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Technical Charging problem for the electrical gurus

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hudson48, Mar 12, 2021.

  1. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,038

    hudson48
    Member

    I regularly start the Hudson when not taking it out for drives. It usually charges around 13-14V but I sometimes have problems with it when lights and air are on and the gauge reads below 13. Now today I went to start it(after it easily started yesterday) and no go. Voltmeter check and it was 5.3 volts. Not sure if I maybe left it on accessories with the radio running but I don't think so. Just a big loss of battery power over 24-36 hours.

    Put it on charge and came up to 14V on battery charger. Then started and it shot up to 17+ volts on the gauge and stayed there until I shut down(quickly). A little research says maybe voltage regulator is shot or some other alternator problem.
    I have recently upgraded air bag system but that has been functioning perfectly.
    I really think it is the alternator that has been on there for 10+ years and came off another running car so who knows how old.

    PS It is an Optima style battery
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
  2. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 3,599

    rusty valley
    Member

    Two different problems i think. Not the electrical wizzard, but a loss in 24 hours would indicate a diode draining back, and 17 volt would say the regulator has gone bad. Experts will say?///
     
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  3. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 11,617

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Had a regulator stay on after shutdown.
    Hour later for some reason I went back into the garage to find smoke in the bay with the regulator almost red hot.
    Very lucky.
    I installed battery shut offs on all my cars from that point on.
    Do that please.
     
  4. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,616

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Regulator not working right. You do not state what kind of alternator, Hudsons never came with one so it has to be some other make, adapted to your car. If it is a typical GM with internal regulator you could take it apart and put in a new one, or just replace the alternator.
     

  5. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,483

    Jmountainjr
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Could be a battery or alternator problem. I would disconnect the battery, charge it on a charger, and do a load test to rule out a shorted cell or other internal issue. Check your cable connections while removing the battery. If battery tests all good, have the alternator tested or just replace it based on age.
     
    pprather likes this.
  6. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,218

    Elcohaulic

    I would raise the charging to 14.5 by adjusting the regulator. Don't use one of those one wire deals keep the 10 DN charging system, its a better system.. Next I would use a wet cell battery, those fancy paste cells seem like nothing but trouble..
    Every now and then one of my cars or trucks will just have a bad hair day and not start. I put my jump start box on the battery and start it run it for five minutes and shut it off. If it restarts I'm good, if not new battery time. I also put it on the slow charger at night..
     
    VANDENPLAS likes this.
  7. What sort of alternator do you run? Internal or external regulator?
     
  8. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,325

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    I'd first want to find what is drawing down a battery overnight to 5 volts, maybe a failed diode in the alternator pack? That's real hard on a battery, they don't like that at all. Good thing you caught it right away. Once it is charged back up be sure to test it thoroughly. Optima can probably handle that kind of abuse better than most.

    Generally want to test an alternator under load, by turning on all the lights, heater or A/C, and accessories etc and ramp up the RPM and hold it there while measuring voltage directly at the battery posts.

    If seeing 17 volts at idle, something is completely lunched and it's moot anyway, but that's how it's done.
     
  9. garyf
    Joined: Aug 11, 2006
    Posts: 256

    garyf
    Member

    Yes, as Truck says. Disconnect the battery and charge it. Then do a load test. Then a test for parasitic draw. Then charging system output.
    The other way is an Easter egg hunt under the hood, changing parts, possibly hitting on the problem possibly not
     
    Truck64 and squirrel like this.
  10. What do bet it’s a chrome one wire alt.
     
  11. I like the approach of @Jmountainjr .
    In US, the auto parts store chains like Napa, will do load test on battery.
    They will also bench test alternator for failures. Replacing the internal regulator is inexpensive and easy, if that turns out to be the diagnosis.
     
  12. I must be getting old; the OP has charging problems with his Hudson; my mind immediately went to generator and regulator. Possibly cut out relay stuck. And yet every response mentions alternators!
     
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  13. garyf
    Joined: Aug 11, 2006
    Posts: 256

    garyf
    Member

    The only drawback here is they probably won't test for a parasitic draw, they will not be able to sell you anything if you have something other than the alternator draining the battery overnight.
     
  14. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,060

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    OP said he has an alternator, off another car, he doesn't elaborate beyond that, but I think folks are just taking him for his word that he has an alternator installed.
     
    Truck64 likes this.
  15. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 5,325

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Good point. A stuck cutout will do it as the battery voltage will then backfeed into the generator and roast the field windings. Don't let the magic smoke out if you can help it.
     
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  16. Yes, I saw that. I was just saying my mind went right to generator, and it looked like I was the only one. All good information but I just immediately had generator on my mind lol
     
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  17. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,060

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    As far as we know he may be mistaken and it IS a generator ;)
     
    Stllrng. likes this.
  18. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,824

    4tford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I will add the gell cell bateries don't like total draw down and they need to be charged differntly to bring them back fully. Secondly depending what size alternator you have and the pulley ratio driving it with air and lighting on yours could be at"idle discharge" alternator pully ratio are designed to generate the maxima current available at that RPM depending on the output curve of the alternator and usually can't handle to much load at idle if sized to small. I guess you have only a voltmeter so other than the voltage dropping below 13volts you can tell how much discharge you have. There's a lot of info on how to charge your type battery out there.
     
  19. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,038

    hudson48
    Member

    Firstly the running gear is not Hudson it is all "late Model" The alternator is a one wire unit probably 18 years old and I did have it checked several months ago when it did not appear to be charging properly.
    The auto electrician could not fault it.

    A wetcell won't work as the battery sits at an angle in the trunk.
    As said above a modern one wire but a good 18 years old.
    I did a parasitic draw test and nothing. The only thing that is always connected is power to the relay for the air bags and that is about the same as a car clock.
     
  20. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,038

    hudson48
    Member

    So sat overnight and just restarted and now is charging at 11.7V so definitely alternator I say. Pain in the arse to remove but I will get started later today.
     
  21. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,038

    hudson48
    Member

    Update. Got the alternator out and checked and f*#%!d. New one with high output coming tomorrow.
     
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  22. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,632

    okiedokie
    Member
    from Ok

    I recall seeing your Hudson a couple of years ago in downtown Dewey Oklahoma. As many posts as you have on the HAMB I was amazed how many posters did not know your car. Glad you got it sorted out.
     
  23. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,038

    hudson48
    Member

    New alternator installed today and charging at 14+ Woopee!!!
     
    1stGrumpy, X38 and Truck64 like this.
  24. Rramjet1
    Joined: Mar 13, 2018
    Posts: 220

    Rramjet1

    I installed a Ron Francis remote electrical shutoff on our 50 Chevy Convertible a couple of years ago. Mainly because the cooling fan is hot wired and would run until the temp switch cut it off and I have electric door locks so a little security. Today I wanted to move the car. Hasn’t been started in about 3 months. Battery deader than a door nail. Battery charger won’t even turn on. Thinking I might have accidentally pushed the remote to turn things on sometime.
     

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