79 charging problem......

Discussion in 'Ranchero Tech Help' started by drlance, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. drlance

    drlance In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Robinson, IL
    I have replaced the regulator, the alternator, both positive and negative cables, insured a good ground strap from engine to chassis, taken the dash out twice to check the wiring for the ammeter.... Still cannot get this thing to charge the battery.......


    I'm lost!!! Any other ideas besides converting to a 3G??

    Thanks! Oh!! replaced the battery too.....
     
  2. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    9,387
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    I had the same problem (no charging) and found the new regulator I put in it was junk from the box. Also make sure you're hooked into the shunt on the right fenderwell, below the starter solenoid. Test for voltage at the stator and field connections with the key on and make sure you don't have them crossed. Tap on the alternator casing to see if the brushes properly seat (you'll hear the engine slow down a little and the alternator begin to whine if the brushes reseat) while the engine's running. Make sure the charge wire doesn't have any breaks in it, and the lugs on each end are properly attached. Make sure the fuse link is not blown.
     
  3. burninbush

    burninbush In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    8,305
    Location:
    near SF
    @ drlance ... be advised that stores like Autozone and OReilly will be happy to test your alternator and regulator (separately) for free. Wouldn't hurt to get that out of the way.

    Meantime, if you have a voltmeter, measure the battery voltage with the motor off (s/b ~12.6v) and then again after starting it, should jump to ~14.4v or so if it is charging. If you do get similar readings then it's probably the battery. If no jump in voltage after Zone says alternator and regulator are good, take a close look at the fusible link between the alternator and solenoid.

    What's the story about the ammeter?
     
  4. aquartlow

    aquartlow In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    Summerfield Florida
    It is quite possible one (or more) of your wires has an internal break(under the insulation) causing the "no-charge" condition. If possible, use a multi-meter that gives a continuity "tone" so you can test the alternator/regulator wiring without taking the harness(es) apart. Make sure you have 12v+ on the Light green/red stripe wire going to the voltage regulator, when the key is in the on/run position. Good luck and keep us posted. Todd
     
  5. drlance

    drlance In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Robinson, IL
    Thanks guys, will do some checking this weekend, let you know what I find......
     
  6. drlance

    drlance In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Robinson, IL
    Okay...... Took a bit...illness, etc. but finally got out to check what is going on. I have a set of service menuals for the 79 Fords...... However, mine isn't wired like the diagram shows!!! (Surprise!.... Surprise!!! )

    It turns out I do not have power on the 'Stator' wire to the regulator. I have taken the dash out, unplugged the ignition switch and checked all the contacts, it works fine. However, I have no idea where the stator wire goes. the diagram shows it going from the alternator through the electric choke to ground, except my car has a 'choke stove'....no electric choke! The stator wire might be coming off the battery terminal of the ignition switch but I am not certain, I will be tearing into the harness soon looking for either a broken wire or a burned through fusible link. (There seems to be a few options depending on what wiring diagram I look at.....)

    Hopefully I will find the problem soon and get the car back on the road!! Cruise - in season is upon us!!


    Lance
     
  7. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

    Messages:
    19,727
    Location:
    California
    The stator wire runs between the alternator and the regulator.
    I suspect a bad regulator, but check the battery and ignition connections before replacing it.
     
  8. aquartlow

    aquartlow In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    Summerfield Florida
    Not sure if you have this diagram or not, it shows wire diagrams for indicator lights and one for the ammeter/GT gauge package, there are differences in wiring/termination points. In an ammeter/GT gauge package set up, the alternator's stator wire doesn't go to the regulator(as the diagram below shows), it terminates at the electric choke(I have run a previous vehicle of mine without having the alternator's stator wire hooked-up and the vehicle charged just fine). The green/red-stripe wire should go from ignition switch to the "S" terminal of the voltage regulator, there should be12v on the "s" terminal or the green/red-stripe wire when the ignition switch is in the "on" position. On my Ranchero there is a male/female 1 wire plug near the starter solenoid or accessory lug that has the green/red-stripe wire, maybe yours has the same plug(going to have to open the wiring harness on the inner fender(remove all the tape to access). Use high temp 3M tape when re-taping the harness, works really well. Hope it helps.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. drlance

    drlance In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Robinson, IL
    I have those diagrams.... Mine is 'supposed' to be the one on the right!!!! But since my car uses a choke stove, it doesn't quite fit!!! I have no power to the 'S' terminal, found the plug, checked it, it is fine, am going to tear into the harness next, actually I'm putting the alternator back on the car after removing it to check wiring and continuity. both the alternator and the regulator are new and check out okay at Autozone. One step at a time.... The ammeter does work in that once I start the car it shows a discharge that increases when I turn on the headlights...... Once the alternator is back on the car I can run through the diagnostic tree in section 31-01 of the service manual. (Probably should have started there....)
     
  10. MaxInValrico

    MaxInValrico In Maximum Overdrive GOLD MEMBER

    Messages:
    1,974
    Power Probes are your friend.
     
  11. aquartlow

    aquartlow In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    Summerfield Florida
    If you still have the cluster out, take a look at the cluster plug, in the #12 position there are 2 wires (1. is coming from the ignition switch Gray/yellow stripe, 2. Green/red-stripe is coming from this plug to the "S" terminal of the voltage regulator wiring harness/plug.
    [​IMG]
    Hope this helps somewhat.
     
  12. mo.herbfarm

    mo.herbfarm In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    2,200
    Location:
    AZ Colorado River Area
    Am I wrong, or was it just around '79-80 that Ford quit using a separate boxed voltage regulator, relegating it to either a hang-on to the alternator, or completely within it? mo.
     
  13. aquartlow

    aquartlow In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    Summerfield Florida
    It was '81 when Ford went with an internal regulated 2G alternator(which REALLY sucked, many caught fire due to inferior wiring/plug design), this stupendous design lasted until '93 when the (MUCH better)3G was introduced. I had an '82 F250 which still used the 1G with "satellite" voltage regulator, I believe the F-series trucks started using the 2G in the mid to late 80's.
     
    mo.herbfarm likes this.
  14. RobertB

    RobertB In Second Gear

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Visalia, California
    My 1979 Ford Fairmont with 200 c.i.d straight 6 and a.c. had an internally-regulated 2G alternator.
    Luckily, neither my previous 79 Fairmont nor my current 88 Mercury Colony Park s.w. (168K miles) nor my current 90 Ford Crown Victoria (450K miles) had a fire problem with the alternator.
     
  15. aquartlow

    aquartlow In Maximum Overdrive

    Messages:
    1,334
    Location:
    Summerfield Florida
    Robert,
    You must have either purchased a "special" Fairmont or someone installed the 2G because every Fairmont/Zephyr I found in every salvage yard had a 1G alternator, I liked finding them due to most having a 70 or 100 amp alternator with little to no electrical accessories to heavily load the electrical system. Back in the 80's we(car audio buddies and I) would scour the salvage yards for the large case 100amp Ford 1G alternators due to car audio needs, the aftermarket high amperage alternators were in their infancy and costs were astronomical for the time. The 1G's were very reliable compared to any internally regulated unit put out by the big 3 at the time and could be used on a variety of vehicles. 100amp alternator combined with the police/taxi voltage regulator was a fairly reliable electrical source(again, for the time). I can say my '79 has a 3G alternator, factory placed .... NO, but it is installed none the less.
    You have definitely had good luck with your 2G alternators, my father's '90 Bronco would need one every couple of months until it caught fire (actually the alternator's plug(s) caught fire), I truly believe the folks at Advanced Auto(Discount Auto at the time) got a kick out of seeing the frustrated looks on our faces every time we brought one back(lifetime guarantee and we visited a few between our home in Fl and Auburn University where my sis was attending college at the time). The first 2G's were "supposedly" used in large Ford/Mercury's starting in late '81 for the '82 model year, I say supposedly due to Ford doing crazy shit in every year. Take care. Todd
     
  16. handy_andy_cv64

    handy_andy_cv64 In Maximum Overdrive SILVER MEMBER

    Messages:
    9,387
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    At one point I had five Fairmont/Zephyr parts cars ('79, two '80, '81 and '82, got 'em on a screamin' deal), and with mine Dad had bought new, every one of them had 1Gs factory-installed. He may be referring to the side-connector 1G design but didn't see a regulator installed, since those had a larger case size.
     
  17. RobertB

    RobertB In Second Gear

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Visalia, California
    Heh, I bought it from the father of my brother-in-law, and he kept it pretty much standard.
    The rebuilt alternators I buy usually last about 125K miles before giving up, and then I get another one from AutoZone (previously, Kragens).
     
  18. drlance

    drlance In Fourth Gear

    Messages:
    389
    Location:
    Robinson, IL
    After illness, grandkids and generally running all over this part of the world, I had a chance to see where my wires run!

    Lo! and Behold! My 1979 Ranchero has a 1976 circuit board on the instrument cluster!!! (No wonder the diagrams don't match!!) The center 14 pin connector is the one I have. The wire from it to the 's' terminal on the regulator is good! (yay!!)

    In looking at the circuit board all it does is connect the Green / red stripe wire from the regulator to the gray / yellow stripe wire next to it!! If someone has a 1976 diagram????? Where the heck does that gray/ yellow stripe wire go?? It is not at the ignition switch!! I have that disconnected ( just about ready to replace it just to be safe....)

    /thanks again for all the help!!! It's just interesting to find out your car was built with 'leftover' parts!! My son had a 65 mustang built that way..... nothing on it matched what was supposed to be there, from heater switch to rear brakes to the fan on the motor and even the shifter!! All stolen from other car lines just to keep up with the demand at the time!! (reminds of Johnny Cash's song..... "One piece at a Time")
     
  19. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,448
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
  20. 72GTVA

    72GTVA Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,448
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA

Share This Page