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Old 02-09-2003, 04:51 PM
81chevySB 81chevySB is offline
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Amp gauge hookup

I have an '81 Chevy 350 SB truck that has a 2 wire alternator (red-hot and brown). I need to hookup an amp gauge. I have a positive and negative coming off the gauge, where do I hook the wires to get the gauge to work? Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2003, 07:19 PM
danny danny is offline
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when g.m. built the internal regulated alternator they began to use just a volt meter, the amp gauge goes between the alt and voltage regulator, i do not know for sure but think an amp gauge won't work on these alternators. i'm sure that someone will have the answer if i'm incorrect.
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Old 02-09-2003, 10:27 PM
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amp gauge can hook directly off the battery and get the same results. or like I did put a cigerette lighter pluggin on it and plug it right in and I can use it for any of my cars or trucks
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Old 02-10-2003, 12:04 AM
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An Amp gauge must be wired in series. Therfore you cannot put it in a cigar lighter and have it work properly. It can be installed in series with the wire that comes off the starter and goes to the fuseblock on a GM. You would be much better off installing a Volt meter. They can tell you more and they are easier to install. One wire goes to positive and the other goes to ground or Negative if you prefer. Some people switch because an Ammeter brings a large wire into the cabin and has been known to cause fires if they should (they do) short internally. Also a ammeter is always hot and provides current to ground thus completing a circuit. Voltmeters are only Hot when the ignition key is on when installed properly. I cant rebuild my carb but I can wire my truck.
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Old 02-10-2003, 12:05 PM
Gearhead52 Gearhead52 is offline
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Got to agree with the last post......volt meeter will tell you almost as much.

Like said the ammeter goes between the alt. and the batt. It doesn't take any current to make it work if idle so it needs no switch but it has to show positive or negetive current flow to the battery to determine if the alt. is charging. On older GM's it was on the horn relay at the voltage regulator. Your's is internal now so from the back of the alt. to the meter than to the batt.

Also like said...this wire is hot all the time going into the cab and it's a high load wire.

A volt meter will actually tell you the condition of the batt. before you turn the key to start the engine. Ammeters won't. Battery failures occur before alt. failures most often. Most big trucks have also moved away from ammeters.
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