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Thread: How Do I Set Up An 8-volt Regulator?

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    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    How Do I Set Up An 8-volt Regulator?

    This question has come up a couple of times and I figured I'd put this information here in the Tech Library so I can find it next time it arises.


    First, I recommend that you check to see if someone may have adjusted the standard 6-volt regulator to charge the 8-volt battery or maybe even put in an 8-volt regulator. The easiest way to do this is look at the voltage on the battery with the engine at a high idle speed. A standard 6-volt regulator will cut out at about 7.3 or 7.4 volts. An 8-volt regulator will be significantly higher -- up around 9.7 volts or so.

    To fully charge an 8-volt battery, charge would need to cut off at about 9.7 volts or even a bit higher. At that voltage, you are getting close to having headlight, brake light and parking light issues Ė thatís really high. Cutting out at about 8.6 to 8.8 volts would probably be an all-round compromise; good battery charge to reduce sulphation, enough juice to spin the starter just a bit faster and not so high as to make the headlights turn into flashbulbs (do you kids remember flashbulbs?).

    If you want to try to reset the regulator, it really isnít hard. Now -one word of caution before you take my advice Ė Iíve really not done this on any of my regulators, but I have stayed at a lot of Holiday Inn Expresses Ö.

    Get the unit to where you can work on it, clean all the crud off the cover and take the cover off. Itís always good to start with clean contacts. Pull some really fine emery (>600 grit) through the points. Then, take a piece of paper, soak it in alcohol and pull it between all of the contact points in the regulator. That starts us out with clean contact points.

    There is a photo at the bottom of this post, refer to it.

    You will find three relays in the regulator. You are going to work on the one that has the coil with no big wire on it, just a lot of turns of little wire. What happens is that when the generator/battery voltage gets high enough, enough current flows through all of that little wire to open the contact points. When they open up, the generator/battery voltage drops a bit, the points close Ö and the process goes on. They run more like a buzzer than a clunk-clunk relay.

    The points are held closed by a spring. What we want to do is to add a little more force to the spring holding the points closed. That makes the coil need a higher voltage to open the contact points. You can do this by bending the tabs that hold the spring further apart. Iíd suggest bending the bottom spring since that doesnít fool with the moving armature of the relay. I canít recommend how much to bend, Iíd suggest a little at a time Ė and it make take several tries.

    Adjust the tab, reinstall the regulator and start the Jeep. Watch the ammeter until the charge rate settles out, then check battery voltage. If itís lower than you want, spread tabs a bit more. If itís too high, go back the other way.

    Let us know how your project turns out Ö.
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