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65cruiser
11-17-2005, 09:40 PM
I noticed this morning on the way to work that the Cruiser seemed to have a charging problem[}:)]. Normally, the amp gauge sits dead center. Usually, if you flip the lights on it'll move a bit to the D side, but not for long. This morning, the amp guage was sitting dead between center and D. On occasion, it would jump up to the charge side slightly past center--stay there for a while, then slip back to between center and D. When that happened I noticed the lights got brighter. Of course it was cold this morning so I had the heater blower running. If I turn off the lights and heater, it sits right on center and doesn't move.

I've not put a meter on it yet because it's cold and dark, but does this sound like a regulator issue or alternator?

________________________
Mark Anderson
1965 Cruiser
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GTtim
11-17-2005, 10:05 PM
Sounds like it is working fine to me. Regulators of the type with springs and contact points, which your car has, will make the amp needle jump around as the points open and close. You could get one of the new transitor regulators and then there will be no more jumping needle. You could also pry the cover off your regulator and clean and adjust the contact points.
Tim K.

65cruiser
11-17-2005, 10:12 PM
Yeah, but it never acted like this before. It used to jump a bit, but now it'll jump a LOT. Then when normally driving, the gauge is setting in between the middle mark and D, which looks to me like it's not charging.


quote:Originally posted by GTtim

Sounds like it is working fine to me. Regulators of the type with springs and contact points, which your car has, will make the amp needle jump around as the points open and close. You could get one of the new transitor regulators and then there will be no more jumping needle. You could also pry the cover off your regulator and clean and adjust the contact points.
Tim K.


________________________
Mark Anderson
1965 Cruiser
http://home.alltel.net/anderm

http://home.alltel.net/anderm/images/smstude.jpg

GTtim
11-18-2005, 09:06 PM
Then I would suspect that it is time to repair/replace the regulator. I'm not aware of any condition with an alternator that would cause it to charge intermitently like you suggest. I suppose it could be a wire contact problem, but that would be easy for you to sort out. If you can turn on the lights and the heater blower and have the alternator show that it can keep up with the power demand, it should be okay. I'd say check all the connections, check to see that the regulator has a good ground, then if it still is jumping around open the regulator and inspect/clean the contact points.
Tim K.

65cruiser
11-19-2005, 02:56 PM
Turns out it was the alternator, but here's a good Studebaker story:).

I have been driving the car under this condition for about 4 days. Last night we met some friends for dinner. On the way home, I suddenly noticed that the gauge said I was out of gas. I signaled to exit the freeway and noticed that my turn signals didn't work very fast (uh oh--running off the battery[}:)]) I made it to a gas station not quite sure if I was really that low on gas or not. I didn't shut the car down, but did kill the lights. I put some gas in, got back in and took off. Now, my headlights are barely on. I told my wife we were gonna make a run for it (about 2 miles to home). I made it about 3/4s a mile before she started running rough, then she died right in front of Pizza Hut[xx(]. I called the auto club for a flat bed--might as well tow it home.

Well, I sat in the cold and waiting 20 minutes or so. I'm not sure why, but I thought I try to start it again. She fired right up:D. I turned on the lights, and they were fairly bright....so here we go again. Well, I didn't get far before the lights dimmed again, but I was in my subdivision, so I just killed the lights since there weren't any other cars around. I prayed there were no cops around[8]. Welp, didn't get 1/4 mile before I saw blue lights behind me--da*n[B)]. I sat there in the dark, trying to keep it running when the cop came up to the door. I didn't even give him a chance to speak, but told him that I was having car trouble and just trying to make it home. He asked me for my address then said he'd follow me. Now, there are three stop signs between where I was and my house--do I stop or blow through[?] Decided to blow through the stops signs:D Luckily, the cop didn't seem to care and I made it home. He didn't even stop after that.

Anyway, back to story. This morning I went to Napa and picked up a new voltage regulator--it was pretty clear mine still had the original. I took that home and installed it. No improvement whatsoever. So, must be the alternator[}:)]. I called every place I could think of and nobody had one. There is an alternator shop down the road that said they could rebuild my old one, but it would take a week and I needed the car today. Finally, I called O'Reilly Autoparts. I spoke to a very knowledgeable gentlement and even new my Stude had a McKinnon engine, and tried to cross reference my alternator to a mid-60s Chevy. When he found he didn't have one, he gave me the name of an old generator/alternator shop in Louisville. Carter's Alternators. I looked up the number and the owner answered. They were closed and his family was having Thanksgiving dinner, but he asked me what I was looking for. Sure enough, he had one because HE used to have a 1965 Studebaker with the same alternator. $99.00 later, it's installed and the car is running (and charging) perfectly.


quote:Originally posted by GTtim

Then I would suspect that it is time to repair/replace the regulator. I'm not aware of any condition with an alternator that would cause it to charge intermitently like you suggest. I suppose it could be a wire contact problem, but that would be easy for you to sort out. If you can turn on the lights and the heater blower and have the alternator show that it can keep up with the power demand, it should be okay. I'd say check all the connections, check to see that the regulator has a good ground, then if it still is jumping around open the regulator and inspect/clean the contact points.
Tim K.


________________________
Mark Anderson
1965 Cruiser
http://home.alltel.net/anderm

http://home.alltel.net/anderm/images/smstude.jpg

GTtim
11-19-2005, 04:35 PM
Mark,
I'd like to know what would go wrong with the alternator that would make it work so sporadically. Maybe the brushes? If you take the dead one to a rebuilder let me know what they find.
Glad you made it home alright. It must be a good car that it didn't let you get too far from home and then have the problem. And now you have a spare regulator to carry with you.
Tim K.

65cruiser
11-19-2005, 05:49 PM
Yes, I threw the old regulator in the trunk along with the set of points I saved. I left the alternator as an exchange, so I may never know what happened to it. It was very sporadic though. Sorta makes me wonder if it wasn't a combination of alternator and regulat.ro


quote:Originally posted by GTtim

Mark,
I'd like to know what would go wrong with the alternator that would make it work so sporadically. Maybe the brushes? If you take the dead one to a rebuilder let me know what they find.
Glad you made it home alright. It must be a good car that it didn't let you get too far from home and then have the problem. And now you have a spare regulator to carry with you.
Tim K.


________________________
Mark Anderson
1965 Cruiser
http://home.alltel.net/anderm

http://home.alltel.net/anderm/images/smstude.jpg

N8N
11-19-2005, 07:21 PM
Could very well be brushes. I had a set go on my Porsche, I could convince the alternator to charge a little by revving the motor to about 4000 RPM and then it would charge for a while, but 10-15 minutes later it would start discharging again. Finally I pulled the regulator out (internal regulator integral with the brush holder) and found that the brushes were worn to little nubbins. A new regulator later and all was well. (good thing too, because that Bosch stuff costs more than $99!!!)

nate

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