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Old 27-06-2017   #1
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Battery Charging Issues

1976 Spider 124: The alternator is outputting 15 volts, but it is not charging the battery (brand new). When car is started, it will continue to run with the battery disconnected. Battery is not charging when connected. Since the alternator is outputting 15 volts, is there a voltage regulator? If so, where is it located? Is there a source for a wiring schematic?
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Old 27-06-2017   #2
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Editing this because I was wrong Davren is correct.
Humble apologies.
the voltage at the battery with engine running should be around 13.5 volts up to 14.8 volts is fine.

Disconnecting an alternator with the engine running is likely to destroy the voltage regulator.

If you want have your new battery checked sometimes even new batteries are duff.

How do you know battery not charging?
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Last edited by jackwhoo; 27-06-2017 at 17:06.
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Old 27-06-2017   #3
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
1976 Spider 124: The alternator is outputting 15 volts, but it is not charging the battery (brand new). When car is started, it will continue to run with the battery disconnected. Battery is not charging when connected. Since the alternator is outputting 15 volts, is there a voltage regulator? If so, where is it located? Is there a source for a wiring schematic?
Hi, Welcome to the FF.

1975 and 1976 models have an external voltage regulator (item 10 on the diagram below). If it's not there, the charging system may have been modified to an internally regulated alternator.

1975 and 1976 models also have a charge indicator light relay (item 7). Internally regulated alternators don't need that relay.

EDIT: For some reason, I can't upload the diagram. The external voltage regulator is in front of the relays mounted on the left front inner wing. It should have 2 terminals on it, labelled 67 and 15.
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Last edited by Davren; 27-06-2017 at 18:24. Reason: Added Info.
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Old 27-06-2017   #4
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Thanks, Davren, for your quick reply. When I get back to the garage, I will check things out again!


1975 and 1976 models have an external voltage regulator (item 10 on the diagram below). If it's not there, the charging system may have been modified to an internally regulated alternator.

***** I am pretty sure there is not an external voltage regulator, but I will check again! The alternator appears to be new, so perhaps it was modified at some point in time.

1975 and 1975 [do you mean 1976?] models also have a charge indicator light relay (item 7). Internally regulated alternators don't need that relay.

EDIT: For some reason, I can't upload the diagram. The external voltage regulator is in front of the relays mounted on the left front inner wing. It should have 2 terminals on it, labelled 67 and 15.

*****Is there a link to the diagram you could send to me?
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Old 27-06-2017   #5
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
1975 and 1975 [do you mean 1976?]
Yes... typo. Corrected it now.

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
Is there a link to the diagram you could send to me?
No.... it's just a scan from the Spider workshop manual. I'll upload it here when the forum administrator has fixed the problem.
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Old 27-06-2017   #6
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

It is a common upgrade to fit alternators from later spiders that have an integral voltage regulator.
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Old 28-06-2017   #7
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
*****Is there a link to the diagram you could send to me?
Upload problem fixed. Here's the diagram.
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Old 28-06-2017   #8
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Quote Originally Posted by Davren View Post
Upload problem fixed. Here's the diagram.
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Old 28-06-2017   #9
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Quote Originally Posted by jackwhoo View Post
Editing this because I was wrong Davren is correct.
Humble apologies.
the voltage at the battery with engine running should be around 13.5 volts up to 14.8 volts is fine.

Disconnecting an alternator with the engine running is likely to destroy the voltage regulator.

If you want have your new battery checked sometimes even new batteries are duff.

How do you know battery not charging?
I use a meter on the battery to determine it's not charging.
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Old 28-06-2017   #10
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
I use a meter on the battery to determine it's not charging.
Are you measuring the voltage at the battery terminals with the engine running?
If yes what is the voltage you are reading?
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Old 28-06-2017   #11
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Quote Originally Posted by jackwhoo View Post
Are you measuring the voltage at the battery terminals with the engine running?
If yes what is the voltage you are reading?
Yes, I am measuring the battery terminals with the engine running and I get a reading of 12.4. I use a clamp on meter to measure the current from the alternator to the battery and I get no reading. There is no current flowing into the battery.
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Old 28-06-2017   #12
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Smile Re: Battery Charging Issues

When we measure output at the alternator, it's 15 volts (14.9) with the battery connected. When we disconnect the battery, the engine continues to run (means the alternator is supplying the energy for the spark...lights work.....it's just not charging the battery. I have to determine if there is a separate voltage regulator and if there is, where is it located. IF the alternator that had been put in has a built in regulator, must I bypass the original voltage regulator. Work was previously done years ago, and car is not run frequently.
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Old 28-06-2017   #13
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Many thanks, Gentlemen, for your help!
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Old 28-06-2017   #14
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Ah it looks very much that there is a problem in the main wire from the alternator (where you measured 15v) and the battery where you measured 12.4v.
If the wire is good the voltage at the two points must be the same.

Do not run the car with battery disconnected.
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Old 28-06-2017   #15
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Re: Battery Charging Issues

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
I use a clamp on meter to measure the current from the alternator to the battery and I get no reading. There is no current flowing into the battery.
Are you using a DC only or AC + DC amp clamp? The much cheaper AC only clamps won't measure DC.

Are you clamping it around only one of the main battery cables? Clamping it around both cables will cancel out any reading.

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
When we disconnect the battery, the engine continues to run
As suggested above, it's not a good idea to run the alternator with the battery disconnected. It can cause serious damage to the alternator diodes.

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
I have to determine if there is a separate voltage regulator and if there is, where is it located.
It's a large black or grey box fitted under the bonnet (hood) similar to the picture below. If it's there, you can't miss it.

Quote Originally Posted by fiat76 View Post
IF the alternator that had been put in has a built in regulator, must I bypass the original voltage regulator.
If it's been modified to the later internally regulated alternator, the external regulator would have been removed. You should be able to see wiring modifications where the external regulator was mounted.

Are you sure it's a 1976 car, and not a later one? Several members on here have been confused as to which year there Spiders are. The identification pages below should confirm which you have.

You may also get some clues from the diagram of the two different alternators for the up to, and post 1976 models from the parts catalogue.
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