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Old 05-03-2017, 10:00 PM   #1
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Help! New bus overcharging!

Well the bus is mine, we are on the road now.

Had to stop once bc I lost power, the battery was fried, swollen smoking and leaking. Road crew installed a new one and we were on our way, now it seems this one is about to blow.

Please help. I have to drive about 2 more hours home and the voltage + amperage meters are both way too high while driving.

Could be a voltage regulator issue? Any tips?


We are running all the switches to drain the battery. The voltage gauge reads 14-16v while running and 12v when the key is on with the engine off.

How can I get home?!

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Old 05-03-2017, 10:16 PM   #2
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Wasn't that settled on another thread? Want a second opinion? Same as the first.

Disconnect the alternator wires. Try to drive home using just the batteries. Your lights may get dim after a while. Try not to use any battery power that isn't absolutely necessary. You should be able to make it two hours with headlights if your battery isn't already toast. Or perhaps you already left for home.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:17 PM   #3
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Sounds like a regulator problem to me. The max voltage you should see with the engine running should be 14.8 volts. Much more than that will boil the battery.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:25 PM   #4
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Sounds like a regulator problem to me. The max voltage you should see with the engine running should be 14.8 volts. Much more than that will boil the battery.
Agreed. But over 14.5v the battery will start gassing and decrease it's life. Your regulator might be in the alternator, if not you'll have to track it down.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:26 PM   #5
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I think he's on two threads. Yeah, it's generally considered to be the regulator.

He was trying to get 2 more hours down the road. The idea was maybe he could get home on his battery power for his head lights for the two hours, if his battery isn't already fried.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:27 PM   #6
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I remember growing up running cars without the battery, Not sure if this would work or if its safe to do.
Just make sure the positive cable doesn't touch metal (or leave the positive cable on the battery & disconnect the negative after starting)
I believe the new vehicles need the battery to run
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:31 PM   #7
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I remember growing up running cars without the battery, Not sure if this would work or if its safe to do.
Just make sure the positive cable doesn't touch metal (or leave the positive cable on the battery & disconnect the negative after starting)
I believe the new vehicles need the battery to run
Good suggestion. You only need the battery to start it. Bry has a good point, start it and disconnect the battery.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:33 PM   #8
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Good suggestion. You only need the battery to start it. Bry has a good point, start it and disconnect the battery.


We are disconnecting the alternator. I am pretty sure the 5.9 Cummings needs the battery to run.

Thanks for all the help everyone!!


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Old 05-03-2017, 10:48 PM   #9
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Actually the diesel will run without a battery, but I think he needs headlights on the way home. That was the reason for disconnecting the alternator. Maybe he can save his bulging battery.
It's starting to get dark here on Pacific time, so I'm sure he needs his headlights likely being back east. That's a tough spot. Two boiled over batteries.

I think he might be back on the road now. I haven't seen a post in a while.
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:49 PM   #10
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Actually the diesel will run without a battery, but I think he needs headlights on the way home. That was the reason for disconnecting the alternator. Maybe he can save his bulging battery.
It's starting to get dark here on Pacific time, so I'm sure he needs his headlights likely being back east. That's a tough spot. Two boiled over batteries.

I think he might be back on the road now. I haven't seen a post in a while.


We just removed the alternator and are about to set off.

Either a truck shop in 45 miles or home in 150. Let's see.


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Old 05-03-2017, 11:05 PM   #11
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It will be interesting to see how long your batteries will keep your headlight on. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:29 AM   #12
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DO NOT RUN WITHOUT THE BATTERY HOOKED UP. That will full field the alternator, cause it to go up to 18 volts and fry anything electronic. It will also cause it to burn up , literally! I have done this and paid the price.
The best thing to do is disconnect the field wire from the alternator and reconnect when the battery voltage goes below 11 volts.

Many of these big alternators have a voltage adjustment screw on the regulator. try turning that down a little to get about 14 volts.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:37 AM   #13
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Last report was he removed his alternator and was attempting to make it home on battery power. Apparently he didn't have a serpentine belt. I think he said it was putting out about 18 volts, and his second battery was overheating like the first had. That's got to be a bad evening.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:05 AM   #14
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DO NOT RUN WITHOUT THE BATTERY HOOKED UP. That will full field the alternator, cause it to go up to 18 volts and fry anything electronic. It will also cause it to burn up , literally! I have done this and paid the price.
The best thing to do is disconnect the field wire from the alternator and reconnect when the battery voltage goes below 11 volts.

Many of these big alternators have a voltage adjustment screw on the regulator. try turning that down a little to get about 14 volts.

Thank you bluebird90 for your post. It is really the only option and all other posts should be disregarded. Where do people get these ideas? It will cause a fire and or burn out every harness in the vehicle. Park it or tow it in for repair unless you have lots of money.
A voltage regulator is fairly inexpensive compared to the other advice given here.
I have seen the results of those suggestions from people trying to help but it's bad news.
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:52 PM   #15
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Ok, obviously I am planning to replace the alternator. And suggestions for parts? Can someone confirm the voltage regulator is inside the alternator?

I am working with electrical engineers to design the solar/auxiliary battery system. Is there a high powered alternator I could consider for this 24v 5.9 Cummings?


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Old 05-11-2017, 07:01 PM   #16
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Another alternative is to get the alternator rebuilt. Not a big job for a shop and then you know what you have and guaranteed work.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:03 PM   #17
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Another alternative is to get the alternator rebuilt. Not a big job for a shop and then you know what you have and guaranteed work.


How do I know that will work for sure? Seems dangerous considering the exploding batteries.


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Old 05-11-2017, 07:13 PM   #18
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There is nothing else contributing to the charging of the batteries other than the alternator unless you have solar etc. So a high charge rate comes from a faulty voltage regulator. How many amps is that alternator, make?
you could take it off your self and try and clean the fins on the case. They are often blocked with dust, dirt and oil so that may affect the regulator. If you get it off then you get it checked before re-installing it.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:21 PM   #19
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I'm not very electrically minded, so I go to Battery Exchange and they analyze it for free. They can tell me if the alternator, regulator or battery are bad.

People either have knowledge 3" wide and 3 miles deep, or they have knowledge 3 miles wide and only 3" deep. I'm ok with not being an electrician. I kept shocking myself.
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