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61LaRk4dr
01-18-2007, 06:52 PM
Hello,

I must be over looking something but my amp light still ligths up in the gauage cluster in the dash. I have a 1961 lark 4dr. resto project. Ever since I have had that car running the amp light stays on. Since then I have replace an battery, cables, starter relay, ignition coil, generator, voltage regulator, points and condenser, spark plugs and spark plug wires and without luck the amp light is still on.

Any ideas? Thank you

Roscomacaw
01-18-2007, 07:06 PM
You've replaced all this stuff but do you KNOW - for sure - that the generator is really delivering a charge?[:I]

BTW - all that ignition stuff, in your list of replacements, has nothing to do with the generator light staying on. Only the correct hookup of the wiring, the generator, regulator would directly impact the operation of the light.;)

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle
http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/12/7/truckonhill3.jpg

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

hurricane
01-18-2007, 07:26 PM
start the car and undo the battery gable if the car stop runnig
you are not chargeing

John Kirchhoff
01-18-2007, 10:49 PM
Personally I wouldn't take the battery cable off while it's running. The regulator is going to have the generator charging full tilt with no place for the juice to go but through anything electrical. Many years ago my mom had a battery go bad on the Chrysler, it appears something broke loose inside the battery from what we could tell. She noticed the direction lights blinking very slowly and once she shut it off, everything was absolutely and completely dead. That fried the electronic ignition module, voltage regulator, several direction and tail light bulbs and something else I can't remember. It may have been an instrument or something. All I know is dad and I worked for quite a while replacing a lot of stuff in addition to the almost new but now worthless battery.

If you don't have any test instruments, a good way to decide if the generator is charging is to go out at night and fire it up. Turn the headlights, fan, etc on and see if the headlights brighten up when you speed the engine up off of idle. If the lights don't get any brighter, chances the generator isn't charging any or at least very little.

John Kirchhoff
01-18-2007, 11:24 PM
Ok, I'm back, had to bottle an orphan lamb. Concerning the indicator light being on constantly, if the lights do brighten up as though the generator is charging, there's two other things it could be. The indicator light wire may be attached to the wrong voltage regulator terminal. My manual says the wire from the indicator light to the regulator is black and white on your '61. Make sure that wire is attached to the armature terminal on the voltage regulator and not to any of the others. The armature terminal should be marked "A" or sometimes it's marked as "G" for generator. Some regulators have a ground terminal and if it's connected to that, the light will burn anytime the key is on whether the generator is charging or not. If the wire is attached to the correct terminal, it could be that the wire between the light and regulator terminal bare and shorted out. If you disconnect the indicator light wire at the regulator and then turn the ignition switch on, the light shouldn't burn as long as the end you took off isn't touching something metal. If it still burns, you better follow the wire back to the indicator light and check for a bare wire.

So in order of probablity, I'd first try the light brightness test, then make sure the wire is attached to the correct terminal and then disconnect and check the status of the light. Good luck!

John Kirchhoff
01-19-2007, 10:11 AM
I remembered what else got fried on the Chrysler, the ignition coil. It was bubbling oil out from around the top where the terminal portion connects to the metal "can". I also remember the electronic voltage regulator got so hot that some of the wax poured into the back of it melted and ran down the firewall.

Roscomacaw
01-19-2007, 12:52 PM
John, I hafta say that hurricane's test is a valid and safe one. Maybe in the days of electronics, a broken battery circuit could cause the havoc you speak of, but I doubt it.
I've personally watched the cable removal test many times on generator-era cars. Done it myself a few times too.

I COULD envision a runaway charging circuit ruining all the things you mention AS WELL AS a battery! I'd bet that's what did in your mom's Cry-sler :(



Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle
http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/12/7/truckonhill3.jpg

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

John Kirchhoff
01-19-2007, 03:14 PM
If you say it works Mr. Biggs, then it works and that good enough for me. I've never had to resort to using such a method because I've had the tools to check things out in other ways. Learn something new everyday. Thanks!

John Kirchhoff
01-21-2007, 01:03 PM
Concerning the practive of disconnecting the battery cable to see if the generator is charging, I asked Randy Rundle, the fellow that invented the Runtz voltage drop and 6V alternators about the safety of doing so. This guy is probably smarter than everyone here put together. I cut and pasted his reply,

Disconnecting the battery while the car was running was a common practice in the old days to see if a generator was working as it was supposed to. It was not a very good practice for the reasons you mentioned and was not a very accurate way to check things out because you never really isolated anything to determine the cause of your defect.

"Meanwhile...that is a BIG NO NO for modern alternators andy any modern charging system with solid state compoents and the voltage spike created will likely ruin the regulator of the alternator and fry the module in the electronic ignition, an expensieve lesson....."

I'm in no way implying what anyone here said is right or wrong, but I believe Randy knows what he's talking about. In particular, I believe his advice should be followed by anyone that has changed over to an alternator and/or electronic ignition and that they should NEVER disconnect the battery cable. I can just see someone with an electronic ignition conversion feeling save because they're still using a generator and then fry their big bucks Pertronixs conversion. One must keep in mind that most electronic components run at very low voltages on the input side and without a battery to soak up any excess current, even a generator might harm them. Randy has a great website, www.fifthaveinternetgarage.com

CHAMP
01-21-2007, 04:13 PM
John, I am glad you mentioned the Electronic Ignition. I had forgoten all about that. Thanks!!!












GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.