car very far from my house in fear of getting stranded with a dead battery. :beers:
 

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Voltage regulator is adjusted correctly after 15 minutes of run time at 1500 rpm, no accessories on and when ambient temperature at VR is 125°F, voltage should be within 13.5-14.3 volts, nominally 13.9 volts at battery.

If adjustment is needed, note voltage reading from 13.9 volts, pull VR cap straight off -don't touch anything - watch voltage drop and stabilize. Adjust VR for the difference to bring up to 13.9 with cap on, replace cap and let temp stabilize. Note reading again.

Example: Battery reads 14.5 volts - need to reduce to 13.8-14.0 - 0.5 volt adjustment for ambient temp of 125°F, remove VR cap, voltage drops/increases, depending upon temp, say to 13.5 volts. Adjust/increase 0.5 volts, replace cap to let VR heat up, check battery voltage - should be close to 13.8-14.0 volts.

For the gauge is it an ammeter? Zero at 12 o:clock? Ammeter - should read to the left of center when engine is off, battery supplying current demanded. If meter reads to the right, swap gauge leads on the back of gauge; now gauge should read to the left indicating a battery discharge with engine off. Once engine starts to run, meter should read to the right of center, battery being charged.

Normal operation at night with headlamps on with other accessories on - more current load - engine idling, gauge may show discharge, reads to the left of center, until engine rpm goes up, then battery gets recharged. Repeats again at next stop light. You might consider replacing the mech VR with a Wells p/n VR715, electronic VR to make alt work alittle harder at idle and less current draw from battery at idle, if equipped with a 37A alternator. Battery takes longer to recharge than it does discharging.
 

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factory reproduction volt gauge is dead.
Everett meantions this
The std gauge is a ammeter not a volt meter
There is a volt meter alternative resently released on the market
A post a couple months ago
So I would be rather confident your "factory reproduction volt gauge" is an ammeter
 

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Wow great info guys. Yes gauge is the factory ammeter O is at 12 o'clock. with the car off it stays to the left of 0 discharge. Stays like this with car running Unless you get the volts at 14.5 at the battery which the needle starts going crazy.

I think i will try the VR 175. Should the VR be bolted direct to rad support or keep the rubber bushings and ground strap?

Thanks guys
 

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Wow great info guys. Yes gauge is the factory ammeter O is at 12 o'clock. with the car off it stays to the left of 0 discharge. Stays like this with car running Unless you get the volts at 14.5 at the battery which the needle starts going crazy.
You have any electronic device? Example would be an aftermarket radio with clock and memory always drawing power. Or, with power disconnected from the gauge and needle is deflecting off center, it could mean the gauge needs resetting, as in the needle being repositioned on its shaft, bend the needle over, or maybe the internal adjustment needs tweaking.

A quick and dirty test for static current draw, meaning as car sits with key off, is to remove a battery cable and insert a light bulb or a test light between the cable and battery post and see the glow - means current is being drawn, the dimmer the glow, the less current drawn. Ever view the car at night/darkness to check for lights on?

I think i will try the VR 175. Should the VR be bolted direct to rad support or keep the rubber bushings and ground strap? Thanks guys
You're welcome. It's VR715, can be purchased at most any parts store, especially NAPA.

You can bolt it directly to the rad supp, use star washers between the case and rad supp, or bushings with the ground strap. The VR chassis must be grounded, or same reference point to the alt case, an ohmmeter will confirm this showing less than 1 ohm.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Everett#2390. I think the gauge needs resetting. It sits to the left of zero (discharge) with no battery connections. I will go over to NAPA today and try a new VR715. Thanks for the help.
 

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Yes there is, dependent upon manf, but you still have to remove the cover to get to it.
Cheaper units had no screw, just bend the stationary tab to lengthen the spring - increase voltage.
 

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Yes there is,
Cool Im not as old and senile and have alzimers as my kids recon lol...well old yes lol
last time I had my gauges out would have been around '84 sorting out getting the temp to read accurate
I rem thinking hmmm...thats handy
What where we talking about?
 

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I misunderstood, Steps, I thought you were talking about the reg adjusting screw, and here you were talking about the gauge adjustment screw............some do, some don't.
 

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I never messed with my regulator....when my orginal alternator wore up yrs ago, I replaced with a self regulating.
I did mess around with my GM Holden 69 Monaro HT which is the same unit 30 yrs ago...but the alzimers kicked in lol....cant rem...

Damn got to getting old, on the self above me is the AC Delco electrical service manual..
Says basically the same as Everett says above.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey guys thanks for the info. I took the needle off and zeroed the gauge. With the car at idle it goes one tick to the left of 0 to discharge when you rev the engine it goes back to zero. With a multi meter at the battery it is making 14 volts. The battery is brand new AC delco.
 

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It depends upon the state of charge of the battery.
Engine off, key on, gauge should go to the left showing a discharge.
Start engine, gauge should go to the right, showing battery being charged.

How/where is the gauge hooked up?
 

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It should be charging when there is a load and you are enough above idle for the alternator to be working.
 
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