1998 Ford Ranger alternator problem

Tiny
WAB
  • 1998 FORD RANGER

Electrical problem
1998 Ford Ranger 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 77,000 miles

My battery light started flickering on, and stays on during idle now, and the alternator meter is reading low for the first time ever.
The truck runs fine, and I have a new battery in it.

A friend has the same truck and his stooped dead last month. As it turned out, a wire was bad (broke?) To the alternator. I think they put in a new alternator anyway, $250 w/ tow. I wiggled the wires to the alternator, and the dash meter went back up, but went back to low the next time I stated it.

Is there a known problem w/ these alternators/wires?
Does my problem sound like a bad alternator or wire/connector?

Thanks,
WAB

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Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 AT 1:27 AM

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Tiny
BMRFIXIT
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Remove and inspect the wiring and connector on the alternator
check the small single wire on the alternator
if all OK suspect bad alternator

need manual CHECK IT @
http://www.2carpros.com/kpages/auto_repair_manuals.htm

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Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 AT 7:08 AM
Tiny
WAB
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I did a few checks from my manual and things look OK. But the "small wire" doesn't connect w/ a snap and pulls right out now. And I can't check it to see if it's making a connection?
Is there a problem with these wires on Fords? Does this connection on the alternator rust or corrode on these?

WAB

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Monday, November 3rd, 2008 AT 4:38 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
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The clip brakes off causing a loose connection
and battery light to come on

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Monday, November 3rd, 2008 AT 6:32 PM
Tiny
WAB
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The clip on that wires connector looks fine, but when I first took it off I heard something snap. Is there a "clip" in the (female) connector attached to the alternator?
Is there a fix for this loose connection?

Today I had someone look at the volt meter in the dash while I wiggled that wire around, and the dash meter didn't move! I unwrapped that (blk/wht) wire to make sure it wasn't open, it looks/reads fine.

But yesterday I cleaned the connectors w/ WD40 and the dash meter went back up to the normal range. But when I revved the engine, just a little, the meter went down and now stays there (depressing)?

I would hate to remove the alternator if I can fix it on the motor?

WAB

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Monday, November 3rd, 2008 AT 7:18 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
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What do you have for voltage at the battery when engine running

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Monday, November 3rd, 2008 AT 7:51 PM
Tiny
WAB
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I believe the in-dash meter is a simple battery volt meter. It shows battery voltage w/ the key in the on position, and it stays the same after the motor starts now. The meter is going down as the battery is being discharged as the motor is running (purely off the battery I believe).

The dash meter used to go up after starting, showing the alternator was working/charging the battery.

But I will test it w/ a multimeter tomorrow.

WAB

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Monday, November 3rd, 2008 AT 10:48 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
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At this point I believe u in for an alternator

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 6:24 AM
Tiny
WAB
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Alternator or voltage regulator?

I can also buy separate alternator parts, like diode pack, regulator brushes, etc.

I'm out of work, and need to get by cheap.

OK, today the battery read 11.5V, then after starting 10.95V.
I drove it a couple miles to vote, then on the ride home the alternator started working again, but when I revved the motor a little the in-dash volt meter went down, and stayed down.

Does this sound like wiring, the alternator, the voltage regulator, or simply the brushes on the voltage regulator?

WAB

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 11:09 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
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I would suspect the voltage regulator

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 4:01 PM
Tiny
WAB
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I took off the alternator, then the voltage regulator. One brush was worn WAY down while the other one was fine. On the side of the worn down one, the copper area it rubs on (armature?) The rotor was worn down to the white plastic below it.
I guess thats it.

Do they replace this in rebuilt alternators? I hear a lot of rebuilt one fail quickly.

WAB

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 4:30 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
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Check around for an alternator
at this point I would suspect will cost you as much as you if to get another one

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 7:09 PM
Tiny
WAB
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$75 + shipping, new, 1 year warranty on ebay.
$130 + tax, rebuilt, lifetime warranty at AutoZone.

Wonder if the new ones on ebay are quality?

WAB

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 7:49 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
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Go auto zone
by the time you pay for shipping and wait 3 to 10 days to have it shipped
it will be close to the auto zone price
not to mention if u have problem with it
(pay for shipping again and wait )

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 AT 8:11 PM
Tiny
WAB
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One of the brushes on the voltage regulator was worn down to the nub, and wore the brass on the slip ring (on the shaft) down to the white plastic. The other brush was fine.
I stretched out the spring on the worn out brush to make good contact, and cleaned off the slip ring and it works, for now.
I bought a new slip ring and brushes on ebay, and will install them when I get them. About $20 total!

WAB

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 AT 3:58 PM

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