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Alternator output. 15.5v too high?

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Mancdelica



Joined: 17 Nov 2020
Posts: 35
Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 15:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading this I'm beginning to think I could have a wiring issue in the van somewhere rather than a dud Alternator. I got my van up and running after a fair few troubles and now it never starts after being on. Itís the opposite of your issue Pinkpig as my Alternator is reading 11.98V, or is so at the alternator positive output and my negative prod grounded on a chassis piece. So clearly below what it should be.

Annoyingly the past owner said he had it replaced not long ago. It does look quite new and shiny down there. surely it won't be the brushes. Any knowledge on common problems when they are working but are reading just below the charging value?

Could it be a dodgy regulator telling my Alternator that the battery is full so reducing its output?

I think Iím  going to get my alternator off and give it a good inspection, but that involves dropping the oil I believe on an auto transmission L300... Ballache...
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
Posts: 4937
Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 18:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good, full battery gives 12.8V. If you think of voltage as electrical pressure, you realise that the alternator has to maintain at least 12.8V
(and allowing for system losses, a little bit more), to maintain equilibrium, even with a functioning regulator preventing reverse leakage. I'd be tempted to consult an auto electrician, unless one of our electronics experts (not me!) can diagnose the issue, but that is a difficult thing to do over the ether! Smile
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Deker
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 20:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mancdelica wrote:
I'm beginning to think I could have a wiring issue in the van somewhere rather than a dud Alternator.
1) I got my van up and running after a fair few troubles and now it never starts after being on.

2) my Alternator is reading 11.98V, or is so at the alternator positive output and my negative prod grounded on a chassis piece. So clearly below what it should be.

3) Could it be a dodgy regulator telling my Alt thats the battery is full so reducing its output?

1) Matt. Can you please say what is, or not is happening when you try to start the engine.

2) Positive probe on the Alt + out, but try your Neg probe on the Alt body - Earth leads/wires can fracture.
Poor earth connection/s can play havoc with charging & starting problems.

3) Yes.

Mr D
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Fostlongstrider
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 22:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do you think you have to drop the oil when removing the alternator?
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andyman



Joined: 08 Dec 2012
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Location: Penrith, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 22:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may lose a little oil if detaching the pipes from the vacuum pump, and you do need to separate the vac pump from the back of the alternator (three screws, one you have to feel for on the upper, engine side of the pump), but you don't need to drain the oil.

Do not forget to loosen the pinch bolt on the belt tensioner, as well as the adjuster when removing the belt(s). Some have twin pulley, some have single.

The long, bottom pivot bolt can be a pig to remove, expect to skin your knuckles doing this job!

BTW, if your belt(s) are REALLY slack, they won't shriek, but they will slip on the pulley, so you won't get much charging.

If/when reassembling, your belt(s) WILL shriek if not quite tight enough - it's a characteristic of L300s, EH, IAN? Wink
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Fostlongstrider
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah definitely and the steering can get jerky if that belt is slack
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PinkPig
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2021 17:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good call - check the belts before you take it off.

There is a diagnostic in the workshop manual if you have the meters- chapter 16 a couple of pages in (check supplements if you have a late model)
http://www.MDOCUK.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=45972
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Mancdelica



Joined: 17 Nov 2020
Posts: 35
Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 20:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for these suggestions.

Argh the belts!! first think ill be checking tomorrow. I've had them off and on several times the last month trying to sort out a coolant leak. I haven't heard any squeaks at all? †If anything I remember one being quite tight and one further away from the engine being much looser. not sure how that works if they are on the same tensioner/[pulley?.. Yeh I know about that bolt, what a place, I shed bloody from my knuckles whilst attacking it. I may have been a bit lazy in my tightening when putting it back on for the eigth time...good call.

fostlongstrider - I was just following a step by step from the US forum. thanks for confirming you don't Andyman. I did think it was very weird.

Andyman - Yeh to be honest its been months now with problem after problem and now its becoming electrical I think its time to just pay someone to sort it. I love tinkering but I want to start driving the thing and after reading this post I think 30 year old wires may be the death of me.

Dekker - I trickle charged my battery over night. Measured 12.6V when in the van. Turn ignition. Only one click not the usual two I had before. It then starts first time and sounds grand.

Then I check my alternator underneath. Positive on the nut on the back with the positive lead and negative on alternator too. still reads 11.98V

Checked the battery to confirm and that is also 11v. something. Turned all my lights on and sat there. Slowly went down and after 15mins read 10 something V

so it could be an dodgy regulator? are there fuses or relays for the alternator that could be dodgy? or with me pouring my coolant contents over the alternator shorted something? Also what is this hammer trick I keep hearing? is that just to shock the brushes into moving slightly to see if your charge changes?

Pinkpig - cheers I'll have a good read of that †Smile

Thanks for all the suggestions. just trying to check all the cheap/easy things it could be before I plunge into buying an alternator..
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andyman



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 23:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Matt, tapping the alternator can jump the brushes back into contact with the commutator, but usually this is when the brushes are worn, and their springs fully extended, so exerting little pressure. Coolant is sticky, as it dries, it could be causing the brushes to stick, or forming a conductive paste with the carbon powder worn off the brushes, etc. if you can get the alternator off, an auto electrician can put it straight on a test rig, and see detailed output curves on his scope, from which he should be able to quickly make a diagnosis. Probably worth the financial cost for all the cussing and thrashing about in the dark! PS: I replaced my †alternator (rectifier diodes failed - job for a specialist on this type) with one I got off an older L200 pick-up. Only difference was the thickness/diameter of the long pivot bolt, but I managed to make some split bushes out of copper tube.
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Mancdelica



Joined: 17 Nov 2020
Posts: 35
Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 10:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers thanks I wasnít sure exactly how it worked. I reckon mine is relatively new so I canít see it being that... going to get it off this weekend and get it tested cheers.
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