Troubleshooting an alternator system is somewhat different from troubleshooting a generator. For example, never short any terminals to ground on she alternator, voltage regulator, or rectifier. The following symptoms are typical of alternator charging system troubles.
1. Battery requires frequent charging — The charging system is not functioning or is undercharging the battery. Test the alternator and voltage regulator/rectifier.
2. Battery requires frequent additions of water or lamps require frequent replacement — The alternator is probably overcharging the battery. Check the voltage regulator/rectifier.