91 Alternator Not Charging Tested Alt -good

CBZLX50

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I am getting a battery light after replacing my speedo cluster. I haven't checked the running voltage since I bought the car to restore two months ago. I am getting 12+ key off and 11.97 while idling. I have checked the harness (main harness has been replaced) and other harness is fine. I cannot get any power out of the top harness and don't know what wires to test on the other harness. All the grounds "look good and clean". I think my old cluster had a burned out batt bulb, but I already traded the old cluster away.

I took the alt to AZ and OR for testing and six times it was tested good. I'm stuck. Anyone have a diagram or help with wiring? I am pretty good at troubleshooting wiring, but this one has me stumped.
 
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mikestang63

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You need to have a min of 12.7 volts to start a car, and you should have 13-14 reflecting the alternator is charging. @jrichker for the wiring harness and alt diagram
 

jrichker

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Alternator troubleshooting for 86-93 5.0 Mustangs:

Never, never disconnect an alternator from the battery with the engine running. The resulting voltage spike can damage the car's electronics including the alternator.



Revised 15 April 2012 to add simple check for regulator failure in Engine off ignition on, battery fully charged section, item 2.

Red color text applies to cars with a 3G alternator.

Do all of these tests in sequence. Do not skip around. The results of each test depend on the results of the previous tests for correct interpretation.

Simple first step: Remove the alternator and take it to your local auto parts store. They can bench test it for free.


Use a safety pin to pierce and probe the insulated connectors from the rear when doing tests with the connector plugged into its' mating connector.

Engine off, ignition off, battery fully charged.
1.) Look for 12 volts at the alternator output. No 12 volts and the dark green fuse link between the orange/black wires and the battery side of the starter solenoid has open circuited.
3G alternator: Look for 12 volts at the stud on the back of the alternator where the 4 gauge power feed wire is bolted.
No voltage and the fuse for the 4 gauge power feed wire is open or there are some loose connections.

2.) Look for 12 volts on the yellow/white wire that is the power feed to the regulator. No 12 volts, and the fuse link for the yellow/white wire has open circuited.

Engine off, ignition on, battery fully charged:
1.) Alternator warning light should glow. No glow, bulb has burned out or there is a break in the wiring between the regulator plug and the dash. The warning light supplies an exciter voltage that tells the regulator to turn on. There is a 500 ohm resistor in parallel with the warning light so that if the bulb burns out, the regulator still gets the exciter voltage.
Disconnect the D connector with the 3 wires (yellow/white, white/black and green/red) from the voltage regulator.
Measure the voltage on the Lt green/red wire. It should be 12 volts. No 12 volts and the wire is broken, or the 500 ohm resistor and dash indicator lamp are bad. If the 12 volts is missing, replace the warning lamp. If after replacing the warning lamp, the test fails again, the wiring between the warning lamp and the alternator is faulty. The warning lamp circuit is part of the instrument panel and contains some connectors that may cause problems.

2.) Reconnect the D plug to the alternator
Probe the green/red wire from the rear of the connector and use the battery negative post as a ground. You should see 2.4-2.6 volts. No voltage and the previous tests passed, you have a failed voltage regulator. This is an actual measurement taken from a car with a working electrical system. If you see full or almost full12 volts, the regulator has failed.

Engine on, Ignition on, battery fully charged:
Probe the green/red wire from the rear of the connector and use the battery negative post as a ground. You should see battery voltage minus .25 to 1.0 volt. If the battery measured across the battery is 15.25 volts, you should see 14.50 volts

Familiarize yourself with the following application note from Fluke: See http://assets.fluke.com/appnotes/automotive/beatbook.pdf for help for help troubleshooting voltage drops across connections and components. .


You will need to do some voltage drop testing of several of the wires.

Start looking for these things:
1.) Bad diode(s) in the alternator - one or more diodes have open circuited and are causing the voltage to drop off as load increases. Remove the alternator and bench test it to confirm or deny this as being the problem.

2.) The secondary power ground is between the back of the intake manifold and the driver's side firewall. It is often missing or loose. It supplies ground for the alternator, A/C compressor clutch and other electrical accessories such as the gauges. Do the voltage drop test as shown in the Fluke tech note link. Measure the voltage drop between the alternator frame and the battery negative post. Watch for an increase in drop as the load increases. Use the Fluke voltage drop figures as guidelines for your decisions.

3.) Bad regulator that does not increase field current as load increases. Remove the alternator and bench test it to confirm or deny this as being the problem.

4.) Bad sense wire - open circuit in sense wiring or high resistance. The yellow/white wire is the voltage sense and power for the field. There is a fuse link embedded in the wiring where it connects to the black/orange wiring that can open up and cause problems. Disconnect the battery negative cable from the battery: this will keep you from making sparks when you do the next step. Then disconnect the yellow/white wire at the alternator and the green fuse link at the starter solenoid/starter relay. Measure the resistance between the alternator end of the yellow/white wire and the green fuse link: you should see less than 1 ohm. Reconnect all the wires when you have completed this step.

5.) Bad power feed wiring from the alternator. Use caution in the next step, since you will need to do it with everything powered up and the engine running. You are going to do the Fluke voltage drop tests on the power feed wiring, fuse links and associated parts. Connect one DMM lead to the battery side of the starter solenoid/starter relay. Carefully probe the backside of the black/orange wire connector where it plugs into the alternator. With the engine off, you should see very little voltage. Start the engine and increase the load on the electrical system. Watch for an increase in drop as the load increases. Use the Fluke voltage drop figures as guidelines for your decisions.




Voltage drops should not exceed the following:
200 mV Wire or cable
300 mV Switch
100 mV Ground
0 mV to <50 mV Sensor Connections
0.0V bolt together connections

Alternator wiring circuit
Notice the green wire connects to a switched power source. The circuit contains a 500 ohm resistor in series between the switched power and the alternator. Connecting it to switched power keeps the regulator from drawing current when the engine is not running. The resistor limits the current flowing through the wire so that a fuse isn't needed if the wire shorts to ground.

Also notice the sense wire connects to the starter solenoid and it is fused. It connects to the starter solenoid so that it can "sense" the voltage drop across the output wiring from the alternator.

Replacement parts:
14 gauge fuse link for stock alternator.

Bussman BP/FL14 Fusible link
AutoZone

Dorman - Conduct-Tite 14 Gauge Fusible Link Wire Part No. 85620
Advance auto parts #85620
Pep Boys - SKU #8637594
 
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CBZLX50

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Thanks Jrichker. I tried some different wiring trouble shooting. I simply loosened the ground and cleaned it at the radiator cowl. Started right back up and got a good 14+ volts. I'm good now thanks.
 

jrichker

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@CBZLX50
Ground at the radiator cowl? Sorry , but I can't quite envision any grounds on the radiator cowl except the ones on each side for the headlights, turn, and parking lights. Please give some more clues. The only ground that I know of for the alternator is the one on the firewall that bolts to the intake manifold or the back of the driver's side cylinder head.
 
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chrizwilson

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I just replaced my battery due to late turning and finally stopped but now my speedometer, radio, clock don't work but all other gauges work and lights and blinkers work, I also have new alternator and fuse for alternator is it short circuited, any thoughts?
 

jrichker

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I just replaced my battery due to late turning and finally stopped but now my speedometer, radio, clock don't work but all other gauges work and lights and blinkers work, I also have new alternator and fuse for alternator is it short circuited, any thoughts?
It is time for a little education in proper electrical terminology so that you can be correctly understood. Please pay attention and it will help in the troubleshooting process.

A short circuit is when a signal or power wire connects to another power source or ground by accident. Some circuits are protected by fuses, but not all of them. Circuits for computer sensors are not fused with the exception of the O2 sensor heater circuit. Fuses are intended to blow open when a short circuit occurs; that is called an open circuit.
Are you sure that the alternator output has connected to ground by accident? Smoke, or sparks, or burned wiring would be evidence of such an occurrence.

Alternator fuse short circuited? The 86-93 Mustangs do not use a fuse to connect and protect the alternator and battery in the event of a short circuit of alternator power to ground. The 91 Mustang has a green fuse link at the starter solenoid fuse. Fuse links are short lengths of wire designed to function as fuses in electrical circuits.

Starter solenoid wiring for 86-91 Mustang



If you have any questions about the alternator, go back and read the alternator troubleshooter I posted. It has everything to need to troubleshoot alternator problems on 86-93 Mustangs. Do all of these tests in sequence. Do not skip around. The results of each test depend on the results of the previous tests for correct interpretation.

The speedometer is mechanical in all 86-93 Mustangs and is cable driven off of the transmission. The instrument lights have a separate dimmer control and fuse. If it blows open (that is it open circuits) , you will not have any instrument lights or radio lights. You may also have other fuse related problems.

Diagrams courtesy of Tmoss & Stang&2birds

Fuse box layout



See the following website for some help from Tmoss (diagram designer) & Stang&2Birds (website host) for help on 88-95 wiring http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/ Everyone should bookmark this site.

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 91-93 Mass Air Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/91-93_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

Complete computer, actuator & sensor wiring diagram for 88-91 Mass Air Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/88-91_5.0_EEC_Wiring_Diagram.gif

Ignition switch wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/IgnitionSwitchWiring.gif

Fuel, alternator, A/C and ignition wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/fuel-alt-links-ign-ac.gif

O2 sensor wiring harness
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustangO2Harness.gif

Vacuum diagram 89-93 Mustangs
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustangFoxFordVacuumDiagram.jpg

HVAC vacuum diagram
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/Mustang_AC_heat_vacuum_controls.gif

TFI module differences & pin out
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/TFI_5.0_comparison.gif

Fuse box layout
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/MustangFuseBox.gif

87-92 power window wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustang87-92 PowerWindowWiring.gif

93 power window wiring
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/mustang93PowerWindows.gif

T5 Cutaway showing T5 internal parts
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/5_Speed_Cutaway_Illustrated.jpg

Visual comparison of the Ford Fuel Injectors, picture by TMoss:
http://www.veryuseful.com/mustang/tech/engine/images/Ford_Injector_Guide.jpg
 
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jrichker

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