Today while driving around, my batter started boiling.... I'm lead to believe this is the alternator overcharging. Also, it could be a bad voltage regulator. What's the best way to go about fixing this? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Test the alternator by touching the positive multi-meter probe to the positive terminal on your battery and likewise the negative probe to the negative terminal on your battery. If the alternator is working, your multi-meter should read somewhere in the vicinity of 14 volts (typically 13.8v-14.2v). If it is reading excessively higher than 14 volts (greater than 15 volts) it is most likely that the voltage regulator is faulty or going bad.
A couple weeks ago, my battery boiled over, but that was because I had filled it too full and when current started to move it had no where for the water (now acid) to boil...so it boiled over a little bit...
Most likely solid state now - and they are known to be problematic if they are made in China....try to get a USA made one. These guyscan rebuild it or sell you a good one, or tell you how to convert it to a 1G type using your existing alt....http://www.qualitypowerauto.com/pages/AboutUs.php
Okay, I changed out the voltage regulator and the battery. The old regulator was clearing 15 volts when I put the multimeter on it. The new one is giving me readings around 14.6 volts. Is this within tolerated levels, or am I going to have to dive it around and see if my new batter boils?
Did you throughly clean the battery terminals before installing thr new battery... both on the battery and cable ends? I would put a charger on 2amps and slow charge the new battery first then test it. 14.6v the max I would like to see going to the battery. Check it with the vehicle running no accessories on then with lights and heater.... then let us know the readings.
I drove my Cougar around a good bit today, and after I finished, I tested the battery. It's holding steady at about 12.7 volts (car not running), so I don't think it's over charging any more. I think the new regulator was what I needed. Also, I opened up the old regulator and saw one of the wires was burnt up, so it's really no surprise it needed a new one. Thanks for all the great advice guys!