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Old 07-12-2018, 06:05 AM   #1
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Alternator / charging / battery / starter

The search function is giving me errors so I only found one thread from stubbs a few weeks ago, and thought I'd start my own.

I got my 2004 SVT a year ago and the voltage was a bit low but it seemed ok. We needed to do a lot to it so kept it in the back of our heads for later.

In early May, it died on me with no warning after a bike ride. Literally drained the battery trying to start it a few times. I blamed it on a bad battery and the fact I turned the key to open the windows and then sat and responded to a text. But I was only sitting there with the key on for a couple of minutes Had a friend bring me home, and when we went to get it a few hours later, I said let me show you what it did, and it started right up.

Ordered the alternator and replaced the battery as that was about 5 years old. Things were fine until Monday.

Monday I go out to start it and it won't even crank. All my lights are one, stereo is on, will not crank. In May it cranked but would not start. Boyfriend gets underneath, hits the starter, it fires up. Great, so let's add a starter to the list (after wheel bearings last week)

Yesterday he comes home at lunch to get it to work on it. It started right up and it's only 3 miles away. He got it in the shop late afternoon where it wouldn't start again with a bad battery. Nothing was left on.

It sparked when he hit the starter Monday but there wasn't enough room to see exactly what it was. He looked last night but didn't see anything obvious and was unable to duplicate it.

Also, I've always had an issue where I have to nearly put the clutch through the floor to get it to start. Even while cranking, if I relax it will stop, give it a harder push it starts cranking again. He feels it's cranked too slowly all along compared to regular Focuses that he works on, I don't know any better as to me it's always been like this.

We typically get Motorcraft parts. From the other thread, I gather there is an issue with alternators in this car - is it SVT only or do other Focuses have the same issue? I've gone through the original records on the car and I see the alternator/battery was replaced about 5 years ago but I think he only did it that once. I got the car at 118K and have put about 10K on it.

Now I have a 2 month old battery and alternator, and a brand new starter (which it probably didn't need :( ), and I'm still getting about 13.5 volts while running. It was at 12.2 when he got it back together last night but eventually got back up to mid-13s, but never to 14. We have never seen 14 with this. We had a pretty humid week+ heat wave last week where I did use the AC quite a bit, but that wouldn't have been on Monday morning.

What is the best way to fix this? The shop (dealer) sees a ton of Focus work but not too many SVTs. Last one they had was modified and pretty well beat. Mine is stock and not beat. The only aftermarket thing is the deck and that was done awhile after we noticed the low voltage issue.

We were supposed to go away for a few days next week but I am seriously reconsidering that as we will be doing a lot of stop and go driving. We did so much work on it last year and at this point I was thinking battery, alternator and starter would be it - but I guess not


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Old 07-12-2018, 07:52 AM   #2
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ps - is this an issue with the early SVT only?

Does clutched vs non-clutched (alternator) make a difference?

Will getting my current Motorcraft reman alternator rebuilt by a shop that does alternators help? And what would I need to ask them for. I'm pretty sure we turned the old one back in as a core in May.
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