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Discussion Starter #1
ok ive gone through like 4 alternators, all from different places.. some last longer than other, some die in different ways.. my 300 is acting very weird electricaly, lights are comin on, dimming with throttle or getting brighter with throttle, etc. one alternator worked well then started over charging, some of the other would work perfectly, with no lights blinking/flashin, then they would start acting up and doing the light dance. with the newest alternator it ran good, then the lights came on, now it wont charge... what in my electrical system can kill an alternator. i dont think its the alternators anymore.. thanks
 

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Perhaps you have a grounding problem... check all the grounding cables to make sure they aren't broken or loose. The main grounding cable from the negative battery splits off and connects to many of the main engine and drivetrain components, as well as the chassis.

Also, check for corrosion or oxidation near the alternator and battery connectors.
 

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I've been having somewhat a similar problem. I was looking at the following part:

http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?mfrcode=WWA&mfrpartnumber=14655&parttype=11&ptset=A

and ran across this:

http://www.partsamerica.com/product_images/aap/WRW/581.pdf


I don't have any idea if that diagram will help but maybe.

My battery may be on the outs or it might be the alternator. My battery gauge looks like its on about 10.5 or 11 volts. The range is from 10 to 16 and it is just above 10 a little. My battery died the other day while I had my idle up solenoid disconnected for testing. The Factory Service Manual (FSM) says if your battery is low the idle-up solenoid valve will increase your idle. My idle will not go down to the normal 700 rpms. I believe this is why my battery is not dying (while I am not testing). My belt was loose but I'm still getting the same voltage after tightening.

I also read in previous post to check the wiring harness to make sure it is OK. I also read that one guy had his rebuilt at a local shop because the ones he bought at the auto shop kept dying. I'm thinking of buying a more expensive one. There has to be a difference if they charge $40 or $70 more than the cheapest one.
 

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Grounding kits are like snake oil. Expensive and worthless.

If you're leaking power steering fluid, oil from the cam seal, or aren't running the lower splash tray, you should address these problems before installing another alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
no leaks, and dont drive the car in water, rain, etc..
 

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>My battery gauge looks like its on about 10.5 or 11 volts.

10v is quite low if nothing else is turned on and you're getting that reading... Should be at about 13-14v perminantly. Mine barely even moves off that mark even with headlights on, windscreen wipers, stereo etc... Get it looked at asap before u break down somewhere!

I personally would of replaced the battery first before replacing 4 alternators lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
85zx, lol

i have a optma red top battery lol

im a little comfused on an electrical problem, im not that ignorant.. lol
 

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Well all I know is that a screwy battery with a dead cell can cause the alternator to overwork and burn out because it's happend to me before. Sometimes testing the battery can lie too, I've had a battery test tell me the battery was fine one minute but not the next so it sometimes can be tricky to pinpoint.

Just a guess...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i replaced the battery while replacing the second alternator. ive used this battery in my bass boat, 4x4 , and 280z.. the 150 dollar optima redtop is in good working condition.
 

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I still say its likely a grounding problem. I wouldn't say you need a grounding kit, but check to make sure you are properly grounded, cause a bad ground is just like a loose connection: it will cause the current to drop and require the alternator to work overtime to keep charge up.
 

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I would agree that if you are having an altenator eater....you better check your grounding in the car, many a starter and altenator have gone down the tubes because these AUTO ENGINEERS KEEP TRYING TO GROUND ONE METAL TO ANOTHER AND THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.....Alum has a totally different set of properties than copper or cast or steel....But they keep connecting the different metals...then you get the nice green bleed powder and leaching of electrodes which causes a build up and bad ground to occur...

First rule of thumb.....DONT BELIEVE 20 year old guages ...and go to the most obvious and easiest thing first...if you dont have a right stop light. I dont think youu would change the battery....you check the bulb....

check out your grounding system.. its easy and fast and usually at least part of the problem
good luck
bob
 

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