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  #21  
Old 10-15-2013, 10:15 PM
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Crash Crash is offline
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Originally Posted by MDH33 View Post
So, update on this...

Stevinson F'd up and told me that this reman unit came with the regulator. It came in today and sure enough, no regulator... Wasting my time. The regulator is an additional $60... Not in stock and won't be in until Thursday... So, another trip down the hill this week.
$60?? Stevinson's online price for the 84-87 Cruiser external voltage regulator shows to be $177. WTF????
Sorry this has turned into a bit of a cluster for you Martin. If it helps you any, both of the 60's batts can be charged and you can drive around for a week without any help from your alt if need be. Then again, I've probably already said too much.
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  #22  
Old 10-15-2013, 10:35 PM
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$60?? Stevinson's online price for the 84-87 Cruiser external voltage regulator shows to be $177. WTF????
Sorry this has turned into a bit of a cluster for you Martin. If it helps you any, both of the 60's batts can be charged and you can drive around for a week without any help from your alt if need be. Then again, I've probably already said too much.
$177 for the alternator, regulator and core deposit is what I guess? Not sure what's going on down there.

The 60 starts right up and runs fine, but the batteries are going down slowly. Just need to keep them topped off on the charger until I get this figured out. I h8 electrical problems.
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  #23  
Old 10-16-2013, 12:25 AM
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hoping someone can guide me on this one.

85 FJ60. Dual batteries with a National Luna (NL) solenoid. I noticed last night that the batteries are reading low on the in-cab NL voltage meter and that the dash voltage meter is only reading 8-9 Volts with the engine running. I connected a volt meter directly to the starting battery and it is reading about 12.3V and there doesn't seem to be any change with RPM increase. the dash voltage meter shows slight fluctuation when I turn headlights, fan, etc on. I pulled the alternator and took it to NAPA and it tested fine. Fuses looked fine too. Stumped. Not sure where to look next? I am going to try to disconnect the second battery and solenoid to eliminate that from the system and see what happens. Anything else I should be looking at?
Just saw this thread.

Martin, do a sanity check. If your dash voltmeter reads 8-9 volts but the battery reads 12.3 V, what do you think?

There is a discrepancy.

Find the source of the discrepancy before spending money on parts you may not need!

The rig starts and runs fine you wrote. What does that tell you?

Maybe the problem is with the instrumentation and not the charging system?

Automotive electrical stuff 101:

Q: Is my stuff working?

A: Isolate battery, charging, connections, and loads.

Q: Does the battery hold a charge? Test it by measuring it at modest load like with headlights on at two different points in time like 24 hours apart with nothing happening (no drains, no charges).

Q: Does my battery take a charge? Test it by measuring the amperage it takes when it is low (<12.5 volts) and is accepting a charge from a charger. If it is many (5-30) amps at 13.8-14.2 volts it is probably taking that charge.

Q: Does my alternator (and regulator) work okay? Test by measuring voltage at the battery terminals with engine off, and then with engine running. Off should be around 12.5 volts, on should be around 13-14 volts. It shouldn't change a lot with RPMs unless it is low and is taking a big a$$ charge. But only 12.3 volts with the engine running suggests that it isn't getting any charge. It should be at least 12.8 volts or so out of the regulator. What did you observe when NAPA tested the alternator (which on a 60 has the internal regulator)? It should have been a solid 13 plus volts under a substantial load. If so, then the problem is NOT with the alternator or it's internal regulator.

Q: Are my connections okay? My battery tests good at around 12.5 volts with engine off, and my alternator and regulator seem to be fine with a reading of around 13.8 volts at the battery with the engine running. But when I turn the engine over it really struggles. Test by taking a jumper cable and jumping between the battery positive post and the starter terminal. Also check the negative side by taking a jumper cable and jumping from the battery negative post and a good ground like an unrusted spot on the frame. Obviously (or not?) don't overlook loose or corroded connections.

A super-easy test for bad connections is this:

Turn the headlights on. Then turn the engine over. If the lights go dim, you have good connections and a weak battery or (much more rarely bad starter). If the lights do not go dim but the engine struggles to turn over, it is simply bad connections.

Q: Do I have excessive (or parasitic) loads? Excessive loads tend to open fuses and fusible links. A fusible link is simply a big fuse. A parasitic load (one that drains the battery when things are supposedly turned off) is easy to test for, just disconnect one battery cable and measure the current with everything turned off (including the engine of course). The clock on your radio should take no more than a couple milliamps. Anything more than a couple tens of milliamps is worth checking into. Tracking down is simply a matter of unplugging fuses until the current draw goes away, and now your parasitic circuit is identified.

A lot of this stuff isn't directly related to Martin's observations, but may help some folks.

I put my money on a bad connection. I have seen fusible links simply corrode as apposed to blowing. They are simply a small wire gauge inside thick insulation. I have just bought fusible link wire from the parts store and spliced it in when I have had this happen.

Oh, easy test for bad fusible link. Just measure the voltage at each end. If it is more than zero when current should be flowing, then you've isolated the fault.
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  #24  
Old 10-20-2013, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for that thorough response Jeff.


I was having a tough time with the diagnostics but it ended up being the fault of my voltage meter, which had a low battery. Once I figured that out, I was getting more logical read-outs.

Here's where things stand. I tested the regulator and it was bad according to the FSM. I replaced it and things seemed to be working. However, the voltage seems to be dropping intermittently while driving. The in cab voltmeters: dash, National Luna, and my Yaesu Ham seem to read 13.6, but randomly will drop down to 12.6. When it goes below 13.1, the National Luna shuts off and doesn't reset until I stop, shut the vehicle off and restart (which is what it is designed to do).

Any ideas what would cause the voltage to suddenly drop like that? Could the alternator be working part time?

Regarding the connections, they all seem tight and clean and all battery cable and clamps are new.

I have the new alternator to try as well, but darkness and heavy snow have put the lid on wrenching for the night.
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Last edited by MDH33; 10-20-2013 at 07:30 PM.
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  #25  
Old 10-20-2013, 11:40 PM
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Any ideas what would cause the voltage to suddenly drop like that? Could the alternator be working part time?
Brushes making intermittent contact could cause that symptom - experienced that with a 1977 F150 I used to have. While a new alternator would fix that so would a new set of $2 brushes. Still, (possibly intermittent) bad connection is my armchair diagnosis.
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  #26  
Old 10-21-2013, 07:01 AM
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Brushes making intermittent contact could cause that symptom - experienced that with a 1977 F150 I used to have. While a new alternator would fix that so would a new set of $2 brushes. Still, (possibly intermittent) bad connection is my armchair diagnosis.
Thanks Jeff. On the fusible link, is the best way to test it to just do continuity tests on the 3 wires? If that checks out, I will toss in the new alternator tonight and see if the intermittent charging stops. If not, it would likely be a problem in the harness?
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  #27  
Old 10-21-2013, 07:45 AM
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Default dual batts?

Are your batteries' grounded together? Like a big ol' cable from one negative post to the other? I say that because I had some similar things going on with my truck...verrry similar. I double checked the wiring diagram that came with my dual battery setup (kinda cheapo) - everything wired as specified. Looking at other wiring diagrams, most had the batteries tied together with a ground. Once I did that, things are back to normal.
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  #28  
Old 10-21-2013, 11:34 PM
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Thanks Jeff. On the fusible link, is the best way to test it to just do continuity tests on the 3 wires? If that checks out, I will toss in the new alternator tonight and see if the intermittent charging stops. If not, it would likely be a problem in the harness?
Answer to the first question is, yes. It is like a fuse. Either open or not. Like any electrical connection in older rigs it could be suspect as not open but high impedance, but that would be down the list. New alt (on a 60) will rule in or out both brush issues and regulator issues. Yes, if the first two don't make any difference, then certainly harness/connections.
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  #29  
Old 10-23-2013, 09:21 PM
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New regulator and alternator fixed it. Now getting the full 14.2V from the alternator and no more intermittent drop. The charge is staying up and keeping the National Luna from turning off. Both batteries seem happy.
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  #30  
Old 10-24-2013, 09:59 AM
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Thanks for posting the fix - and glad it's fixed.
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