Attached is a wiring diagram of a typical charging circuit of your era truck. If you are checking and seeing no voltage at the voltage regulator Bat. terminal, there are a few possibilities: 1. Battery is depleted 2. Ammeter is open 3. Loose wire in that run(s) 4. Your multimeter is defective or you are not using a good ground on the negative lead. If any of the items, 1-3 are true, it may explain why the lights work temporarily (charged battery provides power but gets depleted because it is not being charged).
Sorry about the Cap. locks on I do need to check the battery connections grounds so on and so forth. The battery is 3 years old, now you have mentioned the ammeter being open? How would I check that? I really don't know what I would do without Bolters out there with all the help you have provided me. Even though I am an aircraft Mechanic, me an electronics was never my can of Beer. So as long as you fellahs don't mind me asking a question or 2, I'll keep it to a minimum...…The engine runs real goods starts right up, no problem anyway this here weekend I'll look into it a little closer...Thanks
Well you are getting ahead of things. I think it's best to start with basics. Doing things and testing things before we have a good battery and cursory charging tests, causes a big blogging mess. So test and report.
To answer your question, you would bypass the ammeter by putting all the ammeter wires on one post. I'm not recommending that yet. Sometimes if you do a bunch of stuff at the same time you never figure out what was wrong. What you do is up to you. If you happen to find something wrong with battery or charging system, you want to be able to watch the ammeter.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to get a good experienced person to check the battery before moving on OR put in another battery from a donor.
If you don't answer my questions that I asked, I can't help you. Go back and read.
Watch out for careful drivers!!! I'm away on an ego trip. Will be back on Feb 30. I'm not an Auto Mechanic, but I play one on TV. I charge $0.02 for every opinion and I take Paypal. Plan B is always better than plan A, by definition. You can't teach a new dog old tricks.
On this here past Sunday, I got out my Mult. Meter and noticed no power to the light switch. Looking up under the dash board and discovered the wire going to the + side of the ammeter was barely on. Cleaned it up a bit reinstalled it and now my truck is running with all the lights etc. etc. The only problem I still have is with the headlights on going to work in the cooler weather the ammeter discharges for about 3-5 minutes and as the truck warms up it will go back to charging, this never happens in the summer warmer weather. The Battery stays around 12.8 volts. Possibly going to an alternater in the near future.
Moderator - The Electrical Bay and Rocky Mountain Bolters
I hope you know that the battery should be disconnected any time you are working on the electrical system (other than troubleshooting). I fried an ammeter once just poking around behind my dash with a wrench working on something else.