Sporadic charging problem

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Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:52 pm

Okay Dubbers and Dubberitas I have a conundrum wrapped in an enigma surrounded by a mystery. My Bug won't charge. The idiot light does not come on when I turn the key to the run position without starting the engine. I've tested the Alternator (Bosch w/Internal regulator) off the engine and it tested good (at ACE Alternator and Starter in MWC). However in the car it does not have any output. I've checked all wires for good connection and continuity. The idiot light comes on when I ground the wire going to the spade terminal connector on the Alternator and I've checked all the ground wires (battery, transaxle to front mount, and body to pan) All the fuses are good and I have installed a Volt meter to the battery that shows a slow but steady discharge while I drive. Now a say "Sporadic" in the title because twice I've got it charge for a minute or two but then it goes back to no output -- the first time was upon reinstallation of the Alternator after testing -- the second was after cleaning and tightening all the connection to and around the idiot light on the back of the speedometer. I'm now at my wits end (short trip) and I'm asking for any help or advice!
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vwracerdave » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:51 pm

Go under the back seat where the original voltage regulator was mounted and check all the wiring and connections.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:40 pm

I did that first and all was as it should be.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vdubjim » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:54 am

run a ground wire from the alternator itself to body or neg on batt.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:53 am

Done that and no change.
Last edited by 9 Fingers on Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vdubjim » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:27 pm

Ground wire really grounded?
200% sure your speedo bulb is hooked up right?

If it bench tests and doesnt work in car, either its not hooked up right, or tester is bad.

Only other option is swap in known good.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:31 pm

You got a "known good"?
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vwlimoguy » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:43 pm

Try checking continuity on the wire that runs from alternator to idiot light. I've had one of those burn up before without any visible signs.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vdubjim » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:10 pm

could always just wire in a small light at the back for testing. I dont.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:06 pm

It's one of two things either a continuity issue like LukE said. I'm going to run a temp wire from alt to light to check that out.
or I have a sporadic diode trio in the Alternator which I'll be the first to admit I've never heard of before. But it seems the alternator charges right at start up then quits working after a couple minutes like it goes out after the diodes heat up? Anyone else ever experienced anything like that?
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vdubjim » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:19 pm

Try the light, otherwise don't use autozone alternators.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:30 pm

I got this alternator from Larry's.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vdubjim » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:19 pm

No way!!
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:26 pm

After running all new external wires to Alt bat, Regulator, and ground I still had no change so out came that Alternator and back to Ace for a test again on my way to Larry's. Alternator now tested bad at Ace and Larry swapped me for a new Bosch+difference in cost. I'll have it all hooked back-up tomorrow so keep your fingers crossed that this is the cure!!
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vdubjim » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:49 am

Regulator??
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:43 am

You know those guys in the long back coats and shiny big guns!!!!!!!!
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vdubjim » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:57 am

I meant, you said swapped regulator on the one from Larry's.
They make them still with external regulator?
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby 9 Fingers » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:30 pm

Sorry, I meant I ran a new wire to from the regulator terminal on the Alt to the Light on the speedo, as well as a new charge wire to the battery and a new ground wire. Still no change. So I took the alternator back to Larry's however on the way I stopped back by ACE Alternator to have it tested again and this time it failed. So larry swapped me for a brand new Alt and that has finally cured my problem just in time for the long winter sleep.
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Re: Sporadic charging problem

Postby vdubjim » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:21 pm

Just in time for reliability run.
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