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Is it the VR, or the alternator

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  • Hawklover
    replied
    Well here we go!

    The VR was toast inside..........the ALE5003 Alt had a cracked cover in the rear (splines.....3 out of 4 split) and needed two bearings.........battery was tossed after six years.........cranks like mad now and the VR is keeping an eye on things .......but when hot the sheet gas of today is just impossible.....the starter motor does make the weirdest sound when it cranks...........but...........it cranks and cranks good...........so I will not look for problems.

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  • Warren Webb
    replied
    Your Hawk should have 2 basic wires to the voltage regulator. The white wire goes to the screw terminal & the yellow wire (that has a push on insulated terminal end) goes to the other. If it has a radio the condenser wire goes to the open terminal also with a push type connector. I have a solid state regulator on mine & the yellow wire connects to the terminal that comes off what looks like a circuit board. In the past I have tried various auto parts stores that offer free testing, but since our cars are getting old, they dont have any info on them in how to connect them to their testers, so they dont test them. I now just have one or two electical shops that I trust & go to them. Do you know anyone that is a tech? Perhaps go to a mechanical shop & ask them who they use. Auto Club has a number of recommended shops.

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  • Hawklover
    replied
    My Hawk is a 1964
    Originally posted by laughinlark View Post
    What year is your Hawk? Sounds like you have a generator if there is four wires on the voltage regulator.

    Gordon

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  • laughinlark
    replied
    What year is your Hawk? Sounds like you have a generator if there is four wires on the voltage regulator.

    Gordon

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  • 41 Frank
    replied
    If you don't feel comfortable diagnosing the problem just remove the alternator and take it to an auto parts place and they will test it for you.

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  • Hawklover
    replied
    There are four connections to the VR, which two?? When you say put together how? Splice?
    Originally posted by skyway View Post
    Just disconnect both VR connections and put them together.
    You have now eliminated the VR. Now start the engine for a moment and watch the amp gauge.
    If the alt works, the gauge will show full charge. You do not need to run the engine but a moment.

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  • skyway
    replied
    Just disconnect both VR connections and put them together.
    You have now eliminated the VR. Now start the engine for a moment and watch the amp gauge.
    If the alt works, the gauge will show full charge. You do not need to run the engine but a moment.

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  • Warren Webb
    replied
    Many auto parts stores & major service centers (such as Sears) will test the battery for free. Look up the nearest Interstate distributor & take the battery there. They should be able to check it (it may require charging first-they'll do that too) so plan on leaving it for a few hours. Remember too, the warranty is prorated after a period of time, so dont expect to get much from say 72 months of use on a 85 month warranty. By testing the battery first, then take the car to a service center they can see what is failed. I myself would go to an alternator shop. I am surprized the shop didnt have your battery in stock- if its a Hawk it should be a very common group 24.

    I would also suggest 2 things from my own experience. 1-if your car is driven infrequently, get a "Battery Tender" or battery maintainer to keep the battery fully charged. These are different from a trickle charger in that they only charge when the battery drops down to a point instead of feeding a slow or constant (hence trickle) charge. 2-I suggest in this situation a battery such as the Optima that is made of AGM construction. Alot more expensive but will last a long time, especially if you have a battery tender on it while not in use. These batteries arent vented either, so if you put your battery mounted in the trunk, it doesnt require a separate sealed battery box & doesen't spill, so you can mount it anyway but upside down

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  • Hawklover
    replied
    How do I isolate the two? In other words, how do I know that the voltage regulator is still good? Maybe the points are sticking not allowing juice from the alt to flow to the battery?
    Originally posted by gohdes View Post
    my 63 lark was acting the same way when I was getting it ready for the Iowa meet in 2009. Ammeter was always in the center except with a draw like lights or stopped at stop sign/stop light. Then it would go a little into the dishcharge side. Went for quite a while like that and didn't give it too much thought. It always sat for several weeks between drives, so if the battery needed a boost, I never gave it a second thought. Just figured it sat too long. Then one day I could not keep it running. Put it new alternator and voltage regulator, and wow, never seen that ammeter jump so much into the charge side every time I started it up and for the first couple miles! Ran like a top after that.

    You probably just need the alternator, but I just choose to replace both to be sure it was good and to prevent any further problems. And if you've really drained and re-charged your battery many times, it may have shortened the life of that, too. I had just bought a new battery thinking that was my problem, so I knew that was good to go.

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  • gohdes
    replied
    my 63 lark was acting the same way when I was getting it ready for the Iowa meet in 2009. Ammeter was always in the center except with a draw like lights or stopped at stop sign/stop light. Then it would go a little into the dishcharge side. Went for quite a while like that and didn't give it too much thought. It always sat for several weeks between drives, so if the battery needed a boost, I never gave it a second thought. Just figured it sat too long. Then one day I could not keep it running. Put it new alternator and voltage regulator, and wow, never seen that ammeter jump so much into the charge side every time I started it up and for the first couple miles! Ran like a top after that.

    You probably just need the alternator, but I just choose to replace both to be sure it was good and to prevent any further problems. And if you've really drained and re-charged your battery many times, it may have shortened the life of that, too. I had just bought a new battery thinking that was my problem, so I knew that was good to go.
    Last edited by gohdes; 06-04-2011, 09:21 PM.

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  • Hawklover
    started a topic Electrical: Is it the VR, or the alternator

    Is it the VR, or the alternator

    The Interstate Battery in my car is 6 years old.........it's an 85 month job...........thought about replacing it today.but dealer had no stock............later in the day car did not want to crank. Called for a boost.got car running......drove back home and the ammeter never moved to the plus...stayed dead center, except at a light..then moved to the negative.

    When I got home with the car running I put the lights on........big move to the negative....even with goosing the gas.....so I know I will get a new battery, but how can I tell if a need a new voltage regulator or a rebuilt alternator? With a dead draw such as lights, should the ammeter move to the plus when goosing the gas?
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