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DIY/ External voltage regulator conversion

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  #1  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:44 PM
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Default DIY/ External voltage regulator conversion

Ok, this is a write up on how to do an external voltage regulator conversion on any and all Chryslers with the reg in the ECM and an unregulated alternator. Till now, if you have charging issues with these trucks you had to replace a $3-500 computer. I did this conversion for $43.28 after sales tax. This can also apply to other trucks if you'd like add a second alt, or the wiring is fried.

Here is a list of parts that will be needed with prices as of 8/3/2011.
Regulator part #
MPI 2VR1 price $13.99
Regulator plug/pigtail part #
BWD PT173 price $8.49
1 coil of 14ga wire $5.99
1 pack of butt connectors $5.99
1 pack of ring terminals $5.99

Click the image to open in full size.

These are the prices and part #s at my local O'Reilly.
Also a couple of self tapping screws.


The first thing you need to do is remove the little plastic box on the back of the alt.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Tape it up so it won't short out and tuck it out of the way (you will not be using it).
Click the image to open in full size.

Find a good solid place on the firewall or inner fender to mount the regulator. If you don't have a place with a good ground, you can run a ground wire off one of the mounting screws. I mounted mine behind the battery on the metal fenderwell so no need for a ground wire on mine.
Mount the reg using the self tapping screws making sure you have enough room for the plug to stick out from it.

Click the image to open in full size.

Cut two lengths of wire long enough to reach from the alt to the regulator. Crimp a ring connector large enough to fit the bolts the plastic block (removed in step 1) was attached to on to each one. Put them on and tighten the nuts down.
Click the image to open in full size.

Once the wires are connected to the alt, cut a wire long enough to reach from the reg to an ignition pos of your choice. Take one of the wires from the alt (doesn't matter which) and the wire from the ignition pos and crimp them into one end of a butt connector.
Click the image to open in full size.

Take the doubled wire (batt and alt) with the butt conn already attached and connect it to the TOP terminal on the pigtail. Take the other wire from the alt and attach it to the other terminal of the pigtail using a butt connector. Plug the pigtail into the reg, route the wires out of the way and reinstall the battery.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Start your truck and make sure it's charging properly. If so then you're done!

Take the money you saved from not buying a new comp, buy a six-pack and another upgrade for your truck!!
Click the image to open in full size.

DOWNSIDE TO THIS MOD__ The only downside is that after doing this, your check engine light will stay on since it has no signal from the alt. There is no way I know of to prevent this, but someone here might have an idea. If that is an issue to you, then this conversion may not be for you!
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:07 PM
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Good Write up. What code are you getting?
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:16 PM
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I would think there should be a way to get 12v back to pcm to indicate that alternator is working to clear and code that is triggered.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:41 PM
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Good Write up. What code are you getting?
The codes are for the charging system since it's not getting field current signal from the alt anymore. The problem with wiring it this way is when you remove that block from the alt, it cuts off the signal to the comp. If you leave those hooked up, the comp will still try to regulate it and you'll still have the same problem as before.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:51 PM
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I would think there should be a way to get 12v back to pcm to indicate that alternator is working to clear and code that is triggered.
It's not just feeding 12v to the comp. Chrysler WAY over engineered the original system (2 field currents, air temp and battery temp sensors). If you find a way, I'd be grateful. As far as I know it isn't possible. If you give voltage back to the ecm, the comp will still be trying to regulate the charge and you'll still have the same problems.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:22 AM
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what ZJ did you do this on?
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:50 AM
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I believe it was on his 1987 Dodge Ram LE.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdstock View Post
I believe it was on his 1987 Dodge Ram LE.
it wasn't on his truck. it was on a jeep. truck already had that voltage regulator system stock from the factory in 87. plus the battery in that picture is on the opposite side of of my trucks
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:27 PM
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what ZJ did you do this on?
It was on my mother's 93 Grand Cherokee. The reg in the comp was bad and it was giving the batt 18+ volts!
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:16 AM
Xtremjeepn Xtremjeepn is offline
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Just picked up a 1998 V10 yesterday. A it turns out it has a charging problem. New battery, new alternator, and tried writing in the voltage regulator fix above. Sill not charging! Double and triple checked everything.

Any other ideas?
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:08 PM
Peter Daniel Lundgren Peter Daniel Lundgren is offline
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Hi,

I bought a 1994 Dakota Sport. The battery conversion for voltage reulation had already been done. The day after I got it the ignition fuse blew and the battery (engine not running) voltage reading was 16.7 volts and it had been venting electrolite. I got a new voltage regulator and put it in. Depening on where the positive wire is hooked up I have gotten readings across the battery, with the engine running, of 14.8 to 15.02 volts.
The "ignition positve feed" that the guy who did the coversion chose was
a spade that was pushed into one of the AC relay connections in the power
distribution box (the wires are there but the truck does not have AC). Is that a good or proper connection?
How do I determine what wires match the description, any ignition positive wire?

Can a bad ground cause too high a charge voltage?

Do voltage regulators adjust voltage up and down or are they fixed in terms of voltage and regulate amperage up and down?

Thanks

Peter
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:13 PM
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Bad ground would be more likely to cause NO charge. Sounds more like you have a short somewhere.....

On your dakota, factory voltage regulator is in the PCM...... Did that one fail?
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:58 AM
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try hooking up a pigtail with a 194 bulb in it to the old set of field wires and see if this helps..the 194 bulb should light when hooked to the pigtail and give the computer the voltage..
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:36 AM
Peter Daniel Lundgren Peter Daniel Lundgren is offline
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Yes, the voltage regulator in the computer had already failed when I got the truck,
The conversion to an external regulator had been done as well.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:37 AM
Peter Daniel Lundgren Peter Daniel Lundgren is offline
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So, are you saying that the computer could still have and effect on this? As far as I can see, with the bypass having been done already the computer has no communication with the alternator or any other part of the charging system anymore.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Daniel Lundgren View Post
Do voltage regulators adjust voltage up and down or are they fixed in terms of voltage and regulate amperage up and down?
What the regulator does:

In a nutshell, it has two set points, one high and one low. These are voltage settings, one a tad higher than target charge voltage and one a tad lower. When the battery voltage drops to the low set point, the alternator grounds the field winding of the alternator. When battery voltage reaches the high set point, the regulator opens this ground. While the field winding is grounded the alternator is hard on, producing all of the current it can. While the field winding floats (is ungrounded) it produces no current at all.

So: It's most likely that the field winding is grounded all the time. I'd think the most likely culprits would be a failed regulator or a miswire somewhere. It seems a good time to test the regulator and if it checks out good to confirm the correctness of the installation.

It's a bad idea to allow the thing to run when battery voltage goes about about 14.5 volts. Charging at that high rate that got your big numbers may very well have warped some plates, and it's certainly going to cause copious hydrogen out-gassing which is a mite dangerous. Hydrogen ignites very readily when oxygen's around.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:01 PM
Xtremjeepn Xtremjeepn is offline
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Any tips on a switched 12v source under the hood of a 1998 V10?
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:42 AM
nmscuba nmscuba is offline
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Since im going to be doing this mod on my 89 dodge W150 318 tbi with the voltage reg part of the ecm I have a couple questions

What does that black box on the alternator do??

What is the fuction of the 2 field terminals that are taped up, measured at 6 volts??

I ask cause one of my field terminals is broken off the black box on the alternator from the previous owner.


Thank you so much everyone

Last edited by nmscuba; 12-24-2012 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:57 PM
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the black box is nothing but but molded plastic to make it bolt to the alternator easier and idiot proof. 1 of the field terminals should have 12 volt when the ignition is on and the other one should go to the computer and control the voltage output. i think if the terminal broke you should figure out which wire goes to the broken terminal and repair by cutting it and extending it to the alternator and installing a ring terminal ad hooking it back up.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:57 PM
LocoMech LocoMech is offline
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Okay stupid question, but its been asked a couple of times on this thread with no response. Where is a GOOD ignition positive source under the hood? Im trying to get this in quick and its dark out here and im getting pissed off trying to figure something out.

Any response would be gladly appreciated!!!
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:57 PM
 
 
 
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