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Re: Alternator trouble?

Subject: Re: Alternator trouble?
From: Rocky Frisco <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 18:02:53 -0500
Paul T. Root wrote:

> So late last summer, and during this season, I
> noticed that if I was in slow and go traffic on
> hotter days, I'd see my voltmeter fall to 12-12.5
> volts. The car is getting hotter, but not over heating.
> The temperature gauge is just a bit over the two dots
> in the middle.
> I didn't worry to much about because, once we got
> moving again, the voltage would go back to 13.5-14
> or so.
> However, this week, I've got something new. At normal
> highway speed, I'm seeing the voltmeter sitting at
> just a tick under 15, and stay there.
> This morning I got stuck in a jam behind an accident,
> and then the gauge was sinking to 13.5 or so.
> The battery is new last year. And it never has an issue
> starting the car. It's never gone flat.
> I'm concerned the voltage regulator is going out and that
> it could take others with it.
> This is a '77B, stock alternator. I pulled the clock out
> of the dash, and put a Smiths voltmeter in it's place. Running
> it's own wire to the fuse box. I got it a couple years ago from
> someone on the list.

I once drove a Fiat 124 to Denver. We kept smelling an odd, unpleasant 
sweetish sort of smell. Right after we got to Denver, the car's 
electrics failed. I determined that the regulator had failed and was 
pushing 17 volts at the battery, which had boiled out all of its acid.

I replaced the regulator and battery right there on the parts store's 
parking lot, and all was fixed (after a short stop at a car wash to get 
the acid and residue off the car's underside).

Just something to consider.

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