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I think my Alternator wants to drive me crazy..
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a-marshal
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:15 pm    Post subject: I think my Alternator wants to drive me crazy.. Reply with quote

A couple weeks ago as we tried to leave the cottage the generator light on our Westy refused to light. I cleaned the contacts on the starter motor and on the battery terminals and tried again.. it worked fine.. drove home. The next morning it would not light..checked a bunch over the week and it would light maybe 10% of the time (usually first thing in the morning). Next step was to replace the voltage regulator, so bought and installed one something like 10 days ago.. all seems well and light comes on every time I check, until today No light...

For whatever it may be worth the Battery is a 3 year old Optima Red Top and starts like a dream. When the light comes on it charges fine, without the light obviously nothing...

Before I go and invest in a new alternator is there something else I should look at?

If I have to replace the alternator is there any good guide to doing it with the engine still in the vehicle? I've got nowhere to drop the engine.
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1973 Westy w/ '74 1.8 liter / dual kadrons / 009 distributor / pertronix
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Wasted youth
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Re: I think my Alternator wants to drive me crazy.. Reply with quote

Check your transmission ground strap and negative battery connection on body.
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a-marshal
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: Re: I think my Alternator wants to drive me crazy.. Reply with quote

Wasted youth wrote:
Check your transmission ground strap and negative battery connection on body.


They appear to be good, tomorrow morning I'll try a jumper cable from the negative terminal to the engine case just to make sure.
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1973 Westy w/ '74 1.8 liter / dual kadrons / 009 distributor / pertronix
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: I think my Alternator wants to drive me crazy.. Reply with quote

Broken filiment in the bulb making intermittent contact?
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telford dorr
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:15 am    Post subject: Re: I think my Alternator wants to drive me crazy.. Reply with quote

Disconnect the blue wire at the regulator and ground it. Turn the key on. The GEN light should be lit. If it isn't check the GEN bulb and holder, and the 12 volt feeder to the GEN light mounting plate.
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'71 panel, now with FI

'Experience' is the ability to recognize a mistake when you're making it again - Franklin P. Jones

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In theory, theory works in practice; in practice, it doesn't - William T. Harbaugh

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More VW electrical at http://flowcon.us/td/ (available 9am to 9pm PST)
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a-marshal
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:22 am    Post subject: Re: I think my Alternator wants to drive me crazy.. Reply with quote

Well this morning it lights every time*.. so if I am understanding things correctly the next time it refuses to light I'll perform Telford's test bellow..

telford dorr wrote:
Disconnect the blue wire at the regulator and ground it. Turn the key on. The GEN light should be lit. If it isn't check the GEN bulb and holder, and the 12 volt feeder to the GEN light mounting plate.


if the light stays out then the problem is likely in the bulb, socket or connection in the dash, if however the light goes on at that point I would have to look at the problem being inside the alternator..

*(I]m not going to suggest that the timing to these failures seems to be when it is the most inconvenient but it seems like if I have a bunch of time to work on things the light works perfectly...)
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telford dorr
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: I think my Alternator wants to drive me crazy.. Reply with quote

a-marshal wrote:
I]m not going to suggest that the timing to these failures seems to be when it is the most inconvenient but it seems like if I have a bunch of time to work on things the light works perfectly...

But isn't that the way things always are??? Rolling Eyes
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'71 panel, now with FI

'Experience' is the ability to recognize a mistake when you're making it again - Franklin P. Jones

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research - Steven Wright

In theory, theory works in practice; in practice, it doesn't - William T. Harbaugh

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows - Epictetus

More VW electrical at http://flowcon.us/td/ (available 9am to 9pm PST)
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