alini

Charging problems still persistant

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I did some testing and the voltage regulator wasnt working right and the alternator wasnt pushing enough voltage....change them both.  The light is on alot brighter, its ON and then its off now but the AMP light stays on with the key out. (yes its in the off position)  So looks like I get to change the alternator again Service manual says the diodes in the alternator are bad. I tried checking for voltage coming out of the alternator and it was jumping from 5 to 12 volts.

 

I have check the wires and I have continuity with low resistance from pin to pin on the components, so I know the wires are not broken.  I dont find any shorts to ground either.

 

Both parts have a good warrantee now, so tomorrow I will get both parts and change them at the same time.  I'm afraid my problem keeps leap frogging because I swapped one part and then the other.

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Can someone who has their hood up on a 65, look at the two wire plug at the back of the alternator and tell me what side the white and blue wires are on the alternator.

 

I intend on replacing the whole wiring for the alternator to the voltage reg and want to make sure I have the connector right before I start.

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This is what I have now.  White to the passenger side. Blue to the drivers.  

image.jpeg

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Chris, just looked at mine and my alternator is clocked a 90 degrees from yours (the alternator is below the AC compressor), accounting for the differences mine is wired the same (blue is actually on top).

 

I had some similar problems when I got my 65.  I changed the original mechanical Voltage Regulator, also to a new mechanical VR, yet still had the same problem.  Got a new more modern (electronic) VR from a local Autozone and the problem disappeared.  The electronic VR is not has thick as the original and didn't have the DELCO mark on it, so I took the DELCO marked cover off the new mechanical VR and it screwed directly to the new electronic VF.  Not only does it work, it looks like the original.

 

Rock On

 

gord

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                   Gordon, that is a great tip......I was not aware that the old style cover would bolt to an electronic

regulator.......that's a great upgrade!

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Until Gord wrote this I had forgotten that Jim Cannon wrote something about this in a Riview some time ago.  He said the way to tell the new from the old was the use of rivets rather than screws to hold the cover on.  He suggested what Gord did.  Grind the rivets off, put the old cover over the new VR, and screw it on.  Great tip.

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I'm afraid both parts were bad to begin with.  I swapped out the regulator on its own and at first crank up something within the alternator screwed up a relay on the new regulator.  Since I has changed the regulator already I assumed the alternator was the final piece so just changed it with the regulator still bad now.  When I disconnect the battery a relay in the regulator clicks.  And the output of the alternator is still not good.   Today I will remove both parts.  Disassemble the wiring and replace wires terminals and both components all at the same time and will have the battery fully charged overnight before I try cranking it

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Chirs that is what happened when I put the second mechanical VR in, just clicked.  So I went and got a very inexpensive electronic VR with the same alternator and have had no problems since.  The mechanical VRs aren't as forgiving on battery charge or Alternator variation, the electronic VR worked like a charm.  If you heard clicking it was a mechanical VR.  Before swapping out the Alternator and redoing the wiring, I would try an electronic VR.  You could use a car with a good battery to jump it to take the battery charge out of the equation.  Just a thought.

 

Rock On

 

gord

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16 hours ago, alini said:

Can someone who has their hood up on a 65, look at the two wire plug at the back of the alternator and tell me what side the white and blue wires are on the alternator.

 

I intend on replacing the whole wiring for the alternator to the voltage reg and want to make sure I have the connector right before I start.

Unless the terminal housing for the wires to your alternator is messed up, there's only one way it will plug in.  The female part of the alternator will only accept the male part of the wiring harness one way because of the release clip.  If you can put it in either way, you need to put a new housing on your existing wires or splice a pigtail into your wires.  That way, no matter which way your alternator is clocked, you'll plug it in correctly.

 

I have wiring diagrams for my '63 and '64 and they're different from each other.  Both the color of the wires going into the alternator and the wires coming from the voltage regulator are different.  I don't have a '65 wiring diagram.  I don't know if it's like a '63 or a '64 or something totally different so I'm not much help there.  

 

I've always been able to depend on the large laminated and colored wiring diagrams I get from Classic Car Wiring through eBay.  Looks like I need to get one for my newly acquired '65.  Here's a link to one for the '65.  While I have it open, I'm going to get one for myself.  One of the nicer things about them is the power seat, power window, and a/c wiring diagrams that are on the back side.  Those diagrams are not in the chassis manual that I can find.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1965-65-Buick-Riviera-Full-Color-Laminated-Wiring-Diagram-11-X-17-/361644319205?hash=item5433ae61e5:g:HGMAAOSwNphWXarb&vxp=mtr

 

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I have the laminated card and I have verified thru research the wires in the plug are correct.   Remember I bought this car pretty much out of a junkyard. So I want to make sure the wiring wasn't hacked up.  The alternator is keyed for the connector but the connector isn't the greatest condition.   The female terminals are slightly corroded too so I wanna swap those out

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Google 'alternator pigtails' and click on the images link.  Look at the pictures until you see the one that matches yours.  If you click on the picture you can find a link to the site.  Like this?

 

 

2531F.jpg?lr=t&bw=1000&w=1000&bh=1000&h=

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Since I just installed the alternator I had the shop test it before they gave me a replacement.  The one I just got off the shelf yesterday failed the bench check so bad, the machine didnt even turn it to try and make power.   So I do have a smoking gun....but I want to make sure I have the system bullet proof.  I ordered replacement connectors and they wont be here for a few days.....so Im 'off' this weekend from car work ;)

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Ed- great tip re that laminated wiring diagram. Mine is on the way. Are you going to Allentown last week in July?

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If you don't already have one, this is a great little tool:

https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-56500-Terminal-Tool/dp/B0009OR906

 I have used mine a lot. I also have a good selection of plug connectors like the ones in the firewall body plug. Belden makes them and you can usually find them at NAPA stores.

 

I have found corroded connectors inside firewall plugs that were bypassed to make previous repairs. With the tool you can R&R things correctly. I have also removed wires from plugs with pigtails so I can make a homerun and eliminate splices.

Bernie

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On 7/14/2016 at 9:01 PM, alini said:

Since I just installed the alternator I had the shop test it before they gave me a replacement.  The one I just got off the shelf yesterday failed the bench check so bad, the machine didnt even turn it to try and make power.   So I do have a smoking gun....but I want to make sure I have the system bullet proof.  I ordered replacement connectors and they wont be here for a few days.....so Im 'off' this weekend from car work ;)

This is the exact reason I NEVER buy an over the counter replacement alternator for any car old or new. A guy I work with replaced 3 alternators from Advance Auto on his Ford 85 Truck in 2 months. Many other similar stories. And then 2 starters a year later.

 

I use a competent local rebuild rebuild shop. A little more expensive but have never had a problem with a replacement as long as I have been driving. 

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1 hour ago, JZRIV said:

 

I do the same thing for my 64.  Cheaper then buying a over the counter item.  cost me $ 35.00 to rebuild mine.

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I went through this a few yrs. ago with a '63. The wiring at the regulator for a '63 is diff. than a '64/'65. Since i didn't have the time because of a major move I opted to just replace with a rebuilt. 4 units later I rebuilt the old one. Now this works, but still no charge/lights on etc. replaced 4 regulators. Same problem. I know the one on my '64 works. Removed & installed, now everything works as it should. Got a cheapy reg. swapped covers & has been working for about 2 yrs. now.

 

 

Tom T.

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I ordered replacement connectors for both ends, alternator and regulator.  The alternator end arrived today, its close but not as nice a fit as I had hoped.  The pins are just off centered a, so the locking tab is off to one side just enough I had to file it down to get it to slide into the hole in the alternator.  Like I said, usable but not 'perfect' if I was doing a restoration, which I didnt ;)   Bare careful when ordering you plugs.  I got one that was just the female connectors and the plug, so I didnt have to splice in wiring.

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New plugs installed at the alternator and regulator.  Car is charging now 13.5 volts at idle and 14+ at RPM.  But the damn Amp light still comes on at Idle.  Im running an OEM style regulator (because its warrantee) but the solid state ones are only $21....so tomorrow I will swap that out.  If that doesnt fix it, internally regulated we will go.

 

I did confirm I have exhaust leaks in front of the resonators...so fixing that tomorrow too.

 

I wish it wasnt 105 out, even pumping in air from the house all day the garage only got down to 90.  Running the AC unit for the garage runs the electric bill kinda high so slowly working through the summer

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I swapped out the regulator for a solid state.  No AMP light but its not charging.  I took the OEM style regulator apart in hopes it had an adjustment screw like the service manual calls for, I was going to bump up the volts a few tenths at idle, but its not adjustable.   Tomorrow I will go get a internally regulated alternator and rewire the car for that set up.  Im at my wits end with this, its the only thing preventing me from having the car on the open road and I need to get miles in this engine.

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I decided to put the OEM style back in since it atleast charged off and no light off idle......the alternator just fried a diode and is bad.  

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Thanks Ed, that was helpful.  I am digging into the wiring to make sure i dont have some short or something before I put another part in the car.  So far all the connections at the horn relay connection are solid and I have good continuity.  I dont want to put any kind of alternator in and have missed a bad connection that fries another part.   I need to stop the insanity  If anyone has ideas on where I could have overlooked something please speak up 

 

Im sure its going to be something simple/stupid.

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No, it did not and I cant find one in the pics of the car before I took it apart.

 

I wanna add the service manual wiring diagrams and the laminated wiring card don't call out a condenser.  I know what you are referring too, I have seen some models have a condenser mounted to their regulators

Edited by alini (see edit history)

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