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Old 01-19-2008, 12:08 PM
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gauges

i know this is off the subject of engines but i'm not getting much help from the electric forumso here it goes is it safe to hook up an ammeter to the charge wire off the altenator to the battery and if not how or what is the best way to hook it up and keep in mind i made my wiring harness and have only the nessecary wiresto make it run

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Old 01-19-2008, 12:11 PM
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Forget the ammeter get a voltmeter.
Read this to find out why.
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:13 PM
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Yes, that is the best way to hook up the amp meter....BUT...there are two things to ck first.
If the new meter is "inductive", then it will be a simple install.
If the meter goes inline, you need to make sure the meter can handle the max amps of your alt. Some new alternators will spike to 160-200 amps, which some meters cannot handle. The old days of 55 amp alternators are long gone.

Mark
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:17 PM
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hey thanks for the info Jmark that was what i wanted to know so i guess i should try to find a volt meter instead then well thanks guys i got my info in twenty mins on this forum and it has been two days on the electrical forum and didn't come close to the right answer thank you again for the answers
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:39 PM
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Definitely a volt meter. It is what most new vehicles come with now for the reason already stated about amp gauges not being able to handle the high amp alternators.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:15 PM
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ampmeter vs voltmeter

you can connect a voltmeter to the tops of the battery posts avoiding any of the normal battery connections and get a good idea of the battery's charge state.

to know the charge state. you realy need to run a hygrometer in each cell
and of course the hygrometer has a thermometer in it.

the voltmeter if you can put your hand on the side on the side of the battery and its not hot or cold and it reads between 13v and 14V will tell you the battery is not the problem

if you can put a voltmeter on the battery, drill and tap the posts maybe it will show that the terminals need cleaning.

the ampmeter in the alternator line will tell you the alternator is charging.
it doesnt tell if the battery is strange or you have an unusual accesory load.

an ampmeter somewhere in the wire from the battery shows the stuff you turn on and off and wether the alternator is keeping up and just how long you can power lights and acceresseries while idleing.

inductive ampmeters dont work with dc. the new dc clamp around ones use pulses and watch the antennuation of the pulse reflection.
These can be self scalling or have logramithic scales so you can see if an instrument light is burned out or if its a cold day and the oil isnt warm.

inline ampmeters use a shunt (low resistance resistor) for a remote meter without running 4/0 wire to the meter

Gauges when installed properly can be great diagonistic tools.

when factory installed they make a spiffy dashboard.

would you ever get in trouble if you had an oil temp gauge right next to a water temp gauge?
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:39 PM
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If I needed both and had a spare hundred bucks, this would be the one i'd buy!!!

Mark
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