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Old 11-06-2004, 05:19 PM
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charging system problems

Ok Here is my problem... I'm driving down the road, and i use my turn signals and the lights start to blink, turn signals go slow, etc. step on the gas a bit and blinker speeds up, lights brighten up, etc. Now when i'm at a stop the lights are dim and the charge indicator gauge is at D . i'm giving the car a bit of gas and the lights start to blink.. the charge indicator light goes from D to just above D to D and back to above D and then back down to D.. etc.

Now i went to an alternator shop, and they checked my belt, and tightened it up a bit and said there you go see you later... but the problem persists.. They tested the battery and the charging system and said that it is 14 volts. I haven't had the car die on me from having a dead battery yet, but i don't want it to happen to me.

What other tests can i do to make sure my charging system is working properly.. It is the only thing left on this car to do that will make me feel safe driving it. (I've gotten the engine rebuilt, the tranny rebuilt, the windows pulled and reinstalled and got all the rust in the window frames repaired.

Oh yes... I drive a 64 Tbird. it has an external voltage regulator.


I want to turn my charging system into something a little bit more reliable than i feel that it is now... I'm thinking of doing away with the external regulator, and getting an alternator with a built in regulator wired into my car instead. Or else going through and replacing all the wire in my car so i know that it is all good. which will be a major job.

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Old 11-06-2004, 06:18 PM
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*If you are charging at 14 volts, you will be fine. Internal regulators are no better than an external one, as long as they are working.

A quick way to check if it is charging, pull off the neg battery terminal while it is running. If it stays running it is charging.
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Old 11-06-2004, 06:38 PM
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i just drove about 1/2 hr away, and the lights were barely working... I couldn't see the road. dropped it off at the shop... gonna work on it next week i guess. Decided to pick up the trusty 05 corrolla xrs.

if everything is working properly, then I think i will have to upgrade so that it is more modern, and reliable
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Old 11-07-2004, 12:51 AM
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Regulator

[size=3]Doc here

Try adjusting the regulator (air gap and field screws in the regulator) to cut in earlier or higher in voltage, If it won't, replace it before abandoning the system.

Changing the alternator is not going to help you if you are already charging now...unless you want the benefit of non adjustable regulator charging..

Remember, the downsides can also be, overcharging, with no way to adjust a regulator, and no indicator tap for a charge light.

You also might have a high resistance to ground through the engine ground (it sits on rubber mounts) Be Sure your Ground Cable goes straight from your battery to a bolt near your starter on the block.

Get a battery cable with ring terminals on both ends on it (about 6 bucks at the auto parts store) and using a star washer and lock washer bolt the junction of grounds near the starter..The other end of the cable with ring terminals goes to the frame.

With a 10 gauge wire or better, a hand full of ring terminals and star washers, run a wire from the Alternator bracket or case up to the firewall and ground it there, make another wire and join with the firewall wire and run that to the bolt at the main ground.

Use Star-washers and burnish off any paint where you are attaching a ground wire for good bonding. This will give you a reliable ground system that will outlive your car.

On the battery wire , unhook the main battery cable, with a DMM, set it to Rx1 scale and measure the resistance between the alternator (or regulator) to the battery cable, If it's more than 0.03 0r 0.04 ohms (lead length resistance)... you have a bad connection or corrosion somewhere track it down OR just replace the wire.

Usually regulator adjustment or good grounding will cure the problem if the alternator is working.

Doc
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