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Alternator problem please HELP!

This is a discussion on Alternator problem please HELP! within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hi guys this my situation. A few days ago I took off a traffic light pretty fast in my 98 ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Mean Black
    1998 Trans Am

    Alternator problem please HELP!

    Hi guys this my situation. A few days ago I took off a traffic light pretty fast in my 98 TA. When the car hit 2 gear( it's automatic) the "check gauges" light came on. I checked my voltmeter was on the lowest yellow zone. I have a digital voltmeter and it showed 11.9 volts.

    I knew it was the alternator I have replaced like 1 yr ago from pepboys. Last time I just replaced it because I got the car. I bought an Optima red top battery also. So I removed my alternator took it to pepboys, they bench tested and it was bad. The gave me a new replacement (remanufactured, I know they are crap) and I installed fired it up and everything looked good. I rev it up a few times in my driveway and no problem at all. I drove the car nicely for about 2 days and today I accelerate pretty hard so I can pass a car and the "check gauges" light came on again. Same problem the volts are way low. A good friend of mine told me that it could very well be a bad ground to the alternator. It overheats it and it goes bad( okay...). So I replace the alternator again and I put a #4 gauge wire from the chassis to one of the bolts of the alternator.

    I test drive it and everything seems fine until again I rev it up while driving and the problems repeats again. I haven't checked the battery. The car starts with no problem even with the bad alternator. Could it be a bad battery? I don't know what else to try it doesn't make sense. I put the scanner and I don't have any codes.

    Any ideas? Thanks. Jay

  2. #2
    Life in the Fast lane sunsetorangess's Avatar
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    Met. Sunset Orange
    01 SS

    Might want to get a "new" instead of remanufactured alt.
    J
    2001 SS, Its not the car its the Driver that matters....

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    1993 mustang

    i think it might be your alternator just like u said. On my taurus i have a 2 stage alternator. the mechanic told me that it operates in low speed and high speed. I was able to drive the car below 60-65 fine, but if i went over the car started to bog and want to shut-off. as soon as i slowed down it would work fine. maybe your TA has same type of alternator. buck pepboys their parts are sorry!

  4. #4
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Well this what I did. I got another replacement alternator. They didn't have the new one in stock. I put the alternator in. Before I decided to test it I checked all the major electrical wires. The starter wire that comes from the battery didn't look too good. It was overheated and had some spots that were corroded. At this point I started thinking that these wires are 10 yrs old and need to be replaced. So I bought new wire and changed the starter wire, the alternator wire and the engine fuse box wire. I increase the wire size to a #4 wire. Not only the alternator problem got solved but also my low voltage problem. I used to only get around 12.8 - 13.4 volts. Now I get 14 - 14.2 volts all the time. Either the wires were creating alot of resistance or the alternator was a crappy one. Thanks for the replies.

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    I bet it's resistance in the wires.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTA98 View Post
    Hi guys this my situation. A few days ago I took off a traffic light pretty fast in my 98 TA. When the car hit 2 gear( it's automatic) the "check gauges" light came on. I checked my voltmeter was on the lowest yellow zone. I have a digital voltmeter and it showed 11.9 volts.

    I knew it was the alternator I have replaced like 1 yr ago from pepboys. Last time I just replaced it because I got the car. I bought an Optima red top battery also. So I removed my alternator took it to pepboys, they bench tested and it was bad. The gave me a new replacement (remanufactured, I know they are crap) and I installed fired it up and everything looked good. I rev it up a few times in my driveway and no problem at all. I drove the car nicely for about 2 days and today I accelerate pretty hard so I can pass a car and the "check gauges" light came on again. Same problem the volts are way low. A good friend of mine told me that it could very well be a bad ground to the alternator. It overheats it and it goes bad( okay...). So I replace the alternator again and I put a #4 gauge wire from the chassis to one of the bolts of the alternator.

    I test drive it and everything seems fine until again I rev it up while driving and the problems repeats again. I haven't checked the battery. The car starts with no problem even with the bad alternator. Could it be a bad battery? I don't know what else to try it doesn't make sense. I put the scanner and I don't have any codes.

    Any ideas? Thanks. Jay
    i've been dealing with this on the wife's car since january. i even replaced the positive cable wit ha new one from the dealer. finally got it figured out. i've been through 6 alternators. all were new ACDelco. i got tired of just swapping them out and took one to central florida reman near me. found out the rotor inside the alternator was walking and cut the ground wire inside for the rotor. so got it warranted out. instead of putting it back on the wife's car, i put it on mine to take her car out of the equation. one night, i took my car to 6500 rpms and the alternator took a crap again. i took that alternator back to central florida reman and the same thing happened. come to find out the rotors inside the ACDelco are aftermarket and not made correctly. as you spin them higher in the rpms, the rotor walks around and cuts the ground wire. i had them fix it by putting an original design rotor back in it and replace the regulator. so far, no issues.

    seeing as you are in orlando, maybe we can meet up and get it taken care of.

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    Wow seems like there should be a service bulletin, I mean who would ever figure that out.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    a service bulletin won't reach the aftermarket parts supply houses. they might not even know at this point still.

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    Isn't ACDelco the OEM parts supplier? If they are my point is I'm surprised paperwork hasn't been created to purge the bad stock and to generate a service bulletin. GM creates service bulletins for all kinds of problems, it basically says it's a known problem and here is the fix. Customer still pays if it's out of warranty, it helps in troubleshooting and purging parts.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    you would think. they prefer the end user to purge their bad parts, rather than just recall a series of parts made between xxx dates.
    Last edited by mrr23; 09-06-2008 at 02:25 PM.

  11. #11
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    Well I'm glad you got it figured out.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Mrr23. Sure I will like to know more about this place and the fix that will take care of this situation. I'm actually thinking in buying a 160-200 amp alternator. Any places in Orlando that sell these? Thanks.

    So far knock on wood I have been driving the car for 2 days and abusing the hell out of it to see if the problem will happen and it been okay.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    no one that i'm aware of. i'll pm you.

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