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To Hell With the Turmoil I'm Worried About My Truck

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posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:03 PM
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I've got a 1996 Ford F150 5.0L Two Wheel Drive. She's old and she sat for a couple of years and I've had to deal with some problems after I got her on the road, maybe $1,000 worth if you want to put a price to it. Anyhow, new battery, new alternator (the old one definitely died), and I'm getting a jumpy voltage reading on the voltage meter randomly, about four times during a 20 mile drive. I got to figure this out, so screw politics, the protests, riots, and the corona crisis, my truck is more important (to me at least).

I suspect three things.

A voltage drop through the whole electrical system likely due to a bad ground or other connection some where on the wire harness.

A faulty alternator (it was a rebuild from Advance Auto).

Or, most likely, a dying voltage regulator in the instrument panel. Although I have noticed a few things that may indicate a faulty meter, like I occasionally have to give the dash a slap to get the RPM meter from sticking in the zero position.

I had a "check engine" light since I bought her last year, but when I replaced the alternator, disconnecting the battery in the process, the engine light turned off. But during the test drive, after a few miles the voltage meter jumped and the engine light came back on.

Now, after examining the grounds from the alternator and the battery, etc., I found that I really needed to replace the positive battery terminal clamp as the old one was highly corroded and broke when I messed with it (it was those cheap strap type clamps).

Now after this test drive of ten miles the voltage meter jumped, but the engine light never came back on like before. It may tomorrow when I have to get to work.

So what do you great minds here have to say?

My truck is important, she is worth my attention and needs my help. I rarely feel this way about any vehicle I have owned. She runs great, good engine, the body is fair, 101K miles now, I want to keep her purring.
edit on 4-6-2020 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Typo




posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

I hate electrical issues. Here is the only Ford Ive owned



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:12 PM
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a reply to: visitedbythem

Kick ass! Very good, star for you.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:16 PM
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It's almost an antique. Antiques cost coin to keep viable.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:18 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

Seems like it's the regulator. Alternator doing its thing and the regulator failing to resist or grounding out.

Dunno if that has one or if its built into the alternator.

Imo.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:19 PM
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I should add that none of the instrument panel lights dimmed or flickered when the voltage meter dropped. I paid attention to the check engine light while it was on, and it never flickered when the meter jumped.

This leads me to believe more that the voltage regulator for the instrument panel is going bad, if it has one. She is a keeper though, worth the expense of a new regulator (between $30 and $60). The panel is a bitch to tear into though.
edit on 4-6-2020 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:19 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

My kid just got a bunk alternator from Advance Auto Parts for his 1999 Ford F150.

Put it on, still had issues, had to swap it out for another. Maybe you got his turn in.... LOL

Maybe they got a bad shipment?
edit on 4-6-2020 by infolurker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

I would take it to Advance Auto and have them do a test. The tests are free and they might be able to tell you what's wrong.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:24 PM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker

I thought the same, thanks. Other than that I considered finding out what the engine light was complaining about, but now it's gone, for the moment.

ETA: If the alternator is OK, then the problem is something else, a process of elimination.
edit on 4-6-2020 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:29 PM
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a reply to: infolurker

That's funny because I slammed the old alternator core on the ground after I removed it.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:36 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

No seriously, he did get a crap alternator from there and had to have it swapped out for another.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:38 PM
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originally posted by: Stupidsecrets
It's almost an antique. Antiques cost coin to keep viable.


Like Super Chicken often said to his sidekick Fred the lion, "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it".



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:40 PM
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originally posted by: infolurker
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

No seriously, he did get a crap alternator from there and had to have it swapped out for another.


I totally believe you, I immediately suspected the very same when I took the unit and paid money for it.

ETA: I may have saved $20 over a new one. I'm such a cheapskate.
edit on 4-6-2020 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:42 PM
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Every man's truck is supposed to be more important than everything else. That's just how it is man.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:43 PM
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OMG! The dreaded double post!
edit on 4-6-2020 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Double post



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:44 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

I would be sure to check the flux capacitor. That is the cause of many a problem.

Yeah, I don't know diddly but I'm bored and making bad jokes online.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:47 PM
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originally posted by: TheSpanishArcher
a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

I would be sure to check the flux capacitor. That is the cause of many a problem.

Yeah, I don't know diddly but I'm bored and making bad jokes online.


I was thinking that the hydrosilator was out of sync.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 09:48 PM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders
Every man's truck is supposed to be more important than everything else. That's just how it is man.


I must be a man then, it means more than all this BS, and my old lady too (just don't tell her, PLEASE).
edit on 4-6-2020 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Typo



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 10:05 PM
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The regulator is on the alternator on that model, likely a cheap rebuild good enough to pass a few seconds on the test machine.

While your working on it, pick up some 10 gauge copper strand wire that's oil and gas resistant (cheap at hardware store, apx $1 foot) and add it to battery ground and run it to the frame. Add another wire from battery ground to a bolt on the engine block while allowing room for the engine to move while avoiding exhaust, fans and pulleys.

If you're planning to add to you electrical system (sterio, amps, light, and ect) add bigger wire than 10 gauge depending on the load.I would strongly recommend leaving the existing wires in place.



posted on Jun, 4 2020 @ 10:13 PM
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originally posted by: Jason79
The regulator is on the alternator on that model, likely a cheap rebuild good enough to pass a few seconds on the test machine.

While your working on it, pick up some 10 gauge copper strand wire that's oil and gas resistant (cheap at hardware store, apx $1 foot) and add it to battery ground and run it to the frame. Add another wire from battery ground to a bolt on the engine block while allowing room for the engine to move while avoiding exhaust, fans and pulleys.

If you're planning to add to you electrical system (sterio, amps, light, and ect) add bigger wire than 10 gauge depending on the load.I would strongly recommend leaving the existing wires in place.


Thanks, I just hope that Advance doesn't try to BS me when I get the alternator tested. Never thought of adding new grounds, something to consider, Thanks again.



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