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Old 09-05-2006, 02:25 PM
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how do i check for a short on my 59 chevy

I own a 59 chevy truck with the original wiring with a few modifications. I removed the generator and installed a 3 wire alternator. The main power wire coming off the alternator goes to the top lug on the voltage regulator which ties in with a wire going to the amp gauge in the instrument cluster. A 10/12 gauge wire goes from the amp gauge to the middle lug on the V8starter. With the vehicle running I'm getting 14.1 volts at the battery.

I installed a sbc(350) with an accel electronic dist and coil. I also installed a new battery when I made the swap. My problem has to do with the battery going dead when the truck sits for a while. I've noticed that when I put the positive terminal on the battery I get a very small spark at the terminal. How can I track down where the problem is and fix it? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-05-2006, 04:32 PM
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A very common problem is the alternator.disconnect the battery wire coming off of the alternator and hook a test light or a volt meter between the alt. bat output and the wire (do this with everything turned off)if the light comes on the diode in the alt. is bad.Also check the regulator sometimes the points inside stick together.On my 58 Apache I run the 100 amp internally regulated GM alt.I got my 2 wire pig tail from NAPA for $7 The white wire with the diode(so it cant feed power back to the fuse box when turned off) goes to a power source that comes on when you turn the key.the red hook's to the battery output post on the alternator.I attached a couple pics of my 58.Do you have any of your 59 to post?
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Old 09-05-2006, 08:01 PM
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checking for shorts

Hi, I'm no electrical genious but maybe this will help. Disconnect the negative cable on the battery, put a test light between the neg. terminal of the battery and the neg. cable you just disconnected and if there is any draw on the battery, the light will light. From that point, pull fuses until the light goes out and that will at least tell you what circuit to examine. I don"t know if this will help, but it is one more idea.

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:12 PM
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Doc here,

To test for system draw, Get your DVOM, and configure it for AMPS..set it to start out at it's highest range, usually 10 amps..

Remove a battery cable and place the meter IN BETWEEN the battery cable and the battery..Scale the meter back to it's lowest possible range without topping out the readout..This will be your draw..

If you have a CD RADIO player with active memory presets, an alarm system or any type of aftermarket computer..the normal reading here will be between .3 and .8 amps..(less than an amp)

If the draw is higher, Disconnect the alternator wires..and retest..If the readings fall within range, or fall to zero..replace the alternator or procure and install a rebuild kit with both full sets of diodes.

If it does not fall within range (remember..everything like domes, hood, trunk lamps must be off/ defeated to be accurate) if your Fuse panel is well marked , pull ALL the fuses and relays, and retest..

If zero, (or in range) , replace the fuses one at a time while monitoring your meter..when it "Jumps" up..that is your offending branch circuit..Troubleshoot/repair/disable as required.

If your fuse panel is NOT well laid out, make a drawing of it, showing fuse, location, function , and draw..same for any relays..when done, laminate the drawing and toss it in your'll be glad someday you did!

Also while you have the fuses OUT , It's worth the time to check them ALL with a meter or lamp..EVEN though this is NOT the problem...

Don't depend on eyeballing them as they can open under the metal end, or blade foot and not be spotted..You'd be surprised how many you might find bad..and the "Stuff" that starts working afterwards..

Happy Hunting!

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