El Camino problem?

I've been having a charging problem on my el camino. i bought a new alternator, and it's only measuring 11.6 volts across the batt. posts. but, on the firewall, there is a braided copper wire dangling. is this the engine block-frame wire that must be connected? will i get the extra two volts i need by connecting this wire? i just got the car...

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  • 1 decade ago
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    THAT GROUND STRAP DOES NEED TO BE CONNECTED AN TO HELP ABSORB SURGES IN YOUR ELECTRICAL SYSTEM BUT DOES NOT AFFECT THE OUTPUT OF YOUR ALTERNATOR...I WOULD CHECK YOUR VOLTAGE OUTPUT DIRECTLY AT THE BACK OF THE ALTERNATOR...IF IT IS READING A HIGHER OUTPUT THAT WHAT YOU HAVE AT THE BATTERY THEN YOU PROBLEM IS IN YOUR BATTERY CABLES...MAKE SURE THE CABLES AS WELL AS THE BATTERY ARE CLEAN AND IN GOOD SHAPE...CORROSION AND LOOSE CONNECTIONS CAN RAISE THE RESISTANCE IN THE CIRCUIT AND LOWER CHARGING SYSTEM VOLTAGE...IF THE READING DIRECTLY FROM THE ALTERNATOR IS LOW THEN FIRST CHECK TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE 12 VOLTS GOING TO THE ALTERNATOR...WEAK INPUT WILL AFFECT YOUR VOLTAGE REGULATOR OUTPUT...CHECK FOR DAMAGE IN WIRE LEADING TO ALTERNATOR...ALSO CHECK FOR WORN BELT AND THAT THE BELT HAS THE PROPER AMOUNT OF TENSION...IF ALL CHECKS OUT THE PROBLEM IS MOST LIKELY YOUR VOLTAGE REGULATOR WITHIN THE ALTERNATOR...YOU CAN REMOVE THE ALT. AND HAVE IT BENCH TESTED AT MOST BATTERY SUPPLY STORES AND I KNOW AUTO-ZONE WILL TEST FOR FREE.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes you need the connect the braided wire. It is a ground wire. Either it connect to the body or the motor. Check the battery. If the battery is no good it will affect the out put of the alternator. How old is the battery? Did you run the battery completely dead? If the battery is over 3 years old and you run it completely dead it needs to be replaced. The battery is the "Heart" of the charging system not the alternator like most people think. There is one more thing you might check. This might sound stupid but is your DOME light working? I don't know what year El Camino you have. Some of the older chevy for some reason if the dome light fuse or light was messed up it would effect the charging system. This is on a car with the idiot lights.When I was a full time mechanic I run into this problem many times. But it's probably the battery. One other question. Does this El Camino have a internal voltage regulator or external voltage regulator? If it has a external regulator then that might be the problem. Take the battery to a Auto Zone or Advance Auto store and they can check the battery and alternator for you, usually free of charge. The voltage should be 12.5 volts on a fully charged Battery. The charging system should read 13.6 volts to 14.2 volts if it is working right.

    Source(s): 40 Years experience with chevys.
  • 1 decade ago

    The engine has to have a ground strap to the frame which is usually off the right side cylinder head and goes to the block. The ground strap will be braided wire around a quarter of an inch wide and flat.

    There should also be a split off on the negative battery post going to the fender area.

    Check all connections and make sure their clean.

    You can check voltage on the cable on the back of the alternator.

    Should put out at least 13.6 volts.

    Might try hooking up the battery to a charger and after charged test the voltage of the battery.

    Most auto parts stores will test your truck on the spot with charging system tools.

    Hope I help you out I have worked as a mechanic in the past and still maintain my own vehicles along with my families.

  • 1 decade ago

    ground the ground strap --hello-el camino -year -engine etc would help-remember over 30years of caminos

    Source(s): ase gm tech
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  • 1 decade ago

    get a real truck or wait it's not a truck either

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