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Discussion Starter #1
I recently replaced the last red top optima I had, thinkin the batter was bad..... It wouldnt charge past 11 volts....so I replaced the alternator today...same problem....I went to volt regulator and tightned spring screw all the way....no change....what am I missing??...the wiring seem o,k.....but....kinda old too...but connections are good....I hooked the meter up to the back of the alt also....same reading of 11.44 or so....any body got any solututions?.....wouldnt the battery charge back up if It was kinda low on volts when the new alt. was installed?....
 

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Do you have a light on the dash, if so it must come on when key is turned on for alt. to work.

Dan E.
69 SS396 4spd. 4.10 posi. x66 coupe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well my dash light arent really functional right now..although I think some are just burnt out....when I hit the blinker, the light flashes under the dash(its hanging there until I fix the harness under the dash and/or fix the ground for the dash light harness.....

I read somewhere if you disconnect the neg. wire from battery and the car dies, the alt. is bad?...any truth to this?...because I did it last night with the old alt. and the car died....could that have messed up the voltage regulator?....
 

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i would tend to believe if the batt was disconnected with the engine running and the car stalls you "are running on battery only". also the red dash warning warning lamp should be on when its running on battery only, I just went thru this. I had the closest parts house confirm the bad alternator. I just got a oe type remy alternator online for $55.00 and no core. just for a starting point I did a new external regulator, regrounded the regulator, added new alternator main contact with solder and heatshrink.

I think you need a new alternator, I would also confirm all grounds are 100%
 

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dan e. is telling you about the "gen" light on the dash. its the one thats wired in that circuit. the other stuff probably isnt related.
it would be real cheap to drop in a new regulator and new ground, the optima battery may be drained, are you recharging with AGM specific charger? I believe a standard charger will harm that battery to some degree. the new alternator is from where? was it bench tested? that would be a concrete starting point. it can only be a couple of things, you'll be done soon.
I am in retail automotive and see new alternators failing right out of the box, its more common than some would believe.
 

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Make sure the VR chassis has very little resistance to the alt case, less than 1 ohm. I believe the VR chassis is bolted directly to the radiator support, no wellnuts as with earlier years and no ground strap on one mounting bolt.
Next, VR F wire should go to the right terminal on the rear alt connector, blue wire?
VR #2, orange wire turns to white wire on left terminal of alt rear connector, confirm.
VR #3, is a red wire connected to, eventually, to horn relay buss bar with other red wires, one from battery junction block.
VR #4, is pink wire from firewall connector and other side of firewall is brown wire to inst cluster.

On alt connector, blue wire is field voltage, no field, no alt worky.
Should also have battery voltage on white wire to turn off GEN light with alt running.

Once wiring is checked out and alt is outputing, you will have to readjust VR to lower voltage. At VR temp of 130°F, battery charge voltage should read about/around 13.8 volts, no accessories on, just ignition at 2500 rpm, usually after running 15-20 minutes to heat up battery from the charge process.

All the above only applies to an OE 10DN alternator system, externally reg'd alt. You can swap out the VR with a Duralast/Wells reg'r, P/N VR715, plug & play, and let the charge system do its thing.

Externally charge the new battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
the alt. was from napa...I havent charged it at all ..I was hoping alt. would take over and raise the volts from 11 to 13 or so...but no dice...maybe I should take the battery in and have it charged first...but maybe the volt reg. is bad too....any way to troubleshoot it?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
if I drive the car around will that start the charging process?....doesnt it start up after the engine starts...or does the rpms have to be 2500 and up like everett said?
 

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Charging process starts as soon as the GEN light goes out. Running the system for 15 minutes reduces the heavy charge load to the battery from being used to power the starter and recharges the battery to a 'normal' level.

As the battery heats up from being charged, the battery takes less charge voltage. If VR is et too high, the battery will overheat and literally cook out the electrolyte. With these older charging systems, one monitored the battery charge every week and made VR adjustments to where the battery did not need water nor did it go dead by not being charged enough through normal driving. A constant maintenance check until the battery held a happy medium, not dead and full of water, but not needing water every week.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
well I took her out last night for about 30 min. came back home and left the engine runing....hooked up my meter and only got 9 volts this time.....the battery def. isnt charging....I think Im gonna get a new volt regulator today.....or have been thinking about a one wire alt?....any pros and cons on that?
 

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Measure each of the alt connector wires to ground with engine running.
You read on the white wire or left wire ______?
You read on the blue wire or right wire ______?
 

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I had the same issue and found it to be the 24ga brown/white small resistance wire had burned up from the ignition sw on top of the steering column (pin A) to the gen light (mine was a little different by a gauge car) but same thing. There is also a brown wire along with the brown/white wire coming from that pin. This is why the're asking if your gen light goes out after you start it. When you took it for a ride, did you exceed 4k rpm. Try that and see if you can maually excite the alternator to turn on. That worked for me until I replaced my wire harness.
 

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.....or have been thinking about a one wire alt?....any pros and cons on that?

I've never looked back since going that way. A one wire will have a dust plug over the two terminals for the light and exciter. The exciter is shorted to the battery feed internally and the light terminal can still be used. There's also a three wire internally regulated model which is essentially the same except it doesn't come with a dust plug and the exciter has to be connected to either the battery post or the battery stud on the alt.
 
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