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Driver
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My gauge shows a drain when I have my headlights on at idle, and nothing else on. If I click on the high beam it causes the engine to stumble about half of the time. I took the alt. to O'Rielly and it checked out good. I swapped the voltage regulator with a used spare I had and it is doing the same thing. I know that a 35 amp alt. is not a monster or anything but it should be able to handle headlights alone. On a couple occasions my battery was dead the next day after driving the car. The battery is good.
I am getting ready to install a modern stereo and speakers as well as some driving lights. But I need to get this fixed first.
was thinking of going with the 50 amp alternator that was discussed on the classicoples list, but I would like to know what is causing this problem before I go changing variables.
Advise?
Thanks. George
 

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What rpm is the engine idling at? If it is too low, the alternator is not spinnning fast enough to recharge the battery.

Another thought George... Is the ground wire that goes from the alternator to the block connected? The ground strap from the engine to the frame rail?
 

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Check the hot lead from the alternator. I just went thru that this weekend except mine wasn't charging at all. I figured I was going to be buying an alternator and/or regulator. Got under the hood with a meter and voltage is good from the alternator so I'm about to clean the hot terminal when the wire just falls apart. A quick splice and I'm in business. A full wire harness will be in my future.;)
 

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Drain with headlights on

I'm no expert on the Opel - since I've just started my first restoration. But an electrical problem is usually the same regardless what you have for a car. At idle check your voltage across the battery. You should have at least 14 volts DC. If not you are not charging the battery. Also set up your meter as an ammeter to check current. Disconnect the posstive and place the ammeter in cirsuit between the positive lead and the battery. With everything off check to ensure that you are reading zero amps (or millamps). You should have no current drain with everything off. If you do you possibly have a short somewhere. Next thing to do is isolate the problem - with the meter hooked up to measure current you need to start disconnecting things. Hope this gives you some useful information.
 

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Driver
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To answer you questions, yes I have replaced the headlight wires, I have also replaced the alt. fusable link. I have taken both the battery and alternator to O'Rielly Auto Parts and had them tested, both good. Whe I took off the alternator I checked and cleaned it's ground to the block, it is good. I will clean the ground for the block to chassis next.
 

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Driver
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK I removed the block-to-frame ground strap and cleaned well and replaced. The car still stumbles about every 3rd time when dimming the lights.
Oh and Gary, I tinkered with my idle and low beams are a tad above 0 and high beams are a tad below. I think this would be ok since if I was idling with my lights on I would most likely be in traffic and thus not have on high beams.
Even when I rev up the engine and dim or bringht the lights it will stumble at 1500-2000 RPMs. When voltage regulators go bad, how do they act? Reason I'm asking, I swapped the regulator for an old used one. If this is a common sign of failure, then it could be possible that both 30+ year old regulators are heading south.
I might try this one over on the other list and see if anyone has had a similar experience.
 

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Reborn Opeler
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George,

You might want to hook a digital multimeter to the center terminals on the fuse panel( the ones with the little brass nuts) and measure the voltage during all conditions.

Also try the front ones versus the back ones to see if there is a loss thru the ameter in the dash.

Also try the fuses on the left side which are ignition switched, as they are ganged together on the primary side and feed ignition, gauges, etc.

Then get all those voltage numbers back to the board for replies.

Todd
 
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