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Discussion Starter #1
My sister's 93 3.8 blew a head gasket last Saturday so being the nice guy that I am, I let her & my brother-in-law borrow my 95 while it's in the shop.

Figured it couldn't hurt to for it to get some use, it's been a garage queen while I'm stockpiling upgrade parts....

They live in an apartment and have no garage. Apparently they've had to get it jumpstarted the past couple mornings as it's been quite chilly here in Omaha. The battery is probably 5 yrs old so this doesn't surprise me. I hadn't had this problem yet since it's always garaged and I've been driving the Saturn all winter.

So, my dim-witted brother-in-law decides to buy me a new battery instead of bothering me with it. Now, to call him ignorant of all things automotive would be nice. Apparently he paid no heed to those little "-" and "+" signs next to the terminals and hooked the damn thing up backwards. Doing so caused the alternator to start "spewing smoke" according to my sister who was watching through the window. By the time he had yanked the cables off she was out the door and saw what he had done. After questioning his lineage she grabbed the battery, turned it around and tried hooking it up correctly. She said this caused more smoke so she yanked the cables off again.

I'm HOPING all that happened was that they crispy fried the voltage regulator and possibly the alternator. She said some of the copper wires visible through the vents on the alternator are now black but that all of the wires going to/from appear to be fine (not charred or melted).

I'm going over there tomorrow after work to yank the alternator so I can get the core charge back immediately when I hit auto zone. So...if anybody knows....did this hopefully just toast the regulator and probably the alternator or do you think further damage was done? What else should I check when I go over there?

I just LOVE doing repair work outside in the [email protected]#$% freezing cold....


All I have to say is the brother in law had better be elsewhere tomorrow night.
 

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Originally posted by Capital Punishment@Jan 6 2004, 10:26 PM
I hope the computers allright.
There are diodes to protect the computers but you should check the frame ground connection to make sure the positive charge didn't fry it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Will do - thank you very much for the tip. I hadn't thought of that.

On my way over to yank the old one. Cross your fingers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I made the brother-in-law take the Wal-Mart special battery he bought back and sent him to Sam's with my membership card to buy one for $20 less.

The ground(s) looked fine and no fuses were blown in the under-hood fuse block. I put the new alternator & battery in, said a prayer and turned the key. The old gal sprang to life without any problems. The only interior fuse blown was the one for the interior lights, door chime and clock/radio. I had a couple of those in my misc parts bin here at home so no problem.

I am SO glad nothing else was fried.

Their car is supposed to be done tomorrow or friday so I told my sis to not let the retard even TOUCH the keys to my car between now & then. She's supposed to take him to work and pick him up. If I find out she let him drive it they're not getting any more help out of me for a very, very long time.

Time to make some hot soup, crank up the fireplace and get warmed up.

Side note: One of these days I'm going to remember to buy that stupid tensioner pulley wrench so I don't have to jury-rig a pry bar every time.
 
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