North American Turbocoupe Organization

adamh Offline
Junior Member
I was wondering which wires are for the ammeter on a 85 tc. Mine doesnt work anymore thanks to a small fire, from previous owner intsalling a 3g alt. Do i need the ammeter hooked up at all? Was thinking about removing it and replacing it with a volt meter down the road.
peace out

Pete D Offline
IMHO there are probably more non-working TC amp gauges than working ones. I though I saw one move once, but I'm not sure anymore

My 1988 Ford EVTM manual shows a red w/ orange wire and a yellow w/ light green. Yours may be different
Pete Dunham


adamh Offline
Junior Member
Thanks. I'll.look into it when it stops raining.
peace out

Joe F Offline
Posting Freak
Yeah, great idea on the voltmeter; it'll tell you more.

I think I may have seen my ammeter twitch a little, once or twice, before I replaced it with a voltmeter!
JR's Place - My '87 Turbocoupe

TurboE Offline
Posting Freak
From memory the 3g alt install on this site tells you about splicing in for the ammeter?? but it's been a long while I could be misinforming? Might want to start with the 3g intall instructions on this forum also to get an idea.
-88 TC Black
5spd, Precision SC50 T3/T4, QH/SD Tune, Gillis, AFPR, 255FP, WB O2, K&N, Ported E6, 3" DP, ATR 2.5" Duals, 3:73 Rear, Konis, Eibachs, 18" Voxx Wheels, X Drilled Rotors.
-06 G35 Coupe Diamond Graphite
-97 Pathfinder

84TBirdTurbo42 Offline
Senior Member
i have seen the one of my 83 stang move before. but thats because the idle is so low with the cam. i've got a hunch that there more of a on/off switch like the oil pressure gauges in later fords.
Chris Perry
1984 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. Dead, NY rot killed her
1986 Thunderbird shell, swapping parts from the 84.

Jeff K Offline
The amp meter is a "shunt type" meter. There is a calibtated resistance wire of a fraction of an ohm in the alt output lead. When current flows thru this there is a volt drop across the wire (Ohms Law). The "amp" meter is really a volt meter that reads this volt drop. To add more confusion, all volt meters are really amp meters, so another way to think of the shunt type system is the meter and shunt wire act as a current divider, with only a very small fraction of the total alt current flowing thru the amp meter.

The problem with the meter is the magnets inside it become demagnetized and it doesnt indicate anything.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
11 Crown Vic Interceptor
14 Toyota Camry (wifes car)
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized

Rod K Offline
Senior Member
When I did my 3g upgrade I got a voltmeter from an '89 Tbird. I took the movement and put it in the ammeter location in my gauge cluster. I had to take the TurboCoupe needle and JB weld the hub from the 89 gauge to the TC Needle. It looks stock. With the switch on and the car not running the needle points to the center of the gauge. Turn on the lights and it shows a discharge. Crank the car and the needle goes about 80% of the way to the top of the positive side of the meter.

It has been like this for about six years and 50,000 miles. It still works perfectly.

I did have to wire the gauge as a voltmeter.
Rod Kiser, '88TC, 5 speed, 5 lug, Cobra 13" front brakes, Mark VII 11 1/4" rear disc brakes, PiMP'n, Bullit wheels, ATR 3" exhaust, Aluminum driveshaft, EDIS, 60 LB injectors, gutted upper & ported lower. NATO Member

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