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Volt Light by tnkgnr
Started on: 11-06-2019 10:56 PM
Replies: 11 (225 views)
Last post by: olejoedad on 11-17-2019 10:37 PM
tnkgnr
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Report this Post11-06-2019 10:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tnkgnrSend a Private Message to tnkgnrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey all,

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?

Greg
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Rexgirl
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Report this Post11-07-2019 04:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RexgirlSend a Private Message to RexgirlEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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.
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theogre
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Report this Post11-07-2019 06:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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.
 
quote
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.

------------------
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(Jurassic Park)


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tnkgnr
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Report this Post11-07-2019 07:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tnkgnrSend a Private Message to tnkgnrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Checked the voltage at the fusebox. With the multimeter on the open "IGN" leads I get 14v. Unplugging the gauges fuse and reading there, I get 11.5v.

When I turn the ignition to on, the voltage gauge needle moves very slightly, but not in any of the normal volts range - just sits near the rest spot.

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tnkgnr
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Report this Post11-07-2019 08:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tnkgnrSend a Private Message to tnkgnrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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.
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Rexgirl
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Report this Post11-08-2019 01:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RexgirlSend a Private Message to RexgirlEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
When the voltage output of the alternator is lower than the voltage of the battery, the light will be on.
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Rexgirl
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Report this Post11-08-2019 01:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RexgirlSend a Private Message to RexgirlEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Does your oil pressure gauge read normally?
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tnkgnr
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Report this Post11-08-2019 10:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tnkgnrSend a Private Message to tnkgnrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Rexgirl:

When the voltage output of the alternator is lower than the voltage of the battery, the light will be on.


That's the thing - the alternator is charging at 14v and the battery at rest is at 12v.

The oil pressure gauge reads normal.
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Gall757
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Report this Post11-08-2019 11:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Visit the Ogre's Cave. There are some wiring issues with the CS Alternator.

Electrical/Charge & Start/CS Alternator


'A fully charged battery should read 12.6 volts. CS alternators won't turn on if the battery drops much below 12V.'

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 11-08-2019).]

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Rexgirl
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Report this Post11-08-2019 12:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RexgirlSend a Private Message to RexgirlEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If the oil pressure gauge is working as normal then the voltmeter should be as well since they are wired in parallel. Gall757 and Ogre are correct in suspecting an alternator issue.
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tnkgnr
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Report this Post11-17-2019 10:02 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tnkgnrSend a Private Message to tnkgnrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Replaced the alternator under warranty. Not the problem.

Pulled the gauge pod and discovered the connectors simply were not making good contact. Whatever combination was giving signal to the oil pressure gauge, the backlights and the volt light, but somehow not pushing the volt gauge (despite some slight movement on startup).

I think in summary here - if I realized that the volt gauge should read the battery voltage when in accessory mode, I would have figured out the alternator wasn't the problem - especially when it was pushing out 14 volts.

gif of the problem
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olejoedad
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Report this Post11-17-2019 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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