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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5922
Experience:  I have 30 years of Dodge Technician experience. I know these cars in great detail.
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97 dodge: an external voltage regulator..pickup..wiring harness

Resolved Question:

Can you wire an external voltage regulator to a 97 dodge ram pickup wiring harness
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 3 years ago.

DR. Hamman :

Hi, I will do my best to assist you. When you are finished please click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. I don't know if you are a pro or a novice so we may have to fine tune the answer. I only know as much about your problem as you have told me in your post, so my answer will be based on what you have posted. Feel free to add any additional info you feel is needed.



Yes you can use an late 70's early 80's Chrysler electronic voltage regulator that was the standard external type. To make it work you just need an ignition wire run to both the voltage regulator "I" connection and to one of field connections (brushes) on the alternator. The "field" connection on the voltage regulator is run to the other brush (field) connection. This is a system where full power is sent to one brush while the voltage regulator controls the output by varying the ground to the other brush. It does not matter which wire you run to the regulator field connection and which one you ground, you can swap them around. Chrysler used this setup on millions of production cars and it works well. I will post a link HERE where you can see the wiring diagram. It is a simple setup, but be sure the case of the regulator is grounded or it will not work. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. If the answer is not clear, please reply and I will assist you more. When you're satisfied, click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.


Customer :

Sorry I already have this diagram. But I need to know what to splice together to connect the regulator,the altenater and the wiring harness for the truck( one green wire and one white and blue. these connected to the old altenator. This truck has the voltage regulator in the PCM. But I cant get 14 volts from the altenator. I am getting about 12v and it will go up if I give it gas. But at idle I only get aroud 12v

Customer :

I Have tried the way you suggested before. But still with the same results around 12v going to the battery. So when my lights are on it drains the battery and the truck will die.

DR. Hamman :




You cant use the alternator for a power source for the circuit, the regulators power has to come off the ignition switch, so it goes off and on with the ignition. Also the wires to the computer to the alternator fields have to be severed, where the computer isn’t connected to the alternator. It doesn't matter which one of the field wires you use when you wire it up, just run the positive wire from the ignition to the I terminal on the regulator, then on to one of the alternator fields. Then run the other wire from the F terminal on the regulator to the field wire on the alternator. You can switch the two field wires around because the alternator produces AC current inside, before it is rectified into DC for the output, so polarity at the fields can be either way.

The case of the voltage regulator ABSOLUTELY has to be grounded or it wont charge. If you have all this hooked up and it still isn't charging then the alternator might be bad, even if it has been replaced it can still be bad. Another thought is where are you checking for voltage to determine if it is charging. If you are testing on the back of the alternator at the large wire that comes out, that is an accurate test. If the large wire that comes out of the back of the alternator has lost good solid connection to the battery then if you are checking voltage at the battery, it can read that the alternator isn’t charging even if the alternator is charging just fine. So you have to check the large wire on the back of the alternator, I would load test it with 100 amps for 5 seconds to see if it can carry a load. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. If the answer is not clear, please reply and I will assist you more. When you're satisfied, click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.


Customer :

So I will not use the two wires to the computer.I Have the regulator screwed to the fender and have

Customer :

have each screw grounded one to the frame and one to the ground on the alt

Customer :

this is also a new altenator, so hopefully it is not the problem

DR. Hamman :

No wires to the computer it is probably your problem and you need to use only the circuit in the diagram. It doesn't matter where the regulator is mounted as long as it's case is grounded, check it with a test device to see if it has a good ground. Those regulators are pretty sensitive, and easy to burn out if you ground either one of the wires coming out of the regulator. The computer may have burned out the regulator if you connected the regulator with the computer still hooked up. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. If the answer is not clear, please reply and I will assist you more. When you're satisfied, click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.

Customer :

Is there anyway to test the regulator to see if it has been damaged or is just replacing it the way to go.

DR. Hamman :

There is a old machine that tests them but it cost a lot, and not many people have them. There is a crude test where you have it wired up and you measure the voltage at the alternator on the two field wires with the wires disconnected from the alternator. You should see approximately battery voltage with the key on. This isnt exact, but it will let you know if the regulator is dead. No voltage will show with this test id the regulator isn't grounded. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. If the answer is not clear, please reply and I will assist you more. When you're satisfied, click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.

Customer :

thanks for all your time. you were a great help. I changed the VR and it works great wired to the diagram.

Dr. Hamman, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5922
Experience: I have 30 years of Dodge Technician experience. I know these cars in great detail.
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