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Alternator question.....how can I check amps once installed?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jakeslim, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    Am I able to test output once installed in my truck? What do I need to do so? Where do I connect it? I want to confirm amps of my new alternator and I don't want to go pay someone to do it for me. I would rather buy a new tool /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/woot.gif

    thanks
     
  2. Confedneck

    Confedneck 3/4 ton status

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    so you buy a good DVOM (digital volt-ohmmeter), and set it up to measure amps.. then run it inline between the battery post and cable from the alt to the battery..
     
  3. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    Go to Autozone
     
  4. blazerdude69

    blazerdude69 Registered Member

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    you can also buy a amp clamp. just clamp it around the wire and it tells you. also easier because you dont have to unhook wires and put your meter in series with what you are checking. also works great to check and see how many amps you are pulling with all your acc. turned on.
     
  5. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    hmm...where do i get an "amp clamp"?
     
  6. blazerdude69

    blazerdude69 Registered Member

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    should be able to buy one from a electrical supply store. they also(mine has it) come with a set of leads and you can use it for a volt meter. don`t think you can check ohm`s with it though. voltage ac or dc.i didn`t buy mine my work furnishes them for us (electrical tech.) fancy name for a fuse changer>
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    so you buy a good DVOM (digital volt-ohmmeter), and set it up to measure amps..

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Most meters will only measure 10 amps max, then the internal fuse pops. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  8. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Am I able to test output once installed in my truck?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    An meter or an amp clamp alone won't help much to test the max output of an alternator. You also need a way to induce a massive load on the charging system, to force the alternator to crank out its max current. A real battery tester has an adjustable carbon pile resistor that can carry a huge amount of current to ground and dissipate the heat generated during the test. It's not the sort of thing that you can buy at Pep Boys.
     
  9. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Ding.
    An AVR is the only way to see what the alternator can produce.
    With my Fluke and the amp hookup I can see what the alternator is putting out with all of the acceseries on.
    But it will not tell me what the alternator is capable of.
    With an AVR I can load the battery to 12 volts and see what the amp output is at 1500 RPMs.
    Having a good voltmeter is a good idea in any case.
    I am sold on Fluke. I've had mine for about 10 years now.
     

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