1996 Ford Ranger Charging System

Tiny
BF6
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD RANGER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 150,000 MILES
I have a 96 Ford Ranger that recently stopped charging. I have gone through 3 alterators (2 remanufactured and 1 new) the new one is installed currently. The battery checked out good via Advanced Auto diagnostics and the fusible link shows continuity with a multimeter. Nothing I do will cause an upward voltage change to prove the alternator is charging the battery and of course the truck dies once the battery fully drains.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I would like another 10 years with this truck.
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Saturday, February 6th, 2010 AT 3:53 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi bf6,

Thank you for the donation.

When the alternator is confirmed to be good and not charging, we ned to look at :

1. Alternator belt tension. Do you hav any screeching noise when the engine is running? If there are, check the belt tension AND the crank pulley harmnoc balancer if equipped. Quite often when the harminoc balancer fails, it would be slipping causing the abnormal noise and insufficient charging.

2. Did you test the voltage at the alternator main terminal when engine is running and what is the voltage? If the voltage is more than 13 volts, what is the voltage between the battery terminals?
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Saturday, February 6th, 2010 AT 8:55 PM
Tiny
BF6
  • MEMBER
To answer you first question.

Everything appears fine with the belt and pulleys. The belt is tight and tracks fine around the pulleys. The tensioner functions properly and there is no screeching or "dragging" sounds coming from the engine.

The second question regarding battery voltage. I started off with 12.10 volts so I placed the battery on charge. After the charge I let the battery sit until it stabilized at 12.86 and I checked the voltage from the main terminal on the alternator to the positive battery terminal. The voltage was.030, however the battery itself dropped to approximately the 12.15V. This was in less than a minute. I am going to replace the battery just to rule it out as a potential problem. If you have additional suggestions I would be happy to try them.

Thank you for your assistance.
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Sunday, February 7th, 2010 AT 8:48 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Sorry if I did not make myself clear.

When testing the voltage, keep the engine running.

When you tested the voltage from the alternator main terminal, it should show battery voltage. If it is not battetry voltage, you have an open circuit between the alternator and the battery.
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Sunday, February 7th, 2010 AT 8:56 AM
Tiny
BF6
  • MEMBER
That was a little insulting. Hopefully you can see where I had to make an assumption as to which terminal was the "main" terminal. My assumption lead me to the "lug" connecting the 14 ga wire to the starter solenoid. Only to find apparently that is not the main you were talking about. However you still did not specify with any quantifiable terms how you define the main terminal. Is it the A terminal?

It does not matter I took the truck a local shop.
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Sunday, February 7th, 2010 AT 9:02 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
My sincere apologies.

It is a problem that we face here. We do not understand the technical capabilities of the person we are dealing with and if we go too basic, we get flaks for doing that and when we are too technical, we get complaints that we did not make things clear.

Yes, the main terminal is the A terminal.
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Monday, February 8th, 2010 AT 9:58 AM

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