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Discussion Starter #1
I figured I'd start a tread on this problem now. Instead the battery relocate thread. Recap...

Finished up! Not sure what happened though... At idle I have my 12.54v and won't go up untill I hit the gas. As soon as I touch it the volts go right up. If I turn the lights and wipers on at idle my volts go to around 11.7 then touch the gas and goes right to 14 or so.??????.... I ran 4ga from the alt to the batt and from the batt to the distribution block. Total runs were around 18 feet each way. From what I've been reading it looks like I went too small..Grrr. I may be fine for 60 amp alt but what if I upgrade to 130? I hope I'll be fine. I may try a smaller pulley on the alt. Right now I have a 2 3/4" and a 7" crank. I might try a 2" and see what happens. Any other suggestions?



Everett#2309
Ext reg alt? System working normal. By its design, the Delcotron was the hot ticket. The mech reg has too much swing. You can adjust them up to 14.8 VDC with only engine running at 1800-2000 rpm, but turn on headlamps, heater, wipers, and idle, voltage is around battery, 12.5 VDC at best. Give rpm, and it boosts up.

Measure voltage drop from BAT @ alt to battery post, s/b less than 0.4 V., stud to stud/post.

If using a good quality DMM, zero the meter first. Use the length of wire you chose to get to the other end of the car and select DC volts on the meter. Take the length of wire and the other meter lead and hold the ends together. Meter will indicate some voltage under a volt. Watch the meter count down to zero, may take a minute or two. As soon as zero is obtained, measure voltage drop of power cable.

Before doing anything drastic, such as changing pulley, change mech regulator for a Wells P/N VR715 regulator and tell us the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Some update. My drop from the batt to the alt was good. I have the wells regulator. I ended up changing the pulley from a 2.75 to 2.55. Voltage drop from the alt ( 14.55V) at batt ( 14.30) to the terminal block was .35 Volts. I have a steady 14.20v at the terminal block now at 800rpm. Here's whats happening now. This just may be lask of alt with the length of wire.

At terminal block under hood at idle 14.20v
With brights on 12.75
With wipers 12.20
with heater 11.7

I would like a steady say 14v at idle with acc on. I can see fans are out right now. Whats needed?
 

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I would like a steady say 14v at idle with acc on. I can see fans are out right now. Whats needed?
You will need to install a three wire alternator with the reference line tied to your main power distribution point.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You will need to install a three wire alternator with the reference line tied to your main power distribution point.

Any wire diagram pictures? What alternator?
 

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Marc, I agree with what onavakind said, however using a 61 amp alternator, external regulator, and stock regulator wiring, you all ready have that. The sense wire is connected to the main splice, in the harness near the regulator.

What you are seeing is normal.

That alternator cannot hold 14 plus volts at idle with the lights on. It just won't do it. Mine is exactly the same way, has been for years Perfectly normal, and my battery is always fully charged, alternator can keep up no problem.

The electric fans are out no doubt, but they are out with a 60 amp anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Marc, I agree with what onavakind said, however using a 61 amp alternator, external regulator, and stock regulator wiring, you all ready have that. The sense wire is connected to the main splice, in the harness near the regulator.

What you are seeing is normal.

That alternator cannot hold 14 plus volts at idle with the lights on. It just won't do it. Mine is exactly the same way, has been for years Perfectly normal, and my battery is always fully charged, alternator can keep up no problem.

The electric fans are out no doubt, but they are out with a 60 amp anyway.

Everett metioned a CS130. Should I just do it and stop troubleshooting? You have any wire diagrams off hand for it?
 

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Ditto as Jim. Normal for the setup.
 

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Everett metioned a CS130. Should I just do it and stop troubleshooting? You have any wire diagrams off hand for it?
There are a couple of articles on later model alternator swaps in the electrical basics sticky.

You can also purchase new high output external regulator alternators, I believe summit has them, 100 amps and higher, and a boltin with no changes at all.

Until or unless your current system can't keep up with the load, you really don't have a problem that needs to be addressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There are a couple of articles on later model alternator swaps in the electrical basics sticky.

You can also purchase new high output external regulator alternators, I believe summit has them, 100 amps and higher, and a boltin with no changes at all.

Until or unless your current system can't keep up with the load, you really don't have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Thanks Jim. I'm gonna leave it the way it is for now. The only thing that bothers me is the dim dash lights when the headlights go on. Other than that I'll look into the upgrade when I get the fans. The way I am that will be tommorrow..LOL:sad:
 

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The only thing that bothers me is the dim dash lights when the headlights go on.
You can get brighter bulbs for the dash lights. The standard bulbs are type 194, 4 watt. There is a 7 watt bayonet base bulb readily available, usually on the shelf at most auto parts stores, number is 4 digits, starts with a 2, I'll try to remember to post it again when I get home.

EDIT: and yes, before the inevitable questions start, I have had them in my dash for 5 years. They have not burned out, the dimmer still works fine, and nothing has melted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll look into the dash bulbs.
Hey..What do you think of the headlight relay wireing? Would this benefit me either way with this alt or a new one? From what i'm reading will my lights still dim this way using the same alt? Wondering if it's worth the trouble.
 

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Wondering if it's worth the trouble.
Real easy to find out. The headlight relay will reduce any voltage drop in the wiring and switch.

To check how much voltage drop you have:
Start the engine and turn on the headlights.
put 1 voltmeter lead on one of the screws on the horn relay.
Stick the other in the back of the headlight wiring socket (try both wires, see which "reads anything"
Your reading is the voltage drop to the headlights. Ideally it will be near zero.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I tried it with the car off. It's in the garage and pouring outside. Drops will fall on the hood..LOL Anyway

Voltage at batt in trunk = 12.57v
Voltage at relay with lights off = 12.54v
Voltage at relay with lights on = 11.72v
Voltage at lights = 10.07v
Reading at light to relay looks like -1.20 ?? Doing it that way reads the voltage drop? I guess it would make sense. Would doing the relays help with the dimming of the dash too?
 

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Then hooking up a relay for your headlights would make them 10% brighter.

And yes, if your dash lights are noticeably dimmer with the headlights on than they are with the parking lights on, the relay would help that too.
 

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:thumbsup: Ugggg here goes another project.........:sad:
 

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EDIT: and yes, before the inevitable questions start, I have had them in my dash for 5 years. They have not burned out, the dimmer still works fine, and nothing has melted.
LOL...I was thinking, but first hand experience trumps.
 

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You can map out where your electrical system may be low performing. If you're concerned about the 4 ga wire, you can simply measure accross the ends of it while it's loaded or charging. You should see near zero volts. Start big by measuring vehicle B+ with the postitive post of the battery. Then repeat for the fender and battery (-) post. Then go from battery (+) to alternator (+), then alternator shell to battery (-). Remeber this only works when current is flowing (either charge or heavy load).

You should be able to add up all the voltage drops and they will exactly equal the voltage at the battery. Grounds should add up to a very small amount, less than 0.5V I'd say. Power drops should add up very closely to the battery voltage. It's a fool proof way of narrowing the problem down to a circuit.
 

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I would highly recommend you go to the M.A.D. electrical site and read all their tech stuff. There is a lot of good info. Relays for the headlights will help stock wiring A LOT as they will allow more volts to go to your main power feed in the dash (think ignition, dash lights, etc.) and you can run your head lights at 14+ volts. Good luck.
 

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As said, the results seen are normal for the vehicle's present configuration.

My thoughts are these, regardless how much a person improves the current path for a device, the overall electrical load remains the same, if not more due to shorter wire lengths cutting down on current losses and the load, whatever it may be, consuming more current due to more available voltage, if the load itself never changes resistive value.

Example being a headlamp. It puts out X amount of illuminesence at X volts.
Increase voltage, increases illuminesence, more current flows. Add more current loads, the current generator is at its designed output, its not going to output any more at a low rpm. This is where the battery came into play, as designed to help deliver more current when the alt can't keep up with the demand. Then, as rpm went up, the battery gets recharged.

In the day of manufacture, people installed larger capacity batterys and kept a mental note on battery fluid level - how much distilled water they had to add. If battery was cold and low, ext reg got adjusted up. If battery was hot, vent caps were wet, and low level, ext reg got adjusted down, the battery was being overcharged - being cooked.

I believe a 12SI alternator might help the situation and the easiest. Unplug the ext reg connector, jumper the two inside wires together and jumper the two outside wires together and transfer the alt plug 1 to 1 and 2 to 2. You might have to add a diode to prevent backfeed as the engine will still run with the key off. With the installation of an int reg alt, ign switches got two IGN leads, IGN 1 for ignition, and IGN 2 for alternator excitement.

A CS130 alt would be a better choice as it being better technology in a smaller package and cleaner hook-up and more available current than a 12SI.

Again, these are my thoughts, I need another cup of java. Questions?
 

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You're always going to have some voltage drop, but that 1.20v drop (or 1.65 volts derived from your other figures) should reduce to less than 0.1v with the relays. Your lights will be brighter and you probably won't see quite as much dimming of the dash lights etc. I'd pull the light power to feed the relays from the terminal block behind the battery and use a fusable link or resetable breaker. That will keep headlight power off the main power bus and should reduce dash light dimming etc. to some degree. A CS-130 with remote sensing would eliminate all dimming problems.
 
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