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1981 dodge D150 charging


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toolman0007
User

Mar 6, 2014, 9:48 PM

Post #1 of 18 (3039 views)
  post locked   1981 dodge D150 charging  

  I have a 1981 dodge D150 318 . having charging issues, given the history on this system, looking to mack some changes.
I know of one upgrade that can be done, using the existing system keeping the voltage regulator. I would like to take it one step further. will this work....replace alternator with self contained regulator, then at the factory voltage reg. take the two wires going to it and just connect the two together and and trash the old regulator. as well the AMP gage will be replaced with VOLT meter and two new fuse links at the starter relay, which are things recommended as part of the upgrade. apparently dodge vehicles in that time period, with the charge system they had. was prone to having fires
so what do you think will this work, I'm like 80% sure


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 7, 2014, 12:20 AM

Post #2 of 18 (3028 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

No, you will be making/risking fires changing it. OE some Mopar alts used to eat brushes, the external ones are cheap and easy without even taking alternator off. Why mess with it?


T



toolman0007
User

Mar 7, 2014, 6:10 AM

Post #3 of 18 (3000 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

tom you ask why, because the newer alternator systems with built in regulators are much more reliably. and to be honest to swap out a diode tree in an alt really doesn't take that much time. I have never really seen that many fail.
I have done the same on several old farm All tractors. going from 6 volt to 12 volt and doing away with the external voltage reg. they haven't had one issue since the conversion. and it's been two years now with out the need for a charge or a jump


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 7, 2014, 7:11 AM

Post #4 of 18 (2995 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

Do anything you want, it's your truck. There's no problem known to me with the plain stuff for 1981 and even older.


Alts both have diode trios or would be generators from the 50's!
Regulator, $17 bucks........

Those are sealed in goo not like some older open and could get hot but were on firewalls and no problem to any I knew?


Alternator, $44 bucks.......



Easy al already said. Amps or volt meter. Volt meter is enough. If volts drop with electric items on below norms you know the amps are too low pretty much.


Why mess with old wiring for stuff that all together is cheaper than a dang relay on some things, works fine.


I used to keep a new regulator for these as easier to plug in new one then find test jump wire to test. Leave it if solved, get another for the next. Cheaper than tools and you couldn't finish a coffee in the time to be done.


Those are the common ones. Others more bucks but either way I think you are poking a bee's nest asking for troubles to mess with what works well enough, heck it's a 1981 and your still using it!


T



toolman0007
User

Mar 7, 2014, 8:22 AM

Post #5 of 18 (2986 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

Tom it's my brothers truck in Texas. and it's in very good condition, and it will be a round for quite awhile. I do get what your saying. but I can send you all kinds of documentation that shows the issue with not just this truck but other dodges in that time period. I am just seeking conformation, on what I have proposed, and want to know if it will work.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 7, 2014, 9:05 AM

Post #6 of 18 (2982 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

Again, your call. You asked if changing it "would" work. If done exactly yes. The system I showed did seem to fail more often but easier to deal with and the box for the parts cost more than the contents. The skinny of it is this is a wasted effort IMO.


Some older items did have a warm to hot asbestos coated resistance wire but the new one just plugged in same size, same two or three bolts. One was enough if it stayed put.


If any spikes are noticed this era wouldn't tell you but you might see it on volt gauge and strange that light bulbs were blowing too much all just a fault in that regulator that lasted forever or not seemingly without clear reason.


I just looked for an older type replacement that was hot to the touch and was the newer type was identical to one that should have come in this truck. Back is just jello like this.......

The other heat maker was always in porcelain and mounted on metal but newer replacements also in a gel. Those were common to fail. The ballast resistor to reduce voltage to coils while running............

OK - Always your call as it in your hands to decide this stuff worked fine and in finding pics are still in stock items. No fire issues ever noted by me and said "ME" not the world of them.


More: If this stays between 13.5 to 14.5v or real close while running it's good.


More II: If this truck isn't near you and you are just worrying about it after 31 years to be altered by someone else that's nuts IMO as there is no reason except ignoring some ongoing problem or the bad luck of some strange something? Fix the strange something if so.


Common sense says leave it alone as designed. Same set up was used in about all Mopars for ages without much trouble. If you found at this age some common problem all of a sudden an issue that wasn't when they were knew it's got to be a hoax.


Messing up wiring is the problem and more likely to cause issues than leaving this alone as designed. Carry spares if worried about failures underway.


BTW - great drivetrain for all I knew. 318s were tough iron horse engines from the get go on about all of that block,


T



(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Mar 7, 2014, 9:29 AM)


toolman0007
User

Mar 26, 2014, 9:12 AM

Post #7 of 18 (2918 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

this can be closed as anything connected to it has been dealt with and resolved
thanks


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 26, 2014, 9:15 AM

Post #8 of 18 (2917 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

Done at your request, T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 26, 2014, 2:53 PM

Post #9 of 18 (2900 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

I reopened this so you can post the final resolution before closing it.



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toolman0007
User

Mar 26, 2014, 3:00 PM

Post #10 of 18 (2892 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

ok


toolman0007
User

Mar 26, 2014, 3:23 PM

Post #11 of 18 (2890 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

ok going over this truck it being my brothers. going to leave the external voltage regulator. how ever going through the system and adding fuse links and up grading many connections as well as a Amp gauge change to a volt gauge. another change is a GM distributor module mounted externally, as that will be replacing the old dodge factory distributor module allowing for removal of the ballast resistor from the system. this change has improved how it runs and is getting a little better mpg now.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 26, 2014, 3:35 PM

Post #12 of 18 (2889 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  


Quote
another change is a GM distributor module mounted externally, as that will be replacing the old dodge factory distributor module allowing for removal of the ballast resistor from the system. this change has improved how it runs and is getting a little better mpg now.


That's interesting. Care to elaborate on what parts you used and how you spliced it in? I though Chrysler was using that external module with the triangle shaped plug and a transistor in the middle.






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 26, 2014, 4:06 PM

Post #13 of 18 (2884 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

We normally don't allow links but we'll leave that one. I made it live and clickable.

I'll leave this unlocked for a while in case anybody else want s to comment.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



toolman0007
User

Mar 26, 2014, 5:30 PM

Post #14 of 18 (2879 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

dully noted on the link. you wanted me to elaborate thought that was the best way. LOL


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 26, 2014, 5:32 PM

Post #15 of 18 (2878 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

I realize that........



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Mar 26, 2014, 5:46 PM

Post #16 of 18 (2873 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

Pretty interesting set up. That looks like redneck engineering in those pictures. Could have done a lot better quality work installing that.

This module isn't going to last long seeing how it needs a heat sink to dissipate the heat. It might have a hard time with paint and not being on a flat surface.







Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


toolman0007
User

Mar 26, 2014, 9:13 PM

Post #17 of 18 (2865 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

yes this is not how the one was put in my brothers truck. mounted on a good raised aluminum plate on the fire wall.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 3, 2014, 6:23 AM

Post #18 of 18 (2579 views)
  post locked   Re: 1981 dodge D150 charging  

That link is no longer any good.

Locking this now as closed.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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