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Old 05-13-2010, 04:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ok, now it's onto another issue.

About a month ago, while driving home at night after work,the dash lights and my headlights went dim and the battery light came on in the instrument cluster. Thinking it was a bad alternator (seeing as how this happened once before) I replaced it. That didn't help. Instead, the battery light on the instrument cluster stayed illuminated.

Today, I replaced the alternator (I've been driving a different car since) again, and it's still giving me that constantly-lit battery light on the instrument cluster.

What could be causing this? I've cleaned the battery terminals and checked the mega-fuse distribution box and it seems fine.
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1996 Taurus GL - 264K miles and climbing. 3.0L Vulcan/AX4S automatic
1992 Ford Taurus SHO - 218K miles and climbing. 3.0L 24V DOHC/MTX manual.
1955 Kenworth-Pacific School Coach school bus. 73 pass. cap. Over 500K miles and climbing. GMC 401 cid V6 gas engine/5-spd. Fuller 6252 manual.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What about the serpentine belt and the idler pullies? Are they in good shape?
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I do need to replace the serpentine belt (that's on my "to-do" list), but the other pullies are all new - or are very low mileage.
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1996 Taurus GL - 264K miles and climbing. 3.0L Vulcan/AX4S automatic
1992 Ford Taurus SHO - 218K miles and climbing. 3.0L 24V DOHC/MTX manual.
1955 Kenworth-Pacific School Coach school bus. 73 pass. cap. Over 500K miles and climbing. GMC 401 cid V6 gas engine/5-spd. Fuller 6252 manual.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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QUOTE (StevenRosenow @ May 13 2010, 05:04 PM)
Quote:
I do need to replace the serpentine belt (that's on my "to-do" list), but the other pullies are all new - or are very low mileage.[/b]
Measure the battery voltage at 2000 RPM or so. It should be 14.5 or better with the car reved up.

If not, you may have a control issue with the alternator. The control wire that tells the alternator to turn on
could either have a bad connector, or other wiring issues.

bob
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If Spock drove a Taurus it would be a Vulcan
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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QUOTE (soundu @ May 13 2010, 10:02 PM)
Quote:
QUOTE (StevenRosenow @ May 13 2010, 05:04 PM)
Quote:
I do need to replace the serpentine belt (that's on my "to-do" list), but the other pullies are all new - or are very low mileage.[/b]
Measure the battery voltage at 2000 RPM or so. It should be 14.5 or better with the car reved up.

If not, you may have a control issue with the alternator. The control wire that tells the alternator to turn on
could either have a bad connector, or other wiring issues.

bob
[/b][/quote]

Which wire would that be?

Also, would an accidental short of the alternator with a bracket (by way of a prybar touching the hot wire and said bracket at the same time) cause it?

I wouldn't think so, but I want to touch all bases. I really don't want to give up on this car, seeing as how it has a lot of life left in it.
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1996 Taurus GL - 264K miles and climbing. 3.0L Vulcan/AX4S automatic
1992 Ford Taurus SHO - 218K miles and climbing. 3.0L 24V DOHC/MTX manual.
1955 Kenworth-Pacific School Coach school bus. 73 pass. cap. Over 500K miles and climbing. GMC 401 cid V6 gas engine/5-spd. Fuller 6252 manual.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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QUOTE (StevenRosenow @ May 14 2010, 01:47 AM)
Quote:
QUOTE (soundu @ May 13 2010, 10:02 PM)
Quote:
QUOTE (StevenRosenow @ May 13 2010, 05:04 PM)
Quote:
I do need to replace the serpentine belt (that's on my "to-do" list), but the other pulleys are all new - or are very low mileage.[/b]
Measure the battery voltage at 2000 RPM or so. It should be 14.5 or better with the car reved up.

If not, you may have a control issue with the alternator. The control wire that tells the alternator to turn on
could either have a bad connector, or other wiring issues.

bob
[/b][/quote]

Which wire would that be?

Also, would an accidental short of the alternator with a bracket (by way of a prybar touching the hot wire and said bracket at the same time) cause it?

I wouldn't think so, but I want to touch all bases. I really don't want to give up on this car, seeing as how it has a lot of life left in it.
[/b][/quote]


Here is the back of a typical 3G alt.

http://fordfuelinjection.com/public/altern...lternator04.jpg

look at the little single terminal between the big lug with the heavy wire, and the multipin plug.
this should be a single wire. get a volt meter and read what this pin reads on the volts scale with
the motor running. While you at it, measure the battery voltage with the motor at idle and
at 2000 RPM.

here is what the two plugs look like:

http://fordfuelinjection.com/public/altern...3G-ALT_plug.gif

check out this tech note too:

http://xrl.in/5cui

take some readings and report back
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Um, here's something interesting!

The plugs (which I inspected) all were fine. The battery's voltage is around 8 or s volts, but that's because I need to recharge it. Once I do that, I'll do a voltage test of the single-wire connector.

However, since I did make an accidental shorting contact (via prybar with the positive battery connection on the alternator to the bracket immediately behind the contact point for said battery connection - accidentally due to me not putting the rubber protective cap back over the connection), I decided to do an inspection of the 175-amp Mega-Fuse at the power distribution box.

It was completely blown! I decided to check because the connections at the power distribution box seemed to've felt a tad bit loose.

So, would a blown 175-amp Mega-Fuse cause my symptoms?

And if so, where do I puchase one?
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1996 Taurus GL - 264K miles and climbing. 3.0L Vulcan/AX4S automatic
1992 Ford Taurus SHO - 218K miles and climbing. 3.0L 24V DOHC/MTX manual.
1955 Kenworth-Pacific School Coach school bus. 73 pass. cap. Over 500K miles and climbing. GMC 401 cid V6 gas engine/5-spd. Fuller 6252 manual.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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QUOTE (StevenRosenow @ May 16 2010, 06:18 AM)
Quote:
Um, here's something interesting!

The plugs (which I inspected) all were fine. The battery's voltage is around 8 or s volts, but that's because I need to recharge it. Once I do that, I'll do a voltage test of the single-wire connector.

However, since I did make an accidental shorting contact (via prybar with the positive battery connection on the alternator to the bracket immediately behind the contact point for said battery connection - accidentally due to me not putting the rubber protective cap back over the connection), I decided to do an inspection of the 175-amp Mega-Fuse at the power distribution box.

It was completely blown! I decided to check because the connections at the power distribution box seemed to've felt a tad bit loose.

So, would a blown 175-amp Mega-Fuse cause my symptoms?

And if so, where do I purchase one?[/b]

I have never seen one blown! I think the dealer would probably **** you, but i would check.
I would get one at the U-Pull yard.

bob
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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She's all fixed!

Popped in a like-new 175A Mega-Fuse from a fairly clean '01 Taurus out of a wrecking yard (pulled three more for spares).

Problem has now gone away!

And hee's the problem child!

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosenow_photography/4614306225/" target="_blank">

</a>
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1996 Taurus GL - 264K miles and climbing. 3.0L Vulcan/AX4S automatic
1992 Ford Taurus SHO - 218K miles and climbing. 3.0L 24V DOHC/MTX manual.
1955 Kenworth-Pacific School Coach school bus. 73 pass. cap. Over 500K miles and climbing. GMC 401 cid V6 gas engine/5-spd. Fuller 6252 manual.
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