Gen3 First Start -- no charge from alternator

Technical and Repair Discussions

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:35 am
I finished doing the hard part of the Gen3 conversion over the weekend, and was rewarded with my first start last night. Frankly, I was expecting it to not work, to have some issue on startup, etc. Nope. It almost instantly started.

So, good news there. However, I ran into an issue. Despite the fact that the belt is turning, I am getting no charge from the alternator. Am I missing something with the alternator install? I bought a gen3 chassis harness, so I am assuming that all I need to do is plug in the t-connector and attach the positive terminal on the thing. Is there some Gen3 gotcha I'm not aware of?

The alternator is brand new -- I hadn't converted my Gen2, so this one came fresh out of the box. Are they sometimes DOA?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:44 am
Was this at idol? I have to give the engine a descent spike in revs before my alternator begins charging.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:36 am
Rev it above 3,000 to see if it kicks in. Common issue. Also make sure the wires to the alternator are not reversed...
Bob Breton - SRF 51 - San Francisco Region
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:16 pm
Is it grounded properly?
Dave Harriman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:00 pm
Just to be clear:

There is no ground from the alternator itself to anywhere, right? The green wire is in Batt + on the back, and the T-connector is plugged in. The chassis harness ground is, in fact, grounded, the battery is grounded, and the transmission is properly grounded. The chassis harness is the Gen3 harness with the pigtail already installed, so I didn't do that wrong.

Did I miss a ground somewhere?

I'll try revving it up tonight -- I have literally not touched the gas pedal since I started it, while I work out the issues and let it get a few heat/wear cycles. The IAC is still wonky (I'm going to work on that tonight) and it idles between 2k and 2.5k RPM.

Also, if it matters, the alternator warning light isn't installed. I have an MXL2 which I'm looking at, which reads 12.3V on a freshly charged battery at 2k RPM.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:59 pm
As others have said, sometimes you do need to bring it up to 3k-ish to get it to start charging.
Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:36 pm
cblough wrote:The IAC is still wonky (I'm going to work on that tonight) and it idles between 2k and 2.5k RPM.


If you're experiencing high idle, there's a chance you have a vacuum leak somewhere in the intake manifold area. Did you stack the manifold-to-throttle body gaskets so that the metal plate faces the manifold orange o-ring seal and the blue paper gasket faces the throttle body? If not, swap those gaskets (so that metal plate faces manifold, etc.) and chances are it'll idle normally. Also check that all manifold fasteners -- cylinder head, throttle body, etc. -- are snugged up.

Usually if the IAC is bad it's because it's old and most likely the engine WON'T hold idle right after start up and will stall. Replace with a shiny new one.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:01 pm
The Gen3 has helped identify / eliminate a lot of ineffective IACs.

The ground I am referring to comes from the harness and attaches to the adjusting bolt on top of the alternator. Seems like that fixed one of our not charging at idle problems, but it may have been on a Gen 2.

[Looking at Bob Breton's car, I see he doesn't have one.]

Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:03 pm
Thread update for future forum searchers.

The alternator kicked on right at 3000 RPM. Now I know.

I am almost certain that I didn't install the intake manifold correctly, based on your description. I assumed the blue material and plate we're just there for shipping. I hope that I kept them, but I assume I can get a replacement from Enterprises if I stupidly threw them away.

I thought the only gasket was the orange ring gaskets arounderstanding each chamber.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:39 pm
One final update for thread posterity. It was exactly as you described. I had installed the blue gasket on the wrong side of the plate. Once that was fixed, the idle immediately went to 1000, and at the same time I installed a new IAC. Everything appears to be working great.

Thanks to everyone for the help in this thread.
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