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  #1  
Old 07-14-2007, 02:47 PM
bcomo bcomo is offline
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Default Generator Light - On Steady

Right now my generator light is ON STEADY, no matter what RPM.


All of the connections are good and tight. I peeked into the Gen housing using a flashlight, and the brushes are good and not hung up. I hope that it's the Voltage regulator, otherwise it could be an open or shorted field coil in the generator.


I'm going to have to try to read the amps on the generator -- haven't done that before.


I see in the shop manual that the Amp output can be tested by disconnecting the Armature and Field wires at the Generator, then using a jumper wire from the Armature stud to the Field stud on the generator, then connecting an Ammeter between that jumper wire and the battery postive.


My questions are:


1. Has anyone measured the Amp output this way.


2. Can't the Amps be measured at the Voltage Regulator by disconnecting the same pair of wires at the regulator, then jumper them, and go from the jumpered pair to the battery?



Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2007, 03:34 PM
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You should have a (yellow) lead from your generator to the front side of your starter solenoid, on the passenger wheel well. The + lead from the battery also connects to the starter solenoid there.

I would disconnect the yellow wire from the solenoid (leaving the heavy lead to the battery as it was) and put an Ammeter in between the yellow wire that goes to the generator and and the front post on the starter solenoid.

The ammeter can now measure the current flow from the generator to the post on the solenoid as it is in series.

Once done, turn your headlights On. You should have a - (negative) reading on the Ammeter as you are drawing power from the battery to power the headlights. If it is + then swap the wires to the Ammeter.

At this point I would fire up the car and see what kind of amp readings I got. Hopefully + (positive!). If I got + readings, I would then turn the headlights on and the brakes and see if it is still positive with a substantial load on it.

If things are bad (-) I would consider another voltage regulator as a quick fix or take mine into a shop and test it. I keep a spare around "just in case", and because they are cheap.

Checking the leads to the voltage regulator (and any other critical wires) never hurts, including taking them off and polishing them up.

Checking your ground wires both to the chassis and the engine block is a good thing to do as well. I once thought I needed a new battery only to find the ground wire to the engine block had gotten loose.

Let us know if you have questions. I don't mind setting the same thing on my own car and walking you through it.

All this is pretty universal and applies to almost any vehicle.

John
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2007, 09:16 PM
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Please click one of the Quick Reply icons in the posts above to activate Quick Reply.
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2007, 09:31 PM
bcomo bcomo is offline
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John:

Thanks for the detailed reply -- I appreciate your help.

I just replaced the Voltage Regulator, and cleaned all of the wire contacts. Generator light is still on steady -- no flicker whatsoever. At least that part's done.

I see the yellow wire on the solenoid stud, and understand about testing amps there. Problem is, I can't find an Ammeter in this town. Auto Zone type places don't carry them. Where do you get one to read 1 to 50 Amps? Can you suggest one, and maybe I can find it on the web.

All of my battery cables, starter cable, and chassis ground cables are brand new -- I replaced a starter 6 months ago.

Just in case, I'll re-check those cables. I'll also re-check the generator wires, take them off, and clean them too.

Anything that you can suggest will be greatly appreciated.

I'll get back with a report.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:02 PM
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hi Bart

I would still suggest taking one or both Voltage Regulators in and getting them tested. I recall Casey putting a new one on that was also defective and not having success until #3.

You can also look in the Yellow pages under "Auto Electric" and take find a repair shop specializing in generators and regulators and so on. You can take both the Regulator(s) and the Generator in and say "check 'em out, tell me what's wrong".

Having good brushes on the generator is good; there is also the Field that must function.

Do you have a multimeter so you can check Voltage?? I prefer reading amperage but Voltage across the battery with the car running is a good indicator. I believe it ought to get up to or over 14 Volts (see Shop Manual as well as older posts here).

Now, you ought to be able to find Ammeters all over the place. Most Autozone kinds of places carry accessory gauges such as Amps, Volts, Oil Pressure and so on. Those would be shiny and with brackets. Sometimes in groups of 3 so the price goes up. Having an oil pressure gauge around is not a bad deal if you get stuck with 3. I would bet Walmart has gauges. A salvage yard ought to have any number of vehicles where you can pull one out of a junk car or truck. They are universal. If all else fails, I will mail you one Monday (but I am in MA...)

John
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:42 PM
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I test mine right at the battery. I have a little volt meter. It shows 13.5 volts at idle and about 14.5 a 2000? rpm.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:10 PM
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Yes... and I think if your charging system is in the toilet, then you only see 12 V and it does not change.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2007, 05:19 PM
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The regulator checks out, and is working correctly.

Here's the problem in a nutshell --

The Arm terminal at the Regulator has to get at least 12 Volts from the Generator to make the Cutout Relay contacts (at the Batt Terminal) close. That puts the voltage to the battery and also makes the light go out.

I removed the cover from Regulator (to look at Cutout Relay), all wires still connected to regulator, and engine running 1500 RPM, I have the following:

Voltage from the regulator Arm Terminal to ground was 2.5 Volts incoming from the generator (That's not a typo -- it was 2.5 Volts). The Batt contact points were open, and light is on.

I then measured the voltage from the regulator field terminal to ground and also got 2.5 Volts (same as the arm terminal to ground volts).

So, my Generator is only putting out 2.5 Volts to the Regulator, which is why the contacts points on the regulator won't close.

I turned off the engine, and restarted it. Gunned the engine 3 or 4 times to about 4,000 RPM -- and the light went off long enough for me to take another reading at the regulator ARM terminal to ground -- 12.5 Volts and light off.

Restarted engine again -- and light is on -- and has stayed on forever since then.

The only thing left for me to measure is the voltage directly from the Arm Terminal stud on the generator to ground -- under the car, with it jacked up, and running at 1500 RPM. You know I just can't wait to do this -- don't you??

Can I ask you to take a Voltage reading for me? With your engine running at fast idle, (1500 RPM or over), and Gen light out, take a voltage reading from the regulator Arm terminal to ground. I'll bet it's at least 12 Volts.

That will answer things until I take the undercar reading.

Thanks
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2007, 08:17 PM
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hi Bart

I took voltage from the outer post on the Regulator which I believe is "Arm" to ground with the car running and got about 14.1 volts. It was pretty much independent of RPM although I revved it up to around 1500.

Just in case I was wrong about which one is the Arm post, I took it at the opposite one and got the same readings.

The regulator is ancient and the labels long gone so I compared it to a new, spare I keep around and also the picture in my shop manual. So I am quite sure I was taking readings from the Arm post.

While we're at it, the voltage on the middle post is about 13 or so at idle but drops to 2.5 to 3 when the engine is revved up.

Hope that helps.
john
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2007, 08:18 PM
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The syptom you describe would lead me to suspect a field coil short (at least partial). My next move would be to remove the generator and take it to "an old auto electric shop", as already suggested. BTW, the generator output can also be measured with a small inductance type meter that simply is held next to the generator output lead and you don't have to break any circuit.
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