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Thread: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

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    Administrator llamavan's Avatar
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    Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    See THIS Library Article for step-by-step instructions on how to change your van's alternator!

    Gwen
    1985 5-speed window cargo van set up for llama haulin'; 345K ("Trustyvan")
    1989 4WD 5-speed DLX; 410K and an odd sense of humor ("Skylervan")

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    i got that problem already, but it was too late when i knew it the alternator were full of white smoke, the mechanic changed the electrode, it was all burned, runs OK, but the christmas ligths has been appered, i know now why is that...,


    i just have 1 week with a new stereo, i plug it right, the stereo turns off with the key switch and it sound great, but 5 days ago, my van kind act really strange, first, the USB doesnt played, then, the mp3 or cd player doesnt played too, the direcctional lights got really hard work to turn on, then the FM and AM radio stop working, at last the wonderwagon just died in a red light, she power on right away, then in the nigth i try to power on the van and it has low battery, the power steering gauge is not working when i bougth it til today have a screw in this spot blocking the oil exit, but obvious, it has a leak, all the way down there are oil and it was the reason of my Alternator desease, but my question is kind of dumb, the stereo thing and board problems are in fact becouse the christmas lights???

    another Questions, only if you can tell me where or with who or if you know..., my speedometer doesnt work, nor the temperature meter, and the drivers buttons just works the window and doors locks button, the crusier doesnt work, nor the windshield washer fluid system, nor the back door windshield and i know now that the water overflow doesnt have the coolant gauge, it only works for contain water and nothing else()


    i love my van but it needs some work minimal work but the very important is the battery problem, and the Temp meter... if you can help me i will thank you...


    best regards...

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    I would strongly suggest disconnecting your (new) alternator harness at the "+ box" connection prior to inserting the harness, with it's "plastic clip", into the back-shell of the alternator. I just went through this installation. This will make the harness installation much less frustrating, by taking the strain off of the harness while you are inserting the plastic "harness clip." Reconnect the far end of the harness to the "+ box" connection as the final step (before reconnecting your battery terminals at the battery).

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Hi there! Thanks for all the help so far- this post is great. I have a 1985 Van which I purchased about six months ago and have been consistently working on since then. I ordered a rebuilt Denso alternator and installed it yesterday. However, a couple strange things happened:

    #1- I found out that the alternator I replaced had neither a strain relief mount or the plug that you mentioned. I found a wire that looks like what would plug into the alternator, but the wire is not long enough to ever have been connected there... meaning I have been driving without it connected for about 6,000 miles since I bought the van.
    #2- After installing the alternator just like the old one was, the christmas light effect is still happening and the lights are still dim... pretty much exactly what was happening before.

    Any ideas? Did I do something wrong or is there just something else that could be wrong with the same signs?

    p.s. I looked around for the fusible links and can't find them! Any help on where they are?

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    Van Fan Danny's Avatar
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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Thanks Llamavan! This thread just saved my butt. Tis the season for Christmas Dash apparently..

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Thanks for this great thread (and the link to the alternate (!) way to orient the alternator to get it out/in, which I needed). A rebuilt AC-Delco alternator is in and the Christmas lights are gone. I really appreciate this site and forum and community.

    John B.

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Just finished replacing alternator... 😬😬

    Is there any chance I can see pics of the bracket the coolant overflow mounts on? I pulled until I thought I was about to break something and nothing slipped or wiggled. Needless to say it's quite aggravating without the additional space.
    ____________________
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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    It's the metal part touching the pulley side of the alternator in this picture:


    The coolant bottle slides down over the edge of the metal bracket. Sometimes they're hard to remove, but they always come off if you put enough pressure in the correct spot. Tim

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Thanks Tim! It'll probably come off now that the alternator has been done. 😬😬
    ____________________
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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Thanks for the fine writeup, Llamavan! (I still have the bungee cords for alternator replacement.) Finally started my '87 4WD after >1 year in layup. ItM lives!! But she's giving the same dashboard lights as shown above, indicating that something's wrong in electricville. Just out of curiosity, I put my multimeter on the battery terminals before and after starting. Before: 13.8V; after: 14.7V. The alternator is apparently working normally; she must have another wiring problem.

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    14.7 is a little high. I suspect if you let it run a while, as your battery heats up it will likely go higher. Check the yellow fusible link (FL 0.5G) in the battery compartment. More information on that here: http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...le-link-thread

    If that one is "open" (not making an electrical connection) it will cause your alternator to go "full field" and your dash lights will likely illuminate. Tim

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    I put my multimeter on the battery terminals before and after starting. Before: 13.8V; after: 14.7V.
    I'm taking this to mean before starting the engine and with the engine running. If I understood that correctly, then 13.8 is quite high for static battery voltage. If you had the van running right before the battery test then this may support Tim's theory of high alternator output as the battery voltage may not have come down to normal from a state of overcharge yet.

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    While troubleshooting the starting problem I checked the FL 0.5G fusible link. It showed low resistance. Nonetheless, its physical condition is not good; plastic is starting to chip off its exterior. So I bought a covered fuseholder which will be installed later with a 15A fuse. All I could find wrong in the ignition system was slightly high resistance in the ignition switch and clutch switch. Repeated operation of both brought down the resistance to an acceptable level. Before starting the van the first time, battery terminal voltage was 13.2V. It was taken off an automatic charger <1 hour before. The battery used for testing is a Group 24, which I think is physically larger and higher capacity than what Toyota recommends for our vans. She was started, then shut down for only a couple of minutes before I put the Fluke on the terminals and measured 13.8V (slowly going down) before starting and 14.7V while running (just after starting). I have a small digital volt/amp/total power meter that is used in line with the amateur radio gear in one of my vans. Voltage regularly goes to 14.5 - 14.7V shortly after starting, depending on the condition of the battery, and then eventually comes down to 13.6 - 13.8V. I should check the system voltage on my other three vans just before and after starting. If the voltage/charging curve isn't similar, then I'll change the alternator. I do have a couple of rebuilt (by a local auto electric shop in Creswell, OR) alternators sitting around here somewhere...Thanks very much for everyone's advice.
    The one thing I couldn't find in the '87 service manual body electrical diagrams is the clutch start relay. Anyone know where it is?

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    It's back behind the AFM by the Check Engine Connector. If the 0.5G link is good, there could be a bad spot in the wire between the link and the "S" terminal of the regulator. the next most common spot for a bad wire is in the harness that connects to the alternator. Tim

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Thanks for the good information, Tim. Your sage advice and encyclopedic knowledge are always appreciated.

    If you see my '86 cargo on I-5 headed north on Tuesday, please wave! B^)

    Tim

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    I saw 2 vans this week. Yesterday it was silver 84 or 85 with a bed platform in the back headed north on 205 leaving Vancouver. I looked over to give the "thumbs up" a couple times, but failed to catch the driver's attention.

    Today it was a blue 86 - 89 van driving north through Portland on I-5 towards Vancouver. It had a yellow stripe about 2" wide pained horizontally under the rear hatch glass. I was driving my Ford truck though, so it was pointless to wave (driver would be like "WTF" : ). I'm up and down that corridor between Portland, OR and Woodland, WA. in my brown 86 almost every day. I'll keep an eye out for you . Tim

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Tim, I saw your business van in Battle Ground years ago, but was on my way elsewhere and couldn't stop to say hi or leave a note.

    Sure enough, the alternator output voltage profile on my '88 2WD cargo was about 1 VDC lower than that of the '86 cargo. The '86 is in my new workshop in WA now; my '88 and I are in Eugene, OR. I'll be up there at my property to do some regular maintenance and troubleshooting on both vans around Thursday, 5/5.

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    llama, you are doing God's work. Keep it up, and thanks for the post!

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Note: Regarding 14mm alternator bracket bolt in picture #8: There is a small risk of creating a problem with water jacket gaskets by messing with this. I would recommend leaving that one alone as the alternator can be finagled out of there without moving that bracket. Tim

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    Re: Change your alternator ILLUSTRATED!

    Thanks for this thread. I used it the first time I changed my alternator and found it very useful. I'm changing out another as I had a major PS hose failure.

    I ordered an AC Delco alternator off RockAuto.

    I've spent the last couple hours trying to wrestle this new one into the lower mounting bracket. I've removed the fan shroud so I have better access. I remember on my first alternator job, getting it in was a struggle, but I had a partner with me at that time, and we figured it out. I can't remember exactly what we did to get it in there the first time and I'm growing increasingly frustrated working on my own.

    Are there any tricks or adjustments that I may be overlooking? It seems like the new alternator is a fraction bigger than the bracket. I tried to see how easily the old one would go in and it seems to be the same scenario. This causes me to believe I have the right alternator, but am just missing a piece to the re-installment puzzle.

    Thanks for any help

    Dave

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