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2000 ETC
2000 Eldorado ETC
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I started noticing this many months ago when it was very faint but is now clearly obvious. It seems to be a few pulses per second. Alternator was replaced in 2016 but is still suspect. Battery seems to be charging fine too and has 12.7 volts every time I check it. My voltage reading when driving ranges from 14 to 16 volts and is constantly doing so in a wave pattern except when I am stopped and at idle where it reads a steady 14 volts. I did just notice today that my dimmer control no longer will adjust the dash lights to be at their lowest intensity. They will go to very bright but not all the way off or even very close to it and I am wondering if I should start there.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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70,670 Posts
Something is going very wrong with the alternator/voltage regulator. All associated electrical connections clean and tight ? No chafed/grounded wiring ?

14.8 volts is OK during startup recharging cycles - 16 is NOT.
 

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2000 ETC
2000 Eldorado ETC
Joined
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Submariner409. I will check and clean all that are questionable as soon as I get home today.
 

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2000 ETC
2000 Eldorado ETC
Joined
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Not that it may have really needed it but I disconnected, cleaned and reinstalled the positive cable to the alternator. I also did the same to the batteries negative and positive cables. These efforts had no impact on the problem. I did notice that the negative side from the battery ground to the engine looked green and sad. (see photo) Perhaps replacing this would eliminate some of the issue? Am considering taking the alternator out tomorrow and having it checked too.
 

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2000 ETC
2000 Eldorado ETC
Joined
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Am trying to get my alternator out through the bottom but cant remember the position/combination of rubic cube rolls. I did it before but cant remember. In case someone asks, I did remove the access panel.

Anyone have a hint or picture?
 

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2000 Eldorado ETC
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34 Posts
My alternator came out through the access panel after removing the wide black plastic shield to the rear of it as well. I had to squeeze it out like a large turd - it was in roughly the same position that it is mounted - no turning involved. I just had to be careful not to damage the AC lines and wire harnesses that are in the way. I pushed them to the rear as little as necessary. Hope that helps!
If I may ask - you said you replaced your alternator before. How did you start the rear bolt on the off-pulley side? Or did you leave it out like I did? Maybe I was just short of patience by that time, but didn't see the necessity in a fourth bolt to mount an alternator that doesn't act as a tensioner.
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
Joined
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70,670 Posts
That alternator pulley has one hell of a lot of "tension" on it. It takes 4 to 9 horsepower to turn the thing (depending on state of battery charge), the belt wrap is almost 180 degrees, and all 4 bolts are necessary for correct alignment and power handling duty.

The 180 degree belt wrap is done so the highly loaded alternator pulley does not slip - observe how the tensioner and idlers are arranged for maximum belt wrap.


Belt routing and pulleys.gif
 

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2000 ETC
2000 Eldorado ETC
Joined
·
66 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
My alternator came out through the access panel after removing the wide black plastic shield to the rear of it as well. I had to squeeze it out like a large turd - it was in roughly the same position that it is mounted - no turning involved. I just had to be careful not to damage the AC lines and wire harnesses that are in the way. I pushed them to the rear as little as necessary. Hope that helps!
If I may ask - you said you replaced your alternator before. How did you start the rear bolt on the off-pulley side? Or did you leave it out like I did? Maybe I was just short of patience by that time, but didn't see the necessity in a fourth bolt to mount an alternator that doesn't act as a tensioner.
If your talking about the small bolt that mounts to the center and back of the alternator, I placed the bolt in its location before I brought the alternator in letting it kinda balance. Had to be careful to not knock it out. All bolts were a pain though. Had to wrench them all a tiny turn at a time except for the front bolt that's at about 1:00. Was able to loosen that one and work it out with the socket by hand.

A replacement was not in stock at the autoparts store until this afternoon so I went to work. Will get the little beast out later though.
 

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2000 ETC
2000 Eldorado ETC
Joined
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Installed the new alternator and all issues are gone. Dash and headlights do not pulsate anymore and my voltage when driving normally holds rock steady at 14.6.

What a drag this repair was this time around. My second time in like 3 years. I hope I wont have to replace that again. After like a 1/2 hour of trying to get the old alternator out I gave in and loosened the fan out of the way. 2 minutes later it was out.

Thanks to all the help.
:)
 
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