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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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O/T Dodge charging problem

Last week I tried to use my pickup and found a charging problem. It is a 1978 with a 318. When the engine is idling, the ammeter is close to center. When revving the engine, the ammeter starts to move to the charge side until it pegs with the engine a little above a fast idle, probably around 1500 rpm. The lights also get really bright. I'm not sure how the system works. I also haven't chased the wires from the alternator to the regulator.

Would it do this with a broken wire between the regulator and alternator?
Would this be from a bad regulator?
What does the regulator look like and where is it on a Dodge?

Thanks.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 12:16 PM
 
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Re: O/T Dodge charging problem

The regulator is a little box on the firewall,if I remember right it's about 3x4" usually chrome coolored and has 2 or 3 wires going to it. If you look you'll probally see the gooy stuff they seal them with running down the firewall. One thing I found on Dodge external regulators and ignition modules is if you run a ground wire between them and the alt. they work more stable, last longer and stop oozing out that sealent. Same trick works on Ford external regulators if you have unstable voltage.

You may just want to try to ground the reg casing first and see what happens. I don't think a broken wire would cause it but shorted wires sure would Dodge's wiring left some to be desired in those years.

If you need more info I could go look at my 77 but I can't remember if I still have the reg on the firewall or not since I dropped the SB chevy in it. The wiring is still there if you need me to dig deeper for you. Just let me know.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: O/T Dodge charging problem

No, that's a big help. I'll look at the wiring running from the alternator across the intake manifold when it warms up some. In the meantime,

IT'S SNOWING OUTSIDE!!!!!!

YEAH, about 1" and still coming down strong. I don't remember the last time we had a white christmas here.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 07:28 PM
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Re: O/T Dodge charging problem

Check the harness from the alt to the regulator real close, and see if one of the wires is grounded somewhere . If the field wire to the alt is grounded on something , it will run the alt wide open . The regulator is on the fender, and should have an oval 3 wire plug on it . If the harness checks out , grounding or cleaning the mounting bolts on the regulator might help, but if the alt is running that hard , it almost has to be grounded in the system . The only other possiblities would be an internal short in the brushes , or a bad regulator . Those regulators are controlled by diodes, and should never be able to short out and run the alt wide open , but I have seen two of them do it . Hope this helps,
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 09:38 PM
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Re: O/T Dodge charging problem

Don't rule out the battery. Although I've only seen it twice in 25 years with the identical symptoms. Actually the agency replaced the internal voltage regulator because it fried (not a MOPAR) and then the exact same symptoms occured again.
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