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Old 11-26-2013, 12:40 PM   #1
D's01Snake
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Yet another Alternator Thread

So I searched and didnt find anything that would correspond with the issue that I am having currently.

The car is an 2003 Zx3 PZEV 5sp car

The battery light would randomly come on (very random at first, then more and more) as the weather got colder out. Well I figured it was time for a new alternator (165K currently). The reason thought the alternator was going is because 1- The random battery light with voltage dripping to 11.3Vs or so 2- the pulsating headlights, dashlights and radio and 3- The cold weather is when the battery light starting going off.

All of these things lead me to believe it was the internal voltage regulator on the alternator. So I bought a new alternator off of ebay. I know the whole OEM vs. aftermarket alternator arguments..etc, but I think that is no the problem. Fast forward to yesterday, With the new alternator on, the battery light stays on constantly. So i hook the car up to the tester at autozone and sure enough- bad voltage regulator in the new alternator. While I was there I had them test the old alternator to just prove that Im an idiot and that I wasted money buying a new one. That old alternator tested fine for both output and voltage regulation.

I found the maxi or mega fuse and that seems to look ok, i have no idea to tell if its bad or not. And all the plugs seem to be ok.Now when driving the car, the voltage is all over the place. Sometimes its as low as 10.7V's then it jumps to 14.6 and stabilizes for no apparent reason.

What should my next step be? Replace the pigtail? Put my old alternator that checked out fine back on?

Thanks guys.

-Dan


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Old 11-26-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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do you have problems actually driving the car?

If not then have the old OEM alt rebuilt by a local builder if you can find one. and then install that back into your car. They can not afford to provide life time warranty or any warranty work really so they use higher quality parts.

When your installing the new alternator go a head and upgrade the power wire going between it and the battery (make sure to fuse correctly). Make sure the connector is clean and put some dielectric grease on a q-tip and put them on the pins.

If you still have problems then not sure what it could be.
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
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I may have a local shop rebuild the alternator, thats a good idea. Im thinking maybe its the pigtail but I cant be sure.
Side note- Man I miss SLC i was stationed there for 6 years and just got moved here to ohio last feb. Ill be out there tomorrow though for thanksgiving.
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Old 11-26-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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Grew up in the Detroit area, have driven through Dayton a many of times.

I just got done with a build of my focus to take out to the race ways we have here. It will be fun in the summer.

you can go to a junk yard cut off a pig tail, wire it in (make sure you solder, and use heat shrink and such) if you think the problem is on the wire-harness side. I have not heard of that one going bad (but just because I have not heard about it does not mean it cant happen). Typical pig tail failures are the cooling fan w/ its resistor and then spark plug coil on the Zetec.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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I grew up in Detroit as well. Are you doing the Wide Open Wed at miller? I highly suggest that. Ive had my cobra out there mannnnny times.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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Plan on doing the Wide Open Wednesday, also want to attend the HPDE events and eventually get in to the TT racing then when ready to trailer queen the focus go into the PT events.
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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Man I miss Utah!
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Old 11-26-2013, 02:17 PM   #8
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You go out to Milan drag way in Michigan or is there a closer 1/4 drag strip? Arent there some good road coursed there in the mid west?
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:28 PM   #9
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Mid ohio sports car course would be the best open track around here. I do all my drag racing at either edgewater in cincy or Kilkare in Xenia. Both are great tracks. Up in Detroit I race at lapeer, and ubly.
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