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Unread 11-04-2012, 12:58 PM   #1
Toloben
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Alternator issues?!?

Recently replaced alternator nine months ago. I also replaced the single wire (not the three connections that look like a ground) that comes off the alternator and goes to the fuse box with a number ten copper wire. Car starts just fine. But before I am on the main roads I get a check guages light and my volts drop to the reds.

Nine month old alternator is not a mean green. Just an off the shelf autozone alternator.

Please help Thank you, Ben

97 tj 2.5l 5sp


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Unread 11-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
jeepcicle
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By number ten copper wire, do you mean a 10 gauge wire? If so you should replace it with a larger wire (lower number gauge). When I replaced my alternator I put a 2 gauge wire from the alternate to the battery. If it is a 10 gauge wire you may not be able to push enough current through it to keep charging the battery.

If you google "wire gauge vs current" you can see what wire gauge you may need. I think 10 AWG will allow for about 15 amps maximum of current which is probably too low for your alternator.

If you alternator is stock like the 03-06 TJ (117W) you are producing about 10 Amps of current. When it comes to wiring you cannot go wrong with getting the larger wires.

I went with 4 gauge for the grounds and 2 gauge for the positive but would have done 0 gauge as well. If you are replacing one I would just do them all. Also you do not have to remove the other wires you can just add to them. Current will follow the path of least resistance.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
Toloben
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I will pull the alternator. Have it tested at a pepboys auto store. I will replace the wire that goes from the alternator to the fuse box to a lower guage number .. The wire harness on the back of the alternator. Can that be easily rewired by back engineering where they go to?
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Unread 11-04-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
jeepcicle
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If you are talking about the connector those wires I left alone. I replaced the following wires:

- positive battery to alternator
- ground battery to chassis
- ground battery to engine (can also ground the outside of the alternator)

Yea an autozone should be able to test and if the product is faulty they should have a lifetime warranty on it. I just bought an alternator there.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #5
streetglideok
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Could be a defective bautozone alternator(who'd thunk?), undersized wire, or even a bad battery. I'd suggest a better brand of alternator, from a different vendor. There's reman alternators, and there is bautozone. Not many reputable shops use their junk for a reason. Regardless though, I would check it and verify whether it is good, or the source of the problem.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 03:32 PM   #6
CJ7-Tim
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X2 on poorly rebuilt IdiotZone alternator. Cheap crappy "Lifetime Warranty" parts are often out of specification or even failed right out of the box. Many times they have a short service life before they fail. Always buy top quality replacement parts and genuine Jeep sensors.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
Toloben
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replaced the Alternator and rewired it. when everything was back together i turned the jeep on. it started.. turned it off after about ten min of sitting there idle (while it idled the Volt meter was back to charging but the head lights dash lights were just noticeably flickering.) Turned the truck off. went to restart it right away and everything turns off it wont crank. lights and everything. dash wont read at all. so i unplug the battery. re plug it in. before i crank it i turn the electric on. it comes on. i crank it. all light go again ect. so i jump it with my friends truck. it turns on... take it for a spin.. before iv gone a mile. my volt gauge hits its max and the check gauge light comes on. i go home turn it off. wont re start. try jumping it. wont restart.

Autozone gave me a new alternator because it was under warranty.
took battery to get tested and they said it was okay.
i am a broke college kid. i really dont want to have to bring it in.
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Unread 12-09-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
Toloben
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Any ideas
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Unread 12-09-2012, 10:24 AM   #9
CJ7-Tim
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Fully charge the battery with a plug in charger.

Perform routine maintenance of the start and charge systems. Remove, clean, and firmly reconnect all of the wires and cables to the battery, starter, and alternator. Look for corroded or damaged cables or connectors and replace as needed. Copper wires should be copper color, not black or green. Do the same for the grounding wires from the starter to engine block, and from the battery and engine to the Jeep's frame/body. You must remove, scrape, and clean until shiny, the cable/wire ends, and whatever they bolt to. Jeeps do not tolerate low voltage, bad connections, or poor grounds.

Place your DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Multi-Meter) on the 20 volt scale. First check battery voltage by placing your multi-meter's positive lead on the battery's positive post ( the actual post, not the clamp) and the negative lead on the negative post. You need a minimum of 12 volts to continue testing. Next, leave your meter connected and take a reading while the engine is cranking. Record this voltage reading. Now connect your positive lead to the battery terminal stud on the starter and the negative lead to the starter housing. Again, crank the engine and record the voltage reading. If the voltage reading at the starter is not within 1 volt of battery voltage then we have excessive voltage drop in the starter circuit.

Typical voltage drop maximums:
• starter circuit (including starter solenoid) = 0.60 volt
• battery post to battery terminal end = zero volts
• battery main cable (measured end to end) 0.20 volt
• starter solenoid = 0.20 volt
• battery negative post to alternator metal frame = 0.20 volt
• negative main cable to engine block = 0.20 volt
• negative battery post to starter metal frame = 0.30 volt
• battery positive post to alternator b+ stud = 0.5 volt with maximum charging load applied (all accessories turned on)
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