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I was taking my fiance home last night and on my way back I had a rather pain in the neck police officer talk to me. He said that he knew that I used my turn signal but between the tailights, brake lights and turn signal being on all at the same that the turn signal was not bright enough. I have looked at my ground and it appears ok, and all of my lights are in the socket pretty tight ao does anyone have any experience or thoughts that might help me with this?

cougar390
1969 Cougar
 

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I had this problem too. I replaced all the bulbs and that didn't do much, so I decided to upgrade the electrical system by switching to a PowerMaster 140amp one-wire alternator.

Expensive at about $239, but ALL my electrical works aces now. I can have every electrical piece of equipment on in the vehicle and the lights are bright as can be...
 

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was having the same type of problem on mine, so I upgraded to a powermaster alternator. I got the cheaper 100 amp, but I never had electrical problems again. - Chad
 

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Where would find such an alternator? I have the same problem... With the lights on ,break lights on and the turn signal going the signal doesn't seem to work as fast as it does during the day and the dash indicator just dims ....not blink...


Don
 

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Hey you guys, You can check for a auto electric outfit in your area. Most will be happy to rewind your orignal alt to 100 amp. No wireing hassles, looks stock and wont cost an arm and leg. I plan on having mine redone that way sometime soon. If you dont have a good shop in your area, check a good auto parts as they can probably come up with a later model 100 amp to replace your orignal. mm
 

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Dim bulbs and grounds

No, I'm not talking about your sister....mine maybe ;)

One reason your lights may not be getting full juice at lower rpms is sort of related to your alternator/regulator. Many times you don't have a good chassis ground in your electrical system.

Right now, you have a positive battery cable going to your starter solonoid, then from there to the starter. OK now, think of where your negative battery cable goes. That's right. It goes to a bolt on the engine block. How do you have a chassis ground? Sometimes, if you still have your original negative battery cable, there is a lug in the middle of it that usually gets held by one of the voltage regulator bolts. Does your car still have this chassis ground? Does it have any chassis ground? If you have replaced your cable, probably not! Without a good chassis ground you are going to have all sorts of electrical gremlins. You'll get feedback (sneak) circuts, blowing low-amperage fuses, dim lights, ....

I had a problem with my Cougar having its lights pulsate at low RPMs. That is a sign of a bad regulator, right? I was also blowing light bulbs. One night I burned out just about every bulb in the car! I thought the regulator had stuck. I replaced the regulator. Still pulsate and blowing bulbs. Hmmmm. After finally exhausting all of my options, I ran another ground cable (short battery-type cable) from the engine block grounding bolt to a bolt on the front frame rail. No more pulsing lights!!! See, the regulator wasn't getting getting the proper voltage that would have triggered it to stop charging.

Give this a try!

Cougrrcj's tip line
Tip # 208

;)
 

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Hmmmmmmmmm.....

Interesting:rolleyes:


Don
 

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Yeah, you could rewind a stocker, but I went Powermaster for a couple reasons...

1. They come in a spiffy chrome finish.

2. They're a one-wire alternator, eliminating the alternator wiring crap under my hood.

3. It's brand new, as opposed to having 20 years of crud on it, like my old 60amp'r...

Depends what your goals are and how thick your pocket book is... :)

I picked my chrome 140a one wire up from www.summitracing.com for $239.00
 

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Another idea

...for those of you who insist on getting a high amperage alternator to 'fix' your problems...

You can get a kit to upgrade your current alternator to a high output. Some people want to keep their original 'date coded' alternator housing. (Bah, those concours junkies... ;) ) JC Whitney has the kits for under $30 I believe. You end up replacing the field windings with a new one, and you also get a new diode bridge.

Just an idea...
 

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CougarCj, your right about checking the chassis ground but if its good than the alt is what I was thinking is the problem mine has. Mine works ok except at a slow idle when the headlights are on. I ran a temporary ground all the way from the battery to the tail lights and it didnt help for me. I also have head lights that dim pretty good at idle. Thats why I was going along with the higher amperage alt. But I dont think 140 amps are required. I have seen semis with less than that. I think that 65 is probably enough if you were to get a true 65. What do you think about going with a solid state regulator over the old points style? I'm still leary on these 1 wire alternators anyway. I've put 2 of the GM styles on some old tractors when converting them to 12v and have had trouble with both of them. They have to be polorized every time you start them and 1 will drain the battery when its shut off. By the way they came from whitney so the owners ( I didnt order them) havent wanted to bother with the returning them.mm
 

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Personaly, I like a higher amp alternator because My stereo gobbels up must of my power. That and I like having the peace of mind that if I have to be charging a cell phone, while it's raining at 3 in the morning, while in stop and go traffic, while listening to my stereo... I will still have enough power to turn the car off and be able to start it again. Just my thoughts. - Chad
 

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I guess I didnt think about it but with 140 amps you could carry some cables, a stinger and some welding rods. Then if you break a traction bar or something you could always weld it yourself right on the spot!!!! mm
 

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One of the things I did to help the grounding on my cat was to use two ground wires.

I run a ground wire from the negative terminal on the battery directly to the frame, Then a second wire from the same attach point up to the motor.
 

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Grounding

Yet another tip.

Make sure your engine block ground and chassis ground are getting good contact. Many times, if the connection is rusty or corroded (a common occurance here in the 'rustbelt'), you won't be getting the proper ground. You may experience sluggish starting. It will act the exact same as corroded battery terminals. It really is the same thing...just on the other end! Also, after painting your engine, make sure you are getting a good engine ground by removing the paint at the ground connection. Chase the treads with a tap to remove paint and rust from the threaded bolt hole.

If your parts store just has those prepackaged 4 or 6 or even 8 gauge battery cables, try a real parts store. Some of those cheap relacement cables are just copper plated aluminum wire, not full copper! They will not work well! They should have listings for super heavy duty cables used for commercial applications.

To help with the cranking in my 11.5:1 compression motor, I use 0 or 1 gauge battery cables. OK, so they won't be the pretty red and black of your stocker. Mine are both a dark blue-gray. If you can't get the exact length you want, just get the cable with the battery terminal you want then a lug for the other end. Custom fit the thing yourself. I soldered the lug to the other end using a Oxy/acyetelene torch for heat. Great connection!

Some replacement battery cables have that little pigtail lead meant to be used as an auxilary power feed (+) or chassis ground (-). That is only a 12 gauge wire at best. Do yourself a favor and just cut that offending wire off and use a real wire of bigger gauge!


Logan, your two negative cable idea is the same as what I had proposed. My way just looks neater with the second cable down low and out of sight. ;)
 

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Exactly. Never can have enough grounding. :)

Mine looks neat enough though. Car is in storage whilst the new house is completed, so I can't take a pic, but My negative runs from the post, straight down to the frame, then from the frame over to the block side of the motor mount. Can't see 'em at all...
 
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