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Help Electrical...

This is a discussion on Help Electrical... within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; 98 Z -100k. Purchased the Car about 2 months ago. Had a small economy battery in it so I bought ...

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Help Electrical...

    98 Z -100k. Purchased the Car about 2 months ago. Had a small economy battery in it so I bought a new one.things went south about three days after installing the new battery(super starter from O'riely), I don't know if it's related to the issues I am having now or not.... Now when the car is in gear and I am at idle with the AC on my battery guage will drop to around 9-10 volts, sometimes it stays down some times it shoots right back up,if my headlights are on, they will sometimes flicker. My speedometer and odometer will start jump on the rare occasion. I know flickering lights are a common problem and every GM I have owned has done it some. But this is pretty bad.
    Things I have done since:
    Replaced the ALT.
    Put old battery back in and it still does the same thing
    CLeaned and wirebrushed connections to the battery. there was some corosion and crust on the positive side.
    None of this has helped...Any Ideas?
    Let me add that the car runs great! doesn't idle hight even when the voltage drops. And if it's in park and you turn on the AC it dips to about 11-12 V. but jumps back up (which seems normal.) it only does it when the car is in gear.

    None of this has helped...Any Ideas?

  2. #2
    Rockin the Ruckus! 02Sweet's Avatar
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    Only think I can think of is a red single wire that goes to the top of the alternator could be kinked. That red wire sends the signal for the alt. to turn on.

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    O U 8 1 2 Spaz's Avatar
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    you might have got a bad alt... i've heard of people going through 2 or 3 of them to get a working one...

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    O U 8 1 2 Spaz's Avatar
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    also... make sure you don't have and fluids leaking on to your alt that short it out (like power steering fluid)...

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    Everything looks good, no wires kinked and no fluids. Had the new alt tested, and it tested fine. Bad ground? I have never tested for a bad ground before...How should I go about it?

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    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ra84y View Post
    Everything looks good, no wires kinked and no fluids. Had the new alt tested, and it tested fine. Bad ground? I have never tested for a bad ground before...How should I go about it?
    I would get it tested at multiple places, easy test to screw up.

    What condition is your belt in?

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    Member 00ls-1's Avatar
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    connect a test light to the ground on your alternator and put the probe on the positive cable at alternator or anywhere else that would be a good power source within reach

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    Member 00ls-1's Avatar
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    ive also tested alternators multiple time myself sometimes they showed good and bad on the retest

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    have you tested that actual battery voltage at the battery or are you just going by the gauge? It might not the most accurate gauge in the world, you know what I mean?

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    Member 00ls-1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    have you tested that actual battery voltage at the battery or are you just going by the gauge? It might not the most accurate gauge in the world, you know what I mean?
    x2 mine doesnt even work it just lays tothe left as far over as it can go and it quit a week before my alternator so it left me stranded p.o.s. lol

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    When accessories are running while the engine is running, the accessories create a slight current draw. Another thing to check would be the pullies to see if there is a pulley dragging. Check your idler, tensioner, A/C compressor and alternator pullies. Keep us posted. You could be concerned about nothing.

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    +1 to all the above. i replaced my alt and with all my accesories on and the fans running my volts are around 12.3 to 12.5 idle. A couple things that I had when I bought my car. my voltage was initially low around 11.4v with everything on. the car never shut off but i saw the flickling headlights. I decided to get a new alternator and the flickering lights went away. the voltage slightly increase but not by much.

    Months later my check engine light came and my volts were in the red area. i had a new battery so my alternator took a dump. i replaced it and check voltage evrything was fine but still low voltage around 12.5 12.7 at battery. took the car for a ride and seemed fine. as soon as i hit wot the light came on again. same thing bench tested the alternator and it was bad. i check the main battery wires for cuts or places that could be crushing by engine movement but everything was fine.

    i put another alternator and a new piece of ground wire from the chassis to alternator case. same results after WOT. I started to look for things that could make sense. the only thing left was the wire between the alternator and battery. The OEM wires look so small and i wanted to upgrade them anyway so i decided to replace them.

    After I replaced the wires from the battery to the alternator, battery to starter and battery to main fuse boxes. everything was back to normal and my voltage went up to 13-14v most of the time. I removed the insulation from the old wires and i can see that there is heat damage and some corrosion.

    The other thing to consider is that the C130D alternator that comes with our cars only puts out 45 amps at idle. I'm going to upgrade to the AD244 alternator is a bolt on with minimal modification. this one put out 100 amps at idle if im not mistaken.

    these are 2 things that you can check if you still have the voltage issue. it sounds to me that you have a weak alternator. Good luck. keep us posted.

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    Member 00ls-1's Avatar
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    you might make sure its the right alternator the one that was on my car when i bought it was made for a truck guessing it wasnt made to run high rpms it was a year old and it dumped on me looks almot identical to the one that belongs on the car but the back has that plastic piece the one that was on my car didnt and the one that was on there i ran the part number it was 50 bucks cheaper

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 00ls-1 View Post
    you might make sure its the right alternator the one that was on my car when i bought it was made for a truck guessing it wasnt made to run high rpms it was a year old and it dumped on me looks almot identical to the one that belongs on the car but the back has that plastic piece the one that was on my car didnt and the one that was on there i ran the part number it was 50 bucks cheaper
    wow that sucks.

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    Member 00ls-1's Avatar
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    lol yyyep

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    Just saw the the cable runnin from my battery was layin against my belt! It cut through the plastic casing and in to one of the wires just a touch...I taped them back up..but still the issue. Think the wire needs replaced or do you think it fried something else?

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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Well if you have checked all your wire connections and they are clean and good then the easiest thing will be to have the alternator bench tested again. Try a different location. you could have a weak alternator and is borderline. the other thing you can do is buy some battery wire long enough that you can put terminal on it and run the wire from the alternator to the battery. Disconnect the existing wire for now and see if the new wire solves your issue. If it doesn't then at least you didn't had to remove the old wire and reroute the new one.

    Can you get underneath the car with a voltmeter and measure the voltage at the alternator nut? If you have the same voltage down there is pretty much your alternator. Alot of these alternator are rebuild and they dont replace all the parts. Some alternators i had have died the next day. That's why my next one is going to be brand new.

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ra84y View Post
    Just saw the the cable runnin from my battery was layin against my belt! It cut through the plastic casing and in to one of the wires just a touch...I taped them back up..but still the issue. Think the wire needs replaced or do you think it fried something else?
    My opinion is to replace that wire. You could have some corrosion in the wire where it is exposed.

  19. #19
    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cammed goat View Post
    My opinion is to replace that wire. You could have some corrosion in the wire where it is exposed.
    I agree. Is inexpensive and it will be good to have a new wire after all those years.

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    i have seen this car in person. ray is my brother... the car drives fine at normal speeds.. but with the a/c on and sitting still and the idle starts to lope.. if i unhook the battery the car will die... to me it seem like a voltage regulator cause all the electrical stuff runs way down then will pick back up if you touch the gas,, are the regulators in the alts on these cars?

    also does it have any kind of idle air control valve that kicks in when the a/c is on..

    thanks

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