Question about 1990 Dodge Ram

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My 1990 dodge truck is not charging. I have power on both sides of the internal voltage reg. But one of the leads coming out of the black box on the top of the alternater is not getting power back to gauge and battery

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Very good, you pinpointed where the problem is. Try to replace the voltage regulator or the whole alternator with a new voltage regulator included.

This will fix your problem.

Posted on Jul 17, 2010


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Does the ECM control the alternator charging amperage/voltage on a 2004 Suzuki aerio? New alternator only charges @12.5. Won't charge enough to keep ahead of necessary power draw.

Some vehicles are fitted with a smart charging system that is designed to prevent the alternator charging during acceleration to free a few horsepower to help.

My experience of these is very limited but there is an ECU that controls them and the battery, charging or ignition light using information from the engine management system.
The alternator generally has an extra plug with about four or five wires which when disconnected render the alternator a standard machine sensed type.

Japanese vehicles used separate voltage regulators longer than most types. You either need experience or a wiring diagram for good fault diagnosis but mostly it is unnecessary to check the charging current of an alternator which bears little significance unless being tested with a graduated load or adjustable carbon pile.

The current output of a healthy alternator is dependent on the terminal voltage of the battery which in turn is dependent on the electrical load placed upon it. Switching on the lights should lower the voltage and increase the alternator output. If the battery is particularly good the voltage won't fall very much and the current won't increase as much as expected...

Measuring the battery voltage with the engine running at about 2000/2500 rpm is sufficient for most purposes. With nothing switched on and a fully charged battery it should be around 14.5 volts and with everything switched on (lights, HRW, heater fan, etc.) a healthy alternator should continue to maintain a voltage above that of a healthy fully charged battery (13.2 volts).

If the voltage isn't maintained on load the charging system, probably the alternator, is faulty and should be independently tested.

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Click on the link.
The diagram shows generator with internal voltage regulator and with external voltage regulator, at the moment, I don't know which one you have?
The bat terminal at the generator should be hot even with the key off, is it, use a test light. If no voltage either the fusible link is faulty or the wiring circuit to battery +. You can see fusible links in diagram.
Could be other issues, the generator probably needs excite voltage or it won't work. The excite voltage comes from charge indicator circuit. Does the charge lamp on the dash work?

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If your alternator tests good off of the vehicle, but will not charge on the truck you need to make sure that the supply wire has 12V and that the field is also getting 12V. If you track it down to the ECU you can save yourself a bunch of money by having an external voltage regulator wired in and bypass the internal ECU regulator.

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Do you have an alternator with 2 field connections and one power output connection and a separate regulator?
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