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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings! I just picked up this beast recently and am getting greasy already. It runs and drives okay, but needs some work. The interior has been totally gutted (see pics). Someone creatively rewired it before, so I'm still trying to figure that out as well. I'll have a million questions for the experts here.

Electrical: It probably had an additional battery in the past, but I've gutted the interior (see pics)... found some spiders, stink bugs, and moisture leaks around the windows in the camper top (front), but no other battery. However, the original house generator is still there... haven't cranked it up. Would there be a relationship there, or is it a completely separate system?

Wires in pics 3 and 4 are either fried or disconnected. Thoughts? I've been told the voltage regulator, under the hood, needs replaced, as the system is not producing enough volts under loads, etc.

Other: Replacing front rotors, calipers, and pads... steering box... carburetor. Trying to find an original rebuilt Thermo-Quad carb, but being advised on using an Edelbrock 1400 w/adapters, etc.

I welcome any advice, thanks.
 

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exhaust an emmissions air line is missing , not needed for truck to run ,( plug it ?) cut wire is not a factory ( dodge) wire , thing on radiator , magnetic? bath tub/sink drain plug .... ?  a wiring diagrame for a "normal" dodge van would help greatly in sorting out the truck v/s camper wiring , contact member dodgeboys , e mail what ya got / need to his address there in blue , he may be able to help you with diagrams ... sorting which is which is where I'd start
 

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She has some good bones. First I have ever seen a generator in a conversion van. Is there an AC unit on top?

Definilty had a second battery at one time. A common method, was a box mounted into the floor somewhere.

A would pick up a factory service manual, they have lots of good stuff, but will only be for the original van stuff, not any of the extras. Dodge boys may still have one, or they often can be found on E-bay.

A few bits for reference when going for parts. You should have the 4000 lb front axle (will need that info for rotors, IIRC, you should need the ones that do not have the bearing hub built in), and a D60 rear (mmost of the brake parts (Except for the drums), are the same as the 9&1/4HD, so they should not be an issue (12X2.5")). (Can be verified by the label on the drivers door post). You also have the 114 amp alternator. Can't tell if you have the rear AC/ heater, if you do, it will be located in the floor in front of the drivers side rear wheel.

That emissions hole in the exhaust, can be a pain to get around. What I did on my 85, was to grind down a bolt, so it has a taper, that just fits into the hole, then hammer it in like a plug. A better solution would be to remove the manifold, and if the fitting comes out easily (Don't hold your breath), then you could install a pipe plug. Otherwise, I would get someone to weld a plug into the existing fitting (its steel, not cast, so somewhat easy to weld).
 

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jumper.cables said:
Wires in pics 3 and 4 are either fried or disconnected. Thoughts? I've been told the voltage regulator, under the hood, needs replaced, as the system is not producing enough volts under loads, etc.
You have the big alternator, if its producing anything, then the voltage regulator is working. I would start with replacing the brushes on the alt, (less the $10) (a reach, but can likely be done with the alt in place). Remember, you need the brushes for the 114 amp alt.

Could also be a wiring issue, as the wires have been definitely hacked at at least once, at some point.
 

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SuperBurban said:
You have the big alternator, if its producing anything, then the voltage regulator is working. I would start with replacing the brushes on the alt, (less the $10) (a reach, but can likely be done with the alt in place). Remember, you need the brushes for the 114 amp alt.

Could also be a wiring issue, as the wires have been definitely hacked at at least once, at some point.
Why TF do they always have to hack the wires??? I've NEVER chopped up wires on a working vehicle. Dammit run a new circuit if you need power lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SuperBurban said:
You have the big alternator, if its producing anything, then the voltage regulator is working. I would start with replacing the brushes on the alt, (less the $10) (a reach, but can likely be done with the alt in place). Remember, you need the brushes for the 114 amp alt.

Could also be a wiring issue, as the wires have been definitely hacked at at least once, at some point.
Thanks. As my mechanic explained, the wire (thick white) running from the battery to the alt is good, the alt ground is good, the alternator seems to be good, but it is not sending juice back to the battery. There is a red and yellow wire coming from the alt. They both disappear into a snake pit bunch of wires (wrapped up and taped), may/may not be going through the voltage regulator, and seem to resurface near the battery in another snake pit. A red wire, that looks like the same one coming from the alt, is bare in a few places (now taped up), is not consistent and seems to be the culprit. Not sure about the yellow wire. ???


I'm seriously considering rewiring this thing with an aftermarket kit, just to clear out the mess, etc. Or, should I just keep chasing wires? :-\
 

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If most of the van works, I would just chase individual circuits. You could get yourself much more of a headache rewiring the whole thing having to do a lot of contorting for all the runs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
SuperBurban said:
She has some good bones. First I have ever seen a generator in a conversion van. Is there an AC unit on top?

Thanks. Yup, AC on the top rear ... looks pristine inside, but weighs a ton. I will be removing it.

Definilty had a second battery at one time. A common method, was a box mounted into the floor somewhere.

A would pick up a factory service manual, they have lots of good stuff, but will only be for the original van stuff, not any of the extras. Dodge boys may still have one, or they often can be found on E-bay.

A few bits for reference when going for parts. You should have the 4000 lb front axle (will need that info for rotors, IIRC, you should need the ones that do not have the bearing hub built in), and a D60 rear (mmost of the brake parts (Except for the drums), are the same as the 9&1/4HD, so they should not be an issue (12X2.5")). (Can be verified by the label on the drivers door post). You also have the 114 amp alternator. Can't tell if you have the rear AC/ heater, if you do, it will be located in the floor in front of the drivers side rear wheel.

There may have been an additional heater originally, but not anymore... only the AC on the rear roof.

That emissions hole in the exhaust, can be a pain to get around. What I did on my 85, was to grind down a bolt, so it has a taper, that just fits into the hole, then hammer it in like a plug. A better solution would be to remove the manifold, and if the fitting comes out easily (Don't hold your breath), then you could install a pipe plug. Otherwise, I would get someone to weld a plug into the existing fitting (its steel, not cast, so somewhat easy to weld).

I looked under today, and unbeknownst to me, someone (probably the second shop) plugged it with a bolt (somewhat too long) and that stopped the put-put-put.
 

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jumper.cables said:
Thanks. As my mechanic explained, the wire (thick white) running from the battery to the alt is good, the alt ground is good, the alternator seems to be good, but it is not sending juice back to the battery. There is a red and yellow wire coming from the alt. They both disappear into a snake pit bunch of wires (wrapped up and taped), may/may not be going through the voltage regulator, and seem to resurface near the battery in another snake pit. A red wire, that looks like the same one coming from the alt, is bare in a few places (now taped up), is not consistent and seems to be the culprit. Not sure about the yellow wire. ???


I'm seriously considering rewiring this thing with an aftermarket kit, just to clear out the mess, etc. Or, should I just keep chasing wires? :-\
In general, fixing the few circuits is easier then a complete re-wire.

The alt circuit is simple. Colors in this diagram, are not necessarily the same as your van, mopar changed them throughout the years.



The blue wire, is likely the red wire you have. It is the same main power wire for most of the engine accessories. You will find it at the ignition module, and ballast, choke heater, and AC comp clutch. if you have those.

Any way, look at the circuit, and see how simple the charging part is. The blue wire, is the main power, turned on by the key switch. The voltage regulator (The silver box), senses the voltage from the blue wire, and varies the ground to the green wire. inside the alt, they are basically a big coil, to make the magnetic field that generates the power to the red wire(likely black in your van, the big thick wire that goes to the battery).

In general, the voltage reg works, or it does not. A bad ground can cause your issues. I use a star washer behind the VR, and the metal body. Some folks just take the VR off, and scrape the paint away from around the mounting bolts. The other common issue, is the brushes, which are what the two wires from the VR use to connect to the rotating coil (rotor).

Your issue is somewhere in there. If your mech is measuring voltage at the bat, it could be a bad wire in the circuit. But the two most common issues, are the voltage reg, and the brushes. Gen the VR, works, or it does not. Snug up the bolts on it, and see if that fixes your problem. I would try the brushes first, then the voltage reg, Do not let your mechanic replace the alt.
 

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rewire .... know this , despite what the ad says , there is no "kit" that fits our trucks ( van rc or pick up ) . you wind up doing a rewire using some expensive wire .... now IF you had a chevy....... 
the alt and its regulator are very simple , as pictured for ya , what happens is this , 1 big wire runs TO/FROM battery plus side . 1 small wire goes from regulator to alt field , it is a ground wire that the regulator controlls , 1 small power wire goes from key "ON" to reg AND alternator's other field . . By having the key "ON" wire the reg knows what your battery voltage is , it then gives the other field wire a controlled amount of ground , say 7 volts worth , so 12v key "ON" goes into alt field and out the other side , "LOOKING " for a ground ... gets back to regulator , gets about 7 volts worth of ground ... that makes alt try to doubble volts  sent into heavy wire = 14v BUT if reg don't have a good ground , it can't give the alt field one .. so the 2 small wires have to be good as well as the regulators bolts that ground it TO the body .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
SuperBurban said:
You have the big alternator, if its producing anything, then the voltage regulator is working. I would start with replacing the brushes on the alt, (less the $10) (a reach, but can likely be done with the alt in place). Remember, you need the brushes for the 114 amp alt.

Could also be a wiring issue, as the wires have been definitely hacked at at least once, at some point.


Thanks. If the alternator is replaced, must it be 114 amp, or will the 100 do?
 
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