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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: pulsing ammeter

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George Marsh

12-19-2013 07:05:49

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I'm confused: "The battery is charging at 14.6 volts, the ammeter is discharging when lights are turned on, engine on or off-normal."

If ammeter is discharging when lights are on and engine is on, then alternator has an issue.

The first thing I would do is remove alternator and take it to Napa or Auto Zone and have it checked out.

Second, I would also take battery to town and have it checked out too.

Third is where the fun begins. Someplace you have either a bad connection, or the lights are drawing too many amps, short. I once had ground strap with a lose connection.

My alternators don't start charging until the RPM's are above 1200. When alternator wakes up I can slow engine down a little and it still works.

I would also put a voltmeter on battery. Ammeter pulses, the voltmeter should pulse a little.

Good luck. Let us know what you find.

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dale kahler

12-20-2013 13:25:41

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 Re: pulsing ammeter in reply to George Marsh, 12-19-2013 07:05:49  
In clarification about the ammeter discharging when the lights were on and the tractor running that was stated wrong. In reply to the pulsing issue I knew that the belt, pulley, wiring etc. were not the issue and liked to think a rebuilt alternator could be ruled out, but knew it couldn"t, but it was all that was left. I did take the alternator in and have it tested, to my delight it also pulsed the ammeter on the bench test. As it happens all too often new parts are faulty and this was the end result here on the rebuild. All the alternators I have built through the years and never an issue, there"s always a first! I bought a new 10SI delco alternator 2-wire, 3-wire whatever people want to call it, and this ended the pulsing as expected. Thanks again to all who commented in the forum and happy problem solving! Merry Christmas!

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12-19-2013 15:16:31

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 Re: pulsing ammeter in reply to George Marsh, 12-19-2013 07:05:49  
i'd double check that wireing and ammeter and make sure it is all setup for net charge / discharge.

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Bob M

12-19-2013 07:18:46

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 Re: pulsing ammeter in reply to George Marsh, 12-19-2013 07:05:49  
A slipping belt can also cause rhythmic pulsations in alternator output. Before getting in too deep with other stuff make sure the belt is tight, clean and seats properly the in the alternator sheave groove.

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John T

12-19-2013 07:44:51

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 Re: pulsing ammeter in reply to Bob M, 12-19-2013 07:18:46  
Good point Robert, how may times have you seen slick looking glazed cupped/dished out Alternator belts and dished out pulleys !!! Often times an alternator belt needs to be tighter then Dicks Hat Band to work properly, and that seems such an awful load on the bearings to me. Its amazing how much better the new multi grooved serpentine belts work and not as tight either. My truck AC compressor was locking up and the belt worked so good it could actually killed the engine, you wouldn't see that happen with a v belt, it would just slip and burn up. Also on my old 460 powered Ford RV's there were like 4 freaking belts to worry with and keep tight and adjust grrrrrrrrrr PS and AC and Fan and Smog Pump (or something like that, I forget) each had their own belts and the one that broke was ALWAYS the one in the rear so you had to loosen or remove alllllllllll the others to get to it grrrrrrrr Now my 454 Chevy has but ONE serpentine belt yayyyyyyyyyyy

Merry Christmas Bob

John T

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