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Stumped on a charging issue..

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FletcherSyntax
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Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #1 by FletcherSyntax » Thu May 31, 2018 8:37 pm

So my i6 250 motor just doesn't seem to want to charge. Or I'm a moron and am expecting more than I should.

I replaced the alternator (tested the replacement at Autozone), I replaced the regulator and got me a fresh new battery but when the engine is idling I'm reading 12.40 volts. It's not dropping (at least not quickly) and when I Rev to 2k it barely raises, like maybe 12.42 volts and usually drops back down. I'm getting the same reading at the positive post of the alternator as I am at the battery, which may be correct, I'm not sure. What else can I check? I'm totally lost at this point.

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bubba22349
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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #2 by bubba22349 » Thu May 31, 2018 8:53 pm

What voltage does the battery read at the posts with the cables off? :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

FletcherSyntax
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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #3 by FletcherSyntax » Thu May 31, 2018 9:37 pm

bubba22349 wrote:What voltage does the battery read at the posts with the cables off? :nod:


12.7 approximately. Drops down after I start her but creeps back up after I shut the engine off.

FletcherSyntax
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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #4 by FletcherSyntax » Thu May 31, 2018 10:39 pm

I just studied the wiring diagram and realized I need to check the field wire and a few other things. So this topic can probably just die until tomorrow afternoon when I get done the rest of the diagnostic stuff. I bet it's an issue with the field wire.

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #5 by bubba22349 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:03 am

If you have a battery charger like a trickle type see if you can get the battery up in voltage in the 13.4 to 13.8 range. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #6 by 62Cometman » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:57 am

13 volts would be a charging battery. Full charged a battery should be about 12.6-12.7 since they have 6 cells and each cell produces 2.1 volts, over charging the battery doesnt do anything to help with the charging system, i would be doing exactly what you are doing fletcher and go through the wiring making sure everything is getting the signals they are supposed to. Also it is easy to test the alternator and very hard to test a voltage regulator and i will be the first to say that new parts can be bad out of the box so just because youve replaced it doesnt mean its working properly, so if you have good wiring and the alternator is good id head back over to that voltage regulator and do some inspecting.
1962 Mercury Comet 170 ci, Dagenham Trans, 2.83:1 7.25 rear.
She ain't fast but she's fun. 8)

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #7 by ludwig » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:03 am

While you are going over your wiring, make sure all your grounds are good. With an old car, many of the grounds have been compromised by rust, much of which you can't see. Check the main ground at the firewall. Remove the bolt and buff the all the metal with emory paper. Same for the heavy ground at the block, from the battery. As the corrosion builds, it slowly compromises continuity.
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chad
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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #8 by chad » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:09 am

I should just watch'n learn but will add that VR & ground issues R the most often cited on this board.
Try an Elchin (NAPA). I spent 5 yrs @ AutoZone and can not vouch for the Duralast (as above) even 'right out of the box'.
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #9 by FletcherSyntax » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:34 pm

Fixed! I had two bad regulators. These big parts stores are kind of garbage.

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #10 by bubba22349 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:34 pm

62Cometman wrote:13 volts would be a charging battery. Full charged a battery should be about 12.6-12.7 since they have 6 cells and each cell produces 2.1 volts, over charging the battery doesnt do anything to help with the charging system, i would be doing exactly what you are doing fletcher and go through the wiring making sure everything is getting the signals they are supposed to. Also it is easy to test the alternator and very hard to test a voltage regulator and i will be the first to say that new parts can be bad out of the box so just because youve replaced it doesnt mean its working properly, so if you have good wiring and the alternator is good id head back over to that voltage regulator and do some inspecting.


Actually each cell is 2.3 volts X 6 = 13.8 volts, most newer trickle or battery maintainers won’t over charge the battery. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #11 by 62Cometman » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:12 pm

Dont mean to hijack a thread or sound rude to you bubba but the ASE given information and what i was taught in tech school says that batterys cells are 2.1 per cell, we had disassembled batterys that we got to check the individual cells on to see, hence why any full charged off the shelf battery when connected to a voltmeter will show 12.6-12.7 i have never once seen a battery (in the mutliple years working on cars full time, and the 5+ years working at a parts store) after sitting for 24 hr after charging show 13.8, that only happens when the charging system is running properly and the engine is running, if that was the case then at anything less than 13.8 volts the battery would be considered dis-charged or dis-charging and the charging system would have to put out 13.8 or higher to charge it which they often dont, even on new vehicles they sometimes dont, my 2010 volvo sits at about 13.5 at idle without any accesories on, (comet only makes about 13.25). We were also taught that if a battery shows 12 volts or less it may not fully recover as the cells would have become "deeply dis-charged" which standard automotive lead acid batteries dont like to due more than a few times. Once again not trying to be combative or rude but i dont agree with your statment
1962 Mercury Comet 170 ci, Dagenham Trans, 2.83:1 7.25 rear.
She ain't fast but she's fun. 8)

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #12 by bubba22349 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:14 pm

Hi 62Cometman, yeah I don't find it rude at all, just a differance of OPIN. I was trained (1967 - 69) and have both A & E aircraft mechanic ratings. During my training on Airframes there was a lot of electrical theory, this is when I was taught that each lead acid battery cell is 2.3 volts. No mater 2.1 - 2.3 volts yeah its all good. :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #13 by wsa111 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:28 pm

Are all you guys aware that batteries sold to southern parts of the USA have less acid in the battery to prevent during charging to keep acid fumes from spewing out the vents. Also it has less plates but are thicker. Voltage may be only in the 12.8 area.
Batteries sold above the Mason Dixon line have a higher specific gravity & have more plates, but they are thinner. Voltage may be over 13 volts.
67 mustang,C-4, with mod. 80 hd, custom 500 cfm carb with annular boosters, hooker headers, dual exh.-X pipe, flowmaster mufflers, DSII dist. MSD-6al & MSD-Blaster 8252 Coil. Engine 205" .030" over with offset ground crank & 1.65 roller rockers. 9.5 comp., Isky 262 cam.
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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #14 by Econoline » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:39 pm

The charging system itself is not complicated if you understand the basic fundamentals of how it works. Alternators are designed to run @ twice the engine speed or slightly more. The alternator has a variable output potential up to it's rating. In other words, assuming the alternator is turning fast enough to produce more electricity than needed the regulator throttles the output. The load on the engine is based entirely on the demand for 12v power. Plus the baseline load of a freewheeling alternator, which I think is fairly low or insignificant compared to under load. The torque required to turn a 130 amp alternator under full load is significant.

In order for the alternator to turn on and regulate it needs to know the engine is running, what the battery voltage is, and the target voltage. The "I" on the regulator is "ignition" or "excite". That's your key switch run signal, which comes through the dash charging idiot light bulb, it 'excites' the field. "A" is your voltage sensing wire and should be connected to a battery wire, like the B+ terminal on the alternator. "S" is the "field" wire, it's the wire that tells the alternator how hard it should be working. It's a 0-12v signal. The target voltage and charging modes and slopes are built into the regulator and you can buy programmable regulators to control all manner of exotic battery types and configurations with any given externally regulated alternator. Outside of that, the alternator has to have good ground contact or it won't run.
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consider ALL pieces in charging system...

Post #15 by chad » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:00 am

"ford6 schooled again", almost all new info 2 me AND so succinctly said. Thank you.

"... Plus the baseline load of a freewheeling alternator, which I think is fairly low or insignificant compared to under load...."
wasn't sure how/Y this was part of ur above explination (how it may B insignificant) but the higher the output (volts?amps?) of alternator the heaver the windings etc — the more friction there is. Race guys here have em that just get the vehicle goin (lill dinky 1s).
I, on the other hand, am lookin 4 a PulPal which puts out enuff 4 a welder, that will B a significant load on my lill bobtail (4.1L).

U R helping me think thru the importance of choice in VR now...
Last edited by chad on Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Big thing is only make one change at a time. Change 2 or more things at a time it becomes difficult to figure which change helped or hurt" turbo2256b » 1/16/2017
Chad - '70 LUEB on '77 frame (i.e. PS, D44, trapezoidal BB 9", 4.11), 250, NV 3550 & DSII to B transplanted, "T" D20/PTO, 2" SL, 1" BL, 4 discs, 33"X15", tool boxes, etc. Seeking: Hydraulic gear motor for Koenig pto. chrlsful@aol.com (413) 259-1749

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #16 by Econoline » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:11 am

I'm glad I helped Chad. For sure the torque required to turn the alternator increases as it's needed. If you were on a stationary bicycle chained to an alternator and had a light bulb or load on a switch and flicked it on you'd feel it right away :x :idea:
It ain't gonna fix itself

FletcherSyntax
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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #17 by FletcherSyntax » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:00 pm

Econoline wrote:The charging system itself is not complicated if you understand the basic fundamentals of how it works. Alternators are designed to run @ twice the engine speed or slightly more. The alternator has a variable output potential up to it's rating. In other words, assuming the alternator is turning fast enough to produce more electricity than needed the regulator throttles the output. The load on the engine is based entirely on the demand for 12v power. Plus the baseline load of a freewheeling alternator, which I think is fairly low or insignificant compared to under load. The torque required to turn a 130 amp alternator under full load is significant.

In order for the alternator to turn on and regulate it needs to know the engine is running, what the battery voltage is, and the target voltage. The "I" on the regulator is "ignition" or "excite". That's your key switch run signal, which comes through the dash charging idiot light bulb, it 'excites' the field. "A" is your voltage sensing wire and should be connected to a battery wire, like the B+ terminal on the alternator. "S" is the "field" wire, it's the wire that tells the alternator how hard it should be working. It's a 0-12v signal. The target voltage and charging modes and slopes are built into the regulator and you can buy programmable regulators to control all manner of exotic battery types and configurations with any given externally regulated alternator. Outside of that, the alternator has to have good ground contact or it won't run.



Where does the "'s" wire get its signal from? My signal wire is reading 0.04 volts.

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Re: Stumped on a charging issue..

Post #18 by Econoline » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:53 pm

Do you have a 1G or 2G alternator?

S is generally connected to the stator. With the engine running you should be getting at least 5-6v at the stator terminal on the alternator. If you are getting 0v @ the S terminal with the engine running the alternator is not turned on and your dash lamp should be on with or without the engine running.

On a 1G regulator you will have an F terminal, that is the field terminal, I'm sorry for any confusion. The previous reference is for 3G alternators. In this case the S signal comes from the stator to the regulator and enables field control via a relay, the regulated voltage is sent out from the F terminal on the regulator to the F terminal on the alternator. That relay requires between 2 and 4v or more to close. You should have somewhere between 3 and 12V @ the F terminal, the higher the voltage the more output from the alternator. If not, verify that your dash bulb is working, it should illuminate when the key is on, then go out after the engine starts. If that bulb is dead the regulator and alternator will not turn on. Also verify that the "A" wire at the regulator is receiving 12V and is equal to battery voltage.

Another test you can try is to disconnect the I and S wires from the regulator and disconnect the S terminal from the alternator as well. Then connect the S terminal on the regulator to a switched power source or just connect a jumper wire from the S terminal to the A terminal and see if it starts charging. If it does then there is a problem with the signal @ the I terminal or with that portion of the regulator.

Also, ensure that both the regulator and the alternator are grounded. Like, take your test light and clip it to the alternator body and poke the A terminal on the regulator and then vice versa clip to the light to the regulator ground and poke the b+ terminal.
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