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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 SEL and ever since I have owned it I have had the same issue. After starting and the car returns to low idle it acts like the alternator is not putting out. This is most noticeable at night with headlights on or having the the heater fan running on high. When the car idles I can hear the fan rpms drop and the headlights dim. As soon as the engines rpms come up off of idle I get a very very noticeable increase in fan rpm's and the headlights get really bright just for a second (pulse of light) then return to a steady (normal) brightness. I took it to a reputable shop and had them load test the battery and Alt. They said that the battery had a bad cell and that needed to be replaced before he test the alternator. I stuck a Yellow top Optima in and took it back to have the alt. tested. He stated the "alternator is on it's way out" he said there was virtually no output at idle and produced 88amps @ 2000rpm. Since I'm into stereos I found a 220amp HO alternator with an under drive pulley. When installing the new alternator I did the big 3 upgrade to 1/0 copper welding cable all the way around. I also ran two runs of the 1/0 wire from the front battery to the trunk and added a second matching Yellow top Optima. I figured this would finally fix my issue but I am still having the same exact symptoms. I also decided to add a stinger volt meter and it confirms what I thought. At idle voltage trickles down and stabilizes between 12.2-11.9v with headlights on voltage drops to 11.6-11.4 then if I turn on the fan with headlights on it drops to 11.2-11.0v. This is w/o my stereo on. Took it back to be retested with the new alternator and got the same result as before when idling. Shop guy said it was basically not producing anything at idle but I was getting 195amps @ 2000rpm. All these tests were done w/o any aftermarket stereo gear in the vehicle just stock electrical loads. I have to be missing something??? or got a defective new alternator. Any help is much appreciated.
 

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That is VERY low voltage. My guess is the new alternator is defective if you are sure all of your wiring is correct.
 

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So when you got the new alternator it came with it's own voltage regulator (you didn't swap any parts over), right? Your serpentine belt is also nice and tight, correct? Did you check the voltage sense fuse #26 (10A)? With the alternator under load, what is the voltage drop from the alternator + post to the + battery terminal?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So when you got the new alternator it came with it's own voltage regulator (you didn't swap any parts over), right? Your serpentine belt is also nice and tight, correct? Did you check the voltage sense fuse #26 (10A)? With the alternator under load, what is the voltage drop from the alternator + post to the + battery terminal?
New Alt. came w/voltage regulator and new belt is tight.
I did not check the voltage sence fuse #26 (10A) w/alt. under load. or the voltage drop between the alt. +post and the Batt. +post.

I will check those here shortly. What should I be looking for on the sence fuse #26(10A) besides verifing it's not blown?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, I'll run some tests and post up the results.
 

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UNDERDRIVE pulley on the new alt????? Big mistake. With a UDP, the alt will never charge correctly at idle. BTDT on 5.0 Mustangs.
 

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Did you mean underdrive (larger) or overdrive (smaller) pulley? If you have a "system" you would want to go in the overdrive direction? Good catch Jeff.
 

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You guys beat me to it. That is why I asked if he was original owner. Could also be an underdrive main pully. If you have a big stereo it can't keep up at idle.
 

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Pulleys have to be the issue. Rated output (within 20%) @ 2000 RPM rules out everything electrical.
 

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Ok, I can practically guess the brand of Alt you bought. I also hope you still have the box it came in. You need to pick up the phone get an RMA and send it back and tell the sales person of all the trouble this thing has caused. You are not alone. Those cheap parts are "hot wired" and only at highway speeds and 3000 rpm will you even get near 150 amps. Let alone 100 amps at idle. Forget about "parking lot bumping". I had the same experience and fell for the phony numbers. Ther may be a dozen alt company's but only one is irresistible that all our members seem to fall for. But they should let you return it if your within the return policy period. At the time of purchasing the turkey alt I had a 60-90 min commute. My car almost shut off repeatedly during the rush hour expressway "moving parking lot crawl" and I almost killed my batteries until I sent that thing back and put the factory alt back in. At idle it will BARELY keep the car running WITHOUT a system. Now I don't get anything to make recommendations but you can see what Alternator company I use. It's EXPENSIVE! $500 and a 2 year warranty. But worth every penny. Every rose has its thorns. Like 1) My voltage light is always on (factory electronics doesn't like 270AMPS) and 2) you have to modify your bracket or shave a cooling fin for it to fit in the vulcan bay. I had a "high end mechanic shop shave the cooling fin" and the install cost $225. I would have fabricated a bracket if I had to do it again. But my Stinger volt meter says 15.2 volts so were good! :banana: It's been over 2 years and it is still kickin. 270AMPS. 100 at idle. She BANGS!

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The Alts also come with the birth certificate just like my Rockford Fosgate Constant Power Amps. Imagine that? My philosophy is "do it right the first time". There's another guy in the forum that has a DC POWERS alt. If you have a 2000+ true watts system. DC POWER was the only company with a 2 year warranty that can deliver these 270 amps for our Fords. I did the homework and called Mechman, Pa performance, Ohio generaters all good companys but I had to go with the "military grade technology that can run hot all day and STILL give you power. Anyway forget the second battery. Take care of the alt first. You must remember another battery is another "load". The alt powers the system and the battery buffers what the alt can't power power. If your system is 800 total Rms your stock battery and factory alt should barely be able to handle the system. So return the turkey alt put the factory alt back in and cut your amp gains in half and do your own homework and buy a real alt that will get the job done at IDLE. Then after you install the right alt buy a 2nd twin battery only of needed. What brands of amps are you running anyway? Total wattage? Got the birth sheets ? What do they say? knowing whats being powered would help out. Lets us know what you decide to do. But first things first call and get the RETURN MERCHANDISE AUTHORIZATION for you alt today. Then start calling alt company's. Remember you get what you pay for. You want and need power at idle so your car won't shut off and strand you and your passengers in the middle of the road in the winter. Some company's can't deliver the amps at idle, only at highway speeds. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did you buy the car new? Vulcan or Tech?
Bought the car w/51,000mi on it. It now has 172,000 and still tickin'
Duratech

UNDERDRIVE pulley on the new alt????? Big mistake. With a UDP, the alt will never charge correctly at idle. BTDT on 5.0 Mustangs.
I mis-spoke. overdrive pulley according to the website.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ok, I can practically guess the brand of Alt you bought. I also hope you still have the box it came in. You need to pick up the phone get an RMA and send it back and tell the sales person of all the trouble this thing has caused. You are not alone. Those cheap parts are "hot wired" and only at highway speeds and 3000 rpm will you even get near 150 amps. Let alone 100 amps at idle. Forget about "parking lot bumping". I had the same experience and fell for the phony numbers. Ther may be a dozen alt company's but only one is irresistible that all our members seem to fall for. But they should let you return it if your within the return policy period. At the time of purchasing the turkey alt I had a 60-90 min commute. My car almost shut off repeatedly during the rush hour expressway "moving parking lot crawl" and I almost killed my batteries until I sent that thing back and put the factory alt back in. At idle it will BARELY keep the car running WITHOUT a system. Now I don't get anything to make recommendations but you can see what Alternator company I use. It's EXPENSIVE! $500 and a 2 year warranty. But worth every penny. Every rose has its thorns. Like 1) My voltage light is always on (factory electronics doesn't like 270AMPS) and 2) you have to modify your bracket or shave a cooling fin for it to fit in the vulcan bay. I had a "high end mechanic shop shave the cooling fin" and the install cost $225. I would have fabricated a bracket if I had to do it again. But my Stinger volt meter says 15.2 volts so were good! :banana: It's been over 2 years and it is still kickin. 270AMPS. 100 at idle. She BANGS!

Mobile Photobucket

The Alts also come with the birth certificate just like my Rockford Fosgate Constant Power Amps. Imagine that? My philosophy is "do it right the first time". There's another guy in the forum that has a DC POWERS alt. If you have a 2000+ true watts system. DC POWER was the only company with a 2 year warranty that can deliver these 270 amps for our Fords. I did the homework and called Mechman, Pa performance, Ohio generaters all good companys but I had to go with the "military grade technology that can run hot all day and STILL give you power. Anyway forget the second battery. Take care of the alt first. You must remember another battery is another "load". The alt powers the system and the battery buffers what the alt can't power power. If your system is 800 total Rms your stock battery and factory alt should barely be able to handle the system. So return the turkey alt put the factory alt back in and cut your amp gains in half and do your own homework and buy a real alt that will get the job done at IDLE. Then after you install the right alt buy a 2nd twin battery only of needed. What brands of amps are you running anyway? Total wattage? Got the birth sheets ? What do they say? knowing whats being powered would help out. Lets us know what you decide to do. But first things first call and get the RETURN MERCHANDISE AUTHORIZATION for you alt today. Then start calling alt company's. Remember you get what you pay for. You want and need power at idle so your car won't shut off and strand you and your passengers in the middle of the road in the winter. Some company's can't deliver the amps at idle, only at highway speeds. Good luck.
YEP, You Know It! You can see what I'm running for gear and the build thread in my signature below.
I have the Duratech. Not familure with the vulcan, but the wizards at ford put the thing way down underneith the motor and not sure about clearance for the stinger alt. w/o looking at it.

Other than your voltage light being on, have you had any other issues with the factory systems running 270Amps and 15v ???

Alternator | PowerBastards.com
 

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Maybe I missed something, but did you have it tested not installed in the car?


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Discussion Starter #18

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So it hasn't been tested outside of the car. So I would yank it out and have it tested. Wonder if its something weird with your electrical system.

I'm a bit stumped here if both the old and new did the same thing.

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PM sent. Here's thread of other members DC POWER install.
http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/117-electronics-security-audio-visual/172254-dc-power-engineering-high-output-alternator.html

Now was your original alt a Ford factory alt? Those should deliver 14.4-8 and 110 Amps (I forgot highway speed max). Enough juice to enjoy any kind of genre but not FULL TILT. The stock alt can handle 800rms if you did the big 3 and sanded & grinded the surfaces to bare shiny mirror metal before you attached the grounds. If you keep the stock alt don't buy a second battery because now you'll have to charge BOTH batterys AND power your stereo AND power your car.
 
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