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Username Post: Volt gauge        (Topic#358191)
4dr 57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4649

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
09-24-19 10:05 AM - Post#2776340    

It's now apparent that the charging voltage is critical to the performance of my Stock '80, 1/2 Ton's stock 350 engine.
Normally the volt gauge reads slightly past the 13v mark. The engine runs fine. But to quote a phrase......BUUUT..... when the gauge is showing less than this all aspects of performance, declines. From starting to running, all aspects are somewhat to miserably, off.

This means that every 9 or 10 months I must take the dash off, pull the gauge off of its 2 course thread bolts and spray CR Electrical Cleaner, then bush/sand the contact parts and reinstall the gauge. This has evidently been the case for quite some time as the dash reflects the over tightening, the missing corners,and/or missing screws (replaced) of repeated R&R, not just by me either!

Is there a proven, more reliable, longer term repair for this? The flat metal "S" shape clamping fingers of the gauge mating to just the top of the threads of the bolts seems a pretty p-poor way to do things, what with moisture, dirt and what not floating around the cab from time to time.
Thanks.
Stan

It's all good. mostly




 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4440

Reg: 12-29-02
09-25-19 04:23 AM - Post#2776397    
    In response to 4dr 57

The voltmeter connections should have no effect on how well your truck operates. That gauge just displays the voltage under the dash on the key switched circuit.

Is there non-stock wiring modifications behind your dash? The only reason I can think of that explains the gauge wires effecting the operation is that a previous owner wired the power for something important to the ignition switched wire connected to the gauge and it's that connection degrading that is causing the truck to run poorly.

Overall, expecting that gauge connections to affect truck performance would be the same as saying that unplugging the wire going to the electric oil pressure sensor causes the engine to quit running. We know that should never be true, all that should ever happen in that case is the oil pressure gauge quits displaying the oil pressure.




 
4dr 57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4649

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
09-25-19 04:09 PM - Post#2776443    
    In response to 65_Impala


Hi There 65_ Impala

Wa-ell, I guess you could be right if nothing else but the gauge was faulty, but I think the "out" leg of the gauge goes somewhere else as well, I'm not sure. Maybe the battery charge is effected by a faulty gauge as well.

As I think I said before, it seems awful much a coincidence that when I pounded on the gauge face and got it to respond to over 13v. the engine ran noticeably better to me.
Yes, this could also be like when we used adjust a carb and it seemed to have more power! But I don't think so actually. It was just to coincidental - oh well.

Any way, I undid the layers of dash panels today after checking the battery and alternator voltage (14.71v) then checked the gauge. It was reading below 12+v.

After cleaning and sanding the bolts on the gauge and the clips sticking out of the dash panel, then spraying with CR Cleaner the voltage returned to 14+ volts on the gauge.

As I said before it has been a long standing, annual repair & that I was looking for a more permanent type fix. None appeared here so I just repeated what i did last time and all is well.
Thanks.
Stan

It's all good. mostly




 
bobb 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 5554

Loc: paradise
Reg: 09-05-03
09-25-19 10:59 PM - Post#2776477    
    In response to 4dr 57

out leg? a volt meter should be ignition on to the gauge and ground to the gauge, nothing more. i like to run my amp gauge only to the battery so i know what the battery is supposed to be getting.

70 L camino, grampa engine, g-force 5 spd, road rage suspension. Pray first before all else fails.


 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4440

Reg: 12-29-02
09-26-19 07:00 AM - Post#2776497    
    In response to 4dr 57

Any schematics I've seen the voltmeter is connected between ignition power and ground. So, it still doesn't make sense unless someone messed with the wiring and used the gauge as a connection point like I mentioned before.

Are you sure that moving the wiring around doesn't wiggle some other connection?



 
4dr 57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4649

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Reg: 11-10-04
09-29-19 08:02 AM - Post#2776687    
    In response to 65_Impala


hello to both bobb and 65_Impala- Thanks for the reply.
There may have been a schematic I have looked at in the past but I don't remember it. I just "figured" the line should go somewhere, like the battery or the ignition or both, rather than stop at the gauge. I don't know. All the gauges do not have any immediate wiring - it's all done with a circuit board, as far as i know.
Stan





It's all good. mostly




 
65_Impala 
Very Senior Member
Posts: 4440

Reg: 12-29-02
10-03-19 09:32 AM - Post#2776994    
    In response to 4dr 57

No, voltmeter just measures voltage, so you connect it between ignition switched source and ground to measure the voltage.

Something you're messing with under the dash is "fixing" it, but it's not the voltmeter directly. Possibly a loose connection you move enough it makes contact again.

The truck should start and run find with the gauge panel unplugged and removed. All you need at the dash for old GM's to start is the ignition switch plugged in. The only part that removing the gauge panel might affect is the alternator energizing.



 
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