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electrical problems, again

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by paulj, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. paulj

    paulj

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    I've been having electrical problems that I thought were caused by a short in the a/c wiring. Now that it's cooled off I kind of put it on the back burner. When I'm driving around the ammeter is right in the middle if I've got nothing electrical turned on. Last night I drove home in the dark 30 miles from a fishing trip, and noticed that the meter went from half way between left and center to gradually almost all the way to the left. As I neared home the radio would fade in and out in when the turn signal was operating. I stopped to get something to eat on the way home and when I went to start the engine it wouldn't turn over. Got a jump to get home, but when I got back and checked the battery it tested "good", just as it did when I started out. What gives? All connections to the battery and starter are tight and the wires are in good condition. Somebody told me that some auto parts stores can test the alternator without taking it out of the vehicle. Is this true?
     
  2. UGLY88

    UGLY88

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    MOST PARTS STORES CAN TEST ALTERNATER AND BATTERY IN VEHICLE. CHANCES ARE IT IS THE BATTERY AS THE SAME THING WOULD HAPPEN TO ME EXCEPT THE GUAGE? I COULD CHARGE THE BATTERY AND START IT THEN THE NEXT DAY IT WOULD NOT START. MAYBE IT IS BOTH ALT AND BAT.
     
  3. paulj

    paulj

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    Battery is a 6 week old Interstate. Alternator and voltage regulator were put in by PO, and seem new, but who knows? Definitely am going to have 'em checked. :-\
     
  4. 76FJ55

    76FJ55

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    It sounds like the alternator or regulator (probably built in to the alternator - depends on year. the easiest thing to do is start you cruiser and use a volt meter to check voltage at the battery while it is running. You may need to hold it just off idle for a true reading. At any rate you should have about 14 volts at the battery if the alternator is working correctly. The same thing happened to my Fiat two weekend ago. I had dropped the field winding in the alternator and it quit charging. Had to get a jump to leave the gas station after a fill up. As long as you are not running much more than the engine you should be able to run for quite a while on just battery power. that is why your battery checked out Ok after your drive home, it was still charged from the jump.
     
  5. skiakhokie

    skiakhokie

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    Auto parts will test your alternator. I've never heard of them doing in while it's still in the rig. A quick way to check if the alternator is shot is to start your rig and disconnect the battery. If she dies... it's the alternator. My buddy has the same problem with his Early Bronco. It could be a bad cell and for some reason it won't hold a charge. As for the ammeter... I have no idea. Mine isn't even hooked up anymore because I re wired my rig but when it was hooked up it was always in the middle. The guage or sensor may be faulty. Good luck. :beer:
     
  6. jm

    jm

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    They should be able to test the alt. in the rig... I've got a battery charger that will do it and they should have better stuff than I do.

    Make sure you have a good power connection into the alt. since it needs one to energize the magnets that provide you power. No power in to the alt. means no power coming out.

    jm