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Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant

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  • hey everyone i just bought a 1965 dodge dart 270 slant six... my problem is the car is not charging, the alternator is good though any info will help..... first ever mopar!
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    Only a few causes:
    Battery - get a battery hydrometer and a charger (never hurts for an old classic car owner such as yourself to have a charger), unhook the cables, charge it up, test if there are any bad cells.
    Alternator - how do you know it's good?
    Regulator - Is it separate, or built into the alternator (I don't remember)
    Connections - make sure they're all clean and tight.

    Edit- where is the Alt. gauge pointing? And what are any other symptoms?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    As the other person suggested, it could be a variety of things. If the ammeter doesn't show a charge, then you probably have a defective voltage regulator. The regulator in that car is external, and is mounted on the firewall. The original regulator was mechanical, but there now are more reliable solid state replacements made by many manufacturers. There also may still be some mechanical regulators out there, so it is a good idea to check the type of the one you plan to buy.

    If the ammeter does show a charge, but the battery keeps going dead, then you probably have a bad cell in the battery. You can confirm this by having the battery tested with a hydrometer and a load tester. Many auto parts stores will test batteries for free.

    The battery also can go dead if an alternator diode is bad. There are 6 diodes in the alternator. If one of them goes bad, the alternator may pass a voltage output test, but it will not produce enough current to keep the battery charged at low engine speeds, or when headlights and other electrical accessories are in use. The only way to confirm this kind of problem is to test the alternator's current output.

    A certain combination of bad diodes can also cause the battery to drain after the engine is shut off. If the battery has a charge in it, you can check for a battery drain by disconnecting the battery negative (ground) cable, and then touching it back to the post it was removed from. If there is a spark of any significant size, there is a drain. Of course, the lights must not be on, the doors and trunk must be closed, and the ignition key must be turned off. If you get a spark, disconnect the heavy cable at the alternator, and try the test again. If you now don't get a spark; you have bad alternator diodes.

    There is also a fusible link in the positive battery cable. If that link goes open, the charging system will not work.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    with old Mopars. When in doubt, change the ballast resistor! It's like a 2-dollar part, mounted on the firewall, and looks kinda like this.

    On my '68 and '69 Darts, it was mounted on the driver's side of the firewall, kinda high up. I think its main purpose is to cut down the voltage to the igntion coil so you don't fry the points, but it may cause other problems when it goes bad.
  • Good suggestion as a general rule but it probably wouldn't apply here. If the ballast resistor is bad, the car will start in the key's "crank" position but will stall the minute you release the key.

    The owner could take the alternator off and Autozone will bench test it for you for free.

    Or there's a way to by-pass the regulator but I'm not giving out electrical advice of this sort over the internet---I don't want somebody burning the garage down because my "green" wire has been changed to their "blue" wire.

    A chilton's manual will tell you how to do the by-pass test (library book?)
  • my dart didnt come with a back window and i have looked online for one but have realized they are pretty expensive.. amy info on where to get one in the san joaquin, California area.
  • i need to replace my voltage regulator but i was told i have to be careful with polarity? never knew! what caution should i take or do before replacing .... thanx
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    hmm...as long as you disconnect the battery before doing anything, and make sure all wires are connected to the proper posts, I don't know what the 'polarity' warning is all about. Is the new regulator identical to the old one?
  • or any i can order online
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    It sounds like the person who told you to be careful with polarity meant that you should not exchange the wires to the regulator's two terminals. But one of those terminals is a quick disconnect tab; and the other one is a screw terminal. It would be impossible to exchange the wires to those terminals, unless someone modified the wiring harness, which is highly unlikely. I expect the person who gave you that advice was not familiar with this regulator. It almost sounds like he was talking about a regulator for an old DC generator.
  • correct and another thing i found out is the regulator was mounted on the coil.. :confuse:
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The 1965 Dodge Dart slant 6 did not have the voltage regulator mounted on the coil, or anywhere near it. It was located on the firewall. So I'm concerned that you are either mistaking another part for a voltage regulator, or are using information which does not apply to your car model, or your car's electrical system has been modified.

    This all needs to be cleared up before I can give you any further advice. I would suggest you go to an auto parts store and look at a new voltage regulator made for a 1965 Dart slant 6. After you see what the part looks like, look under the hood of your car at the ignition coil, which is located on the passenger side of the engine, near the front, behind the alternator. (There is a heavy wire leading from the top of the coil to the center of the distributor cap, surrounded by all the spark plug wires.) And see whether there really is a voltage regulator like the one you saw at the store, which is mounted on the coil.

    If you have a digital camera, you can also take a picture of the coil and regulator, and include it in your next post.

    Thank you.
  • ur right, i was looking at the wrong part on the schematic.. and there was some tampering on the electrical system which has been taken care of.. thanks for the reply
  • i changed the alternator and the problem still exists :mad:. i have the battery on the charger so hopefully thats my problem.. ;) i will be going to the local napa and buying another regulator just in case, that will take away any doubt.i have been working on this thing and i love this thing more and more.
  • for sale 1963 plymouth valiant 200 complete it runs fair i have this car stripped for painting i have all the chrome hub caps an pictures
  • hi cgreen, and welcome to the forums. Remember though that we don't allow classifieds in the forums. Try www.collectorcartrader.com or www.hemmings.com. But please join us for conversation about Valiants or any other cars you enjoy talking about.
  • poncho65poncho65 Posts: 3
    I have just bought my first Dodge car a 1965 Dodge Dart 225 however it requires a little help. I cannot seem to get the car to start. It turns over great and seems to ignite then dies. I have owned several Ford products over the years and when the ignition switch is in the "RUN" position you can externally start the car at the starter solenoid. On this car if I do that all it will do is turn over and never catch.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    Well, it's either spark or fuel - do you get gas squirting when you pump the accelerator? Does it have good plugs and points, correctly adjusted (timing too)? If you have a timing light, does it show a spark going to each of the plugs when you turn it over?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Oh I know THAT one. It's the ballast resistor on the firewall. Change it and you're good to go. Free root beer float if I'm wrong. (just kidding, I'm not allowed to give consolation prizes).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,347
    You know. I'll bet you're right!

    I had forgot about those ballast resistors. They don't fail often but when they do, that's how they act.

    Now, where to find one?
This discussion has been closed.