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Old 11-03-2003, 07:41 AM
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Red face alternator problems

got a buick regal limited v8 301.- 1979.

A while after buing the car the battery got drained- I thought it was just a matter of gettin`a new battery- but no... after a week the new bat. was drained .... charged the bat and measured the alt. and bat. - when the car was running without the lights on it charged- but as soon as I turned on the lights the battery began to discharge ... like the alt would not regulate the output... so I desided to change the alt. - Installed the new alternator and thougt that was it- but no - no- no... the damn thing still happens...
can anyone tell me what the F... is wrong??
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Old 11-03-2003, 11:25 AM
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have the charging system checked to make sure you don't have a bad alt. Also check for a drain by shutting everything off key out of the ignition and doors shut and pull the negative battery terminal and put a test light betwen the cable and the battery, it shouldn't glow. if so start pulling fuses till the light goes out to isolate the circuit.
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:05 AM
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I did a "draincheck"- no drain at all..
could it be the alt?

did as some people sugest; pulled of the + bat.cable while engine running and whitout lights on, the engine didn`t die. but as soon as i turned on lights and did the same it died...
also tryed to fullfield the alt.. at idle and without lights it gives like 14V but when fullfielding it rises to 15-16...


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Old 11-06-2003, 03:03 AM
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okay...
ckecked the fieldwire all the way to ignition everything is okay.
checked the BAT wire that goes from ALT to BAT - it`s okay.
checked my sensing wire- okay..
could it be that i have something hooked up wrong?
its hooked up like this:
ALT BAT to BAT+

#1 field wire through ALT-light/idiotlight
to ignition. aslo changed the lightbulb..

#2 Sensing to ALT BAT or Sensing to BAT+
(did try both...)

isn`t that ok?

Could it be that its my new Battery that is bad?

please reply...
living in europe -drivin US cars is not easy... hard to find the experts.... well you guys are...
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Old 11-06-2003, 12:25 PM
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If your getting 15 v full field, the reg is defective, or possibly a dirty connection at the batt. or grd. Try another alt. Good luck!
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Old 11-06-2003, 03:17 PM
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I will try to get an new regulator- a rebuilt Alt. is about $200 here in Denmark...

is it worth trying convert the alt to a One-Wire Alt? or is it better to stick with 3-WIre?
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Old 11-06-2003, 03:47 PM
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the alt should be warranty, if not, the reg is easy to replace, scribe the housing across both halves to line back up,remove 4 screws, and pull apart, use a paper clip thru the hole in the back to hold the brushes while you put it back together!

Last edited by Wrencher; 11-06-2003 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 11-06-2003, 04:45 PM
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yes I know how to replace the reg.

just looked at www.madelectrical.com again and printet out the drawing showing the - " BASIC MAIN POWER SYSTEM"
(typical factory wire harness design)
this diagram is a little different than my Hayens book says... but seems more logical.

in my Hayens the BAT. charge wire goes from the ALT to the STARTER. is the starter my "junction" ??
and the sensing wire -the Haynes says- should just be jumped to the alt BAT output.

any ideas??
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Old 11-07-2003, 07:01 AM
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Sorry I didn't get back sooner, daytime user, I don't have a wiring diagram, but I would think the sensing wire and charge wire should come from the same area, that could be the starter, have you changed any wiring?, try changing the alt or reg. could be just a def alt!!! And definitely check the batt term's, they must be clean, inside and out!
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Old 11-08-2003, 12:27 PM
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Just got a new Regulator today. will also try to make some new wiring ... I`ll be back with good news soon... (I hope)...
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Old 11-09-2003, 07:01 AM
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ok guys - read this: I have not changed the Regulator yet but tried something I looked up on the internet;
the field sensing terminal gets its "orders" to start charging from the ignition and ampmeter / bulb. but sometimes the Regulator can loose its "power" during essambly at the factory so the little amount of volts it normally gets from the sensing wire is not enough to turn it on- so to get it charging you can jump the sensing terminal with 12 volt for a second- this should make the alt working properly again -putting out about 14.4 volt .... Well- tried to do so and damn it works!
- but for some reason on my alt it only works as long as I keep jumping 12 volts to the sensing terminal... when I take it of an connect the main sensingwire back on the alt it will not charge.. so proberly a bad regulator... ??
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Old 11-10-2003, 06:58 AM
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Delco had some trouble with larger 21SI alternators charging at idle, so they Installed an exciter term., but you shouldn't need one, check the voltage on the sens. wire unplugged, should be batt. voltage, if it is, bad reg. or grd problems, with it running, check voltages at batt., and rear of alt. should be same, if not check alt grd, eng to body, eng to batt. HTH
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Old 11-10-2003, 09:05 AM
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hey Wrencher.. don't you meen "check the voltage on the sens.wire unplugged should be Bat voltage if it ISN`T!! bad reg.or ground" ??
everything you asked checks okay..

check this!!!: I tried to make the connections to the alt as I have mentioned before.. with the field.wire jumped directly to 12 volt -this makes my Alt. produce 14.4 volt without the alt getting hot or the battery boiling... It also works fine with all accessories on ...
Now can anybody tell me what is going on?? this seems to crazy..its the first time the alt is doing its job- and it is totally crazy hooked up! : ALT bat. to BAT+
#2 sensing to BAT+
#1 Field to BAT +
Crazy stuff...
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Old 11-10-2003, 02:59 PM
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Shamone, to full field the alt., " bypass the reg"., stick a small screwdriver in the small hole in the rear of the alt. if it charges with the screwdriver in 15+volts, the reg is bad! I thought it was charging at idle but not with a load? If it won't charge with the full field, replace alt! it is possible to overheat an alt. they are not meant to completely recharge a dead batt. charge the batt. too

Last edited by Wrencher; 11-10-2003 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 11-10-2003, 04:14 PM
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man.... all this is crazy stuff...its about midnight here in Denmark....

I did try to fullfield the Alt. before I made that crazy wiring- and it overcharged (15+) so I new it was either a bad regulator or bad wiring... Then after I made the crazy wiring I told about before I tried to fullfield and nothing happend - no less or more volt - just 14.4 volt as it should be!!!

Tomorrow I will try to replace the regulator to se what happens- my head tells me it will be the same s...

If so I will try to reverse the #1 and #2 connections to se if something in the wiring of the charging/starting-circuit is hooked up reversed by the previous owner(s).


Last edited by shamone; 11-10-2003 at 04:27 PM.
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