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Alternator failure after wash

 
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Old 03-15-2021, 11:03 AM
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Icon5 Alternator failure after wash

Hey all

So I decided to hose down my engine bay. I covered a few things with a plastic bag, including the fuse box, but I didn't cover the alternator because I wasn't planning on starting the engine for a couple of days after by which time the water that got inside the alternator should have evaporated. Regrettably, the alternator has failed.

After starting the car, the battery warning light came on. Also, the alternator was making a squealing noise. See the video here to hear the sound at 1500 RPM, 1100 RPM and 800 RPM (barely makes any sound at 800 RPM).

https://streamable.com/10vaap

My battery went flat in just over an hour.

I have checked both the ACG(S) fuse (37) and alternator/fuel pump fuse (12). Both are are fine. I also disconnected the alternator power cable and let it sit overnight to allow any water that may have gotten inside to evaporate. This didn't help.

The fact that the alternator is now making a squealing noise makes me think the problem is mechanical rather than electrical but perhaps its both.

What do others think?

Last edited by Kolusion; 03-15-2021 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 03-19-2021, 02:36 PM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

Could be mechanical...alternators are mechanical devices. Could be a bearing, or the pulley, but in any case, since all indicators point to the alternator, pull it off and take it to the nearest auto parts store for testing. Rebuilt alternators are cheap, and it's easy to replace.
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:34 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie View Post
Could be mechanical...alternators are mechanical devices. Could be a bearing, or the pulley, but in any case, since all indicators point to the alternator, pull it off and take it to the nearest auto parts store for testing. Rebuilt alternators are cheap, and it's easy to replace.
I have narrowed the squealing sound down to the rear bearing.


So I cleaned out the alternator connector and the port that it plugs into with two passes of WD-40. These things were filthy! Check it out...

https://ibb.co/NFF5XRp

https://ibb.co/x24Jfsd


This is the result of the port after the WD-40...

https://ibb.co/FgLGcZx


Cleaning the connector and port didn't resolve the issue, so now I am pulling apart the alternator to degrease everything with WD-40 and repack the two bearings with bearing grease.

I have hit a problem dissembling the alternator because Denso wanted to be impractical and seal the case with a ****ty design. I am hoping someone can help me with it.

There are four nuts and four of something else with threads that hold the case together. I have removed the nuts but I don't know how to remove the thread things. Check out the photo's to see what I mean...

https://ibb.co/NpKfZqh

Does anyone know how these thread things can be removed?


So far, this is what I have removed...

https://ibb.co/9TC69Fn


This is the brushes and slip rings. I don't think they are the problem but if anyone can see something that isn't right then please let me know...

https://ibb.co/LZDgQk8

https://ibb.co/JCGwD4f

Last edited by Kolusion; 03-24-2021 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 03-27-2021, 12:39 PM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

So I got the nut off and proceeded to separate the alternator housing but can't I do it. Here's a video of me explaining the problem while demonstrating it...

https://streamable.com/8zxp3c
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:36 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

So, as I suspected, Honda ****ed up the shop manual and the pulley actually does need to come off when replacing the rear bearing. As I damaged the alternator while banging it with a hammer and it's become too much of a hassle to get the parts for a repair, and that I am getting rid of the car in 11000 kilometres, I am just going to get a second hand alternator or an OEM unit to keep me going, what ever's cheaper.
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:43 PM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

// Face palm // I knew I should have gotten a multimeter to test the alternator when this problem started but I didn't get one due to circumstances outside of my control.

So I fully charged my battery and installed the new alternator and the battery light was no longer coming on. Great I thought, but the belt was squealing a lot, so I started trying to find the cause. After about 30 minutes with the engine running, my battery light turned on again, and it turned on as soon as the fan came on. Perhaps the battery light didn't come on at the start because it was fully charged but then came on when it started to run down.

So I then had a closer look at everything. Knowing it can't be the alternator, I followed the alternator belt and noticed that the crankshaft pulley was wobbling, and when it wobbles it looks like it has split apart. That abnormal pulsing sound is still present and I am wondering if it has something to do with the crankshaft pulley.

The alternator belt is spinning the alternator pulley so the alternator must be charging?! But I don't know. I temporarily tightened the belt even more but it didn't make a difference.

The problem was not happening before this abnormal pulsing sound so what ever is causing this sound probably has something to do with it.

I followed the cable from the alternator to the fusebox. It looks all good. I cleaned the alternator wire connector again with WD-40 and scraped the terminals with a metal paper clip, and even sprayed WD-40 on the alternator wire connection in the fusebox, but nothing has helped. I am starting to lose patience with this car, it is wasting my life and I have started having visions again of a tow truck coming to pick it up and taking it to the wreckers!

If anyone thinks the problem may be something else then please let me know!

Also, does anyone know where in the shop manual I can find the procedure for replacing the crankshaft pulley? I have looked but can't find it.

I have taken some more videos of the problem...

Wobbly crankshaft pulley...

https://streamable.com/4okumi


Pulsing sound (really noticeable at 34 seconds), and the battery light comes on with fan...

https://streamable.com/9ik6bi

Last edited by Kolusion; 04-09-2021 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:59 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

Crankshaft pulley...should be up in the engine section, in the disassembly instructions.
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:54 PM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

Thanks for that. I still can't find it, could you please show me where it is?

Honda Shop Manuals - 1988 Prelude
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:19 PM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

So I got the fender liner and front splash guard off today and inspected the crankshaft pulley. It has defused where the rubber is...

https://streamable.com/1tnn9s

I also took off the power steering belt and confirmed that my power steering pump is what is making the noise. This does not surprise me because I am actually in the middle of changing my power steering fluid. I was waiting for the bubbles to settle in the power steering reservoir which is why I killed some time and cleaned my engine bay which is when all of these problems began. I checked the power steering fluid tonight and it is sitting on the low line. Perhaps that is why my power steering pump is making an abnormal noise.

I couldn't remove the power steering pump in accordance with the manual because access to the pulley bolt and adjusting bolt are inaccessible with my convention spanners and ratchet. I had to get it off by removing the power steering top bolt and and loosen the bottom bolt. A real **** design.

I'm really hoping this problem goes away after I change the crankshaft pulley. So there was nothing wrong with my original alternator and I doubt that there is anything wrong with this new remanufactured alternator. The fuses are good. The wiring looks good. All that can be left wrong now is the alternator belt or crankshaft pulley. The belt is cracked like hell which you can see in the video, but the fact the crankshaft pulley is broken makes me think it's that causing the alternator not to charge. Who knows though? Now that I know the crankshaft pulley is not the cause of the noise, I'm wondering how long has the crankshaft pulley has been defused? Perhaps it's been defused for ages but still functions and it's really the cracked up alternator belt causing the alternator not to charge! After all, this problem started after I hosed down my engine bay. Perhaps when the water dried, it dried out the alternator belt? This thought gives me a sick feeling! But then perhaps the water dried out the rubber fusing on the crankshaft pulley?!

My crankshaft pulley arrives next week, let's see what happens. ****in cars!

Last edited by Kolusion; 04-15-2021 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 04-16-2021, 10:27 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

Well I got the alternator belt off the crankshaft pulley tonight and can confirmed it is the culprit to the alternator not charging. The outer part has complete defused from the rubber.

https://streamable.com/1vy2zo

I have been able to have a closer look at the belt. It's no where near as bad as I thought it was. It will easily last till I get rid of the car.

Perhaps me running the power steering with low fluid caused it's pulley to be harder to turn which in turn put pressure on the crankshaft pulley causing the inner and outer part of it to separate. I didn't fully top up my fluid as my car is parked on an incline which is why I was waiting for the bubbles to settle, to get an idea where it was at and top up a little more before I drive it to a flat road to complete fluid top ups.

I have noticed the engine knocking with all the belts off. Just an observation.


So I am not going to buy the special tool to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt and instead will use a hack. I am not going to have a look at hacks tonight as I am tired and need a break from the car but does anyone have any ideas they could share with me?

I also need to know a hack to get it back on again. The replacement crankshaft pulley is from a 1989 Prelude.

Last edited by Kolusion; 04-16-2021 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 05-27-2021, 03:09 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

So I have got a new alternator, new crankshaft pulley, new drive belt and the problem remains. The new alternator is putting out just 3.88 volts! I did a test on it and here are the results. If someone can see what's wrong then please let me know.

All tests were carried out with the engine running at 800 RPM except for the last rectifier test, and the battery cable was disconnected from B terminal.

B terminal with alternator connector connected:

3.88 volts between B terminal and engine
3.89 volts between B terminal and battery negative post
-7.9 volts between B terminal and battery positive post
6.8 millivolts between alternator housing and battery negative post


B terminal with alternator connector disconnected:

0.93 volts between B terminal and engine
0.94 volts between B terminal and battery negative post
-9.74 volts between B terminal and battery positive post
0.64 millivolts between alternator housing and battery negative post


Alternator terminals (grounded to engine/grounded to battery negative post):

IG: Nil/6.2 volts
S: 3 volts/3 volts
L: Nil/6.4 volts
FR: Nil/6 volts


Alternator connector (grounded to engine/grounded to battery negative post):

IG: 11.5 volts/11.52 volts
S: 4.58 volts/4.58 volts
L: 11.49 volts/11.5 volts
FR: 11.81 volts/11.82 volts


Alternator rectifier test with engine running:

Multimeter positive probe to B terminal/Multimeter negative probe to alternator housing: Nil
Multimeter negative probe to B terminal/Multimeter positive probe to alternator housing: -240 millivolts


Alternator rectifier test without engine running:

Multimeter positive probe to B terminal/Multimeter negative probe to alternator housing: Nil
Multimeter negative probe to B terminal/Multimeter positive probe to alternator housing: -933 millivolts


Battery, engine and alternator ground:

Battery positive terminal and battery negative terminal
Battery positive terminal and engine
Battery positive terminal and alternator

All tests returned same result.

Last edited by Kolusion; 05-27-2021 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 05-27-2021, 11:02 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

I think I may have found a clue. S should be 12 volts, have a look at S in the charging system circuit diagram.

http://media.honda.co.uk/car/owner/m...f100/16-66.pdf

Now have a look at my test results of the alternator connector.

IG: 11.5 volts/11.52 volts
S: 4.58 volts/4.58 volts
L: 11.49 volts/11.5 volts
FR: 11.81 volts/11.82 volts

S isn't even hitting 6 volts, so there is resistance either in the wiring or the fuse. Does anyone know if this is of significance?

Last edited by Kolusion; 05-27-2021 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 05-28-2021, 04:05 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

So the diagrams in the shop manual for the alternator terminals and the alternator connector are pretty crap and I thought the diagrams were of the alternator terminals but they are actually of the terminals in the alternator connector. I realised when the result I was getting on the multimeter from S at the under-hood fuse box wasn't corresponding with the result I got yesterday from S on the alternator connector. These are the correct test results from yesterday of the alternator terminals and alternator connector.

Alternator terminals (grounded to engine/grounded to battery negative post):

L: Nil/6.2 volts
FR: 3 volts/3 volts
IG: Nil/6.4 volts
S: Nil/6 volts


Alternator connector (grounded to engine/grounded to battery negative post):

L: 11.5/11.52 volts
FR: 4.58 volts/4.58 volts
IG: 11.49/11.5 volts
S: 11.81/11.82 volts


I don't know if the FR circuit to the ECU is 12 volts, but if it is then there appears to be a problem somewhere in the FR circuit.

To rule out the FR terminal in the alternator connector being bad, I followed it's WHT/RED wire to it's socket at the top right hand side of the engine bay, disconnected the connector that connects to the socket and then tested the FR terminal inside the connector.

https://i.ibb.co/0Y1ShrJ/FR-at-top-r...-connector.png

These are the results:

FR at alternator connector: 4.55 volts
FR at top right hand side engine bay connector: 4.94 volts


What do others think?

Also, could someone please check their alternator connector FR terminal to see what voltage it gets? This will help by confirming if the FR circuit should be running at 12 volts.

https://i.ibb.co/QbZkwYN/OBD1-connector.png

Last edited by Kolusion; 05-28-2021 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 05-29-2021, 05:01 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

Never mind, I the FR voltage is fine.

I can now confirm the car is good and the alternator is ****ed. The place I got it from is sending out another one to me.

Thanks Jamie for your help in this thread.
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Old 05-29-2021, 09:14 PM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

Looks like you helped yourself far more than I did! I'm glad it's coming back together.
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Old 06-02-2021, 02:46 AM
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Re: Alternator failure after wash

Yes, but I always thank those who gave any help. :)
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