66-67 Dodge Charger Source Guide

Alternator Q & A

Q & A   #1

Daniel: I noticed my alternator gauge being totally on the discharge side. This morning, I tested the battery and the battery is @ 12.59 Volt. The gauge is still indicating "D" even without the key in. My question is, shouldn't be the gauge needle be in the center of the gauge when the car is not working and if so, any idea on what to do to fix it?

Maurice: Take the positive battery cable off and see if it centers. If not, the gauge is bad. If it centers, the voltage regulator has a problem.

John: Check the guage - either put a spare gauge in its place, or just use a small 1/4-20 screw/nut to clamp the wires together and wrap them with some black tape to insulate. Car will still work 100%, you just will not have an ammeter so will have to use common sense - check the battery etc.
Check the alternator - It is connected to the battery, through the ammeter, so try disconnecting the battery (stud) lead on the alternator and see what happens. If the alternator shorted internally, it could be drawing some current all the time. That symptom together with the not-charging when running leads me to the alternator problem. Could also be a bad regulator, but that would not likely continue the discharge with the key off.

Q & A   #2

Greg: I ran a 10 ga wire from my alternator output to the starter. Well, actually I used the battery connection on the solenoid, but I believe this accomplishes the same purpose - fewest connections possible from the alt to bat.with a nice 10 ga wire. Makes sense.

Previous to this any time I turn on a signficant power user (front lights, rad fan, brake lights all together) my ALT reading on the dash would read 3/4 toward charging while running or just a snit above idle. At Idle it would be about center and with engine off about 1/4 toward discharge. That sorta made sense. Now with the new wire, the ALT gage reads about middle all the time - it ticks a little toward discharge with the power usage mentioned above, but never as much toward charge.

John: When you add the wire from the alternator to the battery - you are bypassing the bulkhead connector and the originall ammeter (this is a Good Thing!). The byproduct is; the ammeter will now tell you what the curent draw of your dashboard stuff is - not the entire car. I sometimes will also bypass the ammeter (small piece of wire behind it to jump the terminals) which will stop it from moving alltogether.

Do use a piece of fusable lunk in the wire from the alternator to the starter solenoid (battery) terminal.