496 Impala - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-14-2014, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ca
Posts: 19
496 Impala

Hi Folks
I find the forms on here extremely helpful. Especially wiring problems. So much fun. Not!
I have a 65 SS Blk/Blk. 496, 400, fwdb. Coil overs, etc.
Big Dave rocks! Very informative.
More later.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-14-2014, 11:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,455
Welcome to the Team Al!

I moved your first post to here so folks could find it.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-15-2014, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ca
Posts: 19
My dash lights are very dim. Would a new headlight switch help?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-15-2014, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
Posts: 3,165
Blog Entries: 15
Welcome Al, sounds like a sweet ride!

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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As to dim lights it could be a drop in voltage due to corrosion. There are two ground straps that ground the electronics in the plastic dash to the metal part of the dash to ground it. Rust under the grounding screw prevents the free flow of electrons. The increased resistance drops the voltage which causes the lights to dim in intensity.

Another issue is that your car runs off the battery with the alternator being used just to charge the battery. This is why your head lights dim when you stop at an intersection and brighten again as you hit the gas to leave. The DN Delco Remmy alternator with a set of mechanical points controlling voltage probably has a 36 Amp alternator with a 140 Amp battery. Modern cars have a 120 Amp SA alternator (also known as a one wire alternator) and all of the car is fed off the alternator with the battery being used as a reserve source of power to crank the motor when the alternator isn't even alive.

This one wire will bolt in place of your old DN or CS alternator (internally voltage regulated using transistors) It does look very different since the fan is larger and the alternator is full of holes to let the heated air out (converting 2,000W of mechanical power into 1,600W of electrical power generates heat). If you where to install a new one wire alternator your lights wouldn't dim at a stop sign as the alternator puts out full rated power at 1,800 RPM. Your old DN doesn't out put it's rated amperage below 3,600 RPM. It is this added 490 Watts of power from gunning the engine that brightens your headlights when you pull away from the stop sign.

In the good old days you could always spot a cop car at night because his lights were always very bright because cop cars in the old days had big alternators off of diesel trucks that put out 180 Amps of power to allow their "Auxiliary Running Lights", radio and CB to work even at idle as they pulled you over with the "Bubble Gum Machine" flashing.

Big Dave
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