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Way O/T regarding DD truck charging system

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by cyclopsblown34, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. I have a 1992 Chevy K1500 w/a 350. The gauge on the dash reads that the alternator is overcharging the battery, it reads 18+ volts. When I test the alternator or battery it shows 13.8-14.2V. Noone at the Chevy dealership has any idea and I don't know where to turn. Any ideas? A site to go to or anybody got repair ideas?
    Thanks, Chip.
  2. Sounds like just the gage is bad. If the alt itself is putting out around 14 volts and the battery is at 14 volts, then you know it is at corrrect level. Maybe the gage has an adjustment for calibration? Doubt it does, but you could try looking.

    As a low-buck easy fix, get an aftermarket voltage gage and run that as the "real" voltmeter.
  3. REJ
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 1,612

    from FLA

    I would say the gauge is bad. And as far as an aftermarket, the last couple of them I have bought have all read 16+ volts and my tester confirmed 13.5-14 volts.
    Does it drop if you put a draw on it?
    In my bucket, it reads 16+, and if I turn the lights on it goes down to 12.5. I know as long as it reads 16+, it is actually putting out 13.5-14 and I do not worry about it.
  4. I can be running every power accy and the gauge drops to about 17. I didn't know if there was something repairable or if I just needed to pull a gauge cluster out of another one. I might just deal with it and put in an aftermarket gauge which is easy enough.

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,550


    put a piece of black tape over the gage so you can't see it, ignorance is bliss. There's an idiot light for the alternator in case it dies, isn't there?
  6. flamedolds
    Joined: Feb 19, 2005
    Posts: 293


    Exactly -- those guages at the best of time are only and indicator and have caused me many an aggrivation through the years with people who think they should be on a specific number but they arent.
    If it was in my stall I'd say it was a cluster issue (nothing in there for you to fix unless you do circuit board repair). You can get exchange units for reasonable price but I would leave it. If the red battery lamp comes on you know you have trouble.
  7. jr2
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 6


    You may want to check the connection on the back of the gauge cluster. They tend to get some surface corrosion. Can cause all kinds of whacked out readings. Clean it up good and maybe use some dielectric grease to keep it from happening again.


    I don't have "all" the details or answers for this but the 88-98 (2000 actually) Chevy trucks/Suburbans are known for bad grounds. Does your fuel gauge work? Does it jump all over the place sometimes? Do any/all of you gauges have a sudden heart attack while driving down the road? The ground from the fuel tank to the chassis can be suspect for this. Also the sending unit in the fuel pump itself can cause issues with your cluster especially the fuel gauge.

    Just what i have found on my own vehicle (2000 old body style 1-ton crew)and surfin the web...

    This site will help you quite a bit.

    Good luck!!!
  8. PM KYBOY. He knows a lot about these trucks.
  9. there's a battery symbol, i'm dealing with one right now. a customers '92 with the 454 (yes the ss truck) is old and has high mileage and the gauges are starting to show it. the fuel gauge went first, the temp gauge was second (by a few years) and i think the charge gauge is next. dealer doesn't sell new one, restoring them is too much $$$ for that truck, so i put a set of aftermarket gauges on and they're back on the road.
  10. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,550


    kind of strange isn't it...the 50 year old gages in my old chevy trucks work ok after all these years, you can fix them when they break.
  11. yea almost every part on old cars are made to rebuild (some stuff in the 60's and 70's wasn't but you can anyway :) ). the 92 truck has the printed circut like the camaros of the 70's not really a "board" more of a laminate...... which leaves way too many contact points to have problems
  12. Big Pete
    Joined: Aug 7, 2005
    Posts: 364

    Big Pete

    If you ever get an alternator light and the voltmeter doesn't seem so bad, it actually will be.

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