2003 Electrical system voltage fluctuation

2003 Electrical system voltage fluctuation

Postby Spoonchucker [OP] » June 4th 2019, 5:44pm

Hi,

Van is driving me nuts - pretty sure I got a bad "new" alternator from the LAPS, but want to confirm before I pull that damn shroud apart again.....

Summary: 2 weeks ago pulled into the driveway at the house after a 40 mile trip and the battery symbol illuminates on the dash - damn!

Immediately check the dash voltage gauge and sure enough, it is way down below the standard 14.

Confirmed with a Fluke meter - charge at the battery while running is less than 10 volts - dead alternator.

Off to Autozone new alternator (did not buck up for the most expensive option, expect I told them to give me el cheapo)

Fought that damn shroud off there and got the new alternator in along with a new serpentine belt - all good, seeing a 14.5 v charge at the battery - fixed!

Week later (only drive the van 1 or 2 times a week for side hustle job) - sitting at an off ramp noticed that the lights on the dash and clock were strobing - checked the dash voltage gauge and could see the needle jiggling between 14-16 volts - double damn!

Confirmed with the meter - voltage strobing between 14.5-15.7 - think anything around 16 is going to start popping fuses.

Parked the van for the night, next morning decided to check cold battery - 10.5 volts! Back to the LAPS for the cheapest-ass battery they had, replaced that - did not fix the voltage flux - triple damn!

While looking at connections, terminals, etc while the motor was running - saw the belt tensioner was really bouncing - like 1-2" in sequence with the voltage flux - ah ha! - thought I found it, ordered a AC Delco direct OEM replacement and swapped it out (note, while the belt was off again and that heinious shroud, wiggled and checked all pulleys for play or rough turning - no issues found) - fired it up, and don't you know it - quadruple damn! voltage still fluctuating.

Anyway, fairly confident the voltage regulator in the el cheapo alternater is crap - what else could it be? am I missing something - I checked all the grounds I could find, all connections are tight and clean (stripped the bolt on the neg side of the stupid side post battery and had to replace that...)

So going the pull that detestable shroud once again and take that pos alternator back up to the LAPS but think it will probably check "ok" on their equipment - it's not throwing any codes in the van - don't want to get into a thing with them about whether it is good or not, but expect if I leave it as is it will fail eventually or fry something like the ECM and we don't want that...

SC
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Spoonchucker
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Re: 2003 Electrical system voltage fluctuation

Postby CopperFiremistCopperFiremist is online! » June 4th 2019, 6:24pm

Those LAPS Alternators are cores that are ran through an industrial parts washer then boxed back up as Remans.
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Re: 2003 Electrical system voltage fluctuation

Postby Spoonchucker [OP] » June 4th 2019, 6:49pm

CopperFiremist wrote:Those LAPS Alternators are cores that are ran through an industrial parts washer then boxed back up as Remans.


Heard that - wife had an '06 Ford Escape that had the alternator crap out (absolutely the worst R&R alternator job I have ever done or heard of - dealership quoted $1700 to replace - I laughed at them and after doing the job, expect it was probably a fair quote)

Anyway, I went to buy a high-priced NEW oem alternator from NAPA - and after the ordeal it took to yard that thing out, had them check (over their objections) the brand new alternator on their equipment before I would pay for it - it failed! The only other one they had in stock failed as well - ended up buying one from Ford and had it checked before installing.
Original Poster [OP]
Spoonchucker
Fueling (1/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: Spoonchucker has been a member for 3 full yearsSpoonchucker has been a member for 3 full yearsSpoonchucker has been a member for 3 full years
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Van Model Year: 2003
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: RWD

Re: 2003 Electrical system voltage fluctuation

Postby Spoonchucker [OP] » June 11th 2019, 3:45pm

Follow up:

Took the van back up to Autozoned and had them check the alternator in the rig - fail - go figure.

Back home, let it sit for a couple days and last night decided to fight that shroud off there again, yarded the 'nator out of there and back up to zoned - plunked it on the counter and asked for a swap - they wanted a receipt - didn't have, had to navigate that issue - got it worked out and left with the twin of the one that failed out of the box (did have them check it on their equipment before I took it)

So, the second try unit is in there and seems to be holding steady for now........will update if it fails

SC
Original Poster [OP]
Spoonchucker
Fueling (1/8 tank)
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Years of Membership: Spoonchucker has been a member for 3 full yearsSpoonchucker has been a member for 3 full yearsSpoonchucker has been a member for 3 full years
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Van Model Year: 2003
Van Make/Model: Chevrolet Astro
Extra Info: RWD


 
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