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Old 01-02-2018, 02:50 PM   #1
LBM240Wagon
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Default '92 240 Charging Issue

I just replaced the alternator on the 240, and it is not charging. Ground is good to the case, 12V measured at the B+ lug told me no charging. I checked the D+ exciter wire (connected to the alternator), and was reading 1.6V. I disconnected it, turned the car on and got 12V. Re-connected it to the lug and again 1.6V after startup. Disconnected it from the case, turned the car on and it measured 12V again. I then touched it to the lug and I believe the alternator turned on, and the reading stayed at 12V on the voltmeter.

Thinking the lug was possibly grounding to the case, I checked that and added a plastic washer for the hell of it. Still reads 1.6V when attached after startup.

Any ideas?




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Old 01-02-2018, 03:09 PM   #2
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What is the reading on the exciter wire when it's unplugged?
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:18 PM   #3
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With the key on or while the car is running, I get ~12V at the multimeter. (When the ring terminal is not on the D+ lug)

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Old 01-02-2018, 04:41 PM   #4
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Where was this alternator purchased from?
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:06 PM   #5
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advance auto parts, it has a carquest # on it. - No it is not a bosch alternator.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:12 PM   #6
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Chain stores are sketchy on electrical stuff. Had issues with Vatozone alternators. Took it to a reputable rebuilder in my area, and he laughed at it. Gave me a rebuilt Bosch and sent me on my way.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:22 PM   #7
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Asking what the voltage is on your exciter wire disconnected, with the key on.

I think the guys ^^^ are on to something about bunk out of box alternators. We have had to do them three or four times before finding a good one with aftermarket junk.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:26 PM   #8
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zvolv, see above, ~12V

I'm going to take it back tomorrow and have them bench test it.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:34 PM   #9
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Did you remember to install the ground wire?
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:23 PM   #10
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to the case? yes that was my 12v to the case reference in post 1
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
I just replaced the alternator on the 240, and it is not charging.
why did you start down this rabbit hole?

where is the other end of the ground wire?
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:23 AM   #12
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why did you start down this rabbit hole?

where is the other end of the ground wire?

why did I start down what rabbit hole? The old alternator crapped out on me so I went to the parts store to get a new one....Is that what you're asking?

I have continuity from the ground wire attached to the alternator case to the ground at the battery.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:02 AM   #13
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do you have the regulator off of your old alternator by chance? If so, throw it on and report back.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:49 AM   #14
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[QUOTE]
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Originally Posted by LBM240Wagon View Post
why did I start down what rabbit hole? The old alternator crapped out on me so I went to the parts store to get a new one....Is that what you're asking?

I have continuity from the ground wire attached to the alternator case to the ground at th
yes, "crapped out"?
are both alternators acting the same?
you have a problem w 13.8v running or something else?

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Old 01-03-2018, 11:08 AM   #15
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You can also do voltage drop tests on the ground wire.
The crimps on the ground wires go bad underneath the insulation where you can't see it.


It's likely a bad reman alt.

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Old 01-03-2018, 11:35 AM   #16
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I do not have the old alternator anymore. In hindsight I should have had them bench test it 1st before swapping it out at the store. I took the new one back to the parts store and had it bench tested this AM. It failed... They are shipping in a reman Bosch alternator from Orlando. Hopefully I'll be back in business tomorrow. I will have them test that one on the bench before I leave the store.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:38 AM   #17
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I do not have the old alternator anymore. In hindsight I should have had them bench test it 1st before swapping it out at the store. I took the new one back to the parts store and had it bench tested this AM. It failed... They are shipping in a reman Bosch alternator from Orlando. Hopefully I'll be back in business tomorrow. I will have them test that one on the bench before I leave the store.
Everytime I get a parts store bought alternator I have them check it. I'm not sure what triple checked means from Autozone since I had failed ones out of the box before,lol.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:44 AM   #18
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I have had them where they charge ok, but let's say on a BMW, where the instrument cluster warning message will still be on.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:32 PM   #19
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I have had them where they charge ok, but let's say on a BMW, where the instrument cluster warning message will still be on.
This happens because the diode pack for the idiot light circuit is bad on a bosch alternator. There will be lower voltage output at the D+ than what is on B+. I bought a new volvo branded bosch alternator that did that and have seen it now a few times.

Over the last couple of years it really seems like it can be hit or miss with this stuff. I bought a reman Denso on ebay. The big bearing behind the pulley lasted about a year. It failed so badly that the internal fan started rubbing and making a horrid noise. I've also bought denso regulators that promise the 14.6v output and fail after a few months.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:30 AM   #20
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He swapped out my alternator for the Bosch unit this morning but I don't have confidence that is what my issue is/was. He tested it the same way he tested the previous one yesterday and it failed. He changed the connections on the bench (unplugged the little black box to the W+ (What is this box by the way?)) and it passed. He tested the previous alternator and it passed too.

So I brought the Bosch home and started checking my ground. I pulled the ground cable out and it looked ok, however when I bent it to straighten it out, the insulation cracked and broke apart. So I'm off to make a new one. I'm beginning to wonder if its something in the charge circuit? -I'm really regretting NOT testing my original alternator.
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:53 PM   #21
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Thats why I said to learn how to do voltage drop tests. Look it up. That ground wire on a 240 commonly goes bad from heat and oil leaks.

One day you may get to the point where you skip the dudes at the parts store all together.
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Old 01-04-2018, 01:03 PM   #22
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I was (am? Car's put up for the winter) having issues with the charging on my 240. The alternator warning light was not on, doesn't come on when the engine is off/key on. I triple checked (Autozone Triple Check!) the wiring between the cluster and alternator, all was fine. I was having similar flaky voltage readings with the wire at the alternator.

12V+ is not always 12V+ - there might be a very low wattage supply of 12V+, not enough to actually do what it's supposed to do.

In my case:
- I tried grounding the exciter wire leading to the alternator - based on my understanding of the wiring diagram, this should light the alternator warning light (it grounds through the alternator to light the bulb), but all that did was light a few random OTHER lights on the cluster.
- I ran a jumper wire from the alternator over to 12V+ (on the battery terminal), touched it, and saw the alternator immediately start charging properly.

This all lead me to this thread: http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=279601
Which discusses possible faults on the instrument cluster that can cause oddness in charging since the alternator doesn't really get excited properly. I just haven't taken my cluster back out again. Before I ran into that thread I had it out to verify the bulb wasn't burned out (which will cause the same issues) - I swapped it for one I knew was good (turn signal flasher) and it still worked afterward, charging light still didn't.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:23 PM   #23
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Thats why I said to learn how to do voltage drop tests. Look it up. That ground wire on a 240 commonly goes bad from heat and oil leaks.

One day you may get to the point where you skip the dudes at the parts store all together.
I took the guy's word at face value the day he tested the alternator in the car... my fault for sure. getting ready to put the new ground wire in we'll see if that makes a difference. If not I'll be back!
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:26 PM   #24
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On the cluster the contacts that connect to the bulb sockets for the warning lights can get a bit dirty and cause the lack of current to properly excite the alternator. Once you remove the bulbs and sockets then take the circuit board off the cluster frame. You can clean the contacts with either an eraser or a toothbrush with some of the contact cleaner like CRC QD plastic safe contact cleaner. Do this in a vented area cause that stuff stinks and isn't good to breathe. I also like Wurth contact cleaner.

Also good to carefully check where the pins connect to the board traces. that is another potential bad spot.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:31 PM   #25
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The 12V diving down to 1.something under the small load of the alternator exciter sure seems to indicate some sort of issue with the cluster and warning light.

With the engine off, key on, is the alternator warning light lit up?
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