Charging Issues - '70 Beetle...

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Charging Issues - '70 Beetle...

Post by ASBug on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:27 am

Okeyday,
Yesterday I jump in the beetle drive to work and pull my nine hours and come back out to a DEAD, WAY DEAD, battery....
Lights were off, switch was off. I go to get a jump and the terminals are sparking like CRAZY... Like I have the headlights on or such. It will not jump, but the guages and the oil light activate, no genny light though. Figure the battery has a dead short so I disconect the ground on the battey and jump it straight from the jumper cables, it fires up OK and then runs with the battery disconnected. I go to the Auto parts place, close by and they charge the battery, battery is good. I plop it in and drive home, 35 minutes. I get home run in and change clothes, go back out and smell not quite smoke but close... The 1.5 year old solid state Voltage Regulator is SUPER HOT... I disconnect the battery and let it cool. pull the old 12v points type off the '65 ragtop and put it in, car starts right up and genny light tests out then goes out when engine is started, probblem fixed? I thought so, got in car this morning and vroom started right up. Drive to work listening to radio and lights on, get to a 4 way stop and when I go to pull out, the car tries to bog down and has no power ( I have electronic Ignition - Petronix), I quickly shut off the lights and the car gets back it's horse power. I turn on the lights again and loss of power is immediate. So I turn them off and drive to work (5 miles) and then shut it off in the parking lot. Try to start it again and it does 2 slow rotations and then stalls the starter. The genny light is comming on when I run the prestart test, but I do not seem to be charging, or charging enough.

I need some guidance on what to look at next. Before I plop down another $40 or so on a new regulator, can someone tell me how to check the old points one? Like I said, the genny light is going out when the car was started, and yesterday the car ran to the parts place with the battery completely disconnected.

If you do not mind, someone give me a list of my next choices to test and how. I would appreciate it.
I disconnected the battery to save what was left of the juice to see if it will start later. I am not getting the major sparking I was yesterday when I went to the new (old) VR.
This was an all of a sudden thing.
Any Ideas, The Genny was replaced with a reman one last year (16 months), but like I said it seems to be charging in that I ran the engine w/o a battery for like 10 minutes.

Thanks,
KC


Last edited by ASBug on Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:35 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Title wrong...)
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Re: Charging Issues - '70 Beetle...

Post by ASBug on Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:34 pm

OK,
Had enough time yesterday to run some rough tests on it. Battery charged to 12.3v Put in car and goes to 12.2 volts at terminals wit just the basic wiring (no radio, fog lights ect even hooked up. start car and battery goes to 11.86v @ idle.
Rev car to 2.5 K range and volts go to 12.2-12.3v. I can disconnect the battery and car will run, w/o battery the idle numbers are 11.8v and reved it will go to 12.2v. Basically the same with battery in or out. The Dome light did flicker bright and normal when the battery was disconnected and the engine was reved... I am thinking VRegulator -remember this is the one that I pulled off the '65 that had been 12v'ed (but I have no idea as to how old it is, output, etc.), but before I fry another $40 jewel, just want to get the synopsys of collective reasoning within the group...

Should I run the genny w/o regulator test to see if it'll rev up to the 40 of so volts that it is supposed to? Or are these #'s OK and lead to a VR problem?

Thanks, just buying a house this week and do not have any extra Jacksons to waste this month...
KC
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Re: Charging Issues - '70 Beetle...

Post by zabo on Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:46 pm

It does sound like a bad regulator- I had the same thing happen to my 6 volt last month.
The regulator actually got so hot the wire coatings were starting to melt off.

The Muir book mentions this as well.

Got (another) new regulator and all seems well.
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Re: Charging Issues - '70 Beetle...

Post by ASBug on Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:15 pm

zabo wrote:It does sound like a bad regulator- I had the same thing happen to my 6 volt last month.
The regulator actually got so hot the wire coatings were starting to melt off.

The Muir book mentions this as well.

Got (another) new regulator and all seems well.
Thanks for the advice, I have already bought another solid state Bosch one and will put it on and post the #'s.
My Solid state one got so hot that the paper (great thing to insulate with) over the VR (under back seat) was dark brown and close to burning...
Got lucky on that one.
'Preciate it.
KC
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Re: Charging Issues - '70 Beetle...

Post by Heinz57 on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:28 pm

Your charging voltage should be closer to 13.2 - 13.5 volts to charge the battery plus run all the lights, wipers, etc...at the same time. Check your grounds and flex the battery cables, if you feel a crunching or hear it, replace the cables. Also feel both battery cables while the car is running, if you find a temp difference or hot spot, then the cable has too much resistance and needs to be replaced. An overlooked item is the negative cable, it needs to be at least the same gauge as the positive one. I work on 12v - 48v dc systems everyday and do these same checks. Good luck.


Danny
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Re: Charging Issues - '70 Beetle...

Post by ASBug on Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:15 pm

Put the new Hencho En Mexico Bosch solid state regulator on and it is now charging at 13.6 at idle.
When reved to 2K RPM it is pinging 14V.
This regulator was rather warm after a 40 min drive and I am wondering if this is normal.
I could hold on to it it was uncomfortable - not gonna burn you, but uncomfortable.
The last solid state one that I had got hot enough to discolor the top...
Any thoughts?
KC
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Re: Charging Issues - '70 Beetle...

Post by ASBug on Wed May 12, 2010 4:49 pm

Update, Been a few weeks and ASBug is back to normal.
It was the VR's

KC
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