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Factory original Chrysler ammeter-based Charging System and additional loading. Load placement matters!

72RoadRunnerGTX

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For those that are interested in a fact-based video presentation on this subject, specific to the original Chrysler factory charging system design and touching a bit on ammeters/melted bulkhead connectors, I submit this video, forgive the amateur production quality. Feel free to critique the info presented but stay on subject of the as original Chrysler charging systems from this time period please.

Disclaimer, this information does not apply to any modified, ammeter by-passed, volt-meter converted, engine compartment main charge circuit by-passed Chrysler charging system, or every other charging system configuration on the planet not running a battery ammeter. Load placement does not matter for most other systems.

 

Challenger RTA

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Thanks for posting the video on the sit for other members to view. The battery and ammeters/melted bulkhead connectors are always an issue over time or an event. When the battery is connected current came flow both ways. Like when someone removes the charging wire, before they disconnect the battery and short the wrench to ground. There is a good chance the weakest point will be damaged, the connectors and maybe the wiring.
About the original charging and the load caring wire. In my opinion there should have been a fusible link right of the alternator sized appropriately. When engine is running it is a potential source of energy. Why the engineers didn't do it or maybe it was the bean counters. I think they were smarter then me.
I think the amp meter does show a real world reading what is going on. But I didn't want to put the car at risk with this issue. I had some ideas to alter the amp gauge but didn't want to, original gauge. I installed a volt gauge.
I removed the charging, load wire and used it to feed the accessories side of the fuse box. With a fusible link. Had to do other changes that I won't go into. Also used a 6ga from the back of the alt (fused) to the battery. There again it can can follow along wiring package to starter or relay to battery. That will carry the charging load to the battery and not through the bulkhead. Also can leave as originally wired and ad a breaker or other to the load side from alt. just ad a 6ga charging wire to carry the charging load. 35 45 60 100 amp?
An other thing I consider is is under hood 6ga charging wire feeding battery. When engine is running there are two potential source of energy. 2 Breakers one one each end of charging wire. current will flow both ways. May be not needed but I would rather safe than sorry.
Current will take the path of least resistance.
Once again thanks for taking the time to do the video.
 
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72RoadRunnerGTX

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As with any automotive production decision, most times, the bean counters were just as involved as the engineers, cost vs risk. I can tell you what the dealer training at the time had to say about circuit protection at the alternator. The 35-50amp alternators in use then just didn’t have to current potential to light up that 12 ga wire alternator output run, didoes or stator windings would open-up first on a wire dead short. The battery can light it up however, hence the fusible link close to the battery. That said, be sure to have circuit protection on any added, as close as possible to whatever source, even on anything directly connected to the alternator.

Packard terminals in the bulkhead connector? Indeed, have been a problem since new, by far the weakest link in the original system. Mainly on higher optioned models and vehicles having mis-placed loads added at the battery. IMHO, bean counters again, “click-together” connections at the firewall made for faster assembly, less cost. No one seriously designing something to handle this kind of current, with the intention for it to last, would do that. It used to annoy me to no end, when working on an old Mercedes, having unscrew screw terminals used throughout those cars, cost more to do that but they handled the designed current and lasted.

As for the modification suggestions, can’t disagree with any of it, all sounds like solid approaches. One thing in common however, the elimination of the original battery ammeter.
 
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