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Old 04-15-2003, 03:59 PM
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Red face Charging problem

I have a 70 chevy nova w/350 externally regulated alternator. On a tester it keeps showing a charging problem, but the problem can't be found. The only component that hasn't been throughly checked is the horn relay. Will this affect the charging system? If so, why?

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Old 04-16-2003, 06:29 AM
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Yes it can effect the charging circuit because you will not have any current to the #3 contact on the regulator .........so no charging circuit! Their should also be a fusible link in that wire that could be burnt out and you'll also get not current from the horn relay to the Regulator. Check for Continuity from the Horn Relay wire to the #3 contact on the Regulator.

What is your Charging problem by the way? Not Charging?
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Old 04-16-2003, 04:03 PM
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I can actually drive the car for a good month slowly draining the battery. At idle the battery is putting out 12.8 volts, and the alternator puts out the same. Today I got the regulator tested at NAPA and it was bad, where as two days ago AutoZone said it was good <img src="graemlins/nono.gif" border="0" alt="[nono]" /> so, i got a new one and suddenly the GEN light went off and everything worked. 20 mins. down the road the GEN light comes back on....I suspect I've isolated the problem to the regulator going bad, but what is causing it, i don't know.
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Old 04-18-2003, 03:37 AM
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My Guess would be heat. Something in the regulator heats up and then the regulator dosn't work properly. Is this an adjustable regulator? Some of the older style could be adjusted for proper output.


Todd


Rat Rods Rule!
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:37 AM
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one thing i'd check: how much voltage is getting to your regulator (at high rpm)? perhaps the alternator is putting out so much voltage that the regulator can't handle it. high voltage can burn up a regulator.

if your alternator is performing within bounds, perhaps the regulator you bought was bad.

most of the newer regulators sold by autozone are japanese-made solid state versions of the original delco-remys, which utilized coils and relays. these newer models are smaller, lighter, cheaper, and possibly less durable than the originals. it could be that you got a bad one.

NAPA stocks the solid state version as well, but the OEM version, made in the USA by the way, is still available for about 4 times the price.

my '70 olds probably uses the same regulator as your '70 nova. when i replaced mine, i was low on cash, so i opted for the cheaper one so the car would run, and it's worked fine for over a year now.

however, i've always felt it was a weak component, and plan on replacing it in the future (hopefully before it fails!). don't know for sure why i felt this way - maybe it was the small size, the light & cheap feel, or maybe the "made in japan" sticker. i tore the original (30+ years old!) apart and found some beefy parts and a very solid construction. there's no way, in my mind, that a little box of silicon transistors can last that long.

i'd take the regulator back and try another of the same kind. see what happens. if it goes bad again, it's not the regulator's fault. if it works, i'd replace it with the better version to prevent future occurances.
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Old 04-20-2003, 12:05 PM
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I think it may have been the Shucks products.lol..but thanks to the warranties, I replaced the regulator, alternator, idiot light(which was missing), and had the battery fully charged, all at once and everything is A OK. Playing musical chairs with failed components just wasn't working. My car was also running at 200-205 degrees during normal driving due to an old radiator which is now replaced with a brand new one and running at 165-180. I think the heat may have been effecting the regulator located right next to it.
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