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Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?
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56D500boy
Posted 2022-01-23 1:42 PM (#618713)
Subject: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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I have seen Phil L's (Arocket111's) question (and answers) regarding his 55 Dodge with a 12V conversion and a modern(ish) alternator.

However, I am wondering whether just because I might install a 1962 Mopar style alternator capable of 55 or 60 amps that I would actually have 55 or 60 amps flowing through the 30 amp +/- OE gauge. Currently (pun not intended but I like it), when the battery is nicely charged (thank you Mr. Battery Tender Jr.), when the car is moving (off idle) the ammeter is barely off center on the + side. So not much happening. I have LED headlights and taillights and my radio is a digital conversion (no tubes). So the biggest draws of current would be the heater and defroster (2 separate) fans and the windshield wipe motor, i.e cold and raining, two conditions that I am very likely to never subject my 56 Dodge to.

I am interested in an alternator because I am inching my way down a path that will use Wayfarer's brackets and a Dodge truck PS pump and bracketry to eliminate the current (there is that pun again, sorry) generator-driven PS pump so I can clear up the view of the hemi head valve covers on my D500 engine.

Phil's thread: http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=76898&...

Something like my goal (using a 354 Chrysler as an example) and my 56 Dodge Ammeter:





Edited by 56D500boy 2022-01-23 2:23 PM




(354 water pump and PS pump 001_small.jpg)



(DaveFs56DodgeD500WithTorqueflite_TorquefliteShifterHousingAndButtons.jpg)



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Attachments 354 water pump and PS pump 001_small.jpg (97KB - 41 downloads)
Attachments DaveFs56DodgeD500WithTorqueflite_TorquefliteShifterHousingAndButtons.jpg (149KB - 45 downloads)
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Shep
Posted 2022-01-23 4:24 PM (#618716 - in reply to #618713)
Subject: Re: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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Using a a mini clamp type ammeter you can turn everything thing on then check the amp out put.
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56D500boy
Posted 2022-01-23 11:07 PM (#618722 - in reply to #618716)
Subject: Re: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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Shep - 2022-01-23 1:24 PM
Using a a mini clamp type ammeter you can turn everything thing on then check the amp out put.


Sorry. That is not my issue/question. What I want to know is, based on having minimal normal loads, will the 30 amp ammeter survive installation of an alternator that is capable of putting out up tp 55 or 60 amps. My non-starting draw is minimal under the present conditions.

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Shep
Posted 2022-01-24 10:26 AM (#618726 - in reply to #618722)
Subject: Re: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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No, dangerous, sorry misread info. Install a voltmeter, like later model cars. I have seen those old design ammeters short out. Saw 2 of them short out on my friends 59 Dodge, the entire amp load goes thu that bridge type gage.
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57chizler
Posted 2022-01-24 12:27 PM (#618729 - in reply to #618722)
Subject: Re: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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Normally, the only circumstance where the full output of the alternator would pass through the ammeter is if the battery is deeply discharged from sitting or extended starter use. I would bypass the ammeter by running a large gauge (# 6 or 8) wire from the alternator output terminal directly to the battery and install a voltmeter.
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Powerflite
Posted 2022-01-24 1:30 PM (#618731 - in reply to #618713)
Subject: Re: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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I've done it many times. Chizler is right, that the vast majority of time, it will never be an issue. As long as you keep your battery pretty well charged, you won't have to worry about it, even if you run a bunch of power hungry accessories. The real issue with installing a high power amp is the condition of all your wiring. Most old vehicles aren't setup to source 100 amps through the stock wiring. If you bypass some of it, directly to a fuse block where you power your accessories, then that would work. Otherwise, if you don't add a lot of power hungry accessories, then the stock wiring should be OK as well since most of the time, the alternator won't be doing much.
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Shep
Posted 2022-01-24 2:59 PM (#618735 - in reply to #618731)
Subject: Re: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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For me, there are too many maybes, ifs, and /or shouldn't happen. Seen too many overheated ammeters in this generation cars. I guess I am a "worrywort". Lol

Edited by Shep 2022-01-24 4:17 PM
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2022-01-25 12:23 AM (#618745 - in reply to #618713)
Subject: RE: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?


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Dave; as long as you keep using newish and properly functioning batteries, avoiding extra deep charging requirements, you will be OK.

I supplied “original” wiring harnesses for all these cars for close to 30 years and I always asked my customers to send me their burnt up harnesses if at all possible. I wanted to actually determine myself why the originals had failed. Guess what! Every burn-up was due to a short circuit somewhere. Usually in the ignition circuit. You know, when the wire to the coil touched the hot manifold —- you get the picture. The second most common cause was the taillight harness where a hot dome light wire got pinched somewhere.

On the other hand, all these cars powered the high load accessories like convert top motors, window lift motors and electric seat motors as completely separate circuits, direct from the battery through their own circuit breakers to the load. Totally separate from the main wiring harness. The only way these high amperage draws could influence the charging circuit would be if the battery was in very poor shape!

When I restored my Regal Lancer I added all the options that were available for that car at that time. Of course I was concerned about “charging”. I ran this test several times. Bear in mind that I have an optional 40 amp generator with a “low cut in” regulator. I have only OEM stuff. No LED crap. So, at a stop light, the headlights are on, the A/C blower is at max, my foot is on the brake, I am constantly running the electric windows up and down and along with the 6 way seat, radio is on, there are no more electrical devices to engage. At idle, my ammeter is showing a mild discharge and yes, the headlights have dimmed, but when I touch the gas, all brightens back up to normal. Why in hell would anyone get excited about a situation like this. Seems perfect to me!!

Greg

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Shep
Posted 2022-01-25 7:59 AM (#618751 - in reply to #618745)
Subject: Re: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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Location: Chestertown, NY ( near Lake George)
My concern is about all this, is what several ammeters from a 59 Dodge, my 55 Chrysler, and a 57 Ply. looked like when working in the inst. panel, they all showed signs of overheating. Now these are old cars of course with unknown history, so no way to really know how this occurred. I fully agree with your evaluation here though, Greg.

Edited by Shep 2022-01-25 9:51 AM
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normsclassicradio
Posted 2022-01-25 5:09 PM (#618769 - in reply to #618751)
Subject: Re: Can I maintain a 30 amp +/- Ammeter when going to an alternator?



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I to have run into ammeter overheating. When the alternator in my 64 shorted out, the ammeter became an open circuit. I soldered the lugs internally, no more resistance.



(880 ammeter.jpg)



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Attachments 880 ammeter.jpg (68KB - 43 downloads)
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