Low voltage and amp under load on alternator.

Discussion in 'Domestics' started by The old man, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Diagnostic tech
    Location:
    St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
    Then I am sure I am the one in error here.

    If the old man is sure he has a negative ground system, as I am sure he checked his to the wiring provided, but in 02, they had both PCM controlled and neg ground system.

    So my bad, I have only ever worked on PCM controlled lincolns of this era. But that is no excuse, I should have read and looked better at my alldata, they mention both systems for this model year. Unless alldata is in typo for this screen shot. Screenshot (68).png I just assumed it was what I am used to working on.

    SO, obviously, if there is no message center stating a charging system error, and only an idiot light, it is a neg ground system.

    Sorry to all, no man is perfect, even though I like to think I am. ;)
     
  2. The old man

    The old man Hero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not your bad Kev2, Ijust did not explain the situation all the way the first time. The charging bulb is working fine. Show up on ignition test and goes away when engine is started. Junkyard alternator was number one, replaced with another one from junkyard that absolutely was no good. Gave up on that way. Bought one from ebay and worked but had low voltage and low amps. Still have that one on the car. It is not computer controlled. It is a 2002 design. Have refurbished one ordered from Amazon, made in mexico. May return if I can get this one going. The belt tensioner if fine with plenty of tension. No noise or nothing like that. Maybe a new belt would help.
    Gained ground about an hour ago. I took the engine ground strap off that goes to the firewall off even though it seemed to have good connection and cleaned and sanded it down and the firewall also. Started it up and it is holding right now a (1385 voltage) running at idle. A little more at 2000 rpm. Turned lights on, AC on, which makes both cooling fan run, and the headlights on. It went down to about 1355 and held steady. Not bad! But still have low alternator amps, (about 10 amps). Going to buy a new alternator belt and see if that will help. Belt has at least 62,000 miles on it and maybe a lot more. I am not sure if I replaced the belt when I replaced the engine a couple years ago.
    I would have answered sooner, just out working on that piece of crap to find the problem. I hope the alternator won't act up like it did, but the voltage holding a 1355 volt with ac, headlight, both cooling running sould promising. Thanks for all input from everyone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  3. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Diagnostic tech
    Location:
    St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
    If my new job pans out, (should start on the 12th june) very close to downtown montreal, I will be seeing a multitude of cars. So I should beef up my experience back to what it was before. I have been in small towns and up north for too long, you don't get the variety of huge cities like montreal, toronto etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  4. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Diagnostic tech
    Location:
    St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
    So that means an el cheapo mopar external regulator could work if ever it is only the internal VR that is on the fritz. But at that point, is it worth the hassle?

    Never tried that on a car like this.
     
  5. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Diagnostic tech
    Location:
    St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
    Nope, forget I even said that, even the old mopars of the 80's and 90's were PCM controled.

    I out, time for a can of beer. I am still on vacation and having way too many brain farts
     
  6. The old man

    The old man Hero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    By the way the Lincoln does have a message center. It never once showed that the alternator voltage or alternator was not working.
    I also posted a reply to all of you but it up the line a few replies under kev2. comment. Forgot how this system works, Been gone a while.
     
  7. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    59
    Have you checked belt tension with a gauge? Multi-V serp belt are a lot fussier about tension than the old single-V belts; just pushing on the belt and guessing at what the deflection means may not be good enough.
     
  8. The old man

    The old man Hero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is an automatic belt tension with lots of spring tension. It has an indicator on the tensioner that tell you when the belt stretches and time for replacement if the indicator is in a certain area of the tensioner. My old belt still show that the belt has not stretched enough to warrant a new belt. I can tell you that the tension on this belt is really strong and fells like no deflection. Really tight. Besides I can find no specification as far as what the tension should be. It is a auto tensioner. Anyway I am going to replace the belt anyway to start off fresh and eliminate any troubles. Have a new rebuilt "CARQUEST" alternator on hand. Trying to give this alternator that is on the Lincoln now all the chances to charge properly. I probably already screwed it up by driving it while the battery would decline because the alternator would not keep up. That is one reason I switched off the suspension air bags because the fused 60 amp circuit of the compressor was running about every 5 or 10 minutes while going down the road and took the battery down fast. Below 12 volts for sure. Replacement conversion springs coming in this Friday. I just had to replace a front caliper hose because the caliper would not release fast enough and cause crazy unsafe braking going down the highway. I am totally sick of this car. Give me one more year and call the scrap dealer. LOL
    I don't know if the car dies first or me. Time will tell. 77 years old now.
     
  9. The old man

    The old man Hero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Come to think about it now, I think that the suspension air bag compressor that is fused with a 60 amp fuse that kept coming back on while going down the road every 5 or ten minutes caused the first alternator to blow because of the excessive heat to the alternator caused by the compressor cycling on and off .Everything was OK before that started. I remember when my son first come over with this problem, it was hotter than hell under that hood and the ground cable and battery were very hot and the alternator was extremely hot. Never knew that compressor drew that many amps when running. Especially when coming on so often. Just my opinion. Could be wrong. The second alternator worked at first but I kept the compressor on and that was the end of that one. The third one was pure junk from the salvage yard. This compressor will never run again on this car for sure. I probably blew diodes on this one but we will find out tomorrow. Just some thoughts. I do that often. Comes with old age. LOL
     
  10. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    59
    I chased an alt problem (different type car) for quite a while to no avail, always ignoring the tensioner because belt tension "seemed" OK. After eliminating everything else, I took the tensioner off and found what the problem with it was. Just sayin'...
     
  11. The old man

    The old man Hero Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will take a good look at it tomorrow when I change over to a new belt. Thanks for your input.
     
  12. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Diagnostic tech
    Location:
    St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
    good idea
    If that compressor was running all the time ( which is obviously not normal) yeah, it will draw huge amps ALL THE TIME. Why do think AC compressors are belt driven?
     
  13. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Diagnostic tech
    Location:
    St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
    60amp continuous load for what I assume is a 100-120amp rated alt, not much else left for accessory and such, such as AC, headlight, blower fan etc. A blower fan takes approx 20-30amps, rad and AC fans similar, so I can imagine the why that alt what hot.
     
  14. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Diagnostic tech
    Location:
    St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
    Funny joke, I once put in close to 2000w stereo system in a 92 dodge colt. The engine was rated at 92hp, the alt maybe 90amp or so, safe to say I heated alt also. But it was a project car, I was getting a turbo ready for it. With the 2.0l turbo, came a higher rated alt, so that was no problem after that.
     
  15. nickb2

    nickb2 Wrench. I help when I can

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,917
    Likes Received:
    117
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Diagnostic tech
    Location:
    St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
    Oh, forgot to mention, I was 25yrs old and found it funny to piss off the neighbors. Young and stupid. Not the same as getting old. ;)
     

Share This Page