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what does it mean when your amp-meter is...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by colbystephens, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    almost in the upper red portion? if it's producing too much power, what negative effects does this have? how accurate are the stock amp-meters in a mid 80's chev truck?
     
  2. ssped

    ssped 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    get a volt meter on it. It could be overcharging if the internal regulator is shot. It could burn up a batery(overheating it boils the electolites out of it causing it to leak and fail)
     
  3. JEBSR

    JEBSR 1/2 ton status

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    If the regulator lets it go into full unregulated output it could get bad. I have seen them blow lights out, burn up radios and will eventually burn up the batt as well as the alt from overheating.

    It is not unusual for a gauge to just be off though. Take it to autozone or something and have them test it.
     
  4. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

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    Is it a real amp-meter or a volt meter? I don't believe amp meters were used past '74. 80's truck should have a volt meter.
    The guages aren't completly accurate, like the others have said. If it's reading high, you could have problems. Take your alternator in for testing. Did it just start reading up to the high spot, or has it been there for years or something?
     
  5. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    ok, i just assumed it was an amp-meter. anyway, it's never worked before for me, and i assumed that it wasn't hooked up because i put in two different guage sets and it didn't work for either. well, i happened across a third guage set and it turns out it does work - must have been a problem with the circuit deal on the back of both guage sets. i'll get it checked. is it still as much of a problem if i have the dry-cell optima-type battery? i don't have a radio (well, i do have an SM465 for a tuner, and a skinny foot-operated volume pedal i guess), but of course i do have lights.
     
  6. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Overcharging will burn up an optima type battery too. Been there, done that. If it gets bad before you get the alternator checked, you can put a lot of load on the system (turn on all the lights, the heater or AC, etc.), and should see a drop in the voltmeter, which will put a very temporary lid on the overcharging.
     

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