New FLU419 Owner, Electrical Woes

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rtrask

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That sounds like it's working like it should. You'll see about 14 on a 12 Volt system, and 28 on a 24 Volt system.

In contrast, with the Winter SEE, after having a cup of coffee while the oil pressure gauge catches up, I rev it just enough to make the charging kick on (and I'm sure you meant 0.8K). Normally it sits around 26-28 Volts for a while, then starts climbing. It'll peg the gauge if I let it.

Wiggling the master switch a few times brings it back from "run-away mode", but then it goes to at about 24, which isn't enough.
The problem is that for the first 15-20 minutes it can start climbing again, numerous times. With the old lead acid batteries I'd notice the smell if I wasn't in the cab, not so with the Optimas.

Anyway, it's second nature now to keep an eye on the gauge, and I can also hear if the voltage starts climbing - it changes the engine rpm a bit.
Other than the batteries themselves, and the gauges, I don't think the over voltage can hurt anything, if nothing else is on.

Of course, there's no need to look at the gauge when the wipers and heater fan are on, like when running the snow blower. Then the wipers provide a very obvious visual clue, and the fan an audible version, when they enter warp speed.
The reason I thought it might have been over charging is the needle on the gauge was just under the line between 28 and 32 which would be 30 volts. I checked the voltage between the positive terminal on the starter and the negative ground with an accurate digital voltmeter and got 27.4 volts.So I think it is fine. The only real question I have left is if it is normal for the volt meter to show the voltage before the engine is started.
 

The FLU farm

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Hmm. I should check what the actual voltage is on the Winter SEE. I know it likes to over charge, but not by how much.

Anyway, the Volt meter comes on when you power up the system, regardless of if the engine is running or not. Just like the other gauges.
 

fuzzytoaster

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Hi Fuzzy,
Have you had in luck in tracking down the problem? I have gotten busy with other stuff, but I believe that I have a similar problem because may of my panel lights, and the gauges don't function. There are some (?? unexpected at least for me ??) relationships in how the components are wired that likely play a part. Here is a bit of my saga so far.

The problem set out to solve was the starter button not working. The first Issue I found was the heavy 4A wire 11 (position 1 on the 8 wire plug) coming off of the positive terminal on the starter had gotten hot at some time and the whole plug was in bad shape and the wire was unplugged. After fixing that, all of the gauges pegged out at their highest reading on the instrument cluster, but the starter button still did nothing.
View attachment 776943 View attachment 776945
Tracing backward from the starter button, wire 211 goes to the "default on" (terminal 87a) on the no repeat starter relay (refer to diagram). The no repeat starter relay was powered on breaking the default on connection to the starter button. The relay (terminal 86) was getting powered by wire 342 which connects to wire 34 which comes from the instrument cluster. The instrument cluster was powered from the key switch line 37. After disconnecting line 37 from the key switch the starter button finally worked so the problem was that 34/342 was grounding through the relay I reconnected line 37 from the key switch, and traced wire 342/34 after the plug to where it connects to the alternator. I pulled the alternator and discovered that someone had left it in a sorry state. While I had the alternator off I tested it. according to TM-5-2420-224-34
Test stator (5) as follows (note each reading):​


  • [*=1]Connect one ohmmeter lead to bare metal surface on stator lamination (6).
    [*=1]Connect other lead to each of four stator (5) terminals.
High resistance reading should be obtained each time. If there is no reading or ohmmeter reads zero, replace stator (5).​

When I tested it there was infinite resistance between the terminals and the stator lamination. So I found a good deal on an alternator off of E-Bay, put everything back together the way it should be, and now the starter button works, the gauges are at zero but do not work, the tach controlled by the alternator works, the alternator gauge seems to react, and some of the indicator lights work the turn signal indicator lights don't work, I think the oil pressure low indicator light is coming on (even though I don't think it has low oil pressure). Bottom line, I think I started further behind you but now I am at a similar state as you with the gauges and panel lights. I suspect it is a grounding issue but that has yet to be proven. If you have gained any insight since your original post I would love to hear from you. I don't think it is the voltage regulator, but I might swap the original one back in to the new alternator to see if that makes a difference.

One of the first things I did (and I think it was a good first step) was to dis-assemble both fuse panels and wiring harness plugs, clean all contacts with vinegar/salt bath followed by a good scrub with a copper wire brush and a baking soda bath to clean and neutralize the vinegar acid. After reassembly a lot of things seemed to work better, exterior lights and turn signals windshield wiper, horn etc. but that did not effect the panel lights and gauges.
I'm getting back on it today. I did some deeeeeep google searching and ended up in the old SS archive that isn't searchable by the site itself. Someone had the exact same issue I have and when he pulled the air intake and fuse panels there were wires chewed up. I'm going to get into that to double check and will report back. I just find it odd that I have confirmed power to the ignition switch, ignition button, and power to the combination instrument cluster but nothing in the cluster or voltmeter work.
 

fuzzytoaster

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I got into it and my harness is nice, no signs of critter interference. I had some progress as I cleaned all grounds in the dash and traced the system backwards to find the voltmeter was hooked up backwards and now reads a clean 24.8v. Correcting that gave me power to the auxiliary hydraulic fans and more instrument illumination but still no life to any gauges (oil pressure, fuel, air, etc). I did find I had a short in my turn signal system as i keeps popping fuses. Also no emergency lights.

Starting the engine shows no charging still. I do see that someone wired a hot from something to the start relay so the starter button can be used at any time with the batteries "on". Disconnecting that it wouldn't start. I feel I starting in the middle of someone else's problem and am working backwards just to progress. Frustrating.
 

rtrask

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I got into it and my harness is nice, no signs of critter interference. I had some progress as I cleaned all grounds in the dash and traced the system backwards to find the voltmeter was hooked up backwards and now reads a clean 24.8v. Correcting that gave me power to the auxiliary hydraulic fans and more instrument illumination but still no life to any gauges (oil pressure, fuel, air, etc). I did find I had a short in my turn signal system as i keeps popping fuses. Also no emergency lights.

Starting the engine shows no charging still. I do see that someone wired a hot from something to the start relay so the starter button can be used at any time with the batteries "on". Disconnecting that it wouldn't start. I feel I starting in the middle of someone else's problem and am working backwards just to progress. Frustrating.
From my limited experience, you should pull the alternator and check it out. Like I said before TM 5-2420-224-34 gives instructions on how to test it with a multi meter. After you get that sorted out you can probably remove the hot wire to the starter button, which depending on how it was done could be a source of some of your issues. Besides if the alternator does not work having the dash lights and gauges working may be of limited importance. If you discover that the alternator is bad PM me and I will see if I can find the guy I bought my replacement from has another one.
 

fuzzytoaster

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I pulled the alternator and unit below it. I pried it open and it's toast, it melted at some point, but I found a local replacement for $39.99. I took the alternator to a shop for them to test and clean up and it's putting out 28v on the charging post and 14.9v on the tach post as designed. I cleaned everything and replaced some of the eyelets, used photos of my uninstall to guide my reinstall. Nada. No change. I still have no charge, tach, etc. On a good note there wasn't any smoke or fire..but back to square one.
 

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rtrask

Member
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Location
Littleton, Colorado
I pulled the alternator and unit below it. I pried it open and it's toast, it melted at some point, but I found a local replacement for $39.99. I took the alternator to a shop for them to test and clean up and it's putting out 28v on the charging post and 14.9v on the tach post as designed. I cleaned everything and replaced some of the eyelets, used photos of my uninstall to guide my reinstall. Nada. No change. I still have no charge, tach, etc. On a good note there wasn't any smoke or fire..but back to square one.
Wow $40 for working 24 volt alternator seems like a steal. I paid 100 for one off E-Bay that was supposed to be new, but even though it was shrink wrapped in plastic was clearly not new (even though it was in really good shape).

Since the alternator bench tested OK you are probably not far from getting the alternator working. It must not be getting the initial charge from the battery to the windings to create the magnetic field that kick starts the generation process. The first thing to check but least likely culprit is the green ground wire that runs from the bottom bolt on the starter to the negative terminal on the alternator. The bottom bolt on the starter should be connecting the heavy green wire (6 amp I think) and a woven wire strap that goes to the negative terminal on the battery and is the primary negative ground for the engine. Disconnect that green wire, and verify that it has good connectivity to the engine. If that checks out start tracing backward from the positive terminal on the alternator until you get 24 volts. If you have 24 volts at the positive terminal, then it should be generating electricity when the pulley is spinning. If you unscrew the woven wire cover coming off of the noise suppressor, there is a screw connector to the capacitor of the noise suppressor, check connectivity there. Check that the capacitor is OK. from the bottom side of the capacitor the wires go under the alternator mounting bracket to some kind of relay / polarity reversal protection diode. If you don't have 24 volts going into that component, there must be a break between there and the positive terminal on the starter. If you don't have 24 volts after that component, then that is likely your culprit.

If you have 24 volts all the way to the positive terminal on the alternator, then I would first verify that it is not charging when the engine is running at at least 800 RPM by measuring from the positive terminal on the starter to that bolt I mentioned on the bottom of the starter. In the picture that you poster, it shows the wire from the other noise suppressor missing a terminal. That is the wire I talked about in an earlier post that grounds the starter no repeat relay, and the instrument cluster. I think that went to not the main positive terminal, but a small one on that side of the alternator. Be sure you get that thing connected right.

I replaced all of those relays, mine were in similar shape. I can't remember what I paid but got them off of Amazon and they were pretty cheap.
 
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rtrask

Member
190
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Location
Littleton, Colorado
Do you have any more insight as to why a faulty regulator would lead to this issue of no dash power?

I have the same issue as Jon did but I do have power to the high beam indicator and the charging control light comes on. My harness is uncut/not-rat eaten so I've got that going for me. No instrument gauges work including instrument lights in the combination gauge. The dash indicator lights for PTO, P-brake, etc do function. I've pulled the dash and traced power through the ignition switch to the combination instrument gauge which is a good 24.7v, the wire ohm'd good as well. The voltmeter gauge shows nothing. I'm at a loss unless this alternator regulator is to blame. Is there any way to test it?
Hi Fuzzy.
I finally got back to working on the SEE yesterday and have had partial success finally on getting the dash lights and gauges working. First let me say that my nephew turned me on to a tool called "Power Probe II" with it I was able to verify bulbs, and track down issues pretty quickly. I was even able to install some LED lights which are polarity sensitive. I did all of this with the instrument cluster out of the vehicle.

So the as I had suspected the main issue that I had was with a faulty ground. Tracing the ground wire back, I found that 3 ground wires come together and bolt to the cab on the horizontal shelf in line with where the clutch goes through the firewall, and about 4 inches from where the firewall goes vertical where all the instruments are mounted. These three wires are a common ground for all of the instruments. They appear to also be a common point of failure, because all three had been both crimped and soldered. There was corrosion on the bolt, washers, and fittings. I cleaned them up, with battery terminal cleaner, and then sprayed them with the terminal protector and reattached to the cab, and a lot of things started to work. Most importantly the oil pressure gauge, but also the fuel gauge, and several of the indicator lights. I don't think that the temp gauge is reading, but I know it would work if it got current, thanks to the Power Probe.

Of course your mileage may vary, but if you locate that common ground, you can at least rule that out as the source. Good luck!
 
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