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Old 08-23-2008, 07:48 PM
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Amp Gauge Reading Negative 60!

I have been advised to dump the amp gauge for a volt meter instead. Now the car has actually been sitting because I haven't had a chance to tinker with it for some time, but I just went out there and started the car and the amp gauge was reading -60 , I mean the needle was almost past the -60 . Would a bad alternator cause this or when I change to a volt meter this problem will be solved? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 08-23-2008, 08:07 PM
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I'm not sure what you are working on, but with an amp gauge it's probably a car with an external voltage regulator. If the car has been setting as you say, with the engine running, try tapping on the regulator with the handle of a screwdriver. The contacts may be stuck. The regulator may be bad. The alternator may be bad.

Changing to a voltmeter will not solve your problem, if you do indeed have a problem. The amp gauge may be faulty.

With a fully charged battery, the amp gauge should be very close to "0" or a bit to the + side. When you increase the electrical load the gauge will show more positive, until your electrical load exceeds the output of the alternator or generator, then it will show to the - side of the gauge.

Basically, when the gauge is on the + side the charging system is handling the electrical load. When the gauge reads to the - side the battery is discharging to supply power for the load being carried.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:24 PM
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Whoa! I never knew that, but it makes sense. So the generator (alternator) isn't putting out enough and needs to be upgraded, or has gone bad?
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:39 PM
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Not so quick!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olds86
Whoa! I never knew that, but it makes sense. So the generator (alternator) isn't putting out enough and needs to be upgraded, or has gone bad?
While what he said is true, with a reading that drastic, there's an indication of something possibly much more extreme than just not being able to keep up with the load.

Check for shorts, have the alternator and battery tested, let us know if any changes were made recently, check for broken wires at the alternator or regulator and we can go from there.

Steve
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 58Apache
While what he said is true, with a reading that drastic, there's an indication of something possibly much more extreme than just not being able to keep up with the load.

Check for shorts, have the alternator and battery tested, let us know if any changes were made recently, check for broken wires at the alternator or regulator and we can go from there.

Steve
There has been nothing changed dealing w/electrical load, the only change was a new flywheel was installed. Yeah I'm going to follow all wires tomorrow, hopefully by then it wil have stopped raining, I'm going to have both the alternator and battery tested tomorrow as well. So I'll let you guys know the results of that tomorrow as well.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:14 PM
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You never have told us yet what year, model, car/truck, we're even talking about. Or have I missed something?
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:25 AM
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I am assuming this is the same vehicle which you posted about back at the first of this month, with the smoking AMP gauge and wires.
If I am correct in this assumption (btw in case you didnt know... assumption is the mother of all fkups) lol,
#1 Unhook your battery BEFORE YOU BURN THAT HOTROD.
#2 You said the flywheel was recently replaced make sure no wires were pinched between the block and bell housing during installation.
#3 The AMP gauge has finally bit the dust, don't change anything else with your electrical system until you get the amp ga. out of the picture, and do the following.
#4 Trace out all wires and replace any with heat damage. with the exception of the 2 large wires going to the amp ga., remove them completely.
#5 Install a wire from the alt. to the Battery + or starter lug (wherever you removed the wires from the amp gauge) I would go with at least 8ga. wire.
#6 If you have found your volt meter you are going to use. mount your voltmeter and wire it in according to the manufacturers instructions.
#7 Now, test your charging system and come back in here and tell us how well it works. (unless the amp gauge has taken out the voltage regulator and/or alternator.)
GL,
Tech
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