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64 Hawk amp gauge

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  • Electrical: 64 Hawk amp gauge

    The amp gauge on my 64 GT Hawk has started to bury itself on the charging side when accelerating or at raod speed ....just installed a new battery and a rebuilt alternator....took it to an Auto Electrical Shop....they say everything is working as it should....they believe it must be a bad gauge....can they be rebuilt?...are new available?....anyone have a used one?
    Last edited by Lou Van Anne; 04-08-2019, 03:34 PM.
    Lou Van Anne
    62 Champ
    64 R2 GT Hawk
    79 Avanti II

  • #2
    The gauge could be bad, but I suspect something is wrong with either the alternator, regulator of both. I recommend checking the charging voltage with a fully charged battery and the engine running about 1500 rpm. The voltage should be somewhere between 13.8 and 14.7 volts. The ammeter is a volt meter with a shunt inside and the volt meter reads the voltage drop across the shunt which is displayed on the gauge face. If the shunt opens, then nothing electrical in the car will work. If the voltmeter part is bad, then the electrical system will work, but there will be no activity on the gauge. If the battery isn't fully charged, then the ammeter will read high as the alternator is trying to charge the battery. I would imagine someone here has a good used ammeter for a 62 to 64 Hawk if you really need one. I've seen gas and water temperature gauges go bad in the Hawks, but I've never seen an ammeter fail unless it was severely overloaded then the shunt will burn open shutting everything down. If you are still running the stock Prestolite alternator, it only puts out 35 amps which will not burn out the ammeter.The newer one wire Delco alternators are about double the output of the original alternator which could cause damage to the ammeter shunt. Bud

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    • #3
      I've got one Lou, I'll bring it to the picnic with me. I swapped mine out for a voltmeter.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Great!...let's make a deal! We'll see if the gauge is the problem....I'll post the results...
        Originally posted by bensherb View Post
        I've got one Lou, I'll bring it to the picnic with me. I swapped mine out for a voltmeter.
        Last edited by Lou Van Anne; 04-08-2019, 08:02 PM.
        Lou Van Anne
        62 Champ
        64 R2 GT Hawk
        79 Avanti II

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        • #5
          I would not go to all that work of changing out that Ammeter under and behind the Dash of a Hawk until I verified that the "New" Battery is FULLY Charged!

          Just put it on a Charger and see what that Ammeter does, and how long to takes to stop charging.
          I vote for a Low Specific Gravity Battery!
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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          • #6
            Actually, if the wiring behind your dash is neat and tidy, the gauges aren't that hard to swap. Of course, after 55+ years they're rarely tidy. But I bet Lou's is.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              The big question here is what alternator is on the engine? Like I said in an earlier post, a stock alternator is rated for 35 amps which is the ammeter rating which should not pin the needle in the ammeter. Many of the Chrysler alternators and all of the internal regulator Delco alternators put out 60 amps or more which will damage the original ammeter and possibly the wiring as the main feed wire on the Hawks is 12 gauge which is okay for 35 amps, but not 60 or more. Like Rich says, charge the battery as a battery that is partially discharged will cause the ammeter to show a high reading until the battery gets a fully charged. Bud

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              • #8
                The alternator is the rebuilt (Paul Dickinson) original...when first installed it worked just fine....about fifty miles later the gauge started to peg itself....but only when driving....idling it's just fine....the shop said that the battery was good....
                Originally posted by Bud View Post
                The big question here is what alternator is on the engine? Like I said in an earlier post, a stock alternator is rated for 35 amps which is the ammeter rating which should not pin the needle in the ammeter. Many of the Chrysler alternators and all of the internal regulator Delco alternators put out 60 amps or more which will damage the original ammeter and possibly the wiring as the main feed wire on the Hawks is 12 gauge which is okay for 35 amps, but not 60 or more. Like Rich says, charge the battery as a battery that is partially discharged will cause the ammeter to show a high reading until the battery gets a fully charged. Bud
                Last edited by Lou Van Anne; 04-09-2019, 07:40 AM.
                Lou Van Anne
                62 Champ
                64 R2 GT Hawk
                79 Avanti II

                Comment


                • #9
                  Check the charging voltage with the engine somewhere around 1500 rpm. The voltage should be somewhere around 13.8 to 14.7 volts at the battery with a voltage around 14 to 14.2 volts which is what I aim for. If the voltage is 14.7 or above, then the charging current will be high even though the battery has a full or nearly full charge. If the voltage is out of range, then the voltage regulator is the likely suspect. I've had problems with recent production regulators being way out of adjustment causing either overcharging and problems with electrical parts being subject to the high voltage or too low resulting in dim lights and a discharged battery. Bud

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                  • #10
                    Thank You Mr. Wilt......it's installed and appears to have solved the problem!
                    Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                    I've got one Lou, I'll bring it to the picnic with me. I swapped mine out for a voltmeter.
                    Lou Van Anne
                    62 Champ
                    64 R2 GT Hawk
                    79 Avanti II

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great! Glad I could help.
                      sigpic

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