arcing at alternator

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by restored81, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. restored81

    restored81 New Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    Clarence, NY
    Okay, here goes, first post. To start, let me say that this has been a great site and community to find. I've been reading along for some time now, and have found many useful tips, and have resolved some issues based upon the advice of members.

    It has also been encouraging to read about the efforts of other 2nd Gen Camaro owners. I've always loved my Camaro, but over the years I've gotten resigned to the idea that owning an 'older Camaro' only meant a 1967-69 to most people, and it's great to see so many others out there who are into the 1970-81's.

    I'm right at the tail end of that, with an '81, which I've owned since '85, as my first car. I had the car in storage for about 10 years, and this past winter we restored the body/paint to the point where the outside is in better shape than at any time since I've owned it.

    I'll post the journey in the Projects section, but today's issue is electical. I had the car on its' first long drive (70 miles) in a decade, and I just glided into the driveway, minus all lights, before the battery died. In the morning, I recharged the battery, which is new, and replaced the alternator belt, which was quite old. Battery continued to quickly drain. I replaced the alternator, but same issue. I replaced the positive battery cable to alternator, along with fusible link to fender. I replaced negative to starter. Here is where it gets interesting - touching ground to battery gives major sparks, until I disconnect single (top) wire from the 3-wire alternator. With this wire disconnected, I can connect battery and run electric in car, but can't connect alternator.

    So, I returned alternator and replaced it, but same issue. With alternator wire disconnected and test light between disconnected negative battery cable and battery negative, hardly enough juice to make light glimmer. With alternator connected, same test gives strong test light response, and too much juice to connect battery cable to battery. Don't have much experience chasing shorts, but I've tried many of the suggestions in this electrical forum, without success, so thought I'd post.

    Sorry for the long post, and I can provide more details, if anyone has any ideas.



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