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Old 10-23-2007, 08:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Testing Generator output?

Before replacing my gen or attempting to step up to the alt conversion I would like to figure out if my gen really is bad. The gen light stays on now. I tested at the batt and got about the same voltage with the car off or on.

I have the shop man and can understand the test procedure but it says "generator should reach or exceed its rated output."

I don't know what that is, or what to look for when reading the ammeter. I'm looking at the specs section and it says 30-35 amps @ 15volts. Is this what I should read on my ammeter setting?

thanks for any help,

george
63 4dr sedan 289
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Testing Generator output?

Your Ammeter will NOT read the amps. The amps your generator puts out must pass fully through an Ammeter and only through, then complete the running of the electrical system before an accurate reading can be had.

Your handheld is not capable of that.

BUt...

You CAN test the voltage, and you should have right at 12.8 to 13.5V at idle with your generator. You GEN light will begin to light up at about 11.8 to 12V but it will be very dim. at 11.5 on down and it will be fairly bright.

Your regulator is what determines when the generator charges and if it's bad the GEN light will come on as well.

Start teh car, and bring the idle up to about 1,000 rpms. If the light don't go out then you have to manually trip the soleonoid in the Voltage regulator, to see if the Gen. is putting out proper voltage.


FE
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Testing Generator output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FEandGoingBroke View Post
BUt...

You CAN test the voltage, and you should have right at 12.8 to 13.5V at idle with your generator. You GEN light will begin to light up at about 11.8 to 12V but it will be very dim. at 11.5 on down and it will be fairly bright.

Your regulator is what determines when the generator charges and if it's bad the GEN light will come on as well.

Start teh car, and bring the idle up to about 1,000 rpms. If the light don't go out then you have to manually trip the soleonoid in the Voltage regulator, to see if the Gen. is putting out proper voltage.


FE
Thanks for that info. So where do I test the volts? I mean, where am I putting the test leads??

And how do you manually trip the solenoid?

thanks,

george
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Testing Generator output?

My light is either off or it's on, I don't get the dimming of the light with the amount of charge or whatever. But we measure the volts at the battery when the car is running to see how much it's charging which is basically what Gary was saying I think.
Also check the wires between the gen and the regulator. I had problems with my light coming on and then it would go out after a bit now and then and it was a bad spot in the wire.

Deb
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Testing Generator output?

Deb's got it right. Check voltage at the battery. Also, your car should run with the battery disconnected, if not then ther is something broke.

Tripping the soleonoid.

Remove the cap on the regulator. Ther are two electric/magnetic soleonoids under it most likely, sometimes only one.

While the car is running and you have the volt meter hooked to the battery where you can see it, take a piece of rubber or wood and slowly press the contact flapped on one soleonoid at a time to the down position, and or to the up position, one side at a time and keep an eye on the battery voltage.

If your generator is working the voltage will RAISE when you do this, depending on the idle speed it will raise a lot or a little.

If your voltage jumps then your Gen is OK and your regulator needs to be replaced.

FE
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Testing Generator output?

You can bypass the voltage regulator and make the generator go to full output. Disconect the wires at the votage regulator and then temporary hook the field wire to the battery wire. Hook the volt meeter to the battery and bring the engine up to about 1500 rpm's. Should put out 30-35 amps and the voltage should be anywhere from 14.5 to 18 volts.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Testing Generator output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 63ford406 View Post
You can bypass the voltage regulator and make the generator go to full output. Disconect the wires at the votage regulator and then temporary hook the field wire to the battery wire. Hook the volt meeter to the battery and bring the engine up to about 1500 rpm's. Should put out 30-35 amps and the voltage should be anywhere from 14.5 to 18 volts.
This sounds pretty close to what the shop manual describes.

Anyway, you all have given me some good ideas and I look forward to tackling this on the weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

cheers,
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