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Thread: Van down, electrical

  1. #21
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    Re: Van down, electrical

    I don't know what's going on but here's a couple of thoughts.

    1. These alternators are already weak and asking them to maintain 1 normal size battery is already pushing it. Asking the alternator to maintain 2 batteries is really pushing it.............and that's assuming you don't regularly discharge them. If you are asking the alternator to recharge even one dead battery you are asking too much.

    2. When I say these alternators are already weak, I'm assuming you have a quality alternator. For a period of about 5 years I was using the inexpensive "lifetime warranty" alternators from a discount auto parts house. During this time I went through about 10 alternators (about 1 every 6 months). I finally got tired of all the problems and decided to try an alternator rebuilt by Denso (the OEM manufacturer). The Denso alternators cost a bit more (around $150) but I ran that alternator (Denso #210-0272) hard for about 3 years before I finally upgraded to a Delco Remy 250A welding alternator. The Denso rebuild was still going strong when I removed it from service. Here is some more information about quality issues with the inexpensive "lifetime alternators": http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...lternator-woes

    3. Just because you quit servicing your power steering reservoir doesn't mean the pump will stop leaking (at least not right away). The most common leak in our power steering pumps is at the suction line. This means there doesn't need to be pressure present for the pump to leak. All it needs is a small amount of residual fluid to be present in the area of the leak & the leak to continue. A leak here can go on for more than a year and/or over 10k miles. This leak is EASY to fix.......arguably easier than changing an alternator or 2, or 3, or 4........FIX IT! Here's a thread that addresses this: http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...-Steering-Leak

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    Hey Tim

    Thanks for the reply. I don't know what's going on either. I can assure you the power steering is no longer leaking on the alternator for starters. The alternator is a reman from Oreilly. It has a rated capacity of 70A which I thought would be plenty to charge the deep cycle. So I might just get the warranty on it an replace it again. I do like the idea of the Denso just for the sake of quality. My deep cycle just get drained at least a few times a week but never below 9v. I'm travel for work and live out of it during the work week. It's what I use to keep my computer running at night. There in a 400w inverter that I run it off of. The inverter has a cut off switch that engages at 9v. The only thing that has me concerned is that I didn't get any warning this time. ie No Xmas tree lights. Have you ever seen that before? I doubt ALL of the bulbs burned out at the same time. lol And yeah I'd love to have a 250a alternator.

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    These alternators may be rated at 70A but they will not tolerate more than 25A continuous draw for more than a half hr or so. High continuous amp draw = high heat (and heat kills). Heat will kill an O'reilly alternator quicker than it will kill a factory Denso alternator (I've seen it time and time again). FWIW, batteries are technically dead when they drop to 11.7V. A group 24 battery will draw approx 30A for about 1/2 an hour when recharging from dead. Bigger batteries will draw more. Amp draw gradually decreases as the state of charge increases, so if the alternator survives the 1st 45 minutes it will likely survive that charge cycle. These alternators are designed to maintain charged batteries and to run automotive accessories. They are not designed to charge dead batteries. Bottom line? Based on the way you're using these questionable quality rebuilds I'd say they're failing about as often as I'd expect them to. Tim

    PS: Alternator failure is usually accompanied by dash lights, but not always. I've had them fail with no warning lights before.

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    I've had the no-light alternator fail, as well.

    I'm not sure how Ohm's law affects you, but a typical laptop wants 20 - 50 watts, so depending on how long you have it on, determines how long the alternator has to work hard. Maybe you could put a switch in-line to the deep-cycle and only let it charge for shorter periods, more often. It would be an added thought process, though, so for me it's easier to recommend the process than to do such, myself

    Good luck.

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    As far as a possible band-aid goes, putting a 20A self resetting circuit breaker between the solenoid and the aux battery would help. These breakers are common and cheap. When amperage exceeds rated output they modulate (limiting output) and that would help spare your alternator. When amperage drops to rated output or below they clamp down. Tim

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    As far as a possible band-aid goes, putting a 20A self resetting circuit breaker between the solenoid and the aux battery would help. These breakers are common and cheap. When amperage exceeds rated output they modulate (limiting output) and that would help spare your alternator. When amperage drops to rated output or below they clamp down. Tim
    I looked into those yesterday. I'll be putting one in for sure it really can't hurt. Just got back from Oreillys and it turns out that my starting battery did indeed have a bad cell. So that is what caused this alternator failure. That's two batteries now from these guys that went bad. Maybe I just am that unlucky. Thanks for the help with assessment and for easing my mind about my Xmas tree lights not coming on.

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    toaster i,m just throwing it out there but, this is what has worked good for me over the years. first i checked out the battery cables i put 2 new battery ground to chassis and battery ground to motor. next i disassemble the hot cable and go ahead and put new positive to starter and put a new fusible link in also. brush all connections to a clean look and make sure they are nice and tight. also remove the short harness that comes out of the altinator and goes into the main harness. you can maybe get a new one or really check out the connectors and rework them. and lastly i dont quite understand... you have 2 batteries? maybe just go back to the factory set up and use 1. i,m not goona claime that this will fix the toaster but this simple rework has worked for me for many years. in fact i do this type of maint on my van every 8 or 10 months(except new cables) just so i know that all is good at the root of the electrical system. now after all that i hope i just did,nt jinx myself!! i hope you get this situation fixed. this is just what has worked for me. good luck.

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    So just got done installing the new alternator and have only 12.26v at the battery. Pulled it out and had it benched and it passed three times(supposedly). The good news is all my Xmas tree lights have come back on. I'm sure you already figured out what the bad news is. I went through all the fusible links again. There good. Also cut off the old alternator plug and hard wired all the connections to the alternator. Still stuck with 12.26v at the battery. Took the van for a shortish drive and still have 12.26v. Turned on the lights, blower and wipers. Dropped it to 11.88v but it won't go any lower. Left it idle with everything on for over an hour. Still 11.88v with the draw on the battery. Turned off everything and back up to 12.26v at the battery. So I'm stumped still. LOL I won't have time to work on it again until Saturday. I plan on pulling the alt again and having it tested by someone else then. I'm quickly running out of ideas here. Scatches head.

    EDIT: So I just found a denso online for 130 bucks. I went ahead and ordered it. I'll be putting that in on Saturday. Worse case I still have the issue at least I'll have a backup alt in the future. Best case it fixes the problem. I just have a sneaking suspicion that the "new" alternator I got from them is bad. If that's not it I'll end up rewiring the whole system. It just doesn't add up in my head. The only other thing I can think is field or source have a break somewhere but they show continuity? I pulled the marine battery out of the system for the time being until I get the main battery issue figured out. So let's keep those ideas coming. And yes the grounds are also good.
    Last edited by thetoaster; 11-25-2012 at 08:26 PM.

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    Back when I was still fiddling around with those cheap rebuilds I got at least 2 of them that were bad right out of the box. The quality of those alternators really sucks. The only good thing about them is they help improve your skills and speed at replacing alternators . After switching to the one rebuilt by Denso all my problems ended. Lifetime of free replacement alternators might sound good, but if you're constantly replacing them it isn't worth the hassle. tim

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    So I just dropped in the Denso and same issue. The alternator just doesn't appear to be getting excited. I pulled the wiring harness out completely to recheck it and continuity is there. Hell it even looks pretty good still. So the problem has to lie in the main wiring harness that it plugs into. I'm ready to rewire the whole charging system completely at this point. So my next question in does anyone have a copy of the alternator wiring schematics? I've got white, yellow, and a black/yellow wire coming off the harness. I just need to know where they go. Thanks to all who have tried to help with this one.

    Found this online. Let me know if it looks right.

    http://www.bigblockdart.com/forum/sh...l=1#post112549

    It would have to be either sense or ignition. It's sense it's simple enough to run a new sense wire and check that first. If it's ignition I'm gonna be bummed. lol
    Last edited by thetoaster; 11-30-2012 at 09:40 PM.

  11. 12-02-2012, 01:16 AM


  12. #31
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    Re: Van down, electrical

    Here's a snip from the wiring diagram. Edited for better picture, so click the second one. I opened it and it's not much better, size-wise. I'll narrate, then.

    The wire nearest the pulley, shows "L" on the alternator and "Y", yellow wire. That shows it going to a 7.5 A "Charge" fuse.
    Moving around the back of the alternator shows a "B" on the alternator and "W", white wire coming from "FL 1.25B Fusible Link"
    Next shows an "S" on the alternator and "W", white wire going to "FL 0.5G", by the battery.
    The next one show "IG" on the alternator and "B-Y", your black-yellow wire, coming from a 7.5 A "Engine" fuse.

    Hope this helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by skibum; 12-02-2012 at 01:39 AM.

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    Quote Originally Posted by skibum View Post
    Here's a snip from the wiring diagram. Edited for better picture, so click the second one. I opened it and it's not much better, size-wise. I'll narrate, then.

    The wire nearest the pulley, shows "L" on the alternator and "Y", yellow wire. That shows it going to a 7.5 A "Charge" fuse.
    Moving around the back of the alternator shows a "B" on the alternator and "W", white wire coming from "FL 1.25B Fusible Link"
    Next shows an "S" on the alternator and "W", white wire going to "FL 0.5G", by the battery.
    The next one show "IG" on the alternator and "B-Y", your black-yellow wire, coming from a 7.5 A "Engine" fuse.

    Hope this helps.
    Skibum Thanks for the diagram. I actually got one yesterday from a guy who has a TV in my town. So after tracing back everything I finally found out what the problem was. The blk/ylw wire that I thought would be the lamp wire and have zero effect on the alternator turns out to be important after all. lol I ran ignition and source hot to the battery yesterday and to my amazement the alternator still wasn't getting excited. After I got the wiring diagram I traced the only culprit left and it turns out that blk/ylw broke off behind the fuse box plug. Some quick rewiring and the van is indeed putting out 13.75v. This has been one of the biggest PIA that I have ever gone through with my van. I mean you check fuses first right. Who checks the wiring going to the fuse box???? It will be the second thing I check from now on. On the plus side I have a spare alternator now that I can swap out in about 3 minutes. I was able to rewire the entire alternator side up to the main harness. Most of that stuff probably would have failed in the next year or two so I feel pretty good about getting it done. And I met a bunch of folks who love their vans as much if not more than I do. By the way the toaster has 320,000 on it. I'm the second owner and I've put 180000 of those on myself in the past 6 years. It has never had engine or tranny issues. When shpould I expect them to go??

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    hey toaster
    i came back to this thread to see how you were doin and was glad to see that you got it!! that is very cool. and i will file this check for future referance. and yer van WOW thats a ton of miles but not to worry bout the small stuff.in short i,m stoked for ya.especially after all the head bangin you did to fix the problem. best of luck to ya and yes i agree there is nothin like the folk on this site that are willing to help.

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    joegri

    Thanks for the moral support. Yep the van does have a ton of miles. When I first got it I was figuring it might hit 250000. Now I'm looking forward to the 400000 mark. The only work done to it so far has been a lot of alternators(lol) and a starter. I drive it every day and put at least 500 miles on it a week. It will be a sad day when it finally dies but then I'll be able to upgrade to a 4x4 manual. Thanks to all again.

    Matt

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    Hey Toaster,
    Glad you got the wiring figured out.

    I'm on my third van, a 1988 4x4 5-speed. I bought it with 225K and the guy had just replaced the engine. I'm also still driving my second van, a 1987 4x4, automatic. I'm at 160K with it and don't forsee major, mechanical, failure any time soon.

    You don't have to wait for the end, you can always just have more vans, anytime .

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    Re: Van down, electrical

    I'd just like to confirm toaster's solution and thank everyone again for the ongoing and lucid discussion on this forum. After realizing that my fusebox was all rusted out, I cracked it open, cleaned it up and put it back together. At the end of this process it was apparent that this could only serve as a short-term solution as a bunch of the female terminals were cracked and wouldn't hold a fuse. Regardless, I expeditiously took it for a short trip until it completely lost power and left me on the side of the road. Ultimately I had a friend drive my Subaru up, we swapped batteries, I jumped the Subaru and we motored home. Once I put the van's original battery, re-charged by the Subaru, back in place I tested the voltage while running. It was little over 12V at both the battery and the "+" box. I found a replacement fuse block on ebay, threw it in, and now I'm measuring 14-some volts at the "+" box. Drove it into the forest and motored around all weekend without a problem!

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