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post #11 of 15 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Battery Charging Problems

"I know the quickest way to check to see if my alternator is putting out the correct voltage and amps would be to take it out and bring it to be tested"

Not really. The quickest way to find that out would be to buy a $20 multimeter from the nearest store and just read the alternator voltage while it was running. If it isn't 13.8-14.4 you've got a problem. If it is, then amperage becomes secondary. Buying a clamp-on ammeter (online will be cheaper) makes that a two-minute job also, and again, nothing has to be disconnected.

This is why buying one of the classic cheap books and reasing up on charging systems is the best way to go. Even if you took the alternator out to a shop, I'd say your odds were maybe 50-50 that they'd give you an honest answer or a correct one.

Once you know how the system works, troubleshooting it is about as difficult as saying "Why doesn't my garden hose work?"
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Battery Charging Problems

csharp56, any luck yet?
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Battery Charging Problems

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Originally Posted by sony2000 View Post
13.1v at battery is expected from a 13.7v alternator.


No it is NOT. Only in a HORRIBLY wired system would you expect a .6V drop....

Battery terminal voltage should closely match that of the back of the alternator. +/- 0.1 - 0.2V drop MAX....

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post #14 of 15 Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Battery Charging Problems

I can live with his alternator in the 13's,but there ain't no amps in the batteries. His engine is the only charger that is working. So why get a half volt more from the alternator, when his shore charger useless?
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Battery Charging Problems

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Originally Posted by sony2000 View Post
I can live with his alternator in the 13's,but there ain't no amps in the batteries. His engine is the only charger that is working. So why get a half volt more from the alternator, when his shore charger useless?
Voltage = pressure. Low voltage = SLOW charging and batteries that will never charge fully. This leads to sulfation and an early demise of the batteries. The batteries will take piles of current with 14.4V at the battery terminal but squat for current at 13.0V to 13.1V...

We also don't know for sure that his shore charger is inoperable or if he even tested it while plugged into shore power. He hinted that he expected it to work when the alt did, which won't happen unless you are running the engine at the dock while still plugged in with the shore charger on.

He still has a serious voltage drop issue in his alt circuit and likely has the old ammeter wiring which is flat out unsafe. These old Catalina's are notorious for charging circuit issues, failing alternator brackets and a dangerous engine wiring harness that can literally melt if the issues are not addressed.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-26-2013 at 04:50 PM.
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