Team Camaro Tech banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm almost done installing an American Autowire Classic Update Harness with Dakota Digital gauges in my '67 RS. Just wondering what to do about the alternator warning light wire? I called AAW tech support and they were convinced the DD gauges will accomodate that wire (they won't) then just told me no light is needed (is that true? is there a bypass?) then said if I really wanted an idiot light, just attach the brown wire to one side of a bulb and switched ignition source to the other (that would cause run-on I thought?). I'm sure the guy knew his stuff in general but his level of certainty on this didn't sound great. Can anyone confirm:
1. With the AAW Classic Update harness, will the car function with the under-dash brown wire for alt warning light disconnected?
2. If I want to add an alt warning light, do I need to add a diode, and if so, how big of one, to prevent run-on? Wasn't mentioned by the AAW guy.
Thanks!
 

·
Gold Lifetime Member
Joined
·
1,654 Posts
I would not try and do the AAW classic update without the correct crimpers. There are other ones out there (besides the ones that AAW had on their website) that work. But, with the right crimpers, it will make installation ALOT easier. I had bought the crimper that does the double crimps off of eBay for about $40 when I found another car guy that was local to me selling his old AAW crimpers. Do yourself a favor and either rent them or buy them and just re-sell them. I bet you wouldn't have any issues selling them to someone else.

Codi, I installed the CU kit in my camaro last year. I love that thing. Once you figure out the crimps, it was a breeze. Is your camaro stock or do you have many aftermarket options?
 

·
Gold Lifetime Member
Joined
·
1,654 Posts
Brian, do you have the VHX gauges? I installed the CU kit with VHX and there are no provisions for a Alt warning light in the DD gauges. Between the VHX and the other digital ones VDF, you have a volt game that works great. You can set up warning limits for most of the gauges so if the reading goes below X limit, it will display a warning in one of the lower digital windows.

I also used the Warn light function AKA shift light. Easy to wire up and I just put an LED in place of the old high beam indicator. I love these gauges!
 

·
Admin/Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,511 Posts
If I'm not mistaken they assume if you are installing the update line that you have a non factory charging system. If you still have the factory setup with remote voltage regulator and standard Alternator then the warning light for GEN is necessary as it serves as a resistance device and the system will expect a certain resistance provided by the traditional bulb. If you go without it you need to add a resistor to the loop. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will call me out on this. :)
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
14,291 Posts
If I'm not mistaken they assume if you are installing the update line that you have a non factory charging system. If you still have the factory setup with remote voltage regulator and standard Alternator then the warning light for GEN is necessary as it serves as a resistance device and the system will expect a certain resistance provided by the traditional bulb. If you go without it you need to add a resistor to the loop. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will call me out on this. :)
The classic update kit does not support external reg alts and it does not support amp-meters.

If you have a gauge you don't need am idiot light
 

·
Admin/Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,511 Posts
Thanks John that what I thought.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Codi - The AAW kit is great quality - all GXL wire both in the engine compartment and in the cabin. I did make some modifications like adding relays for the headlights (it was a head-scratcher with the original RS wiring but it works) and adding a busbar on the firewall (using the starter lug as the main power distribution point bothered me) but it mostly installed as directed. I wouldn't install it without their crimpers; the expense is a little painful but you're making tons of crimps in the engine compartment that will be high-heat, high-strain, relatively high-amperage, and exposed to anything flung up from the road. I soldered and heatshrunk the high-risk ones too.

Chris - I do have the VHX gauges. Does your car run/charge with the brown wire in the dash harness (that would have gone to the alt light) just not hooked up? If so that sounds workable!

Brian - Sorry! I have a 12SI. I know at some point GM added an second ignition path with a resistor to excite the alternator field in case the alt light was burnt out (whenever they switched to internally regulated alternators, I think). I suspect AAW would have built it into the harness so the alt light wire doesn't need to be connected but I haven't seen a really good schematic of the AAW CU harness to confirm it. Just a bit OCD about wiring and hate the idea of doing it wrong when I could get it right with a little advice.

Thanks, all!
 

·
Gold Lifetime Member
Joined
·
1,654 Posts
Brian, I believe I just removed that brown wire from the dash wire connector. Works fine LOL
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Sounds great. As much as I'd like an alt warning light, the odds of throwing a fan belt are fairly low and the voltmeter would catch any other charging problem... might be easier just to follow your lead. Thanks!
 

·
Gold Lifetime Member
Joined
·
1,654 Posts
The volt gauge gets it baseline voltage reading from the ign (or batt, can't remember) wire input into the control panel. With the "warning" function of the VHX control panel, an alt light is obsolete LOL Have you thought about where you are going to put the two black set buttons? Be sure to put them where they are accessible. I put mine on the lower edge of the dash, just left of the gauge bezel.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Fair enough. You can make an argument that if you throw a fan belt, the alt warning light will tell you immediately whereas a voltmeter will take a few minutes. Not sure that's worth the trouble though. I'm putting the set buttons on the lower edge of the dash just right of the gauge bezel but left of the bezel for the radio/heater controls.
 

·
Gold Lifetime Member
Joined
·
1,654 Posts
I can understand that reasoning Brian ;-)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
66 Posts
I'm currently installing the DD VHX gauges AND converting from 10dn to a 10si alternator. I am confused on the brown alternator light wire that is not used with the DD gauges but is supposed to hook up to the #1 terminal on the alternator. Is this wire not needed for the alternator to run properly?
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top