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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2003, 04:56 PM
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Default ERA Not Charging Properly

My ERA does not seem to be charging. While driving, the ammeter was most often reading at zero, then occasionally it would jump to +30. Per Bob's suggestion, I removed the plug at the alternator and placed a jumper wire from the socket for the yellow wire with red stripes (third from left looking down on plug) to the socket for the blue wire with green stripes (first on left looking down on plug). I started the car and as I reved it slowly, the ammeter jumped to +30. So, I replaced the voltage regulator, but now it seems to read below zero while driving all the time now. I can't find any loose wires.

Questions:

1 - The voltage regulator that came with the car was an Autolite that said 15V on it. The replacement from NAPA is a 12V model. Does that make a difference?
2 - Is it likely the alternator?
3 - Any easy tests of the alternator?
4 - After I changed the voltage regulator, I noticed that the red ignition switch light stayed on while the car was running. I guess I'm getting to old , but I can't remember if it always stayed on while the car was running. Should the ignition light be on while the car is running?

Thanks,
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2003, 07:05 PM
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I had a similar problem, but when I redid the alternator ground wire it cleared up. Its an easy thing to try...
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2003, 09:29 PM
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Does it charge when you rev the engine?
If you have a large hipo pulley on the alternator and a smaller pulley a the dampner, you will have problems charging at idle.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2003, 10:22 PM
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Tom,

It does not seem to charge when I rev the engine.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-22-2003, 11:55 PM
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Be sure the body of the voltage regulator is grounded properly.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2003, 04:40 AM
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Rick,

Check the bottom fuse on the passenger's side fuse box. That's what feeds the power to the regulator.

Does the dash warning light (red) come on?
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2003, 06:34 AM
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You also need to make sure that you have the proper wires on the proper pins on that voltage regulator...Cost me a new alternator when mine was doing something similar and all I had to do was put 2 ERA's side by side and compare...1 wire was in the wrong spot and it caused the system to not charge at all.

Matt
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-12-2004, 07:08 PM
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Default Turns Out It Was The Alternator

Well, I replaced the voltage regulator and double checked all the wiring and grounds, but to no avail. So, I finally replaced the alternator and that seems to have fixed the problem. Readings on the ammeter are strong and consistent. Previously, if I was running in excess of 2500 rpm and turned on the lights and fan, the gauge would read right around zero. Now, with the new alternator, it reads well into the positive area under the same conditions.

As long as I was replacing the alternator, I took advantage of the opportunity to add a little more chrome to the engine.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2004, 07:48 AM
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Hey Rick:
Did you get one of those Chromed alternators? Post a pic, I want to see what this looks like. Which one did you get BTW and what is the amperage output?
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2004, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: ERA Not Charging Properly

Rick:

Check out the following link:

http://autorepair.about.com/cs/elect.../aa122700a.htm

Hopefully you can use this to answer some of your questions.

Kind regards,
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2004, 11:56 AM
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Art,

Here is a link to the place where I bought the alternator.

AlternatorParts.com

If you scroll down about 2/3 of the page, you will find a list of alternators for Fords with external regulators. I bought the 105 amp model, which is Part # F1-55-C-105.

I'll see if I can post a picture tonight.

BTW, swapping the old for the new was a breeze.

Because it is so tight in the engine compartment, I'm always a little concerned about how things will fit, but the new alternator fit perfectly.

Al,

Thanks for the link. I need all the help I can get.
Fortunately, the charging system seems to be working fine now, but I'm sure I'll run into a similar problem on one of my vehicles in the future.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2004, 12:39 PM
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Rick:

Thanks for that info on the alternator, appreciated and look forward to your pictures of it. Mine is very old and in the original abliet warn silver paint with maroon stripe. It is FoMoCo original from what I can see. I will keep it until it "fraps" the bed.... 8-)

Since the ERA is new to me, I have not yet done anything with the fan belt or alternator. However, I did notice that on my particular car, the radiator expansion tank is very much near the alternator. And could be somewhat in the way if you insterted a pry bar to put leverage on the alternator in order to tighten the fan belt.

That said, It dawned on me at that time that tightening the fan belt or applying tension with a long pry bar would be somewhat of a challenge and there had to be a good safe way to do this... that thought then slipped my mind.

When you brought up the alternator swap, it then re-entered....

So how did you safely apply pressure to the new alternator in order to tighten the fan belt without buggering up anything?

I am all ears on this...
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2004, 08:17 PM
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Art,

I used a pretty unsophisticated way to apply tension. I first made a mark on the upper mounting bracket where the bolt was on the old alternator. Then when I installed the new alternator, I simply grabbed hold of the alternator with my left hand and pulled hard, making sure I got to the mark or a little further. With my other left hand, I tightened the bolt. I checked the play in the belt across the top. The span is a little less than 1 foot, and I've got about 3/8" of play.

I have attached links to some pictures below:


Alternator Pic 1
Alternator Pic 2
Alternator Pic 3
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Last edited by CobERA; 01-16-2004 at 07:04 AM..
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2004, 08:20 PM
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Oops.

Awfully small. I'll try again.
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:06 AM
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Fixed the links.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2004, 03:12 PM
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Rick:
Thanks for the tip on the alternator belt tightening and also those pictures are real nice. Hey, the color of our cars is similar from what I can see. You have good taste.

The Alternator does look nice. I will keep it in mind if I need to do a change.

Did it come with the appropriate pulley and did it line up right?

Did you have to send back your old alternator as a core?

Thanks AMigo.
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