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Testing Voltage Regulator for dummies?
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amishman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:37 am    Post subject: Testing Voltage Regulator for dummies? Reply with quote

My brake and generator lights came on yesterday while on a 30 minute drive. They would not go off.

Doing a search here I see it could be the Voltage Regulator in the engine bay.

Is there a step-by-step for dummies on how I can confirm mine is good or bad?

I have a multimeter and use it for very basic stuff but if I am told what to set it at and what to touch the probes on, I can follow directions well enough.

If there is a step-by-step someplace so I can confirm mine is good or bad, let me know please.

I did see in another thread on how to replace the regulator. It was a little cryptic for a someone that has not replaced one before in that it talks about sticking a wire between the generator terminal and the battery terminal to polarize the generator and all that flew over my head <grin>

Is there anything special I really need to do other than unplug the battery and remove the older regulator and install a new one and reconnect cables to make the fix?

TJ
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crofty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swapping out the reg is easy and just like you said removal, replace wires and go.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/wiring/181_Wiring_Diagram_4-73.pdf
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amishman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crofty wrote:
Swapping out the reg is easy and just like you said removal, replace wires and go.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/wiring/181_Wiring_Diagram_4-73.pdf


Ah, cool.

The whole polarizing thing threw me off <grin>

My local shop does not go by the factory 113915511A for the regulator and tells me they show it has been replaced by a Bosch 30-019

Anyone else run into same thing?

I see I can buy one from The Thing Shop also but much prefer to get my Thing running 100% sooner than later so buy the part locally if it is an OK part to use.

Crofty, how has your trout season been? Mine has started off nicely. Local creek up here I have been enjoying small rainbows every chance I can get. Cool
TJ
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crofty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

amishman wrote:
crofty wrote:
Swapping out the reg is easy and just like you said removal, replace wires and go.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/wiring/181_Wiring_Diagram_4-73.pdf


Ah, cool.

The whole polarizing thing threw me off <grin>

My local shop does not go by the factory 113915511A for the regulator and tells me they show it has been replaced by a Bosch 30-019

Anyone else run into same thing?

I see I can buy one from The Thing Shop also but much prefer to get my Thing running 100% sooner than later so buy the part locally if it is an OK part to use.

Crofty, how has your trout season been? Mine has started off nicely. Local creek up here I have been enjoying small rainbows every chance I can get. Cool
TJ


Yeah, you only polarize a generator not a regulator. I've used the solid state bosch version with good results if you are running a 30 amp gen. I found mine on ebay for $25.00.

Nice, I'm jealous. I've only been out out twice unfortunately. Upper Sac in January and again in April. The April trip was right after a week of rain and all the rivers were blown out so my waders stayed dry. No Pyramid Lake trip either. I NEED to sell my Thing and get my truck back on the road so I can hit a river- i'm really jonesing! So bad so that I'm pondering Shadow Cliffs!
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HamburgerBrad wrote:

I slept on crofty's tent once. I passed out drunk from two bottles of Everett's brother's wine.


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amishman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

crofty wrote:
I NEED to sell my Thing and get my truck back on the road so I can hit a river- i'm really jonesing! So bad so that I'm pondering Shadow Cliffs!


Did not know you want to sell your Thing. I guess it is time I take it?

Yes, a little bass or bluegill action just to feel the tug of a fish can be stimulating enough.

I have a local pond with bluegill/sunfish and bass that keeps me on my toes when I need a quick fix.

Best of luck if you sell your Thing. I know when I sold my 1st one, I was bummed, then purchased #2, and hopefully can hold onto it forever this time. Just have to see how the economy and bills go.

Here is a quick vid I took of a catch and release of a trout from my local creek. Nice little fighters.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwKVAC2oJk0

*notice the surprise skeleton in the vid too. I guess I have Piranah in my creek <grin> *

tj
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amishman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, before I replace this regulator, I should confirm it is the bad part.

How can I do this, again for dummies, Laughing

The part locally is $49 + tax so figure I would make sure before spending that was of cash.

Is there a way to rest them? or just one of those items on a Thing that if both gen light and brake light stay on, then this is the part?

tj
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Ian Epperson
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The gen makes higher or lower voltage depending on the engine speed. The regulator electrically connects the generator to the battery when the gen makes more juice than the battery. (If it didn't, then the battery would try and drive the generator like a motor.) So, get your multitester and put it on the generator pole and see if the gen is making more then 12v when you rev the engine. If it is but your G light is still on, then the regulator is misbehaving. If it isn't, then you likely have to replace both the generator and the regulator.

I love the alternator conversion, much better piece of tech, easier to deal with and has a much smoother charge for the battery (no suddenly dimming headlights when you idle - it still makes juice) and about the same price if you've got to replace both the gen and the regulator anyway.
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Semper_Dad
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always found that Rob and Dave's VW pages are pretty easy to read and they have pretty good troubleshooting procedures
http://www.vw-resource.com/
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amishman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian Epperson wrote:
The gen makes higher or lower voltage depending on the engine speed. The regulator electrically connects the generator to the battery when the gen makes more juice than the battery. (If it didn't, then the battery would try and drive the generator like a motor.) So, get your multitester and put it on the generator pole and see if the gen is making more then 12v when you rev the engine. If it is but your G light is still on, then the regulator is misbehaving. If it isn't, then you likely have to replace both the generator and the regulator.

I love the alternator conversion, much better piece of tech, easier to deal with and has a much smoother charge for the battery (no suddenly dimming headlights when you idle - it still makes juice) and about the same price if you've got to replace both the gen and the regulator anyway.


OK, this is a little towards the dummy side I was hoping for.... Cool

But please confirm for me where I am probing the red connector on my meter to as I am not 100% sure what you mean by "generator pole". Could you point out on my generator where that is please?

Do I need to ground the black prob someplace at the same time?

TJ
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice info from the VW-resource link Semper_Dad posted. Here's a direct link to the article on troubleshooting the gen/alt problems:

http://www.vw-resource.com/generator.html

And here's an article on the conversions:

http://www.vw-resource.com/replace_generator.html


No pics though. OK, that big, fat red wire going from the generator to the regulator.. see it?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
That should have more than 12v when you rev the engine. The brown wire is ground and is a good place to check with your meter.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: gen test Reply with quote

ok,lets make this S---- simple! remove D+ and B+ from gen(b+red,D+green),hoofV.O.M to B+ rev engine note voltage,around 3 volts now repeat with D+ grounded volts depend on rpm up to 20 but do quickly!!!if you get these #'s repl reg!
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crofty
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So?
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HamburgerBrad wrote:

I slept on crofty's tent once. I passed out drunk from two bottles of Everett's brother's wine.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easiest thing to do to test the charging system (on generator equipped cars), is to start it up, and pull the positive terminal off the battery for a SECOND OR TWO ONLY. Dies? not charging, keeps running? You're good.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: no charge Reply with quote

sounds like diagnosis is a lost art,so to make all happy just replace gen and reg!!!! shotgun approach!!!
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