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Old 08-23-2009, 10:38 AM
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GEN Light On with IGN Key OFF

I have been trying to resolve an issue for several weeks now. I have a 1968 Camaro. It has been sitting covered up in a non-heated garage since 2005 without running. I know......dumb move. I just have not had time. Anyway, this summer, I have been working thru a number of issues in an effort to starting the car. I'm almost there. I noticed that when I turned the IGN key to ON, the GEN light would very briefly come on then go out. I also would hear, what I think is the relay in the voltage regulator make a slight thunk sound. When I turn the IGN to off, the GEN light comes on and stays on. All of this is the same if I turn the IGN key to ACC then back to off.

I should also mention, unplugging the two wire plug at the rear of the alternator will reset the GEN light to OFF.

I have checked and cleaned all grounds. I have had the alternator checked first at Advance Auto-OK, then at another shop and they said no good. I bought a rebuilt 63 amp from NAPA and have yet to try. I also had the original Delco voltage regulator checked at the same shop that told me the alt was no good. It checked good. I have another alternator that was checked by both Advance and the private shop and it is good too. I decided to try it instead of the new rebuilt (in case there was still something wrong). The GEN light still did the same thing. I had the alternator checked again and it checked good. The IGN switch was replaced with a NOS Delco unit.

Electrical is NOT my strong suit. I was thinking about buying a Wells VR715 today and replacing the Delco mechanical VR.

If anyone has any tips for how to further troubleshoot my GEN light problem, I would welcome them.

Also, does anyone know if the Wells VR715 will work with all amperage alternators? If it will not work with my new rebuilt NAPA 63 amp alternator, I would like to know BEFORE I actually install and put power to the alternator.

Thanks for any and all help with this!

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Old 08-23-2009, 12:03 PM
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Have you thought of switching to a 10si with internal regulator? Unless you really need to stay stock for 1968, switching to a 10si or 12si makes the wiring and troubleshooting much easier.

This is the explanation of how the light works from another post on this site.
"The brown wire for the indicator light coming off the alternator is grounded when the alternator is not charging and provides +12V when it is charging. This wire goes to one side of the lamp. The other side of the lamp is hooked up to +12V battery power. When the alternator is not charging, the lamp gets the +12V from the battery and ground from the alternator, so the lamp comes on. Once the alternator starts charging the lamp now has +12V on both terminals, so it goes out."

The light needs power and ground to light up. If powered on both sides (ignition is on and alternator is running) or grounded on both sides, it won't light up. If the light is on when the ignition is off, then it is getting 12 volts when its not supposed to. Either its coming from the ignition switch side (crossed wires), or its getting 12 volts from the regulator side and then grounding on the ignition switch side.

Bruce
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:13 AM
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is it generator,, or alterator?? internal or external regulator?? points in regulator might be stuck- welded..
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:38 PM
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I got to thinking, how does the alternator get its ground? Is it through the braketry that mounts it to the engine? If it is, I think this could be my problem. I bought a custom alternator bracket set and had it powder coated. I'm assuming that the alternator gets its ground through these brackets to the engine block?

I also noticed a threaded lug on the rear of my alternator (not the POS post). Could this be used for a ground connection?
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Old 08-29-2009, 04:32 PM
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Anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 08-29-2009, 08:49 PM
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just had same prob ,alt wires were shorted out in the harness,peel back the tape and take a look
wayne
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:58 PM
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The mechanical voltage regulator, about all it can be despite testing good after your description and how the alt light circuit works. Voltage regulator is sticking "on" when it should drop out when the key is turned off. Maybe an internal short when it heats up after a few seconds with power.

Female threaded lug on back of alternator is factory retainer lug for the alt case-to-head tubular spacer.

Could possibly be a ground issue if paint and powdercoating insulate the alt from the engine block, but I really suspect the regulator sticking.

Been to Osceola Dragway lately?? We got down there once this spring, track prep was awful.

Last edited by ericnova72; 08-29-2009 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:40 AM
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Visited Osceola Dragway a few months ago. Was thinking of going today or next weekend. Next weekend is Summit points meet. Its convenient and cheap. By far its not Raceway Park or US131 but they have come a long way and looks like they are making improvements to the grounds.

The lug on the rear of the two alternators that I have is a male (you mentioned a female?). I am planning to run a 14 GA wire from the male lug (it is marked GRD) to the radiator support where the VR chassis is grounded (same screw). I am also thinking of running another 14 GA wire from where the battery NEG is attached to the fender and run it to the radiator support as well. This car was painted recently and the guy was very thorough in painting everything including inside the front fenders. I'm thinking that my ground could be poor to non-existent between the front fenders and the radiator core support. Sure hope this corrects the problem. I need to get this bad-boy running before winter!!
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:55 PM
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The voltage regulator has to be grounded where it mounts to the core support also. Alt post you are referring to is indeed a ground. You are correct to verify everything is grounded good, otherwise the electricity tries to find another way out. Note that the factory uses star lock washers every time they ground something, and for a reason - they "bite" through the paint down to the metal underneath.

Yes, it is good to see Osceola making improvements. went a lat 10 years ago, they didn't even have guardrails then, just a ditch then barbed wire and you were out with the farmers cows . It was cool that they got Martin's(US131) old guard rails and scoreboards, and that they resurfaced the track. Saw some new buildings this spring. Now they just need some lights for night time.

An oldtimer friend said that when he raced there in the mid 60's they used to run from the opposite end toward the current starting line and the old rootbeer drive-in.

Always liked it there, friendly atmosphere, down home feel like the good old days/time warp. Some of the old race stuff in the barn is cool!
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:37 AM
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I remember my Dad taking my brother and I out to OC Dragway when we were about 10 to 12 years old. The dragstrip was reversed from what it is now. They raced from what is now the shutdown area toward County Line road to the west. We often wondered if anyone ever failed to get shutdown and hit the big pile of dirt at the end of the shutdown. I also remember seeing a couple of jet cars racing then!! I'm glad the strip has survived over the years!
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:59 PM
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Good news to report. I finally made success with this problem. I ran a wire from the alternator GRD stud to the radiator support ground for the voltage regulator. I also ran an additional ground wire from the passenger side fender (where the negative from the battery connects) to the radiator support at a ground screw near the positive junction block.

I tried the key and the GEN light comes on when the key is ON and goes out when the key is OFF. The alternator brackets were so thoroughly powder coated that I did not have a ground for the alternator. I suspect that may be why my alternator also failed?

Thanks to all who have made suggestions to help me with this problem!
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