15.4 is a bit high, but i am a little concerned with the wire coming from terminal 2 on the edge of the alt. It should connect either to the larger Bat terminal (on the alt.) or to the battery side of the amp meter. This is a sensing terminal that is dedicated to assuring the proper charging voltage. The battery should survive 15.4 volts for months of intermittant operation. and it would take many hours of operation in warm conditions to make it smoke. I suspect a bad cell in the battery. Have that tested first, then if it is fine, go for the VR. They are inexpensive and easy to install inside the Alt. Jim
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