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Default External voltage regulator conversion
by psycobilly64 08-03-2011, 03:41 PM

Ok, this is a write up on how to do an external voltage regulator conversion on any and all Chryslers with the reg in the ECM and an unregulated alternator. Till now, if you have charging issues with these trucks you had to replace a $3-500 computer. I did this conversion for $43.28 after sales tax.

Here is a list of parts that will be needed with prices as of 8/3/2011.

Regulator part #
MPI 2VR1 price $13.99
Regulator plug/pigtail part #
BWD PT173 price $8.49
1 coil of 14ga wire $5.99
1 pack of butt connectors $5.99
1 pack of ring terminals $5.99
These are the prices and part #s at my local O'Reilly.
Also a couple self tapping screws.



The first thing you need to do is remove the little plastic box on the back of the alt.



Step 2- Tape it up so it won't short out and tuck it out of the way (you will not be using it).


Step 3- Find a good solid place on the firewall or inner fender to mount the regulator. If you don't have a place with a good ground, you can run a ground wire off one of the mounting screws. I mounted mine behind the battery on the metal fenderwell so no need for a ground wire on mine.
Mount the reg using the self tapping screws making sure you have enough room for the plug to stick out from it.



Step 4- Cut two lengths of wire long enough to reach from the alt to the regulator. Crimp a ring connector large enough to fit the bolts the plastic block (removed in step 1) was attached to on to each one. Put them on and tighten the nuts down.


Step 5- Once the wires are connected to the alt, cut a wire long enough to reach from a good ignition pos to the regulator. Take one of the wires from the alt (doesn't matter which) and the wire from the ignition pos and crimp them into one end of a butt connector.


Step 6- Take the doubled wire (ign pos and alt) with the butt conn already attached and connect it to the TOP terminal on the pigtail. Take the other wire from the alt and attach it to the other terminal of the pigtail using a butt connector. Plug the pigtail into the reg, route the wires out of the way and reinstall the battery.



Step 7- Start your truck and make sure it's charging properly. If so then you're done!


Step 8- Take the money you saved from not buying a new comp, buy a six-pack and another upgrade for your truck!!


DOWNSIDE TO THIS MOD__ The only downside is that after doing this, your check engine light will stay on since it has no signal from the alt. As far as I know, there is no way to avoid this. If that is an issue to you, then this conversion may not be for you!

Last edited by psycobilly64; 09-18-2011 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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Edited to fit the new layout
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Last edited by psycobilly64; 09-18-2011 at 04:23 AM..
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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Very nice write up!!!

One thing i am wondering. You say that the check engine light stays on as the computer is not receiving a signal to show it is charging. Could you not find the correct wire that was used to send signal to the computer and tap it into the regulator or alternator? Or is this not possible?
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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As far as I know it's not possible. These comp systems use several different sensors to regulate the charging. They use two field current sensors, intake air temp, batt voltage and batt temp! WAY over engineered!! By unhooking the black box, the comp loses both field current readings. If you left them on, the comp would still be trying to regulate the batt instead of the new reg and you'd still have the same problem you started with.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
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so does this basically describe what you did?
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:12 PM   #6
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i have another question? are you sure that you should wire the voltage regulator straight to the battery? won't that cause the battery to drain when not running? shouldn't it be wired to ignition power?
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:54 PM   #7
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All the research I did over the span of 2 days showed it done this way. As for running it to ign power, there is nothing actually using any power in the circuit so there should be no drain.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:11 PM   #8
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You can run it to ign hot if you'd like, this is just how I did it. I was concerned that whatever ignition hot system I tapped into would draw too much voltage causing the reg to think the batt voltage was low. That or the circuit wouldn't handle the amps, causing it to blow fuses.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:32 PM   #9
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i was thinking that you might possibly have had to use a relay. i don't know 100% but i think the reason that it should be hooked up to the ignition power is because the voltage regulator powers the windings which cause the magnetic force needed to create power.

i think if you check your truck you will find that there is not power at the 2 small wires on your alternator with your key in the off position.
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Old 08-03-2011, 07:40 PM   #10
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I did check mine and you are right about it having power only with the key on. The reason I did the mod on this truck the way I did is I don't entirely trust the electrical system. Doing it this way bypasses the existing wiring and prevents future issues with other unrelated systems. I may eventually tap into an ign pos, but as of now I was more concerned with getting it drivable. (and not having to worry about the batt exploding from getting 18+ volts!!)
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:14 PM   #11
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You were right Wolfie. It does need to be ignition positive to the regulator. I went out and double checked and the batt had drained. I'm going to fix it right tomorrow by tapping into the 60a ign fuse in the underhood fuse box. I will get some pics up of the finished job.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:50 PM   #12
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you learn best from first hand experience. at least you didn't go camping and get stranded with a dead battery.

i was bored and wired up a alternator. surprisingly enough i had all the parts lying around. now i am thinking about attempting to install a second alternator and battery in my truck.
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:56 PM   #13
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That's a good idea if you have room for it . You may be able to use the smog pump bracket to mount the second alt if you've removed the pump.
I appreciate your input on this, since I might not have know where to look first when the batt died. All the research I did said to hook it to the batt, but obviously that is some bad information.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:03 AM   #14
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there is lots of room under the hood for another alternator and battery. i just know there is a good reason they never wired the voltage regulators to the battery from the factory(plus i kind of understand how an alternator works). some people mix up battery and ignition power.
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Old 08-04-2011, 12:06 AM   #15
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Very true bud!
I was a little leery of hooking it to the batt myself, but after I heard from 5 different people saying that's how to do it I figured "well if it worked for them".
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:07 AM   #16
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I went ahead and tapped into the 60A ign fuse in the underhood fuse block. The batt was junked (it was on it's way out anyway) so we need to get a new one. I'm going to pick up a recon tomorrow and do a few more checks to make sure it's right. I had to modify the lid of the fuse block so it didn't pinch the wire. I'll get some pics up of the finished job when I get it done.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:43 AM   #17
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well hopefully the new battery will solve your problem and last longer. i have 2 spare batteries for my truck on my side deck. i got one for free from a friend that thought it was dead and the other one is my old battery that i replace with a way better $20 junk yard battery.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:17 PM   #18
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The new batt fixed it. I had to tap into a different fuse for the ign pos, but it's runnin great now. I'll get some pics of the finished mod up tomorrow.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:56 AM   #19
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Just a little input on the wire from the vr to the battery. In my 82' factory servce manual it shows the one wire going to the vr from the alternator, the other one goes to a welded splice where it splits of for emsissions wiring and goes to the ignitioin switch in run and start. From that welded splice it goes to another welded splice which the, coil, (in my diagram for leanburn it goes to, computer, egr solenoid, bowl vent, oil pressure switch), and the other prong on the alternator. The way i have mine wired right now, there is no welded splice anymore since the coil is wired to a switch on the dash and i dont have any of the other things mentioned above so the wire just goes to the ignition switch from the vr then to the alternator.

Heres a quick little diagram
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:33 AM   #20
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That's basically what I ended up having to do, except I just tapped into one of the fuses in the underhood fuse block for the ignition pos. I have fixed the original post to show it needs to be an ignition positive going to the reg. Thanks for the input, though!
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