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View Full Version : HELP!! CAR is eating alternators



Thomas95SC
06-21-2004, 06:39 PM
Heres the scoop; me and a friend were replacing the PS pump when the wire off the the back of my alternator snapped off and grounded itself to the outside of the alternator. We were in a rush so we had forgot to inplug the battery. My charge light came on and we tested the batt but the alt was not putting out. The next day I bought an alternator from Oreilly (they had the only one in stock without ordering it). Installed the new one and still the same problem. Took it to a shop and found out that the fuse located on the side of my distribution box was fried. Replaced it and had the battery charged and it ran fine. Today my charge light came on again; tested it, and the alternator is dead agian! I got another under warranty and it runs fine agian but I still think its going to go again. Any suggestions? All the wires seem to be good. The ground wire from the neg cable is good. What else???

TbirdSCFan
06-22-2004, 02:11 AM
I got another under warranty and it runs fine agian but I still think its going to go again. Any suggestions? Be sure you fully charge the battery before you run the new alt. There is some design prob with the regulator which allows the thing to overheat when charging the battery when its drained. Other than that, the rebuilts have a bad history of not holding up. It took me 3 to get a good one from Azone. :(

Jeremy_K
06-22-2004, 12:04 PM
did you check the fusible link (turqouise wire) coming from the starter solenoid. mine got fried when my accomplice grounded out the alternator. you have to really inspect the wire because the core can break without any signs of it on the insulation.

Dale Puumala
06-22-2004, 01:05 PM
TBirdSCFan is dead on the money. A) make sure that battery is charged before replacing it.

Also, when I replaced my alternator, I got it from O'Reilly's and I went through 1 alternator a month for 4 months straight before I finally got one that lasted. And the **** at O'Reilly's had the gaul to tell me it must be my car and I'd need to get it checked out at Ford, they weren't going to replace any more alternators. So I went to Ford, and my car showed no problems.

So don't just think your car is blowing the alternators. The rebuilds seem to suck.

Dale

Thomas95SC
06-22-2004, 02:48 PM
When I found out that it was that fuse, I had the battery recharged before I put the new alternator back on. So i know that cant be it. I checke the charge today and it read 14.1 before I went to get a hair cut and when i got back, it read 13.8. When i turned my car off, my batt read 13.1. So I guess its still running fine. The manager at Oreilly said that if that 3rd one fails, he will give me a full refund. He was very nice although I hope he knows if get a refund, i want my core charge refunded to. If I cant find anything wrong with the starter wiring and it the alt fails again, i'm just going to buy an old one from Tb88 and have it rebuilt by an alternator shop. I bought the cheap one from Oreilly beacuse they were the only ones in my whole area that one in stock. Just for future reference, what is a good brand alternator to get? Why are they all remans? You just cant buy a new one? Thanks.

Jeremy_K
06-22-2004, 03:29 PM
i got my last one from checker auto parts. it's made by autolite. kinda pricey though. i haven't had problems yet. knock on wood.

J57ltr
06-22-2004, 03:34 PM
did you check the fusible link (turqouise wire) coming from the starter solenoid. mine got fried when my accomplice grounded out the alternator. you have to really inspect the wire because the core can break without any signs of it on the insulation.

This is suspect as well.

Jeff

Still Crusin
06-22-2004, 09:02 PM
oooooooooppppppppps

Still Crusin
06-22-2004, 09:04 PM
I feel your pain. I had similar problems about 2 yrs ago. Alt. light came on as I was driving back to Houston from Ennis. That was when my OEM alt. failed. Fortunately, my battery was fairly new as I barely had enough juice to get me home. I thought my battery was fully re-charged, but in retrospect don't think it was. The aftermarket reman's I got(first couple from Autozone) didn't only lasted about a day or two each. Voltages appeared to be ok, but the charger I had use initially was suspect. I went through about 5 alternators in 6 or 7 months. Finally I went to Standard Auto and they had a better quality reman. I have an ENDURANCE brand right now and it seems to be doing fine.

You can buy a new one. However, they're very expensive(at least twice the cost of a reman).

Thomas95SC
06-23-2004, 02:35 PM
Where is the starter solenoid on my 94?? The book shows it on the fender wall by the battery but its not there. I peeked under the car and I noticed that there is a large black (appears to be black) wire that is bolted to the bottom on the starter. It is alittle frayed but no that bad.

TbirdSCFan
06-23-2004, 03:52 PM
Trace the positive battery cable to where it bolts up to. The terminal with the copper studs and the big wires coming off is the starter relay which is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the solenoid. I don't know about the 94 year, but earlier models actually have the solenoid built into the starter.

Digitalchaos
06-23-2004, 05:02 PM
I have recently helped install rebuilt/reman (there is a difference) alternators on three different vehicles for friends. In one case, the purchased alternator was replaced twice. In the second case, it was also replaced twice. The third person had to replace their alternator 3 times, within a month! In 2 cases the batteries were replaced with the alternator, and the electrical system was checked on every vehicle.

The rebuilt alternator I installed in '97 Wrangler when the OEM finally died at about 165k miles is still working 15k later. It was from the same place. ::looks around::

Obviously the quality of remans/rebuilds is in serious question.

TbirdSCFan
06-23-2004, 08:40 PM
I'm not sure anything rebuilt from any supplier, including Napa, is very good. However, the last one I got from Azone had a test sheet where they at least ran it up to spec and loaded it down.. Not exactly a burn-in test, but better than jsut shipping the stupid thing.. I looked at a unit from Oriellys where the rotor was actually locked up right out of the box :rolleyes: The people behind the counter weren't too pleased about it either.

Andy 94SC
06-23-2004, 08:51 PM
For what it is worth I went through this mess about two years ago also. Two bad alternators from a local chain auto parts store. I finally bought one through the Ford dealer. (~$165)

The story I got was that typical reman / rebuilds are basically a change of the brushes and a bench test.....A bench test that isn't worth a crap.

They don't replace the expensive regulator module (a common failure) unless it fails the bench test, and a lot of the time the bench test won't catch a bad regulator.

Supposedly Ford reman's always replace the regulator. The one I got from the dealer did look all new, where the parts store version looked like it was built with used parts.

scbird1
06-23-2004, 09:09 PM
On the 94 up the starter solenoid is on the starter itself. On early models they used 2 starter solenoids. One was used as a relay but the starter will still interchange with any year as I used a 89 5 speed starter in a 94 auto.
As for alternaters, yes I will agree they are crap and the stores know it.
We went though 3 from autozone. One wes missing bolts and most had not been tightend. They still stand behind it and said if this one goes bring it back and get another one.

J57ltr
06-25-2004, 10:59 AM
Trace the positive battery cable to where it bolts up to. The terminal with the copper studs and the big wires coming off is the starter relay which is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the solenoid. I don't know about the 94 year, but earlier models actually have the solenoid built into the starter.


A solenoid is either a relay for very large current, or a electromechanical device used to push or pull (consisting of a coil of wire and a plunger). So Solenoid is correct in either case.

Jeff

TbirdSCFan
06-25-2004, 12:34 PM
So Solenoid is correct in either case. Not really, but just as engine mounts are often referred to as motor mounts (in engineering terms, a motor is an electomechanical energy conversion device), that doesn't stop the terms from being used that way. In laymans terms, there is no difference btwn the 2, so we just live with it.

From Websters:
Main Entry: so·le·noid
Pronunciation: 'sO-l&-"noid, 'sä-
Function: noun
Etymology: French solénoïde, from Greek sOlEnoeidEs pipe-shaped, from Greek sOlEn pipe
: a coil of wire usually in cylindrical form that when carrying a current acts like a magnet so that a movable core is drawn into the coil when a current flows and that is used especially as a switch or control for a mechanical device (as a valve)

J57ltr
06-25-2004, 01:02 PM
From Websters:
Main Entry: so·le·noid
Pronunciation: 'sO-l&-"noid, 'sä-
Function: noun
Etymology: French solénoïde, from Greek sOlEnoeidEs pipe-shaped, from Greek sOlEn pipe
: a coil of wire usually in cylindrical form that when carrying a current acts like a magnet so that a movable core is drawn into the coil when a current flows and that is used especially as a switch or control for a mechanical device (as a valve)

There you go.

scbird1
06-25-2004, 01:49 PM
Man you guys get to tecnical on me. Dose anyone know why the eary cars have 2 starter solenoids?

J57ltr
06-25-2004, 02:12 PM
Probably because just about every car and truck that Ford made had the same arrangment at that time. That's the only reason I can think of.

Being a GM person I can see the value of having the fusible links somewhere you can get to them without climbing under the car.

Jeff