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Superduty Gen.1 1999-2007 F250, F350, F450, F550

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2007, 06:37 PM
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"dancing" Voltage gauge

Driving my pop's '96 F-250 today and noticed the voltage gauge dancing to the idle of the truck. It just, as of three weeks ago, had the entire under hood wiring replaced because of a short that ended up melting every wire and all the glow plugs. is it the voltage regulator causing this, or??
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:29 PM
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Glow plugs? Don't know much about diesels... But this sounds like a charging system issue. Could be the voltage regulator I suppose but my first suspicion is the alternator. Does the voltage move around a lot when activating and deactivating accessories like the headlights and ac/heater? Autozone (and Kragen I think) will load test your alternator for free, although the test is not always a sure fire way to deduce the health of an alternator (ie, a tested good alternator can still be bad).
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:33 PM
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nope, no fluctuation between window's or headlights, it'll start "dancing" faster and shorter as the revs increase.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:42 PM
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Hmph... I'd grab a repair manual and see what it calls for as a reading from the voltage regulator and throw a multimeter on her. Sounds like it could very well be the vr... Just doesn't make sense to me for a diesel's voltage to surge with RPMs if you aren't running accessories, because it doesn't require a spark to fire like a gasser does...
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:19 PM
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That thar is custom!! Guys pay money to make that happen!!

I got no clue either. Hopefully one of the techs will see this soon!
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:28 PM
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its weird, it starts out just above the N of normal then jumps to the R after about a minute and about a minute after that it jumps to the AL and it'll bounce back and forth about an 1/8" at idle then like I said as you accelerate it'll get faster and faster and barely move back and forth, HOWEVER as soon as I get to 70 and set the cruise, or just hold it there, it'll go back to the 1/8" sweep.
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:52 AM
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put a meter on it, it may be the guage.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:59 PM
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update, the dome and headlights flicker with the gauge didn't notice it until this morning when it was dark.
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Old 11-02-2007, 03:14 PM
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double-check the connection at the alternator, make sure they are tight. Also, on the 96's there is a wire connection just front of the radiator support with a black connector; these are known to corrode and cause guage or idiot lights to "dance". Clean the connection really well and put it back together with a dab of dielectric compound in there.
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