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Alternator info

 
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Jon
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Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Posts: 2404
Location: Bishop GA

1969 Volkswagen Type 3

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: Alternator info Reply with quote

Lately it seems we have had a lot of questions about alternators.
Here is some info I copied from Star Auto Electrics' website. (these are the guys Jake recommends)


Your alternator is the primary part of your car's or truck's charging system, which includes the battery, alternator and associated wiring and controls. Those controls may include a voltage regulator, separate from the alternator, or on many newer vehicles, an on-board computer.

The alternator's job is to generate electrical current to replace what was used from the battery to start the vehicle, and to run all of the electrical accessories that are in use as you drive. That includes lights, A/C fan, radiator fan, electric seats, windows, radio and whatever other gadgets you have.



The alternator was NEVER intended to be a battery charger. If you forget and leave your lights on, never jump-start the vehicle and "drive it around" to build the battery back up. I know grandpa said you could do that, and in grandpa's day of 35 amp generators you could easily get away with it. Today, most alternators are capable of making over 100 amps of current, but only for short periods of time. If you drive on a discharged battery, chances are, you will overheat your alternator. If it is not destroyed right then and there, it will surely be damaged and it's life greatly reduced. Jump-starts should be for dire emergencies only, with full knowledge of the consequences. As the amperage of the alternator has gone up, so has the price. That jump-start could cost a pretty penny.



Also, NEVER EVER disconnect the battery with the engine running. Grandpa could do it when there were no electronics in the car to be damaged. Some vehicle computers are over $1,000 to replace. Do you really want to take the risk? Of course, if the alternator is not working, this will rarely damage a thing. But isn't that what you are trying to find out? If it is charging, you will likely send a huge voltage spike through every electronic part on the car, including on-board computers and electronic control modules which operate the engine, air-conditioning, cruise control, anti-lock brakes, transmission shifting, and oh yes, the radio! It's your money.



There is a simple way to check the alternator. All you need is an inexpensive voltmeter.



First, read the voltage across the battery terminals. It should read about 12.6 volts. If it is lower than 12.2, you must charge the battery before you continue.



Second, start the engine and observe the voltage, it should INCREASE to 13.5 to 15 volts (depending on the vehicle, temperature, and several other factors).



Third, turn on the lights and A/C-heater fan on high. These are the two biggest electrical loads you can add. Now raise the engine speed to a little above idle and observe the voltage. If the alternator is working, it should maintain a voltage ABOVE 13. Some vehicles will read higher.



If you suspect the alternator is not charging after this test, you should have the system checked further. The alternator could have failed or another part of the system could be preventing it from doing the job.



The battery, it's state-of-charge (or discharge), its condition (internal resistance), and the condition of the cable ends are the most important part of your vehicle's electrical system. Taking care of the battery and cables will add many miles to the life of your alternator. Always inspect them when you check your oil. You do check your oil, don't you?



This Information is Courtesy of:

B&H Electric in Orange Park, Fl 1-904-269-7052
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Greg



Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Posts: 489
Location: Jefferson, GA

1969 Volkswagen Beetle

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, going by the article, mine needs to be repaired, going to try that this weekend if the weather holds out.
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Mrpatjr



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Monroe

1972 Volkswagen Beetle

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dead on info. In Monroe there is a little old shop called Woods electric. All the two guy do are test and rebuild GEN, ALT, and Starters old and new alike, been around before cars I think. Last ALT I took in he checked was bad, within two hrs was rebuilt and back on the truck. He said the same thing that was posted.
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Mrpatjr



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
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Location: Monroe

1972 Volkswagen Beetle

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah the cost to rebuild was $47.25.
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Jon
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Joined: 01 Jun 2006
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Location: Bishop GA

1969 Volkswagen Type 3

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do have any more contact info for Woods Electric?
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Mrpatjr



Joined: 25 Dec 2013
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Location: Monroe

1972 Volkswagen Beetle

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Open mon-fri 8-5 7702673113. 1216 Mathis st monroe 30655. Almost at the corner of Broad and Walker St heading toward social circle
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