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Gen light

#1 User is offline   Oizys Icon

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:28 PM

So, the GEN light in my 1969 Cadillac Superior is on before I shift into drive. This is an indication of needing a new alternator, yes? Is there a mechanic you prefer to work on your coach? I just took delivery of the car today after buying it sight unseen from a seller in another state and its not quite in the pristine condition in was purported to be. It's nice, for sure, and I guess more than I could have asked for in a car as old as me.
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#2 User is offline   Randy B Icon

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:45 PM

View PostOizys, on 29 March 2013 - 12:28 AM, said:

So, the GEN light in my 1969 Cadillac Superior is on before I shift into drive. This is an indication of needing a new alternator, yes? Is there a mechanic you prefer to work on your coach? I just took delivery of the car today after buying it sight unseen from a seller in another state and its not quite in the pristine condition in was purported to be. It's nice, for sure, and I guess more than I could have asked for in a car as old as me.


You should have an alternator, which is hardier than a generator. There are a few places that things can go wrong - diodes, brushes, bearings, slip rings, connections.... Parts are available to replace each wear item, and rebuilt units can be had from Rock Auto or other places. Specify that you have a Commercial Chassis, and get a Factory Manual that identifies your specific alternator - usually by Amperage and part number.

One place that trips up electrical systems is any connection point - connectors and grounds, especially outside the cabin. Time well spent to go through all these points to clean and apply dielectric grease to the area, then bolt down snugly. You will be amazed at how many gremlins will go away with this attention.

Mark V. knows about this stuff ........ any pointers?


Thor
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#3 User is offline   Mark V Icon

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:54 AM

The 1969 Cadillac is equipped with an alternator controlled by an external regulator located on the passenger side wheelwell. You have a couple of options available to you assuming your wiring is ok.
  • Replace both the alternator and the regulator. These days, there are two kind of regulators; the original mechanical type and a more modern solid-state type. Get the solid-state type. They tend to be less expensive than the mechanical type and are more reliable.
ADVANTAGE: Simple, replace two parts and you're on your way, and looks original
DISADVANTAGE: Replacing two parts is more expensive than replacing just one part, the regulator is not available with a life-time warranty whereas alternators are, and when one of them fails, it usually takes the other with it.
  • Upgrade to the modern type of alternator with integral (built-in) regulator. You will need to do some re-wiring work on the connector of the external regulator and change out the plug on the wires leading to the alternator.
ADVANTAGE: More reliable than the external alternator set-up, alternators are available with higher output amperage, future replacements will be simpler.
DISADVANTAGE: Initial installation requires wiring work and doesn't look original.
Go through the back issues of The Epitaph and you'll find an article that details this upgrade.

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