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Unread 07-10-2010, 07:36 PM   #1
Scuter83
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1974 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 317
Too little voltage, now too much??? JEEPHAMMER maybe???

So I took my '74 CJ5 with the 258 offroading about 1.5 months ago. In doing so, I sort of sank it in a puddle deep enough that the water pooled up in the cab. I got pulled out, and the Jeep wouldn't start.

I got pulled to the parking lot and started looking things over. I unplugged the ignition module on the passenger fender (4 wire connector) and water came out. So I blew all the water out and did the same on the alternator. After that , the jeep fired up and got me home.

I took it out yesterday after finally fixing exhaust manifold issues, and noticed the voltage was showing 11-12 Volts on my autometer guage where it used to read 14V. I should now mention, I re-wired this Jeep with an EZ Wire 21 circuit kit and haven't had problems until now.

I started reading on here and found some links to try thinks suggested by Jeephammer. I pulled the single spade connector on the alternator and flipped it around. Immediately the voltage jumped to 13V. YAY. I drove the Jeep today to my friends place and it was running 14V when I last checked it.

I jumped in it to go home and noticed it read 16V now. I thought maybe the battery just overcharged somehow because it was undercharged before. But it still is showing 16V at speed. At idle, the guage reads 13-13.5V. I checked across the battery also to confirm a bad guage.

Does this point to my voltage regulator? New alternator?

Thanks,
Scott

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Unread 07-11-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
Scuter83
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Anyone?
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Unread 07-11-2010, 03:37 PM   #3
walkerhoundvm
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1981 CJ8 
 
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Location: The Little Apple, KS
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Sounds normal to me. Mine always shoots up to 15 or so when I start her up and run her for the first 15 minutes. Drops down a little with the fan, headlights, or aux. lights - maybe down to 13. Normal is in the 13-14 range, according to the Jeep Bible.
-N
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Unread 07-11-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
petey156
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1977 CJ5 
 
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are you running a stock alternator?
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Unread 07-11-2010, 10:38 PM   #5
Trapshooter
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1986 CJ7 
 
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You most likely are experiencing the beginning of an alternator failure. The alternator's rectifier is unable to regulate the voltage at a constant rate, usually the first signs of a pending failure.

I currently have the same thing happening in my CJ7, voltage raises with RPMs. I just load the electrical system (turn on headlights, fan, etc.) to keep the voltage close to 14.5. I was shopping on-line earlier tonight for a new alternator.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 07:50 AM   #6
Scuter83
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As far as I know it is the stock alternator. I haven't put anything else in it and it still used the same connections from the factory harness.

I tried loading the system, but all I can add to it while driving is headlights. I just pulled a Contour fan this week, but still need to mount/wire it up.

I should add I also put in new battery cables and one new ground cable. However, I still had the issue after I first installed them until I pulled a connector on the alternator and plugged it back in. Now no matter which direction the single spade connector is installed, it is doing this 16V thing.

Maybe I need a new alternator too...

Thanks,
Scott
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Unread 07-12-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
JeepHammer
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
 
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Location: South West Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuter83 View Post
So I took my '74 CJ5 with the 258 offroading about 1.5 months ago. In doing so, I sort of sank it in a puddle deep enough that the water pooled up in the cab. I got pulled out, and the Jeep wouldn't start.
One LARGE red flag here is when people sink and drown out the ignition,
They usually leave the key switch in the 'RUN' position.
That overheats the ignition coil and module with your Prestolite ignition system and can damage the coil/module.

The REASON you drowned out in the first place is usually you got water/mud on top of the ignition coil.
Water/Mud will short out the ignition coil VERY QUICKLY, so putting a boot over the top of the coil and filling it with Dielectric grease to keep water/mud off the terminals is ALWAYS a good idea.

The REASON you drowned out the ignition is often water in the distributor cap.
This usually isn't the major reason (Ignition coil usually is) but moisture in an non vented/non-sealed distributor cap CAN cause the spark energy to jump around and not fire the correct spark plug,
And the engine will die.

By the time you remove the cap, spray it out with WD-40, blow it out a little,
The terminals on the COIL have dried off enough to function again,
And you ASSUME the WD-40 in the cap is what allowed the engine to fire again...

Can EASILY be a combination of both water in the cap, and water/mud on the coil, so clean BOTH while you are at it!

-----------------------------------------

Quote:
I got pulled to the parking lot and started looking things over.
Humiliating to be pulled any where with the engine not running...
If it's running and you are just hung up and need a yank,
Or if you broke something it's not too bad,
But being towed because your 'Junk' won't run, that's the biggest humiliation for me!
-----------------------------------

Quote:
I unplugged the ignition module on the passenger fender (4 wire connector) and water came out.
So I blew all the water out and did the same on the alternator. After that , the jeep fired up and got me home.
Pretty good procedure, but next time remember to spray the top of the coil off around the low voltage connectors with WD-40.
------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
I took it out yesterday after finally fixing exhaust manifold issues,
The list of 'Needed Fixes' never shortens, just changes as you add things when other things drop off as you fix them...

Quote:
And noticed the voltage was showing 11-12 Volts on my autometer guage where it used to read 14V.
I should now mention, I re-wired this Jeep with an EZ Wire 21 circuit kit and haven't had problems until now.

I started reading on here and found some links to try thinks suggested by Jeephammer.
I pulled the single spade connector on the alternator and flipped it around. Immediately the voltage jumped to 13V.
YAY!.

I drove the Jeep today to my friends place and it was running 14V when I last checked it.

I jumped in it to go home and noticed it read 16V now.

I thought maybe the battery just overcharged somehow because it was undercharged before.
But it still is showing 16V at speed.
At idle, the guage reads 13-13.5V.

I checked across the battery also to confirm a bad guage.

Does this point to my voltage regulator? New alternator?

Thanks,
Scott
Sounds like the alternator or regulator is either not getting sufficient 'Ground' or the voltage regulator is on it's way out.

Feel free to run dedicated 'Ground' wire to the alternator frame,
And you CAN change the voltage regulator first,
Then change the alternator after that if the regulator doesn't solve the problem.

I would consider 'Upgrading' to a Delco SI or CS series alternator if I were going to spend money on the charging system.
It's VERY easy to wire up either one, takes the EXTERNAL voltage regulator out of the system, along with a bunch of wiring between regulator and alternator that can cause problems,
And you will have a MUCH MORE STABLE charging system when you are done.

The Prestolite/Motorola alternator you are currently running can be QUITE EXPENSIVE by the time you change both voltage regulator and alternator,
And upgrading to a Delco can save you money in the long run, along with aggravation of trying to keep two separate units and the wiring between up and running.
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Unread 07-12-2010, 12:34 PM   #8
Scuter83
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 317
The Jeep didn't die in the puddle. I turned it off once I saw a wave about to go over the hood. It scared me, haha (new to this off roading thing).

I checked the water line and it didn't look like the distributor/coil got wet, just the voltage regulator/alternator connections. I pulled the wire off the coil and it was dry, and the muddy water line confirmed it.

Being pulled into the parking lot by a GEO Tracker was a little humiliating, but I was ok with it. Most people were kind of shocked that I was out there in a this little old Jeep anyway I think.

I'll try the regulator since it is cheaper, and if that doesn't fix it, I will move on to alternators and probably be looking for Jeephammer posts about an upgrade (hint hint).

Thanks,
Scott
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Unread 07-12-2010, 01:35 PM   #9
TBailey
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pensacola,FL
Posts: 305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuter83 View Post
Being pulled into the parking lot by a GEO Tracker was a little humiliating, but I was ok with it.
I hope you had a paper bag over your head
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Unread 07-15-2010, 01:59 PM   #10
Scuter83
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Posts: 317
So I put the new voltage regulator in last night. It was a really tight fit for the connector (had to use big channel locks to persuade it to seat). Start it up and Volts go to 16 again!!

I spent some timing going back and forth between regulators (new vs. old) and end up with the new one installed, and finally get a steady 14V.

However, when I first fire the Jeep up, you can watch the volt guage build towards 14V, then onc it gets to it the guage jump back and forth between 13-14V, then settles on 14V. You can hear the engine running rough as the volt guage bounces (almost sounds like a slight hissing). Then the Volts settle on 14 and the engine smooths out.

I'll keep an eye on it, but it is weird stuff.

Thanks,
Scott
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Unread 07-15-2010, 02:18 PM   #11
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 10,689
That can be anything from worn brushes or corroded slip rings in the alternator, to bad ground to the alternator frame or regulator, to a bad connection between regulator & alternator...

Start looking for a 'V' belt driven Delco alternator and I'll work you up some diagrams for switching over.
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Unread 07-16-2010, 07:34 AM   #12
Scuter83
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1974 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 317
Started looking online for a new alternator. Do you know of any that will bolt up to the '74 258 (bolt pattern, pulley offset)??

Just curious if you knew of one I could order, or what vehicle to look at in a junk yard (although I am thinking I should just go new with the alternator)

Thanks,
Scott
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alternator , battery , gauge , regulator , voltage , voltage regulator , voltmeter

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