The week is nearing its end, and once again, Thursday has landed on our doorsteps. I don’t know about you, but my weekend garage plans have already been made. If your plans for enjoying some garage time with your project include the charging system in your classic, we can help with that. Maybe the battery is not getting a correct charge form the Alternator, and you’re ready to upgrade. You need to check out this article before you begin. Once again, we celebrate another editorial look-back, and jump into the way back machine to open the Power Automedia vault that houses our vast collection of articles and revisit another great informational piece.
In this Throwback Thursday, we’re taking a small jump back to December 2013. That’s when we teamed up with manufacturers: Optima Batteries, Powermaster Performance, and Tuff Stuff Performance to deliver, Alternator Selection: Charging Your Battery And Keeping It Ready, to get a little more information when building or diagnosing your car’s charging system.
The charging systems in our classic cars are basic, and simple to understand. In the good old days of 25 cent-a-gallon gasoline, you typically had a 45 – 65-amp alternator that had to keep up with an AM radio – or perhaps a Realistic 8-track stereo – and the vehicle’s ignition system, wipers, heater fan, and lights. If you kept the fan belt nice and tight and most of your accessory switches in the off position, you stood a fighting chance of keeping a 12-volt battery charged.
Today however, charging systems have an overwhelming job to do. Even classic cars today have a lot more electronic devices than ever intended. When you have a lot of accessories and not enough alternator capacity, 13 to 14 volts swiftly drops to a point where lights dim, electronic engine control begins to sputter, and your vehicle slows to a stop in the dark. But, the original article explains all this, and how to alleviate those issues.
Carbureted engines need roughly 8 to 9 volts to start. Engines with electronic fuel injection need even more. If you’ve converted your classic to EFI, and are still running an old Delcotron alternator, it just isn’t enough power. Your ride is probably going to need at least 100 amps of charging power to keep the battery adequately charged.
There is a lot of information in the original article that can help you solve many charging issues, and that information is good to know. Therefore, if you’re planning to take a good hard look at your cahrging system, I suggest you check out: Alternator Selection: Charging Your Battery And Keeping It Ready.