Answer: I’m going to have to take your word for it that the battery is not charging. Most likely you’re making this assumption because the battery is going dead after the car has been driven. The first thing to do is check the connections at both ends of the positive and negative battery cables to make sure that they are clean and have a good contact. Pay particular attention to the negative (ground) cable where it attaches to the engine block. These are rarely removed, and often a very thin layer of rust or corrosion forms which is enough to create problems. The next step would be to use a meter to check the voltage at the battery with the engine running at a high idle. It should be somewhere between 13.5 volts and 14.5 volts. If it is, then your charging system is functioning properly. If it’s below 13.5 volts, the voltage regulator would be the next thing to check. This couldn’t be easier. With the engine off, unplug the voltage regulator, start the engine, and check the voltage at the battery again. If it’s now reading above 13.5 then your voltage regulator is faulty, and is easily replaced. If it’s still below 13.5 then you have a problem, which could be the alternator. The easiest way to check this is to loosen the negative battery cable at the battery, but leave it on the terminal. Start the engine, and remove this cable from the battery terminal while the engine is running. Don’t worry, you won’t get electrocuted, I think. If the engine stops running, your alternator is the culprit. If the engine continues to run then the ability to diagnose your problems are most likely beyond the ability of someone who is “new to this.” The electrical systems in classic cars are relatively simple, and in almost all cases these tests will point to the culprit.
Information about 442’s is available at one of the best “model specific” websites on the internet at www.442.com.