alternator ?

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cacaolat
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alternator ?

Post by cacaolat » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:24 pm

It has been a while since I visited this forum.
Today my car lost power, first I notice the radio has turned off the lights got weaker and the dash board illumination has been weak for a few days already.
I kept driving but it was getting difficult as there were definitely not enough sparks to run the engine properly. I made it home but I won't drive it withouth fixing first.
Does this sound like the alternator.? The battery is good as it is less than a year old.
If this is the alternator, how easy is it to fix on the road.

... a black cat did cross my way this morning and also my 2y old dropped my phone into a bowl of water. no phone, no car
former BX 16 TGS Meteor Auto owner. No space or time to do own repairs. My BX is now owned by another member of this forum.

Tinkley
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Re: alternator ?

Post by Tinkley » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:03 am

Firstly I'd charge the battery! If you have a multimeter you could check the voltage after charging, anything somewhere towards 14v or up should be good. If you have a battery that allows cell top up with distilled, remove the caps and check the water levels. It only takes one bad cell to be a problem.

The alternator is most likely the culprit, probably dirt around the brushes or they are worn out. One rather crude 'fix' is to hit it with a sharp blow with a large hammer!. This dislodges the dirt around the brushes and will allow it to run a bit better. It is however only a temporary fix and how long it lasts is an unknown. A few years back I got an exchange alternator for £50 and the replacement was a genuine Valeo one. Look on the 'bay and also phone a few decent factors, they might have one sitting around. Worth a try on some of the alternator exchange specialists too. There was an 80 amp (6 V belt) one on the ' bay recently, I think you need the 50 amp one with the 4 V belt end spindle flange.

Replacement itself is dead easy, but disconnect the battery first and check the small lead mount position. There was an extra lead mount stud on my replacement unit, which has remained unused - some other model of BX or Pug must use it.

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Re: alternator ?

Post by citronut » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:40 am

Tinkley wrote: One rather crude 'fix' is to hit it with a sharp blow with a large hammer!.
i would be very cautious of hitting an alternator to jar the brush's, as might help with doing the same to a starter mopter,

as the alternator casing/body is nowhere near as strong/tough as a starter motors is, you risk cracking the casing,

far better if you think the brush's are just stuck/sticking with carbon dust is, remove the regulator from the alternator
( fairly easy insitue on some engine variety's ) ,

then give them a good blast up into the brush holders with the likes of electrical contact cleaner, or carb/brake cleaner/compressed air,

now check if the brush's firstly have a reasonable length protruding, and if they spring back out after being pushed into there holders,

if hardly and brush protruding you will either need to fit new brush's of source a complete regulator

regards malcolm
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K reg BX 17TD TZD est
also own
K reg D special

no longer have
H reg CX saffari 2.5 TRI (now gone to Malaysia)
R reg xantia 1.9TD est (gone to meet its maker)

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Re: alternator ?

Post by Defender110 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:31 am

Keep the Multi-meter on across the battery terminals whilst the engine is running to find out if the alternator is charging, you need a minimum 14.5v for a good charge.
Kevan
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Re: alternator ?

Post by Tinkley » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:02 pm

citronut wrote:
Tinkley wrote: One rather crude 'fix' is to hit it with a sharp blow with a large hammer!.
i would be very cautious of hitting an alternator to jar the brush's, as might help with doing the same to a starter mopter,

as the alternator casing/body is nowhere near as strong/tough as a starter motors is, you risk cracking the casing,
Well it (large lump hammer) was a technique demostrated by a roadside rescue tech - and it worked!. Looked brutal and not something I would naturally have done for the reasons you outline. Still that alternator went for exchange.... :lol:
Did not look too easy to do the brushes on the alternator, the starter motor I have done, all £1.60 of brushes.

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Re: alternator ?

Post by MULLEY » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:39 pm

I bashed the TXD's alternator for a few years, it was fine.
2002 C5 2.0 HDI Estate - Remapped - It goes better
2011 Mini Cooper D Clubman - it does over 60mpg
1992 TZD Turbo - SORN - slowly getting there
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Re: alternator ?

Post by cacaolat » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:10 am

I have a busy time with house renovation, school runs and work so I found a mobile mechanic who fixed a newly refurbished alternator on the same day. All fine now
former BX 16 TGS Meteor Auto owner. No space or time to do own repairs. My BX is now owned by another member of this forum.

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Re: alternator ?

Post by Tinkley » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:51 am

Good to know you got it sorted. Well diagnosed too, you will appreciate the better fuel economy as well... :wink:

Mothman

Re: alternator ?

Post by Mothman » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:28 am

I always keep a spare one handy after having had 2 fail on long journeys to Cornwall. I get them locally reconditioned so that i know it will work rather than relying on those from ebay which ive had go wrong in a couple of hours after fitting.

Andy

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Re: alternator ?

Post by Defender110 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:31 pm

Tinkley wrote: you will appreciate the better fuel economy as well... :wink:
:?:
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1987 Citroen BX MK1 diesel estate.(Currently in dry storage)
1997 Mercedes C230 W202 - daily driver.
2010 BMW X1 SE 2.0D Auto - Her indoors daily driver.
2003 Land Rover Discovery Series 2 Facelift TD5 - Daily driver / hobby days and camping.
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Re: alternator ?

Post by KevR » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:28 am

MULLEY wrote:I bashed the TXD's alternator for a few years, it was fine.
Same with the grey TZD's - a smart tap on the end of a bit of wood held on the casing, ideally with the engine running. Managed to put off replacing it for at least a couple of years after it first started playing up. Eventually the slip rings and/or brushes will wear out completely though. If you're handy with a soldering iron, replacement brushes, slip rings and bearings are cheap enough. I've got several alternators waiting for rebuilding, and I think the parts cost about a tenner per alternator.
1990 BX TZD Estate ('the grey one', 1991 BX TZD Estate ('the white one'), 1982 2CV6 Charleston (in bits), 1972 AZU Serie B (2CV van), 1974 HY72 Camper, 1990 Land Rover 110 diesel LWB, 1957 Mobylette AV76, 1992 Ducati 400SS, 1966 VW Beetle, 1990 Mazda MX-5, 1996 Peugeot 106D, 1974 JCB 2D MkII, 1997 BMW R1100RS, 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1978 Honda CX500A, 1965 Motobecane Cady, 1988 Honda Bros/Africa Twin, 1963 Massey Ferguson 825, and a lot of bicycles!

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Re: alternator ?

Post by Tinkley » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:56 am

Defender110 wrote:
Tinkley wrote: you will appreciate the better fuel economy as well... :wink:
:?:
When the alternator does start to 'go' the output is not good enough for a healthy spark on the ignition circuit. I believe the OP's car is a petrol as per the comment 'not enough sparks to run my engine'. When mine started playing up, one of the signs was poor fuel consumption... :wink:
Rather assumed a diesel won't need the sparks as long as it turns over OK!.

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Re: alternator ?

Post by Mothman » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:24 am

Ive run a diesel from Cornwall twice with a completely buggered alternator. None of the elecrics would work, hand signals only and she got me home all the way. Just was careful not to stall her.

Andy