My '68 Galaxie 500 is having some electrical troubles lately. Last week I
noticed my alternator light was on. Disconnected the battery cable while car
was running and it died. Deduced from that it was a bad alternator. Swapped
it out with the one from my '67 and it's been good for about a week. I just
ran out and noticed the alternator light on again when I started the car.
Presumably this alternator is dead too.
I'm guessing a bad voltage regulator is probably my problem. I figure if it
lets the alternator go at full charge indefinitely it could fry it in a
short amount of time. I think I'm gonna run out and get a new voltage
regulator and alternator, but before I do I'd like to know if the voltage
regulator will cure the problem, or if there is something else that could be
causing it (if so, how do I troubleshoot it?). Thanks.
No, if it went full charge very long, it would fry your battery. If it
EXCEEDED full charge a short time, it would fry the alt.
Did you start with a fully charged battery when you swapped out? You are
suppsed to.. though I dont, for the life of me, understand why the
overcurrent reg cant be trusted on a new alt.
Dont you have a simple meter? You're a car nut, fukrying out loud.
Well I went out to the car and did a quick disconnect check on the battery
cable and it died. Got out my meter and checked the alternator... Looked
good so I swapped the voltage regulator from my '67 into it. Presto, works
perfectly. Wonder if my old alternator is not dead after all... Still have
it so I think I'll try it one of these days. I never checked it with my
meter, I just assumed it was the alternator that was the problem. If it _is_
still good I wonder why changing the alternator cured the problem for a
week? All my connections are clean, and new battery cables... Went through
that a couple months ago. Everything still appeared to be in good condition.
Anyway, I went out and got a new voltage regulator and installed it. Didn't
work, same problem as the old regulator, not charging. Went to exchange it
thinking it was DOA, but they had no others in stock so I just returned it.
If the '67's regulator works then so be it... I'll just get a new one next
week. The new one was a Borg Warner part, which looked a bit different than
the original Ford piece, and was supposedly for several applications on
Ford, Chevy and Mopar. I wonder if it was not the corerct unit for my
application or an inferior quality part. Oh well, I don't really care. The
car seems to be back to normal to I'm happy, I'll worry about finding a
replacement regulator next week.
How's the cables? All of them from battery to ground. Do you have those stupid
bolt on cable ends? Get rid of them and get new cables. Basics, basics, basics.
If you need to learn how to diagnose the problem, go to the library or good book
store and get access to a good charging system manual, ALL charging systems work
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