Hey guys I recently sold my buddy my older X and he's having problems already (now I feel bad)..anyway he encountered a charging problem and went out and bought a new battery. And go figure the next day it dies. So I pull the alternator out and bring it to the rebuild shop for them to test and apparently it works fine. I did check the wiring between the output post and the starter terminal to make sure there was a good connection and even temporarily ran a new 8 ga. wire straight from the alt. to the battery to make sure that wasn't it while it was still on the car.
The guy at the alternator shop told me it was probably the dummy light in the dash being burned out that was causing the whole thing. Apparently the little spade connector (the other of the 2 alt. connections) goes to the "dummy light" on the dash that lights up when there's no charging (like when you're cranking) and if it burns out it causes problems. Is this it? If so, is the dummy light the red one on the bottom of the volt meter?
But the first thing you need to check is the GROUND STRAP under the car between the frame and the transmission. Remove it, clean it and reinstall... this is the NUMBER ONE cause of a faulty charging system.
Then take a voltmeter and test the battery for 12.6 or better at rest, 13.4 or better when the alternator is charging (immediately after start up).
Let us know and we can then proceed from there if that doesn't fix it. Include the year and any mods too.
Black Tooth and me... since 1983!
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It should come on when the key is turned to "on" and before cranking. When the engine starts, it should go out, perhaps with a blip of the throttle. If the light doesn't light up at first, then the alternator probably isn't getting "excited" and isn't charging. Check the bulb, check the small wire at the alternator.
But first, as Tony suggests, check the voltage at the battery when it's running, should be about 13.5 or so, should be more than 12.5 when not running.
'87 Bertone X1/9 Corsa
'88 VW Vanagon
Olympia, Washington, USA
Okay so I bolted the alternator back on, permanently ran a new 8 ga. wire from the output post to the starter post. Then I cleaned the ground strap, and wire brushed all the ends and metal connections and reinstalled it nice and tight..was a little loose when I took it off. Then I reinstalled the brand new battery which I had been trickle charging for the last couple days. Cleaned the battery ground and cable, and added an extra 8 ga. ground between the post and the strut bolt.
The car starts, and the needle reads about 10 volts, red light still on. Volt meter says about 13.5-14 volts when running. Shut the car down, battery reads 13.3 volts with car off...seems like the car is charging. The needle still reads low though when running..around 10 volts. We figured the gauge was just broken?? and drive it home.
When we get home, we try to re-start it to see if the battery got a charge during the drive. NOTHING! the solenoid clicks but no cranking at all. We jumper it up to the trusty toyota...still no crank. I look under the ign. switch to find a charred brown wire spade. I'm going to get rid of that 4 pin plug tommorow and see if that helps the no crank problem but I still have the volt gauge reading wrong with the red light on. Can you guys help me figure this out?? I'm about to pull my hair out!!
To answer your questions, Tony the car is a carbureted 5sp. 79 mostly stock with a 34dmtr. No AC. Electrical mods include the brown wire mod, wiper relay mod, aftermarket fixed headlights and fog lights each with their own relay, and a fairly hefty stereo (for a fiat).
any help is greatly appreciated guys! I'll update again tomorrow after i get the ign. plug fixed up. Hopefully that's the problem...its fairly charred up but not to the point where it keeps the electical contacts from touching...that sounds really bad now that I write it down lol.
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