[DML] Re: Charging Problems
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[DML] Re: Charging Problems



I also agree that your problem has to do with grounding.  Not only replacing bolts, but also putting in "star" washers
(form of lock washer) between the lugs and the bolts/chassis/ground will help in that the points of the star will actually pierce the metal and make a "gas tight" connection.  I would look at the ground from the battery to the chassis, also, strangely enough,
the alternator frame to the mounts.  A simple test is to, with the car running, and as many accessories as possible (lights, fans, a/c, etc., measure the voltage between the alternator output (on the alternator itself and the alternator case (not a bolt, but pierce the case) and compare with the voltage at the light under the luggage compartment lid with the lid open.  You should not see more than a few tenths of a volt difference (0.1 or 0.2)  It will probably be much greater.  

If it is then take a long wire and connect one end to the ground at the luggage compartment light and the other end to the alternator case.  (the alternator case will be the negative point.  You will probably see that most of the difference in voltage noted in the first test will be evident.  If it is, then its time to start tightening the grounds in-between the two points (i.e.. alternator frame to mounts, mounts to engine block, pass through the firewall, battery ground at chassis, block to chassis, and so on)  You will be surprised at the voltage losses going through the ground connections.  Don't forget to wiggle the wires at these grounds gently to see if the voltages change.

If there is little loss in the grounds, then try the same basic test with the + Volts from the alternator to the plus side of the light under the luggage compartment light's positive connection.  Same process of elimination.  Alternator connection (What a dumb idea to have a bunch of wires in parallel there), Pass through fire will (this point really needs star washers) and then through the fuse block.  You'd be surprised at losses in the fuse pins themselves, etc.  

I've suggested the light in the luggage compartment only because it is about a far away (in terms of number of connections and wires) as you can get from the alternator.  

I've suggested star lock washers.  There are two types, internal star and external star.  The internal type are good for connections next to wire lugs, while the external work well between fixed surfaces and washers, nuts, or bolt heads (just the way that the piercing ends are oriented).  Don't get hung up looking for metric star washers, SAE sizes are close enough and can be easily obtained at places like Home Depot, Lowes, OSH, etc.

For what its worth (not much probably),   the engine block to chassis ground, was executed as poorly as possible.  To be dependant on an engine mount bolt is really not neat.  There are several unused, threaded holes on either side of the engine which would make great candidates to add a heavy wire (heavy flat braid is fine) between the engine block and some reasonable point on the chassis, which would provide direct connection.  As the chassis is coated, Star washers are a must to pierce through the coating.  In L.A., where I live, corrosion protection may not be necessary, but those of you who live in snow/salt country might consider spraying over any connections between the chassis and ground wires.

Al

Al Roberts
twodelo2@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
#4639/#16049

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