Need help with this one??? - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with this one???

Finishing up my 64 impala to get it back out on the road for the summer. This car hasn't seen the road since 1971, when I found the car it had no generator on it. I purchased an alternator from an auto parts store for it, and used exsisting wires laying on the driver side fender. Put a fresh battery in it and fired right up but the tail light were working, nor the brake lights with new bulbs in it. The next day went to drive it, and the battery was dead. I checked the key and it was in the off position. I have no clue how to figure out what it draining the battery, electric isn't really my strong point. Could it be the voltage regulator? Help please, thanks rob
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 10:00 PM
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I have to ask, do you own a multi-meter?

They are pretty cheap, and they can help in finding at least which area is causing the current draw.

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 04:02 AM
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To answer your question, yes it could very well be that the mechanical voltage regulator is at fault. An external voltage regulator which you will no longer need if you have an internally regulated alternator (the one wire alternator). I don't know which alternator you bought and GM has made five different versions since they were introduced in 1963.

As such you may need to disable the external voltage regulator without disconnecting the car's electrical circuits. This requires connecting two wires together and disconnecting two of the four wires that are connected to the external voltage regulator by way of the four pin connector.

If you are curious how to do that I suggest in addition to your multi-meter you buy a book on automotive wiring; as a book is needed to explain what you have to do to fix all of the potential electrical problems with your car.

I can say in addition to the mechanical points problem in the external voltage regulator that you will discover a number of issues with bad grounds and corrosion between contacts. You will need to add to your list an electrical schematic of your car, (that at least is available on line for free).

Your alternative to learning about basic DC circuits and troubleshooting is converting your car over to a magneto and using a hand crank to start it as well as using a pair of kerosene FIREd head lamps with a red kerosene rail road lantern in the back.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post

Your alternative to learning about basic DC circuits and troubleshooting is converting your car over to a magneto and using a hand crank to start it as well as using a pair of kerosene FIREd head lamps with a red kerosene rail road lantern in the back.

Big Dave
Oh dang...this is the way I'm going with my car. Please provide details!

Ed
66 Impala SS
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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What are the steps to check the current draw with the multimeter? Could i use a voltage meter also to check?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 01:54 PM
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Almost any multi-meter you find will have an Ohm meter, a Volt meter (AC and DC) and an Amp meter built into it. Some models may have additional features such as a diode and Capacitance checker. The higher the price tag the better the meter (accuracy wise and in the number of scales it will have). You also get additional features such as auto-ranging selection and memory and a K-type Thermocouple heat probe with the higher priced meters.

By the same token you do not need to buy an expensive professional grade YEW or Fluke multi-meter which are not only very rugged, but calibrated as being accurate by the National Bureau of Standards. I have a Fluke as well as a HP left over from my days as an engineer. In the shop though I use a Radio Shack $80 meter hat has all of the functions I need.

If I blow it up accidentally (there may be only 12 volts in a car's circuitry to protect you from harm, but there is a lot of current in those wires that can melt digital circuit boards) I am out only $80 bucks instead of the nearly $400 my Fluke 80 Series V Digital Multimeter cost me. In terms of accuracy the Radio Shack bench top meter I have (no longer available) has all of the features as this hand held replacement meter that costs less and uses fewer batteries (mine uses six C batteries to power it). The only disadvantage that I see is that a hand held requires a hand to hold it. My old bench top sat at a 45 degree angle on a car fender or on the seat as I checked circuits freeing one hand to hold a wire while I probed with the other hand.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...odsInSession=1

Here is my old bench top model with another brand name on it.

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...FWrl7AodCWgA6g

Big Dave

Last edited by Big Dave; 06-06-2013 at 02:13 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 08:31 AM
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