See answers below (in red) to questions and the following UPDATE.
Well, a couple of thoughts here. Don't take offense at my suggestions.
I wont. i appreciate them.
Has the alternator been tested?
Not at a parts store. I took it in to Oreilleys and the cross-referenced alternator number they had said it needed to be ON THE VEHICLE! No help there :
BUT....on the vehicle i have tried the revving up to 2K rpm and checking the voltage ....its at like 8V coming out of the alternator i think it was and like 12 at the battery.
Has the regulator been tested?
Not sure how to test it except measure its input or output when running. I want to say it WAS gettting the 12 volts in not sure about out. I might try that again. But i thought i remembered thinking it was ok.
There are a few chain stores that won't sell you parts for anything over a 1 ton truck. (Autozone...cough.....cough....) What store are you trying to get parts from? Oreilley's and Autozone. No carquest or Napa nearby. Napa ended up giving me the same part number basically though and for approximately $150
If you are sure the alternator is bad, there are some places that will allow you to send in the old one, they will rebuild it and then they'll send the exact one back to you.
I found a place locally. thanks for the tip. havent taken it to them yet because it seemed as thought there was a short elsewhere.
UPDATE: Was getting continuity between power and ground at the alternator. I thought the alternator had grounded itself out. I disconnected the power to the alternator and the alternator didnt show cont. anymore so i figured it was int he supply line. I isolated part of the cable to the alternator and the regulator. Seemed as thought he short must be coming from somewhere upstream, passed the regulator. Seems as though my fuze box had sections continuous or nearl continuous to ground, so i started pulling fuzes (allthough the fuzzes were good) to see if anything upstream of the fuzes was gorounding the fuze box. Seemed as though the dome and emergency light circuits may have shorts.
From what i can tell there still isn't power to the coil, unless i hotwire it) which i understand is bad because it should only see 12 V at start.
I am starting to think it is the ignition switch.....i think ALL 3 original problems kind of go back to that part:
1. Little light next to switch goes out
2. Coil doesn't get power
3. Alternator doesn't charge system because Volt Regulator isn't getting power from iginition switch (i think it is part of the circuit).
My landlord's (neighbors) wife says," i grew up with a dad that had cars everywhere and i hated it....now i have a frickin fire truck in my driveway. Maybe this is supposed to get me over those issues i had as a child"
I say, "i have always hated figuring out electrical issues on cars. Maybe this is supposed to teach me something. "