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Old 04-27-2011, 02:55 PM
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Is my alternator overcharging?

Just got my rod on the road today for the first time. Seems to run good and I'm watching the gauges like a hawk. All seems well except my volt meter reads 15 - maybe a little more. I put a volt meter across the battery terminals while running and it reads about 14.3 - 14.5. Which do I believe or is there more testing to be done. Its a 351w with a new 3 wire GM alternator and VDO gauges.

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Old 04-27-2011, 03:05 PM
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definitly showing overcharge, i could handle the 14.3 of course it's should be reading from 13.8 to 14.5 but above that Do you have another gauge around to try and have you had the battery load tested also, but it is showing overcharge though i can understand your concern. What gauge wire did you use hooking this up ?

Cole
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:18 PM
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I dont have another gauge, the battery is new but I do have a load tester if thats what I should do. Dont recall wire gauges off the top of my head but I followed Marks (from MAD electrical) plan and tried to be fussy with grounds. By the way battery is in trunk. RPM's dont seem to make a difference but I think the gauge may have read a touch higher after I drove a while. My tester is not digital, maybe I need a better tester. Also I wasnt sure how to test the alternator. No radio, AC, or lights etc. on. Thank you.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:27 PM
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Do you remember what gauge wire you ran to the battery ?



Cole
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:37 PM
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charge rates

throw another meter across battery terminals, 14.5 is fine. most dash units are not always that accurate.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. T
throw another meter across battery terminals, 14.5 is fine. most dash units are not always that accurate.
X2 i would re-check across the battery before i got to into it, I have seen to many new gauges be bad in the past. IMHO
As i stated it should be 13.8 to 14.5.

Cole
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drchip
I dont have another gauge, the battery is new but I do have a load tester if thats what I should do. Dont recall wire gauges off the top of my head but I followed Marks (from MAD electrical) plan and tried to be fussy with grounds. By the way battery is in trunk. RPM's dont seem to make a difference but I think the gauge may have read a touch higher after I drove a while. My tester is not digital, maybe I need a better tester. Also I wasnt sure how to test the alternator. No radio, AC, or lights etc. on. Thank you.
It is not unusual for the voltage to go up after the battery is charged. You need to get a reliable meter and check the voltage at the battery terminals and at the alternator. The readings should be very close to the same, if there is more than a .2 -.3 difference you either have a bad connection or an under sized wire in the charging circuit.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:15 AM
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I checked things again this AM. The dash gauge reads about 14 this morning. I got 14 at the battery and about 13.8 with high beams on.The alternator was a little less(?) - about 13.3. I'm gonna drive it some more and see if it creeps up. Wire gauge from alternator back to battery is "8". I'll also see if I can bum a better meter and recheck, but at the moment I feel better. Thank you everyone
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