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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 06-22-2005, 12:37 AM   #1
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Default Alternator help

Well im pretty sure its the alternator atleast but,

I bought this car in december of 04, and up until a month ago when i added some fog lights to the stock low beams, my volt gauge would always read between 1/2 and 3/4, well once i added the fog lights, the reading on the gauge then went down progressively

It got to the point where if i accelerated hard i could shoot the reading up on the gauge to up over half, which lead me to believe the alternator since i spun it faster, so the reading went up.

Well now the reading is down in between 1/4 and 1/2, getting lower each day. Tonight, with the headlights on it was leaning more towards, what i think is atleast, 12volts...or the 1/4 mark on the gauge.

So if anyone has any input on what else this could be id appreciate it, but i was wondering what you all would recommend as a good alternator that i could get from say...advanced auto. I found some Autolite, and a fairly cheap AC Delco alternators but i was just wondering which is the best. Im not running anything aftermarket electronically besides the fog lights. So nothin with too high of amps.

Also, ive done one alternator replacement to my old car....the alternator sucked number one...and i was just wondering if the bonneville replacement would be anyharder? Whats a good time estimate on this project? thanks

I appreciate any input, thanks.

Dave
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Old 06-22-2005, 01:03 AM   #2
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Alternator replacement in 87-91 is easy as pie, I did mine in 10 minutes my first try. First I would try taking some voltage measurements at the battery at off and idle (with various lights on) to verify the guage. Do you notice any really bad dimming of the headlights or dash when you press the brake or anything like that?

My guage on my cluster seems to be very inaccurate, it reads almost 18v when the actual measurement is 14.4v, and it will move when the blinker is on. The stock replacement is 105 Amp AC Delco alt, although you can get something higher if you feel the need too.
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Old 06-22-2005, 01:20 AM   #3
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Actually the only reason why i thought the alternator was because the signals are very slow. Ive been reading up on the charging system and ill check the belt tension for undercharging, but i dont think its that.

However the headlights do not dim, i have silver stars in them and no matter how many electronics i have on at once, they dont seem to dim at night (Ive turned my wipers, blinkers, air conditioning, and headlights on all at once and it doesnt dim). Although during the day i have seen them flicker on and off...very fast but also noticeable, when i hit my brakes or even driving during the day time. i figured this could be of a short in the wiring for my fog lights.

But when i turn on the headlights and blinkers during the night i notice the gauge jumping alot with the flash of the blinkers, it also does it during the day sometimes but it doesnt appear to be as noticeable a jump in the needle as it is at night.

All i hope is that i dont have to do anything to the distributor, igntion coil or anything else of that sort.
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Old 06-22-2005, 01:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plyswthsqurles
All i hope is that i dont have to do anything to the distributor, igntion coil or anything else of that sort.
I can gaurantee you've never have to touch the distributor.
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Old 06-22-2005, 02:07 AM   #5
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Distributor? :P

Get the 140 amp from a 1993 SSEi..... It'll fit great, and be about $130 from advance with the included lifetime warranty...
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Old 06-22-2005, 03:28 AM   #6
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pull serpentine belt :18mm socket
two bolts, 13 mm IIRC
large screwdriver to pry up on coil bracket [makes it easier]
unplug one connector, unbolt other.

I can do mine in under 5 minutes.. longest thing is removing the bolts.


-justin
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:05 AM   #7
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Hang on a second guys. He hasn't checked the voltage and his battery connections. We've seen a lot of this generation with battery connection/battery cable connection issues lately.

I try to suggest stuff in order of dollar value. Check the free stuff first. Opensource just put a new starter in to solve a low voltage situation and felt his intellegence was low voltage after he returned from the hospital with a broken finger and still had the same problem.

Check cable connections first by removing and cleaning them. If that doesn't solve it then aim for the alternator. The alternator is probably doing it'* job, but the built in regulator is starting to fail.
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:24 AM   #8
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Hey now, I didn't have to go to the hospital . And when I tested the old one to make sure it was getting voltage at the tab thing, I saw 11v. But yeah, Bill is correct, you should check voltage at the battery, and clean all connectors before replacing it.


-justin
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:33 AM   #9
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"Tab thing"....is that a technical term?
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Old 06-23-2005, 01:06 AM   #10
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Well i got the alternator off and on in bout 10 minutes, it got easier once i had the serpentine belt replacement tool. Once i got it tested it was easier to know what was wrong...the regulator went bad.

But my only question now is, is there any reason why a new alternator can affect the starting of the car? I was taking some stuff to the dump for my dad when i went to start the car, it turned over...or seemed too...but wouldnt crank. Just wondering if doing a new alternator could affect the starter in anyway?

Thanks for the help.
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