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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having some flickering light issues. I checked the grounds (three that I could find in the engine compartment) for continuity and everything was good. I took my car to the local advance auto and had them check the battery and alternator. Battery could use a little charge, but everything from crank voltage, full load, and alternator all checked out fine. Over this past weekend, I cleaned all ground points (again, that I could find) and battery terminals.

At this point, I'm still having major flickering issues. I started my car this morning to heat up and when walking back into the house, noticed that all of my lights are displaying MAJOR flickering problems. It is more apparent with the all of the LED's installed. Not only is this a problem, it is embarrassing. I come across as neglecting my vehicle.

Today, I drop my vehicle off at to a friend who will install a new intake manifold (tumble flaps are horrible with bad shaking of the engine), PCV Valve and PCV hose. I was hoping that fixing the IM would cure this flickering because I feel that this EXTREMELY bad idle may have been contributing to the flickering. I'm unsure if this will cure this flicker. But I'm at my wits end right now.

Can you guys please give me some other tips or suggestions to look for before I drop my car off. I want to physically check the alternator cable but unsure how to get there and where it is located.

I will submit some pics of the main cables from the battery to see if you guys feel they should be replaced also. How hard is it to replace them if that is needed?

Is there anything else that I can possibly check???

Help is greatly appreciated.
 

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Get new Updated alternator pigtail (Known fault wires too thin and break)

Get new battery cable set ( known fault they corrode inside insulation) it is a PITA to change them but worth it, it will fix lots of electrical gremlins.

Check your grounds and do a BIG 3 Kit

Get Updated Ignition coil pigtail aswell (Known fault wires too thin and break) if you have Duratec dont worry about this one as you have COP ignition.

Turn headlight switch brightness all the way up then back off the illumination wheel a nudge..... or get a new headlight switch (Known problem)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How difficult is it to install a new updated alternator pigtail? Is this something that I can do on my own without the need for a lift?
 

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no you cut off and back the factory pigtail wire at least 6-10 inches and solder 3 wires back in on the new pigtail, just be sure the position of the wires are correct ....left...middle ...right the new pigtail is all black.

call Steve at Tasca parts he'll get you squared away 1800-598-1484
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are there any parts that need to be removed to get there with the iron? Meaning how easy is it to treat if this is the faulty part, how to test it and how difficult to access?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just went out and looked under the hood for the alternator (never had to do work on it before, so wanted to get an idea of where it was actually located). I see that the alternator is fairly easy to get to, behind the engine on the passenger side of the transmission. From what I see, there are two cables harnesses that go to the alternator, am I correct?

Sorry for the rookie questions. When it needed replaced three years ago, it was done professionally. I'd like to know if there is an easy way to test if the wiring to/from the alternator is the issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok. So I've been reading MANY more threads about alternators, pigtails and other electrically related issues.

I can do the "wiggle" test on the harness leading to the alternator to see if it is the reason for the lights. It makes sense that the rough shaking I've been experiencing when idle (again due to the IM) can be making lights flicker due to the loose connection. So I'm going to go out on a limb here and think that this "wiggle" test is someone monitoring the lights while another person gently wiggles the connection to see if this is the cause? Time for more stupid questions:

- Does the car need to be running? (I'm guessing it does since the alternator will not be active while the engine is not running)
- Which connection do I wiggle of the two harnesses? Or do I wiggle both?

I'd really appreciate some help as I can quickly do this when some of my coworkers leave here in an hour.

Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know I'm probably posting meaningless updates that probably give no update, and for that I apologize. But I just went outside with a coworker and looked at it. I believe I was moving the proper cable harness around, but I'm unsure. I was wiggling the skinnier of the two (seems to connect the alternator to the spark plugs that runs over the valve cover). He was telling me to pull the connector off of the alternator (later on when I was home and it was brighter out) and look at the connection, to clean it if it required it and put some dielectric grease over the pins prior to reconnecting it back to the alternator. Problem is, he was in the car as I wiggled the connection. The lights continue to flicker, but I'm unsure if the flickering is from me or just whatever else it could be is doing it?

I'm lost here and would like a little more guidance please? I tried to feel where this connection went to on the alternator, feeling for the connector but I really couldn't feel a notch or anything. It felt almost as if it was hard wired directly into the alternator. I will take a picture and post it in about 30 min when I leave work here.

Again, I appreciate any and all input. Thank you all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The harness with yellow on it is the harness I was wiggling.
 

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It's the 3 wire pigtail
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Was I wiggling the proper pigtail?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's covered with loom so I can't tell if I was on the correct one or not
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks zetecDon. Wasnt sure where it should go. I asked my mechanic friend if he could look into it tomorrow when does my intake. I hope he can at least diagnose it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
the only 3 wire pigtail thats goes to the back of the alternator
Ok. So then I must have been wiggling the correct connection. I couldn't feel exactly where the connector and the clip was to release it. A couple more questions for you guys then I should be done...

- Does the clip go straight in from the firewall to the front of the car? (Meaning is it parallel to the ground and do I need to pull towards the firewall to remove it or is it at some funky angle?)

- If my car is running and constantly producing the flickering lights both inside and outside, how will I know if wiggling the connector is the cause? Won't it just continue to flicker no matter what I do? Or will I see some light display on the cluster?

I hope that it is just the pigtail. I can easily solder that tomorrow and get everything patched up then. I hope that maybe my mechanic friend finds the root cause of this electrical issue today as he works on my car. I hope more so that it is a cheap, easy fix.

Thanks to everyone for their input so far!
 

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That pigtail goes back into the main harness running along the firewall, its not hard to get to, you will need to remove wire covering and tape to cut back these 3 wires 6-10 inches and you want to solder the NEW UPDATED pigtail in from that point be sure to re-wrap with new electrical tape to keep moisture out of your harness.


the plug in the back of the alternator can be a pain to get out because its at an akward angle but youll get it....if you have a small set of needle nose pliersand I mean small like "smurf needle nose" it will be even easier
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I purchased the pigtail from my local dealership and soldered it in on saturday night. Still flickering. So wasnt that. Thanks though.

What should I try next?
 

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Have you put a voltmeter to it yet when it's doing the flickering?

Try both DC & AC volts at the battery to see what you get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I personally did not check AC voltage. I only checked my grounds for continuity and took it to advance auto and they helped me check rest, crank and load voltages. He also tested my alternator and said it was working properly but my battery could use a little charge, but nothing major. Nothing else appeared out of norm with the battery and alternator.
 
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