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Old 11-29-2004, 06:37 AM
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Can engine be started without alternator

Couple of days ago, on a party I've met guy who was saying that he can start and run engine GM 350 for a while just on a battery. I disagreed but he was pretty adamant about that . I know that my car 69Cutlass will just turn but not start and run with defective alternator even if all other components are working correctly. Who is right ? Is there a way to wire engine that would just run on a battery even for just a short time ?

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Old 11-29-2004, 07:40 AM
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Yes the engine will run on just the battery. If no lights are also being run, the engine will run quite a long while on a fully charged battery.
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Old 11-29-2004, 08:39 AM
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That is interesting because long time ago my car wouldn't start and it was a defective alternator . Does anyone knows where to get wiring diagrams for pre Hei ignition ? I am really curious about this . Can anyone confirm that car will not start without defective alternator or it is just weird stuff concerning my car ( 69 Cutlass)only ?
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Olds 69
That is interesting because long time ago my car wouldn't start and it was a defective alternator .
Yup, if the alternator is wired into the system and something goes wrong with it (something as simple as the the main "alt" wire being detached) the car will not start or run (at least on many makes). However, if you wire the ignition system to totally bypass the alt it will run fine off the battery. I used to run my C/A without an alternator - just off battery power. I could race all day (qualifying and eliminations) with power to spare.
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Olds 69
That is interesting because long time ago my car wouldn't start and it was a defective alternator . Does anyone knows where to get wiring diagrams for pre Hei ignition ? I am really curious about this . Can anyone confirm that car will not start without defective alternator or it is just weird stuff concerning my car ( 69 Cutlass)only ?
I couldn't find a wiring diagram for your specific application. I do have one for a '62 Chevy and a '65 Chevy. Both have a 'HOT' wire running from the (+) post on the battery to either the 'BAT' terminal on the regulator or the 'BAT' terminal on the horn relay. From that point they have a separate wire running to the ignition switch. This gives power to the coil and is independent from the generator or alternator.

Most vehicles have three (some have additional sub circuits)separate wiring circuits. These are the Starting, Charging and Lighting circuits. Unless the 'HOT' wire to the ignition switch is coming directly from the alternator and has either come disconnected or burned in two, the engine should still start whether the alternator is good or not.
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Old 11-29-2004, 07:04 PM
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yeah I'm just kind of agreeing with the rest but my 350 camaro runs just great without an alternator because finding the right one cheap isn't easy. But then again I'm to lazy right now to work on that car. and yes they will run a good bit on a fully charged battery. I've had mine sitting for at least 2 months and started it up every weekend and let it run for 2 mins and the battery still isn't dead so theres your answer. good thing you didn't beat the guy on it
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:07 PM
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Most cars will start and run without an alternator. They are designed to run off the nice, steady, filtered 12 volts from the battery. The alternator's function is to maintain the charge in the battery.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:10 PM
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My buddy had a 16 ft donzi with a reworked 350 chevy in it. Ran it all day all summer with no alt. Just charged it up before he ran it. The boat had almost NO elec load except the ignition. Worked great.
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:41 PM
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Thanks all of you for clearing up that one for me.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:19 PM
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When I was younger, I had a porsche 924, that wasn't in the best of shape. Alternator went on it, and a new alternator was 381 bucks, so what I did was take a spare battery, charge it up, and keep it in the trunk. Every night I would charge up the main battery with a charger. ran that way for a few months before I splurged on an alternator. Never ran out of juice, as long as you don't spend too much time cranking the engine, it will run a long time.
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