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alternator or voltage regulator? - resolved

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  • alternator or voltage regulator? - resolved

    So I had Barney out for an evening drive tonight; about a 5-mile run at dusk. My first time on the road with the headlights on.

    The trip went fine. I went down to Highway 76, drove on the level for a couple miles, then came back up the hill toward home, hitting 60 MPH or so, everything humming along nicely.

    I get about a half-mile from home and come off the throttle coasting down the hill, and I notice the ammeter needle is now about halfway toward "D" instead of being in the center of the gage like it should be. The instrument lights are also dim, much dimmer than they were when I started the trip.

    I pulled into the driveway and shut off the headlights, and the gage needle swung more toward the center, but not all the way, and my dash lights brightened up a bit but remained dim. I put the trans in Neutral and revved the engine a bit; the needle swung to the "Charge" side of the gage.

    So here's my question: Am I experiencing an alternator problem, or a voltage regulator problem? PO replaced the points-type regulator with a solid-state box. I have not serviced the alternator yet, but it seems to have been functioning well so far.

    Any troubleshooting tips for figuring out what's up here?


    [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

    Clark in San Diego
    '63 F2/Lark Standard
    http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
    www.studebakersandiego.com

    Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

  • #2
    Make sure your fan belt was not so loose that it was slipping with an electrical load on the alternator.

    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 4 speed
    1963 Daytona Conv
    1941 Champion R-2 Rod
    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
    1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
    1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD

    Comment


    • #3
      You have either a alternator or Voltage regulator & Generator.

      Mabel 1949 Champion
      Hawk 1957 Silverhawk
      Gus 1958 Transtar
      The Prez 1955 President State
      Blu 1957 Golden Hawk
      Daisy 1954 Regal Commander Starlight Coupe
      Fresno,Ca
      Mabel 1949 Champion
      Hawk 1957 Silverhawk
      Gus 1958 Transtar
      The Prez 1955 President State
      Blu 1957 Golden Hawk
      Daisy 1954 Regal Commander Starlight Coupe
      Fresno,Ca

      Comment


      • #4
        After making sure your belt isn't slipping under load, I'd check for a fritzed diode in the alternator. LH

        Straight from the horse's mouth
        Whirling dervish of misinformation.

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        • #5
          Clark, disconect and clean the battery termanals and cables,(very hot water works great),put the battery on a charger for at least 3 hours, have the battery load tested if weak replace, check belt tension and condition. reconect and start vehicle, check charging voltage at battery terminals(not the clamps) should be above 13.5volts with lights on and above 1200 rpm. if not check voltage with pos lead on the pos. battery terminal (not the clamp) and neg lead on the batt terminal of the alternator (car still running). should be at most .5 volt if more than check pos. cable condition and conections and alternator pos lead . do the same with the neg. lead on the battery neg. terninal and the pos. lead on the alternator case. should be at most .5volt. If more than check neg.cable and alternator ground and engine/body ground. If all checks out ok than I would suspect the alternator. I hope this helps

          Jason Taub
          Squaw Valley Ca (not the ski resort)

          Comment


          • #6
            [quote]Originally posted by 41 Frank

            Make sure your fan belt was not so loose that it was slipping with an electrical load on the alternator.

            Frank van Doorn
            [/quote)

            Fortunately, a properly tensioned new fan belt fixed my Avanti with those same symptoms!



            "It's like deja vu all over again."--Yogi Berra
            "Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional." author unknown

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            • #7
              Well guys, Frank was right - I measured the belt deflection and found it a bit loose. Tightened it up and it seems everything is running right now - ammeter is behaving like it should.

              BTW Anne, alternator-equipped cars have voltage regulators too


              [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

              Clark in San Diego
              '63 F2/Lark Standard
              http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
              www.studebakersandiego.com

              Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Update: it WAS the alternator. After another night-driving episode where the ammeter sank halfway to "D" after coming off throttle, I pulled the alternator and took it to my alt/gen/starter shop. It failed on initial test, and when he got it open, Jim said the internals fell out in his hands! He also found cracks in 4 of the 6 casting webs that support the bearing end of the shaft; luckily he had another case in stock.

                I'm glad I got it rebuilt before it failed on the road!! Now as soon as the rain stops, I can put it back in


                [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

                Clark in San Diego
                '63 F2/Lark Standard
                http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
                www.studebakersandiego.com

                Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  What a relief, Clark.
                  How fortunate I've been to have stuff fail either in the garage, coming home, or just out running an errand.

                  Shortly after getting my 63 Daytona back up & running, I was driving to work at 3am and the headlights went out. (I hadn't replaced the old breaker) Did a 180 and headed home with my turn signal on and the headlights soon came back on. Foiled by a $1.50 part!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gee Tom, you remind of Andy Granatelli after Parnelli Jones lost the Indy 500 near the finish, grumbling about a $8.00 Bearing failing in the Transmission of the Studebaker-STP Special #40 Turbo car!

                    StudeRich
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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