I don't think a higher output unit is the answer. By their nature they can't develop more than their design current. They self regulate in that respect. Even if it's running wide open from lots of accessories, it should be able to handle that. If one diode overheats and shorts you'll lose exactly two thirds of the output capacity but it will still charge a little.
I discounted a slipping outer pulley on the harmonic balancer because each new generator works for six months. I think by now the pulley would have torn loose and fallen off or made noise. Should have been weak power steering too.
Back to my comment about the battery. It is not a problem related to good or bad. It's strictly an age thing. The GM vehicles have a lot of repeat generator failures that can be reduced by replacing the battery when it is as little as two years old. They still work perfectly fine and will not cause a problem in 1986 and older cars with the better generator design.
That wire between the generator and battery is a good suspect too but besides the connection itself, I'm guessing it goes through a bolted-in fuse in the under-hood fuse box. Check that the fuse bolts are tight. Even before you disturb them, with the engine running, measure the voltage on the generator's output terminal, then across the battery terminals. Those two voltages must be the same. If the voltage at the output terminal is significantly higher, there is a break in that circuit and the output current isn't getting back to the battery.
Friday, September 7th, 2012 AT 3:22 AM