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Join Date: May 2013
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Voltage regulator (VR), external, which one to get?? Last on did not last? 1976 911

I replaced my external voltage regulator (VR) three years ago and very few miles. Today the voltmeter I use in the cigarette lighter showed 17v. I was close to home so drove home. By the time I got home the reading was back to normal.

This is what I believe I bought before (from our host).

https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/SuperCat/0784/POR_0784_ELCHRG_pg1.htm#item4 - The O.E.M one, top of the page.

Alternator has been rebuilt since I replaced the VR.

I also have a generic VR from Advanceauto which I may have run with until I got the one above delivered.

Note: Before I looked at/noticed the voltmeter reading, the fuel pump was louder, I assume more volts caused the extra noise.

Thanks
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Last edited by 93nav; 09-05-2019 at 10:05 PM..
Old 09-05-2019, 10:01 PM
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Is that a solid state VR? Probably should check all the wiring. If the blue wire or ground is not making a good connection the VR may try to compensate by upping the voltage.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:03 AM
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And we have a winner!!!! (probably) Thanks trackrash!!

I ran into this problem with the voltage spike on a test run after replacing the rotor, cap, and coil wire. While replacing parts I had unbolted a grounding bundle to get better access. I forgot to reattach. I noticed it hanging loose after the drive. Have not had a chance to go for another drive (traveling and rain) after reattaching. Hope that is all it is, we will see. BTW, other than the voltage issue, car ran fine.



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Originally Posted by Trackrash View Post
Is that a solid state VR? Probably should check all the wiring. If the blue wire or ground is not making a good connection the VR may try to compensate by upping the voltage.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:26 AM
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Well, reattaching the grounding bundle did not help. Still get a reading of up to 17.n volts. This is using a cigarette lighter voltmeter. I have tried two different voltmeters. Same results.

Summary:

1 - changed cap, rotor, and coil wire
2 - high voltage reading, 17.n, on test run after #1. the high reading is kind of intermittent and varies
3 - reattached grounding bundle I missed after doing #1
4 - Still getting high voltage reading
5 - Installed new voltage regulator (purchased at a local autostore for a quick fix), still get high voltage reading. Perhaps not at low idle. Did not run very long to look for a pattern.

I will look over the wiring. Anyone know where the ground wire is run to?

Could running without the grounding bundle attached damaged the alternator? Bundle was the one that attaches to the front bolt of the coil bracket. I think they are plug ground wires.

This is getting frustrating.

Thanks

Connector in car. I think I will attempt to clean up the contacts if I can get them out of the housing.

-
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:20 AM
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Better pics



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Old 09-17-2019, 11:32 AM
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If the blue wire is not making good contact that could be your problem.

There is a bolt for grounding wires on the left side of the engine compartment on the body in front of the CDI. At lest on my '71. It may be behind your fuel filter.

That corroded looking plug could very well be your problem. ANY resistance in the regulator circuit could signal it to increase the voltage to compensate.

More than once I have had to go through and carefully clean the electrical connections in my car.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:24 PM
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Brown ground wire on top in photo is dislodged from connector and not making contact. That will mess up the regulation.
There is a small locking tab on the terminal that you can lift away from being parallel to the blade so it will latch upon insertion.
Pull it out, fix it up and push it back in until it latches.
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:15 PM
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Pic of a terminal latch, not the same terminal, but is what I have a pic of handy.
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:19 PM
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An experienced shop told me a year or so ago that they were seeing some poor quality external VR's in the supply chain.

Cannot remember the application (racing only or a blend of street and racing).

I will try to ask them if they still feel that way, and if they have a trusted resource.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Timmy2,
I did not see that loose ground wire when I changed out the VR. I did see it in the pics when I posted them here but thought it would still make contact. I have since looked and it would have been a poor contact at best. The locking tab was pretty flat to the rest of the connector.

1 - I pulled the ground connector all the way out of the housing and polished it up with the dremel.
2 - bent the locking tab up and reinserted. It clicked in.

So, the question is, when did the connector become loose in the housing (or whatever you call it)? After I unplugged the VR I had been running? or before when I was messing in the distributor area? Or even earlier when I installed the new CDI wiring from Timmy2, which was several drives ago.

Question for Timmy2.

A - What is the trick to get the connector to release from the housing? I have tried small flat screwdrivers, small allen wrenches, all to no avail. I want to polish up the other two connectors. (I had this same problem with the three pin CDI housing when installing timmy2's CDI wiring, solution, buy a new three pin housing from parts klassik).
B - would it be appropriate to use DeoxIT-D5 here since the connections should scrap off any film (hope this makes sense).

I will report back with pics when I get a chance to run the car (after the rain and construction goes away).

Mahler9th - I would appreciate that. Depending on what I find, I was thinking of purchasing the VR with no pic from our host.

Sorry for the novel.

Again, thanks to all.
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Last edited by 93nav; 09-18-2019 at 10:47 AM..
Old 09-18-2019, 10:33 AM
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ROW '78 911 Targa
 
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Small screwdriver in the small hole below the flat of the terminal. Insert about 1/8th of an inch and gently twist back and forth while lightly pushing and pulling the wire in and out.

The plastic connector body is likely fine as long as the tabs lock in place. It is just for alignment.

PK just started selling replacement housings a few months ago, I’ve been getting them lately.

Cheers
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:19 PM
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Update:

Let the car idle in the garage for 5 minutes and the voltage was a constant 13.5 volts. 15 mile test run, and all ok (the voltage reads lower with headlights on, but that is what it has always done, 12.8v at the cigarette lighter).

Pics below. The VR I am running now is the shiny metal one I got from the local Irish auto parts store. I also show the connector that got loose, pulled out. I had polished it up before this photo, but had not bent the tab out yet.

I am not sure what VR I am going to run with long term. I should test out the VR (black plastic one in pic) that was installed before this problem occurred. We will see if I get that done.

Thanks for all the help guys, and if anyone has a recommendation for a VR, let me/us know.









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Old 09-21-2019, 09:44 PM
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