Possible short? - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Possible short?

So in my 64 I recently put in a new battery, voltage regulator, and alternator. At the same time points were swapped for hei and new fan clutch. Aside from the fan clutch this stuff was replace due to a the old stuff pushing 18 volts through the system. It melted my points, blew my tail lights out, killed my stereo, it was fantastic. Well for the last week the car has been great after everything was fixed. My friends wife left the key on accessory for 2 days so today when I went to start it I got nothing, no power at all, no anything. I took the battery to get charged, picked it up, put it back in and nothing. I went back to advanced and it was completly dead. The battery is charging right now. I'm curious what you guys think about this.

1. Maybe they never charged it and thought they did

2. Maybe the battery cells are toast

So this is my question and biggest fear, could there have been a short that caused all that stuff to go wrong in the first place that I didn't find and I just replaced what it damaged only to damage it again?


Just a month ago my other impala got left on accessory for a week. The battery could not be charged and they replaced it. I really hope that's all that happened to this impala.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Turns out the battery was wasted..... thankfully
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 09:58 PM
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18 volts in your car is the resultof a defective mechanical points style voltage regulator. The points burn and the springs in side loose their tension to excessive heat and old age.


Surprised the bulbs blew as they can generally sustain more voltage than that (race cars often run a 16 volt battery to maintain at least 12 volts by the end of the race if the charging circuit fails). Not surprised at all about excessive voltage destroying your stereo, as digital circuits do not like anything but steady even voltage in the 1 to 4 volt range. So a 50% over voltage condition would fry any digital circuit.


I strongly suggest in every electrical problem post that the factory on board battery charger (that is all a generator or a mechanical points controlled alternator is as it doesn't produce enough energy below cruising speed to power anything) with a modern one wire alternator that is internally regulated and produces all the power you could want at just above idle RPM.


Your car runs everything off of the battery and the alternator is just a battery charger that tries to keep up with the load. But as you have learned; when your battery dies nothing works. Lead acid battery technology hasn't change much since Volta invented it back in1800. The materials that it is made of has changed as lead (virgin lead not previously recycled) is getting harder to find. And the quality of how the plates are supported inside the battery (lead is heavy) is very relevant to battery life. If dropped or stored improperly the plates can touch and short out internally (old batteries short out due to lead sulfide building up, but recharging a dead battery at too fast a rate can also cause the plates to shed lead sulfide that falls to the bottom and shorts out the battery that may a have lasted a little longer if it had been charged properly (that is why new battery charges are all computerized to sense the condition of the battery).


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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I've never owned a 1 wire alternator in my impalas. I might as well make the switch since I swapped out points for hei. What difference does it make now lol


What I don't get is that yes, it blew the tail lights, and fried the stereo. It did not blow the fuses though. How is that possible? And I say blew, literally the bulb exploded on one, the the others melted. The battery spewed acid and swelled up as well. The **** was not a fun drive to day the least.

Last edited by Madencali; 05-30-2016 at 01:20 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 03:26 AM
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Fuses are blown by excessive Amperage not Voltage. You could run 230 VOLTS AC through that same fuse if yopu kept the amperage down low enough it wouldn't blow.

I am old enough to have owned three used cars that had a six volt system that I converted over to twelve volts. The same six volt lights stayed in the car getting very bright but didn't blow out. They didn't last too long but they worked for a while.

If you have not changed out your voltage control module on the fire wall I expect this problem will repeat itself as that is what turns the voltage down from the max generated by the alternator. That device controls the voltage to the field windings in the stator. It is the ability to control the stator voltage that separates an alternator from a generator (that an the fact that a permanent magnet generator is a DC device and the alternator is a three phase AC device that is rectified to DC by three pairs of diodes). If your battery is charged the field windings get no voltage so there is no charging going on; the alternator just spins on it's bearings saving gas. If the voltage in the battery is low the field windings are fully energized and the alternator will out put maximum voltage and it's rated amperage out put.


Here is how it is adjusted assuming the points and springs are good and the internal resistors have not gone bad from moisture.

http://s305.photobucket.com/user/hot...-011a.jpg.html

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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I changed voltage regulator.

I had no idea about amps vs volts. I really don't know much about electricity. That was good info!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 09:25 AM
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It's an old engineering joke that electricity is as easy as PIE!



Better known as OHM's Law.



This illustration above allows you to understand the terms. Amperage is a bunch of electrons being pushed through a wire by Voltage. Resisting that push provided by voltage are Ohms.

DC circuits are very simple by comparison to three phase AC, and it used to be taught in elementary school in the fifth or sixth grade science class. Kids of my age used to wire up door bells, lighting circuits, and make electromagnets in class using six volt lantern batteries. Those were back in the days before politicians got involved with teaching.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:05 PM
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Big Dave what is your opinion on the one wire vs. three wire setup in a car...assuming the alternator is an updated design for each?

Here is a site i see a lot of people reference to this question.

Catalog
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:58 PM
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A one wire alternator is self exciting. That means it will generate enough current to energize the field windings once the engine RPM (keep in mind the alternator spins at 40% of engine speed) exceeds 2400 RPM. One it is energized the internal voltage regulator takes over control of the alternators out put sensing the condition and load by way of measuring the voltage on the charging wire that goes to the batteries positive terminal. That is it you hook up just the charging wire (a minimum of an 6 gage wire due to the possibility of it pushing out 136 Amps x 12 nominal volts equals 1600 Watts of power or more than enough power to melt the stock 10 gage wire charging wire).

If you were to go to the bother of hooking up the other two wires required on a modern computer controlled car it would charge at the hit of the ignition key. This isn't required as you will hit 2,400 RPM just warming up the car before you even drop it in gear. Since I don't have a choke on my car and the engines run a non-stock cam I frequently have to sit and play with the throttle to keep the engine running while I get a little heat into it. Because of this my neighbors wish I kept it below 2,400 RPM until I have gone down the road out of ear shot.

The advantage of a one wire is that your head lights don't go dim and turn to a reddish yellow glow at stop signs at night with a one wire. They will stay nice and bright because a modern CS alternator (the model style designation from Delco-Remy for a one wire) out puts it's full rated amperage at 1600 RPM or more. By comparison an old mechanical point DN alternator only out puts one forth the capacity and you have to spin the engine to 4,200 RPM to get that rated Amperage. The big difference is a DN alternator is an on board battery charger, and the CS alternator powers the car using the battery only to crank it. The CS being transistorized also out puts a rock steady voltage (computers hate fluctuating voltages) of 13.6 volts (which is were the voltage that a 12 volt car system normally runs., is supposed to be).

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:13 AM
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Is the disadvantage of the CS one wire that your battery now takes the load of all of the devices compared to the junction block of the three wire setup? Can you get the old style one that has all of the functions of the new CS but keeps the same wiring layout of the original setup? I thought that was the point of the link I had above.

http://www.madelectrical.com/electri...hreewire.shtml
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovebohn View Post
Is the disadvantage of the CS one wire that your battery now takes the load of all of the devices compared to the junction block of the three wire setup?
Catalog
The one wire CS alternator doesn't change your car's existing wiring. Everything you have now will be there. You do need to disable the mechanical voltage regulator by removing two wires and joining them together. So there is no added load to any thing other than the current carrying capacity of the main wire to the battery to reflect the four fold increase in power that the alternator could offer. It doesn't out put that much all the time only what the car wants in term of an electrical load.

Quote:
Can you get the old style one that has all of the functions of the new CS but keeps the same wiring layout of the original setup?
No! The CS style alternator uses entirely new technology and is a radical departure from previous Delco Remy alternators (DN, SI, CS, and the new four number models). You can buy a reworked SI model alternator that came off of a medium to heavy duty truck, or a police car (they also used the big frame SI alternators to power small radio station, and all of those added red and blue light bulbs), or even a Cadillac that has a lot of electrical loads with power everything.

Cadillac Alternator Deville Seville Eldorado Fleetwood New High 200 Amp 1980-85 | eBay

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