Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

My alternator's red power wire is blackened and the wiring looks like a mess.

This is the second time I have found it like this. The first time I replaced the wire and cleaned all of the contacts but it is like this again.

What could it be?


Once it is fixed should I replace the whole harness?


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 09:57 AM
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

Heat, lots of current, and/or overvoltage.
Batteries do short internally, so do aftermarket electronics.
Heavy current happens with multiple engine starts and short travel distances, always changing the battery.

Make sure alt case is grounded to negative battery post, less than 0.5 ohm resistance.

You can wire in temporarily, a 60-0-60 ammeter to the alt BAT terminal for troubleshooting aids to locate/see current drawn. If current draw is more than or close to alt max output, then more alternator rating is needed along with an upgrade of wire size.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

So basically, the wire is too small for the current being put out by the alternator?

My battery is a new Diehard Gold and the only non-factory current draw I have is a radio (no amps, A/C or special lights or anything). I have grounded the alternator to the engine block but will clean the ground to make sure all is clean.

I guess I'll need to replace the entire 3-wire harness going into the alternator.

Is this sold as an entire harness or do I need to fabricate with 8ga for the red wire and 10ga for the blue and gray wires?

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 01:19 PM
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

The black and blue wires are okay, unless the black wire, should be brown(?), gray(?) is burnt also. The blue wire is the field current from the reg to stator windings, the black wire is the other side of the GEN light.

Since you've relocated the alt to the pass side, I'd make up a pigtail using #8 AWG and go from BAT terminal of alt to + positive post of battery and see what happens.

If you are using the same wiring as OE, and you're going back to the horn relay for buss line, how does the wire look from the redgulator, the wire with fusible link, the wire going across the rad support, and the pigtail to the positive battery cable & junction block? All wire should look like the alt terminal lug.

If the alt lead only looks this way and battery leads look good, then something else, as in another heavy load, is melting the wire.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

Thanks--this is a big help--here is a picture of the wires that includes the three wires from the alternator.

These wires are not burnt at all.

The power wire (red) appears to go to the horn relay as you mentioned.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 08:53 PM
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

stock wiring, good.

The wire from the alternator goes to the main splice, and yes, ends up at the horn relay, the fuseblock, and the battery. here's a pic https://www.camaros.net/techref/elect...ain_splice.htm

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it burnt up from old age, maybe some corrosion and resistance at that terminal. The terminal on the alternator itself looks WAY nasty. You need to replace that stud and nut. I "think" that will come off from inside, tho the terminal in there might be kinda toasty, too.

With a pass side alternator, I like Everett's idea of going straight to the battery. Not really the battery tho, the junction block on the rad support behind it. You can bring the wire down and tie it to the starter cable to keep it neat.

For sure open up that alternator and check out the backside of that stud. You may end up replacing the entire alternator if it's that toasy on the inside.





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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

Thanks Jim.

Let me make sure I am clear: I run a new red 8ga wire from the alternator's BAT terminal to the junction block behind the battery.

What do I do with the red wire that currently on the BAT terminal? Do I leave it on the terminal with the new wire or does that wire just get cut off and orphaned--not connected to the alternator anymore?

Thank you guys--I would be lost without this help.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 09:18 PM
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

Just cut it off. Make sure it's taped up good. If there is enuf length, you might cut back to good wire put a new terminal on it and try again.

The real problem is that toasty stud on the alternator. That's where the resistance is coming from, and the heat.

If you have any kind of charging or battery running down problems, replace that alternator.

If you don't, split the halves and check it out. You won't need to take off the pulley. Inside, there is a ring terminal from the diodes that goes to the backside of that stud. If that ring terminal looks like the outside of that stud, think hard about replacing the alternator, or clean it up as best you can. Repalce that stud and all it's hardware.

Check the brushes. If they are badly worn, you can get replacements at any auto parts store.

Clean the comutator. That's the 2 copper rings on the shaft where the brushes ride. They will be black. Clean em with a pencil eraser until they are shiny copper.

When you put it back together, you have to hold the brushes depressed into their holders so it will fit together. There are 2 small holes in the case to allow this, push the brush in, stick something thru the hole till it holds the brush down, repeat on the other. Put the 2 halves back together then pull the 2 pins to release the brushes. Should work great.





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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 9th, 06, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

Jim,

You're the best--thanks for the help. I'll take care of this tomorrow after work.

I now need to try and track down someone that can sell me alternator parts (new rubber boot and stud) as well.

I'll also check all my grounds and loose wires as Everett said just to clean things up. I plan to change to alternator ground to the engine block itself.

Thanks again

Brent

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 13th, 06, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Alternator Wires Fried--Can someone look at the pic & tell me what it might be?

Okay, I have taken the alternator apart and replaced the burnt stud and rubber grommet.

The front of the alternator looks nasty (pic 1). Is it supposed to be like this?





The rear inside of the alternator (Pic 2) looks clean


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