Just another Mark VIII charging system story...

Lincoln Mark VIII

  1. driller

    driller Dedicated LVC Member

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    While attending Ray's funeral services, two Mark VIIIs were in attendance... and you know with two Mark VIIIs, there HAS to be an incident. ;)

    The wife and I had brought the '96, waking it from it's winter slumber in the driveway. In preparation, I packed the toolbox and jump-box "just-in-case" the winter weather had any suprises in store.

    MsM8tress had brought "Tux", her '96, and had just replaced the alternator in the last couple days.

    Anyone see where this story is obviously going? :D

    Before we departed for home, her battery light had come on. I offered for her to follow me to I-70, where she would go west and I would continue south. Sure enough, a very few miles later, her car conked out and we pulled off the shoulder of the busy 6 lane expressway.

    I had neglected to bring my volt meter with the tool box, but a quick hook-up of the jump-box confirmed the alternator was not charging. After a few phone calls while waiting on a AAA tow truck, we had located an alternator at a NAPA store back where we came from. After the DOT truck stopped and put out some flares, the tow truck finally arrived. We elected to have her car towed to the NAPA store where I offered to change out the alternator. NAPA wasn't thrilled having someone working on a car in their parking lot, but after a few minutes, car was running, no battery light and MsM8tress was elated. Off we go to the gas station a couple hundred yards away before heading down the highway once again. :)

    Now, I was worried she would turn the car off at the pump. To her credit, she left it idle while refueling. But Tux stalled and died pulling away from the pump! Battery light was on again! A quick jump and back to the NAPA store we go. Well, almost. LOL :D

    Tux had run out of juice once again in the left turn lane in front of NAPA. :(

    Again I hooked up the jump box. I told her we were going to 'do it NASCAR style' and I would signal her to start the car, disconnect the jump box and close the hood and she could dart across to the parking lot. Watching for a break in traffic, I cued her to start 'er up and I disconnected the jump box, closed the hood, and stepped back as Tux darts across the street into the parking lot... and stalled again.

    The friendly NAPA crew suggested the battery was toast. :shifty: After a few miniutes on a charger, the one-year old CarQuest battery tested low(duh!) and we reluctantly replaced the battery. STILL, the battery light was on but obviously the car was running on new battery juice. We were ushered down the street to a garage to have the charging system checked out since NAPA was confident of the new alternator(I certainly wasn't).

    Turns out the 20A fuse under the hood for the alternator was blown! No power was getting to the internal regulator. In all my years of being around Mark VIIIs and even more years with Fords, I have NEVER seen that fuse blow.

    Weirder still, when we had left NAPA originally, the battery light was off, confirming it was charging. So the fuse had to have blown while at the gas station? I wish I would've had my volt meter during the trip.

    Regardless, the rest of the journey was uneventful and everyone made it back home safe. :)
     
  2. brentalan

    brentalan Dedicated LVC Member

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    I've had the battery lights not indicate a problem unilt the charge was extremely weak before. (Different cars) I thought maybe that's because my alternators werent' complete toast and they were providing something. Anyway, glad you found the solution and everyone got home safe!
     
  3. Roadboss

    Roadboss Dedicated LVC Member

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    It was a blessing you were around there Driller. Glad you got her running. There must be a reason that it blew, what is your suspicion ?
     
  4. chicken

    chicken SHEOOOOOOOOT

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    wow that sux, note to self bring voltmeter, ive seen that fuse blow alot all the new guys at work throw a alt at the prob to be burned when it just needed a fuse/fuse link /wiring prob etc. glad you guys got her up and running. i knew it was a bad sign when she said her battery light was on, unfortunately we went the other direction almost instantly, and the only tools i had in the truck was a 50' chain and a shovel, yup i drove through a snow storm on my way out, so my concern with tools was digging/pulling out
     
  5. driller

    driller Dedicated LVC Member

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    My suspicion is 1 of 2 things.

    The aftermarket alarm puzzled me the way it was acting during the whole scenario. Could it be they tapped that circuit? :confused:

    The fuse could've blown due to too much amperage in the regulator's battery sense circuit feeding the field voltage to the new alternator trying to charge the dead battery.

    The second suspicion is the more credible one since we know it was charging after the swap. When she was idling at the pump at the gas station, the low rpm of the alternator would've been struggling to supply enough power to bring the battery back to life. The field current kept increasing until the fuse blew.

    If the fuse would've been blown prior to the alternator swap, it would've never started charging with the new alternator.

    One thing for certain now, I'll ALWAYS check that fuse first . :D
     
  6. Roadboss

    Roadboss Dedicated LVC Member

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    I have a feeling your assesment is on the mark, as many times when dead battery occurs I have found dead alternator to follow due to jump start. Thanks for the info, got to go get battery charged on Whiner as I haven't started in over a month and battery is dead, so shall recharge then reinstall prior to start.
     
  7. vr4

    vr4 Dedicated LVC Member

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    ive seen that fuse blown 5 times in the last 7 years. not common but it does happen.
     
  8. Sergmark

    Sergmark Dedicated LVC Member

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    I too have never seen one of those fuses blow on the many used cars I have had. Maybe just luck.
    Jp Thats a good leson for all of us to check that fuse now!!
    Debi is very lucky you were there.. JP You the Mann!!!:gr_hail:
     
  9. GMAN

    GMAN Dedicated LVC Member

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    Wow! I bet Debi was screaming bloody murder!:p
     
  10. MsM8tress

    MsM8tress Dedicated LVC Member

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    Driller failed to mention that it was friggin cold, the whole incident took over 4hours and yes I was a mess the entire time! lol We headed out around 2:00, but finally got on the road and running sometime after 6:00!!!!

    I can't tell you how much that meant to me, actually had me crying, after all it was Valentines day, and Mrs. Driller was nothing but completely understanding and comforting - even when the cigs were gone, still cool as cucumbers...man, I really can't find words to tell ya how much I appreciate all the time, work, and trying to keep contained and get Tux on the road! lol

    Driller was like a one man miracle machine, he had located an alt ONLY 10 MILES AWAY!!! Of course one of the first calls I made was to the original alt's supplier, CarQuest, they never did locate one and he had a computer right in front of him at CarQuest, driller just whipped out his palm top and found one even before the AAA guy got there, the CarQuest guy never did locate one. I ended up calling him back telling him driller found one at NAPA and he needed to make the purchase! The one I had installed two days prior had to shipped from Cleveland! The CarQuest guy took care of paying for the alt over the phone with the NAPA guy, they were really sorry about the whole thing

    I must say the CarQuest guy was trying very hard, he had called all around where we were, but drillers skilllz shined, he found the alt, had it installed, and had me back on the road in 15-20 mins, no kidding (that is if the fuse thing wasn't messing us up). CarQuest felt very bad when I took the maybe bad alt back

    OK..I am going out on a ledge here, I am not familiar with the charging system or electrical at all, but check this out...

    I've tried to recall exactly what was going on before the light came on..
    now with the 410 gear, and all the ice slippery roads, I was gunnin him a lot to get around. Yes I know slow will get you out, but in some cases due to traffic, I had to, and well yeah, it was fun too. Would revin' up the engine have caused it to blow? I don't know if it is coincidence, but if I recall correctly, before the light came I gunned him to make a turn. It was not immediately, but maybe 2-5 minutes after.

    And I am gonna ask this one just out of lack of knowledge, so don't slam me, oh who am I kidding....lol! but with the above scenario, would the higher gears have increased the possibility of the fuse blowing?

    Oh yes, if it wasn't know before, I am now a full fleged Driller's groupie! I love you guys!!!! THANKS!!!!!!!

    Serg - not luck, that was all God's grace babe. Ray had a fondness for Tux, when he was no longer there for Tux and me, I just kept wondering who is gonna take care of us now??? It was like Ray showing me that I'm in more than capable hands, and Gods way of telling me to get my head outta my butt.

    Thanks again Drillers!!!

    Smooches!
    Debi
     
  11. driller

    driller Dedicated LVC Member

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    LOL... between the BlackBerry, Palm and Tom-Tom the CarQuest guy didn't stand a chance. It's cool he took care of the new alternator though.

    It wasn't anything that hard... I was just glad to help and Mrs. Driller knows I'm not leaving someone stranded, Valentine's Day or not. Besides. we really didn't have anything planned and she had her present waiting back home. ;)

    'Gunning it' wouldn't have anything to do with it - lol, if it did the Blue Flame would never be charging. :D

    I just think the alternator was one of those remans that never seem to last.
     
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    • MsM8tress

      MsM8tress Dedicated LVC Member

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      I drove for about an hour with the heat off, I was freezing so I finally turned it on, never did turn on the radio, and yes the blinking lights continued all the way home!

      Alarm is out, gone!! The alarm/auto starter and all it's wicked wires are in a box if anyone is interested.

      I always did have issues with the system, if I used the Lincoln remote, the alarm would go off, I had to use the auto starter remote. Then sometimes I would try to use the keypad to open, he would open, but the alarm would go off and the only fob that would shut it off was the Lincoln remote..pain carrying them both around. Regardless it is OUT! Never again will I screw with the wires (not that I put this on, it was on when I got him)...like a rejected kidney transplant...horrible!!!

      Debi
       
    • pepperman

      pepperman The Real Deal

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      The power of LVC peeps helping one another is an awesome thing. :cool:
       
    • NYC LS8

      NYC LS8 Dedicated LVC Member

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      Nice job, JP!!! :Beer
       
    • The Rev

      The Rev Dedicated LVC Member

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      my battery light goes on and off, but i havent gotten around to testing the voltage, i havent noticed a dip in performance or anything, and its not like the battery light comes on when im idling or anything, or when im on the highway. this fuse is in the power distrubution box? if it could be a fuse i'd wanna replace that and see if it changes
       
    • MsM8tress

      MsM8tress Dedicated LVC Member

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      I never knew a fuse to blow intermittently, still, I'm a wossie, I'd leave it alone, but carry a 20 amp fuse just in case! lol

      MsM8
       
    • AbrahamLincoln

      AbrahamLincoln Dedicated LVC Member

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      F.ound O.n R.oad D.ead
       
    • mafioso

      mafioso Dedicated LVC Member

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      I have not had a lick of trouble with Nathan's alt.

      Everyone might want to look into it.
       
    • NateRW21

      NateRW21 Dedicated LVC Member

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      I sold you an alternator?????

      :-D
       
    • mafioso

      mafioso Dedicated LVC Member

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      hahah I meant Nathan from excessive Amperage.
       
    • MsM8tress

      MsM8tress Dedicated LVC Member

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      Guess what Hotties, my boy boy wants yet another alternator this will make the 3rd one since february. This is insane. No indication, no nothing, as I pull into the driveway the light comes on. Get him hooked up and, battery is good alt is putting out good, but after the diag. on the alt the machine coded with bad alt. pattern......


      The only modification I have had done to him for over a year is the SCT X3 Power flash. I am calling them tomorrow to see if they can help me figure out if it is something with that....I am so frutstrated and at wits end with it.

      Driller, I am going to bring him over so you can spank some sense into him....other than that, I am out of ideas....

      Help....

      MsM8
       
    • vr4

      vr4 Dedicated LVC Member

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      buy motorcraft
       
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      • MsM8tress

        MsM8tress Dedicated LVC Member

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        well the first one was CarQuest, the second (two weeks later) was Napa, since it is still covered the second will prolly be Napa too. They will pay for the install also.... I am thinkn I should take him somewhere to get some major diagnostic tests because something is not right..I can't chalk this up to crappy parts (had them before too, thanks though).

        Oh I did have the serp. belt replaced between now and then also.

        Driller, I checked the fuse also, it's good.
         
      • driller

        driller Dedicated LVC Member

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        Every one you've been putting on has been a reman. If you get a Mototcraft - it will be a reman. Quit the reman cycle and get a new one from PA Performance. The one I got from there lasted over 3 years severe duty on my '93.

        EDIT: If you have diagnostics done - they won't find anything unless they check for amperage draw. One major suspect would be the cooling fan. It can start going bad drawing too many amps and overloading the alternator. It shouldn't be taking any more than 20A on high speed.
         
      • MsM8tress

        MsM8tress Dedicated LVC Member

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        yeah, I dont know if they will refund in full. but heck, would be worth it, I cant be driving around and have the bat lite come on, then dead in 10 mins.

        I am just poooooooed! to the hilt.....I will see about a full refund.

        You dont think the belt or the sct has anything to do with it do you driller?
         

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