I have a 1986 3.4l pr and I replaced my alternator (cs conversion) about two months ago with an AC DELCO reman. Everything was working fine, but about a month in, my volt gauge wouldn't show voltage (but would slightly move when ignition is on) and the volt light would be on. I got out the voltmeter and even under full electrical load it's charging 13.58 volts (14 with no load) when measured at the battery. I've reseated the alternator connector and verified the single wire with the bolt is nice and tight.
I took it to Advance Auto yesterday and they ran a test on it - they had the same values as far as voltage. However, it did come back with "excessive ripple" with the range being 210mV. Would that cause the volt light to come on and the gauge not show any voltage?
Please clarify; do you mean you see almost no deflection at all on your Fiero's voltmeter needle, and a separate Volt-Ohm test meter is showing 13-14 volts? If so, what is the engine-running voltage at any battery tap in the fuse block in the driver's footwell? Ripple: your alternator is producing 0.2 volts of AC on top of 13.5 to 14 volts DC.
Likely One or more Diodes in the Rectifier have problems.
Most ACdelco parts only have 30-90 day warranty. Go check and if possible return under warranty. If not... I use AZ parts w/ lifetime warranty that just need phone # to track in the system. IOW you won't need a receipt months to years later if have problem again.
alt should be above 14v, close to 15vdc.
Originally posted by Rexgirl: Ripple: your alternator is producing 0.2 volts of AC on top of 13.5 to 14 volts DC.
close enough but may not quite right. 1 diode dead means 1 or 2 stator winding is "dead" and can cause a volt drops on alt's output and big noise problem.
SI CS and most other alt's are 3 phase AC generator w/ 3 phase "full wave" rectifier to output DC. SI and some others are infamous for shorted diodes... when so does get AC on the output term, way more then 0.2v, and quickly kills the battery and more. CS often fails w/ open diodes not shorted diodes and shouldn't see real AC when rectifier dies.
------------------ Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. (Jurassic Park)
I guess my overall question is - what is it that's making the volt light come on and my gauge to not register any voltage? Because with my tests at the battery and fusebox, and Advance Auto's check of the alternator, it's producing well above 12v.