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#4182236 - 08/20/16 02:38 PM Is it the alternator?
Barkleymut Offline


Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 2704
Loc: Richmond, VA
My 96 F150 started losing juice on the electrical system on Thursday. Drove it to work on Friday (had no choice) and by the time i got there the battery was dead. Got a jump and made it home but everything was dying, even the speedometer didn't work. Put the battery on a charger overnight and the truck runs fine now. I'm about to run up to AutoZone to get a new alternator but just wanted ya'lls opinion on whether there is anything else it could be.

95 F150 5.0 5 speed standard cab 2wd long bed 97k miles. A few dents and scratches but man she is pretty smile
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09 Vue(95K) 2.4 4spd AT -PU 5w30 / 09 Flex(52K)3.5L PU / Moms car 04 Pilot(105K) 5w20 PP + Puro

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#4182241 - 08/20/16 02:49 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
daman Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 11136
Loc: Bad Axe, MI
Yup alt id say.
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#4182244 - 08/20/16 02:57 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
Warstud Offline


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 5396
Loc: MIchigan
Yep... prolly the alternator. If the battery dies while driving it's probably a bad alternator. If the battery is dead when you start it.... it's probably a bad battery.

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#4182246 - 08/20/16 02:57 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5241
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
Did you check the voltage while the engine was running?
It sure sounds like it's the alternator but maybe you have an extremely corroded battery clamp on your battery cable.
My friend had one which was nearly 100% corrosion inside the swag.

Also, what's all the 12V stuff on the firewall of that truck? A pal has a '97 and there are no straight shots between the alternator-battery-starter.
Battery voltage goes into that assembly on the firewall (forward of the passenger's knees.
It's full of relays and heaven knows what. Is there something in there which can stick?

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#4182251 - 08/20/16 03:10 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
Kruse Offline


Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 4295
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By: Barkleymut

95 F150 5.0 5 speed standard cab 2wd long bed 97k miles.


I've owned quite a few Ford trucks from that era (I still own a '97 F250) and I'd always have alternator problems between 100K-130K miles. Of course, I live on a dusty gravel road, so that may be why they failed that early. IMO, if the alternator has not failed, it will happen soon, so I'd have the thing rebuilt or replaced now.

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#4182252 - 08/20/16 03:10 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
Barkleymut Offline


Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 2704
Loc: Richmond, VA
From what I read earlier (not on BITOG) there is a huge fuse in there. I'm a rookie when it comes to electrical stuff.
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#4182255 - 08/20/16 03:17 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
javacontour Offline


Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 10306
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: Barkleymut
My 96 F150 started losing juice on the electrical system on Thursday. Drove it to work on Friday (had no choice) and by the time i got there the battery was dead. Got a jump and made it home but everything was dying, even the speedometer didn't work. Put the battery on a charger overnight and the truck runs fine now. I'm about to run up to AutoZone to get a new alternator but just wanted ya'lls opinion on whether there is anything else it could be.

95 F150 5.0 5 speed standard cab 2wd long bed 97k miles. A few dents and scratches but man she is pretty smile


Have them test the old one AND if you buy a replacement, have it tested before you leave the store. It's a real pain to get home, install something, only to find out it too was bad.
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#4182256 - 08/20/16 03:18 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 5043
Loc: USA
If this Ford has the infamous 2 plug alternator,REPLACE the elongated squared off plug with a new one installing the new unit.Good units will give you one in the box.Plenty of 80s and 90s Fords have burnt up thanks to that lousy connection.

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#4182260 - 08/20/16 03:23 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 5043
Loc: USA
OK,it shouldn't have that bad plug in setup....I checked.

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#4182269 - 08/20/16 03:34 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
Barkleymut Offline


Registered: 01/27/04
Posts: 2704
Loc: Richmond, VA
thanks for checking, I was just about to go take a pic of my alternator and post.
_________________________
09 Vue(95K) 2.4 4spd AT -PU 5w30 / 09 Flex(52K)3.5L PU / Moms car 04 Pilot(105K) 5w20 PP + Puro

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#4182274 - 08/20/16 03:46 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5518
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Couple of things. Yes, it's prolly the alternator. But, the truck is getting a bit long in the tooth (20 years) so I'd say the ground side was getting crevice corrosion, minor salt bridges, etc.

So all the stuff on the positive side has voltage to help it do whatever. But all that current has to return to source through the ground side with 0 voltage (it's been used up by the device). Not as easy to do ...

So for all Fords over about 10 years old, I always add new grounds. Say #4 cable with crimped and soldered lugs between the Bat (-) and the alternator bracket. Then another say #8 between the intake manifold (any convenient bolt) and the fire-wall (a hood hinge bolt works well). Same crimped and soldered lugs assembly.

There are lots of old Fords that will not charge the battery fully because the built-in regulator can not see the real ground, but see's an offset ground based on how much resistance it has on the ground-path back to the battery.

A new one from the Bat (-) clamp bolt/nut to the alternator mount eliminates that resistance and makes the regulator much more effective. Adding these two new grounds will make the whole system work better and it will start and run much easier. Has for every one I've done, and that's more than a dozen in the last ten years of so ...
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Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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#4182280 - 08/20/16 03:54 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: BrocLuno]
edwardh1 Offline


Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 2943
Loc: Coastal South Carolina
commonly done to 90 -99 Maximas also, and its cheap
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#4182297 - 08/20/16 04:17 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
crazyoildude Offline


Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 9808
Loc: New Jersey
Check all connections first ... All of them including the ones on the alternator check the voltage on the battery and start it up and make sure it is charging with a voltmeter..Sometimes its a bad connection but the alternator could be bad also...How old is the battery? A weak or bad battery can cause problems also.
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#4182361 - 08/20/16 06:11 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5518
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Problem with checking and cleaning some of these Fords is that they buried the main ground point on a bolt on the side of the engine block right above the cross-member. It can not be easily accessed, is often rusted solid, so it never gets cleaned or serviced ... It's one of those "what was Ford thinking" things that we have to work around ... frown

But I agree with everything CrazyOilDude says above smile
_________________________
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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#4182370 - 08/20/16 06:17 PM Re: Is it the alternator? [Re: Barkleymut]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41784
Loc: New Jersey
Could be a shorted cell in the battery or a bad diode in the alternator.

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