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Can’t help you with the rattle. Could be a bad connector or broken wire. They might have a repair kit connector for that.
Tom
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Thank you. I'm going to take it back to the NAPA Store, it might be a problem due to the reclocking of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Just curious, how would a broken wire make it rattle? The sound I hear, sounds like a metal rattling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Thank you. I'll have to work on the wire issue and see if I can find it.
 

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Do you have an a.i.r. pump?

Those are known to rattle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
No, I don't have an air pump. This hasn't rattled any time I have ran it until today. The old one didn't rattle at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I have a few questions about this alternator problem. If the volt meter gauge is running low, how come when I put the hand held meter on the battery the gauge goes to 13 volts? If the wire is broken, how come when I pull it towards the passenger side the gauge goes back to 13 volts?
 

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I have a few questions about this alternator problem. If the volt meter gauge is running low, how come when I put the hand held meter on the battery the gauge goes to 13 volts? If the wire is broken, how come when I pull it towards the passenger side the gauge goes back to 13 volts?
if you are PHYSICALLY touching it and something happens then you have a PHYSICAL issue, in this case most likely a wiring issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
I appreciate your help. I'm just not understanding. How does touching the battery with a hand held meter make the gauge go up to 13 volts? How does that control the wires going into the car?
 

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I appreciate your help. I'm just not understanding. How does touching the battery with a hand held meter make the gauge go up to 13 volts? How does that control the wires going into the car?
Take a look at the positive cable on the battery. There is a smaller pigtail coming off of it that leads to the back of the alternator. If the cable has ever been changed there may be a (suspect) crimp connector there hooked to the wire going to the back of the alt. I think perhaps there would have been a fusible link there as OE, and the OE wire would have a softer feel and covering than a replacement pigtail wire. Charge returns from alt to batt + through this wire/pigtail. It will cause the gauge to drop in the dash if there is any poor connection between back of alt and batt +. Battery is just part of the load with engine running after all. Fought and cursed to change an alt on mine in my dark driveway one night when I was doing the clean and prep to go of to a show next morning because I noticed the low voltage on the gauge. Not an easy thing with that seriously long bolt to get through the ferrule that bolts on the back of the alt though to get it all lined up reaching between fan blades and still have to get that bracket for the smog pump slipped behind all that before tightening to the block. Anyway I found that the aforementioned crimp connector was actually the issue. Gauge still read low with new alt. Re crimp connecter all was good. Still good today, several years later. Wish I was proficient in making solder connections. I check it regularly instead.

Good luck on yours!
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
There's no cable coming from the positive battery post going to the alternator. It goes down to the starter. I don't have a smog pump either. Appreciate your help.
 

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78, I had a bad battery post on one of our golf cart batteries that drove me nuts. My wife would use the cart and say it was getting slow so I would charge it. All the water in the batteries was fine. The post when I found it was warmer than the others. With the charger on I could put pressure on the post and the charge rate would change. I had amp readings on that charger so I did not see voltage fluctuation. The battery worked as normal. The six batteries were a year old. They gave me a new one at Sam’s.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Thank you for your information. The posts on this battery aren't getting hot. I don't change this battery hardly at all. I did use the trickle charger after the battery went dead. I used it for a little over a week, that's the only time I did that. It's after that the volt meter started acting up. I hope to get the new one back to the NAPA Store tomorrow and get it checked out.
 

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78, Are you driving the el camino to Napa? I think they have the ability to check the operating system. Then you can show them what is happening.
Tom
 

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take some pics of your battery install and cables so we can visualize more accurately what you're talking about
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
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The first picture shows the battery ground cable attached to the fender. The second picture shows the ground cable attached to the alternator bracket. The third picture shows the positive cable going down towards the starter. The little wire with the boot on it connects to the alternator.goes in conduit with the activity wires going back towards the firewall and starter. So how does holding a hand held meter connected to the battery make the voltage gauge in the car go from 8 volts to 13 volts?
 

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78, Just a few things I’m throwing out there. The bolt in the positive cable is not what came with it. Is it possibly to long or not making good contact with the terminal? The terminal also has a bad gink in the wire. Could there be a bad spot there? The white plug on the alternator red side clip looks to be out of place and might not be making good contact on the alternator. Might have got hot and the tension is gone.
Searching for a problem, Tom
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View attachment 141891
View attachment 141892 View attachment 141893

The first picture shows the battery ground cable attached to the fender. The second picture shows the ground cable attached to the alternator bracket. The third picture shows the positive cable going down towards the starter. The little wire with the boot on it connects to the alternator.goes in conduit with the activity wires going back towards the firewall and starter. So how does holding a hand held meter connected to the battery make the voltage gauge in the car go from 8 volts to 13 volts?
"So how does holding a hand held meter connected to the battery make the voltage gauge in the car go from 8 volts to 13 volts"
if all you are doing is touching the two probes to each terminal (pos/neg) on the battery then the only explanation is the meter itself which I presume has a battery in it itself? (this why I hate troubleshooting electrical because you can't actually see the "sparkies" running thru the wires doing their thing. it's PFM!)

what Hat Trick said about the cable/post bolt, I've seen where those just will not go into the rubber boot all the way and not properly clamp down. I've also seen where they are too long and will bottom out and stand too high with loose battery cables as a result which means a bad connection also
 

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Just a few questions for others to share their thoughts.

On the 78's is it common to run the ground from the battery to the alternator bracket?
On my '70 (which is not stock anymore), to help with starting/electrical issues it now has a very heavy ground that goes to the front of the engine block, in front of the block mounted fuel pump ( attached to front of block, not fuel pump).

In his third image, is the smaller wire connected to his positive terminal, a fusible link? it looks like it might have a heat separator that if it burns might protect the rest of the wires in the that harness section?

I have difficulty figuring out how tight to get those side mounted terminals. I confess. I strip them. It does not take much torque, even with a short wrench. I think they screw into soft metal, possibly lead. Once stripped, they might not make good contact. I think I heard that the auto parts stores ( @cyberray ) might have slightly oversized battery bolts, since many of us strip them.

If I understand correctly: You test voltage at the battery, and your voltage gauge inside the car reads higher. Can you determine if where you touch the meter leads need to be at certain spots?
Example: On the bolt and against the washer? On the end of the battery bolts? On the cable metal?
This might lead to thoughts about:
  • battery post/connection that improves with a little pressure.
  • connection that might benefit from cleaning.
  • marginal cable (corrosion between the strands of wire on the larger cables).
 
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