Electrical Not Charging As Usual...will Upgrade Help?

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by deathb4dismount, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. So my new fox has the usual non charging issue, same as my old one. Previous owner replaced alternator 3 months ago with a new stock replacement. I don't think the alternator is the issue, so probably a connection, but I figure it will probably be best to upgrade to a 3g unit. I was looking at this one from LMR http://www.latemodelrestoration.com...tang-SVE-130-Amp-Alternator-Upgrade-87-93-50L

    I think that is a complete kit. If my issue is wiring will that solve it as well or are there other possible culprits that the kit wont fix?
  2. Are their under drive pulleys on the car? If so, a 3G alt won't make a difference.

    Your car should charge fine with the stock alt. if its not, there's a reason.
    boostfrk likes this.
  3. No under drive pulleys yet but there will be. I took the alternator out today and brought it to Advance Auto and they confirmed what I had thought. The alternator is perfectly fine. I bet the previous owner replaced it to sell the car because he thought it was bad as well. It looks brand spanking new
    IMAG0077.jpg IMAG0081.jpg

    So now comes the fun chasing wires part. I know there is a thread here that has troubleshooting for this, I'll search but if anyone has link handy please post up.
  4. What are your symptoms?

    Battery drain?

    DO you have a DMM with ability to measure DC amps up to 10A?
  5. First thing to do is check all the grounds- the battery to block, 2nd ground behind the battery on the firewall, O2 sensor ground on back firewall and the rear firewall to the upper intake/cylinder head. IF they are broken or loose that can cause all kinds of charging issues. Replace any battery cables that look ratty.

    Then I would do a voltage drop test along the way from the battery to the alternator. That being said, the stock mustang alternator is barely adequate as it is along with the stock wiring that is a fire hazard, and upgrading to the 3g is a wise move.
  6. Are you positive there's no underdrive pulleys? Most alternators come with a gold colored pulley that I've seen. I had bad issues too until I took the one off of the alternator. The one on the crank pulley is still on there and I have no problems.
  7. That looks like an underdrive pulley to me.

    Got a picture of the crank pulley? Is it about 4" in diameter? Or 6-7" in diameter
  8. And what a PAIN IN THE ____ to get it off of the alternator if it is.
  9. stock alt pulley size is 2 1/2" I think. Takes 30 seconds to remove if you have an air gun. If not, just bring it to any shop and ask them to zap it off. however, didn't you have it tested with that pulley on and they told you it is providing 75amps?
  10. Alternator troubleshooting for 86-93 5.0 Mustangs:

    Never, never disconnect an alternator from the battery with the engine running. The resulting voltage spike can damage the car's electronics including the alternator.

    Revised 15 April 2012 to add simple check for regulator failure in Engine off ignition on, battery fully charged section, item 2.

    Red color text applies to cars with a 3G alternator.

    Do all of these tests in sequence. Do not skip around. The results of each test depend on the results of the previous tests for correct interpretation.

    Simple first step: Remove the alternator and take it to your local auto parts store. They can bench test it for free.

    Engine off, ignition off, battery fully charged.
    1.) Look for 12 volts at the alternator output. No 12 volts and the dark green fuse link between the orange/black wires and the battery side of the starter solenoid has open circuited.
    3G alternator: Look for 12 volts at the stud on the back of the alternator where the 4 gauge power feed wire is bolted.
    No voltage and the fuse for the 4 gauge power feed wire is open or there are some loose connections.

    2.) Look for 12 volts on the yellow/white wire that is the power feed to the regulator. No 12 volts, and the fuse link for the yellow/white wire has open circuited.

    Engine off, ignition on, battery fully charged:
    1.) Alternator warning light should glow. No glow, bulb has burned out or there is a break in the wiring between the regulator plug and the dash. The warning light supplies an exciter voltage that tells the regulator to turn on. There is a 500 ohm resistor in parallel with the warning light so that if the bulb burns out, the regulator still gets the exciter voltage.
    Disconnect the D connector with the 3 wires (yellow/white, white/black and green/red) from the voltage regulator.
    Measure the voltage on the Lt green/red wire. It should be 12 volts. No 12 volts and the wire is broken, or the 500 ohm resistor and dash indicator lamp are bad. If the 12 volts is missing, replace the warning lamp. If after replacing the warning lamp, the test fails again, the wiring between the warning lamp and the alternator is faulty. The warning lamp circuit is part of the instrument panel and contains some connectors that may cause problems.

    2.) Reconnect the D plug to the alternator
    Probe the green/red wire from the rear of the connector and use the battery negative post as a ground. You should see 2.4-2.6 volts. No voltage and the previous tests passed, you have a failed voltage regulator. This is an actual measurement taken from a car with a working electrical system. If you see full or almost full12 volts, the regulator has failed.

    Engine on, Ignition on, battery fully charged:
    Probe the green/red wire from the rear of the connector and use the battery negative post as a ground. You should see battery voltage minus .25 to 1.0 volt. If the battery measured across the battery is 15.25 volts, you should see 14.50 volts

    Familiarize yourself with the following application note from Fluke: See http://assets.fluke.com/appnotes/automotive/beatbook.pdf for help for help troubleshooting voltage drops across connections and components. .

    You will need to do some voltage drop testing of several of the wires.

    Start looking for these things:
    1.) Bad diode(s) in the alternator - one or more diodes have open circuited and are causing the voltage to drop off as load increases. Remove the alternator and bench test it to confirm or deny this as being the problem.

    2.) The secondary power ground is between the back of the intake manifold and the driver's side firewall. It is often missing or loose. It supplies ground for the alternator, A/C compressor clutch and other electrical accessories such as the gauges. Do the voltage drop test as shown in the Fluke tech note link. Measure the voltage drop between the alternator frame and the battery negative post. Watch for an increase in drop as the load increases. Use the Fluke voltage drop figures as guidelines for your decisions.

    3.) Bad regulator that does not increase field current as load increases. Remove the alternator and bench test it to confirm or deny this as being the problem.

    4.) Bad sense wire - open circuit in sense wiring or high resistance. The yellow/white wire is the voltage sense and power for the field. There is a fuse link embedded in the wiring where it connects to the black/orange wiring that can open up and cause problems. Disconnect the battery negative cable from the battery: this will keep you from making sparks when you do the next step. Then disconnect the yellow/white wire at the alternator and the green fuse link at the starter solenoid/starter relay. Measure the resistance between the alternator end of the yellow/white wire and the green fuse link: you should see less than 1 ohm. Reconnect all the wires when you have completed this step.

    5.) Bad power feed wiring from the alternator. Use caution in the next step, since you will need to do it with everything powered up and the engine running. You are going to do the Fluke voltage drop tests on the power feed wiring, fuse links and associated parts. Connect one DMM lead to the battery side of the starter solenoid/starter relay. Carefully probe the backside of the black/orange wire connector where it plugs into the alternator. With the engine off, you should see very little voltage. Start the engine and increase the load on the electrical system. Watch for an increase in drop as the load increases. Use the Fluke voltage drop figures as guidelines for your decisions.


    Alternator wiring circuit
    Notice the green wire connects to a switched power source. The circuit contains a 500 ohm resistor in series between the switched power and the alternator. Connecting it to switched power keeps the regulator from drawing current when the engine is not running. The resistor limits the current flowing through the wire so that a fuse isn't needed if the wire shorts to ground.

    Also notice the sense wire connects to the starter solenoid and it is fused. It connects to the starter solenoid so that it can "sense" the voltage drop across the output wiring from the alternator.
  11. I dont think they are u drive pulleys but you never know. Ill measure the alternator pulley and check and also try to post some pictures of the crank pulley.
  12. Found it. Green wire attached to starter solenoid which is attached to black/orange wire. It is labeled as a 14 guage fuse link. I don't have any 14 but i do have 12. Is it safe to use 12 gauge? I am incompetent when it comes to electrical for some reason. All the wires overload my ADHD.

  13. Use the same gauge & color fuse link. The fuse link colors are a clue to the current capacity ratings.
  14. Good deal.
  15. Couldn't get a good picture but crank pulley is approximately 7 inches in diameter...not sure if that is stock size?
  16. That is stock, but that pulley on the alt looks like an under drive pulley.
  17. before you founf that link broken like that were u charging anything at all because im having the same problem im only getting 11.63 volts out of a new alternator ?
  18. check your stator wiring
  19. Stator wiring ?