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Old 06-20-2022, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default Another charging issue

Had the truck die on me. Popped the clutch and made it home. Would not turn over without a jump. Got her back started and did some troubleshooting. Here are my results:

Alternator tested good at both Autozone and O'Rileys
Battery light on dash board turn on when ignition is on. Then turns off after truck is started.

Batt volts with truck off: 11.6V
Alternator plug with ignition on and truck off: yellow wire volts at: 10.6V
white wire is at: 11.6V

Other white wire at alternator with ignition on and truck off: 11.6V

Zeroed out resistance from POS Batt terminal to both white wires on alternator
Zeroed out resistance on alternator ground wire to chassis and NEG battery terminal

Showing 13.9V at BATT when truck on. Then drops to 12.8 with lights and a/c on.

Cleaned alternator ground, disconnected and cleaned alt connections and fusible links.

Batt 12.6V after truck ran for 30 mins ignition off

Battery is just one year old.

Alternator output seems at the low end. Also I'm wondering if the auto parts stores alternator testers just test for output, and not the amount of voltage put out.

Thoughts?????????????

Last edited by bodydub; 06-21-2022 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 06-21-2022, 12:27 AM   #2
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Batt. low- 11.6v is low. Usually 12.5 is the minimum. I test at batt after truck runs for 20 minutes. Leave truck running =A good test of alt voltage regulator. If 13.9, while running, it should be a good alt and regulator. Try charging the batt (how old is it?). Clamps clean and fusible links good? There might be a short batt ground cable to fender to engine- check the connection.
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Old 06-21-2022, 03:51 AM   #3
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I have to ask the history of this alternator and who made it.
Starters and alternators rebuilt by Chinese companies are complete POS's these days.
Long story. Posted many times here before, and backed up by some experts I know in the retail car parts business.

Forget the testing on the alternator. Those guys don't get it right half the time anyway.

If the alternator is a rebuilt unit out of China, either replace it with a new unit, or get one rebuilt by a reputable American company.
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Old 06-21-2022, 07:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XoXSciFiGuy View Post
I have to ask the history of this alternator and who made it.
Alternator came with the truck which I've had for 5 years now. Truck has like 110,000 original miles. I wouldn't think it's the orginal alternator, but who knows. Im half tempted to throw a new alternator in and re-check my voltage
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Old 06-21-2022, 10:43 AM   #5
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> Cleaned alternator ground, disconnected and cleaned alt connections and fusible links.

Does that mean you checked and cleaned the battery connections as well? It doesn't happen often, but I've had a battery connection go bad on me from inside the cable shielding.
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Old 06-21-2022, 10:49 AM   #6
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To help the charging and starting systems, run an extra, fairly-heavy ground wire directly from the negative battery terminal to somewhere on the block/head/intake manifold.
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Old 06-23-2022, 11:19 AM   #7
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One good thing about these D21's is that the starting and charging systems are just not THAT complicated. 90% of the time it comes down to a bad connection, bad battery, or bad alternator.

This is assuming your fusible links are good. Sometimes they can fry themselves up and the outside wiring still looks good. But when you cut into it and take a look...burned up like bad toast.

However....this is a rare occurrence and only happens when you had a short circuit in the system. Never bypass a bad fusible. A wiring fire can destroy your truck in less than thirty seconds. I saw this happen once, but it wasn't on a Nissan truck. There is all this smoke, the wiring melts to pieces as the current flows along it...sometimes an open flame appears...battery can even explode on you, and if it does, not only does it sound like a frickin' 12 gauge going off, but you had better not be anywhere nearby.

All that said...sounds like bad alternator to me especially if the battery tests solid. Those are easier to check than an alternator.

I will drop my much-repeated spiel on you regarding rebuilt alternators and starters for Nissan trucks, alternators and starters that come from China. Quote from the (now) district manager for Advance Auto Parts in the Seattle area. I have known this guy since he was just managing one of their stores in Auburn, WA:

(paraphrased)
Quote:
"These China rebuilt starters and alternators...the Chinese companies (for a few years now) have been buying up every core they can get. They ship them to China where someone does a quick fix on them, and then they ship them back to the US (and elsewhere) with a tag on them and lifetime warranty..."

"But they are crap. So many of them get returned, I started telling customers not to bother with them. You see, the Chinese companies don't care if you exchange them because they already HAVE your money, and all you get is another crap unit."

"These things make more trips across the Pacific Ocean than the US Navy's Seventh Fleet..."


If your battery is good, your cables and connections are solid...then it is probably the alternator. Rebuilt is just fine. Just make sure they didn't rebuild it in China. Insist on this. I got caught up in this starter/alternator replacement problem with those China rebuilts. After the second replacement, I said the hell with it and bought NEW units (maybe one was rebuilt by Bosch or something) and then NO MORE PROBLEMS. For the next three years before I finally sold it and bought the Xterra...it never failed me once and always started on the first turn of the key. I mean EVERY time. Here is the truck below. (LOL love showing off that thing and I still miss it.)

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Last edited by XoXSciFiGuy; 06-23-2022 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:21 PM   #8
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Maybe a Wrong or Warn Belt? Had this same Charging Problem with My Frontier! Right Belt Problem Gone! Maybe I just got Lucky?
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:21 PM   #9
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I'm thinking the alternator is barely charging. The volts drop to 12.8V at battery with headlights, radio and a/c on. Should be at least 13, at least.
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Old 06-24-2022, 04:40 AM   #10
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You know...I saw a post back there by the author saying his alternator passed the test at the auto parts store.

Maybe it IS the belt. The easy test is to push down with light to medium force on the center point of the belt, the point farthest from any pulleys...and see if it goes down NO MORE than 1/2 inch. If it goes down more than that, it is probably loose. Try adjusting up the belt a little tighter first. Or just replace the thing if it is loose.
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