El Camino Central Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

The previous owner of my 81 SS had it sitting for a year (well, his widow did, anyway) and when it came time to sell she had a new battery put in it. A few things are making me wonder whether I need an alternator, or just new battery cables. The first is that every so often when I go to start it will click (not turn over) on the first turn, then start on the second. Also, the gauge always reads somewhere between 6 and 13 volts. And the clock will only move after I've been running for 15 minutes....

What do you think?

thanks
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
881 Posts
Matt said:
...the gauge always reads somewhere between 6 and 13 volts. And the clock will only move after I've been running for 15 minutes....
First thing to do is check all of the battery cable connections on both ends. You should also have the battery load tested to see if it's OK.

When the engine is running you should have 14.4V coming from the alternator. As far as testing the alternator, some may disagree with this test but it's how I do a quick check of the alternator. With the engine running, disconnect the negative terminal of the battery. If the engine dies, you need a new alternator.

The GM clock is a POS. If the voltage is too low it will not work. I think many of the clocks were designed not work on days that end in a "Y".
Most of the ones I've worked on already had the power wire cut to it.

:mrgreen:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,921 Posts
The right way to verify the alternator is good or bad is to put it on a tester. However we all don't do that and a lot of us have our own way to do it. I've used the "Disconnect the Bat while running method." I normally just hold a flat blade screwdriver next to the rear bearing. If it really attracts the screwdriver then it is putting out a charge. Move on.

Clocks are no measurement for anything at all, in most cars not even time. I have a 76 with the factory clock. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't regardless of the state of the bat. Well if the bat is gone or out then for sure than it doesn't work.

Probably the starter, that is what it sounds like to me. The Alternator is going to put out between 12 and 15 volts DC. At best a Led Acid battery is good for 2 years dependably. If you are really lucky then they could last a little longer but not a lot. No matter what you do with storing it or charging it they are just really short lived.

GM Put a 94 Amp Alternator on the 1984 Camaro with the High Performance option, or something like that. Anyway my point is you can go to the local Auto Supply and pick up one that will fit unmolested on the Elky. The one on the Elky I think is something like a 64 Amp and that is if you are turning over pretty good RPM or "Max Output is 64 Amps." Idle it is way lower.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,048 Posts
Yeah, if you don't have a tester, try the disconnect the neg(-) battery cable to see if it keeps running. Also check your cables and connections for defects/corrosion (starter terminal also). May be time for a starter solenoid or starter motor. As far as the clock goes, mine does the same thing, it is annoying but let's face it GM clocks aren't known for their Swiss made precision anyway, wear a Timex, or install a radio with a digital clock.

__________________
Best Car Insurance | Auto Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
thanks

i'll try the alternator test, and check the connections. thanks for the tips!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
For what it's worth, it sounds a lot like the starter solenoid plunger ot the little starter drive throwout fork it actuates (probably the plunger itself) sticking to me as well. It sat for a long time apparently, so that would not necessarily be surprising. The first click is the first time it pulls in, but doesn't quite make it far enough for the plunger tip to push the metal disk against the contacts. Second try makes it.

Might not need any new parts, just drop the starter, take off the solenoid, clean everything real good, and reassemble. Of course, being that all that's UNDER the car, no reason not to check the charging system up top first. :-D
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top