80 series alternator caput?

Submitted: Friday, May 01, 2009 at 19:16
ThreadID: 68427 Views:10551 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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bout 3 years ago - the 80 series 1HD-T cruiser alternator started to play up - there was a lil red LED light on the face of the tacho that started to flash on and off intermittently.

Took it too an auto sparky - who said the original alternator was no good - and replaced it for some $1300, (original Toyota new part).

Now here we are 3 years later, a good battery on the twin battery system seems to be going flat, as tho it had dropped a cell, so we put in a new battery of the same kind yesterday.

Next day - when you start her up - all the dash lights stay on after the engine is running - and the radio etc starts to fade as you drive along as tho the alternator isn't charging either battery at all.

With headlights etc on you can see the volt gauge on the dash dieng slowly.

So - I give it a good sharp quick "rev up" in neutral (over 2000 rpms'), and voila - the alternator starts to charge - all the dash lights go out, and all is good again with the dash gauge showing about 13.7 volts charging.

Turn it off - restart it and here we are again - all the dash lights stay on - unless I give it a decent rev, whereupon the dash lights go out - the alternator starts charging etc.

I took it into a auto sparky who clips his multimeter on the battery terminals - we start it, the dash lights stay on as before & he pronounces the alternator not working, removes his multimeter before we can rev it to get the problem to self rectify itself again, and says that it will cost $660 for a non original equipment 110 amp alternator replacement & come back Monday morning!

I am having trouble believing that:-

1 - the original alternator lasted about 15 years(180,000km's) with no trouble

2. the original equipment replacement costing over $1300 hasn't made it past 3 years (120,000 km's)

3. that a non orginal alternator (albeit a much higher output one) for $66o, is "the answer".

To me it appears as tho - theres a weak earth somewhere - maybe a loose nut on one of the alternator terminals, or where it earths to the body maybe, and when you rev the engine quickly above 2000 rpm's - it "suddenly" fixes itself!

My eldest son installed the dual battery system himself with some kit from one of these auto parts places for a couple hundred dollars and to me - it's NOT what I'd call a proper "off road" dual battery system...- it simply runs two 12V batterys in paralell for charging but separates them automatically thru a control box with key off - and IF one battery goes flat you just push a button on the control box to temporarily manually put the batterys into paralell, to "jump start" the flat battery of the pair.

It wouldn't surprise me if theres something deficient in this particular dual battery setup kit - I instinctively don't like it - and suspect IT is maybe the cause of these dash light / alternator symptoms - I'm reluctant to throw away, what I suspect is a perfectly good not so old alternator - on the say so of a auto sparky who invested all of 30 seconds in his diagnosis.

To my mind, it might be a faulty / sticky internal regulator maybe in the rear of the alternator - or a bad connnection to earth somewhere...or a sub par cheap attempt at a dual battery system - where a PROPER cole hersey dual isolation switch etc would have done a MUCH better job.

Anyone have any suggestions where to start with diagnosing properly where the problem actually lies before we start the "auto sparky retirement benefit fund" method of "replacing parts till the problem goes away" on Monday morning?

Maybe get a second opinion from another auto sparky?

This 80 series has a LOT of electrical after market accessories in it:-

CD Player/Radio
2 way Radio
Electronic GPS burglar alarm
Dual Fridge connections in the rear
Hella Spotlights
Garmin Navigator
Air Compressor ARB
Mobile Phone Charger
Hands Free Kit

All of these things work fine, and have done so for some time - plus I helped him install them and made sure they were done right...so i have a fair bit of faith that the acessories installations aren't the root cause of the problem - I keep comming back to the new battery installation yesterday AND the IMHO "dodgey" cheap dual battery system" & its suspect installation.

Then again - maybe the auto sparky is right & the alternator is just shot to pieces!

I hate electrickery - if it was plumbing you could see where the leak was - but with electrickery...my patience gets very sorely tested very quickly.

I draw the line at aything much past twisting two wires together and adding insulation tape - I own a multimeter but don' profess to know how to use it....I slept at a holiday inn once - but that dosnt make me a hotel manager!

Ideas anyone?

Cheers & thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 19:58

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 19:58
Get someone who knows how to use that mutimeter. They are good gear and will help to answer the questions that you asked. BTW I'd be looking at a regulator ...but the modern ones seem to be inside the alternator.

Oh and I have an irrigation hose plumbed into the sewage system and it's BLOCKED. No idea where, and would have to dig it all up to fix it. Heaps more difficult than learning how to use a multimeter I rekkon :))
AnswerID: 362673

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 19:58

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 19:58

On the passenger side of the vehicle near the battery there should be an earth lead. If this is not tight or have a clean surface it will play up with the charging system.

With the second battery make sure there is an earth to the motor and not just the body work.

Also remove the plug at the back of the alternator and make sure it is clean and tight.

AnswerID: 362674

Reply By: Ted O - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 20:36

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 20:36
I'm not a auto lecky just an old mechanic. First thing to check . Switch ignition on without starting engine, is the battery warning light on . If not replace bulb or repair wiring fault . This can be tested by removing the indicator wire from the rear of the alternator and earthing the wire from the bulb. If bulb lights the fault is in the alternator. This circuit supplies power to activate the charge circuit at low speed .

Regards and good luck
AnswerID: 362682

Reply By: Member - Jiarna (NT) - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 20:39

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 20:39
Hope you don't have to replace the alternator already. If you do, I can vouch for the $660 aftermarket one. The genuine Toyota part isn't Toyota as they don't make alternators, so don't get hung up on the price difference. I only use "Toyota" parts now if there's no alternative, and you can get most of what you need from a major aftermarket supplier at about half the price and as good if not better quality than original. Can't tell you the name on the forum, but the initials are TT.

Good luck
Those who say something cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

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AnswerID: 362683

Reply By: Flywest - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 22:07

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 22:07
Thank you everyone,

I reckon maybe Wayne & Ted O may have otpinned between them.

Wayne said:-

[quote]With the second battery make sure there is an earth to the motor and not just the body work.[/quote]

In this cheap dual battery kit -the second earth strap is too the body and we have already had trouble once with that connection - I'll go back to it again and re-locate it direct to the block.


Ted O's suggestion i simple and makes p[erfect sense as a way to test out the alternator (or its inbuilt regulator) - so that is also on my list for tomorrow morning!

Thanks to all of you who replied - I wouldn't have thought if those things on my own...many minds as the saying goes.

Again sincere thanks to all.

AnswerID: 362702

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Friday, May 01, 2009 at 22:30

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 22:30
Dude....give the round plug on the alt a wiggle and let me know if it fixes it....
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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AnswerID: 362707

Follow Up By: Member - DOZER- Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 06:37

Saturday, May 02, 2009 at 06:37
The round plug ws a common fault with the diesel, the wiring is strapped to the inner guard quite close and ended up the plug got worked with vibration till the spades in there came loose...a friend has a 91 t/d with 3 coats of reconditioning paint on his alt....the 4th guy felt sorry for him and fixed the plug.
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Classifieds: Landcruiser 200 series /100 series 4 alloy rims with tyres and nuts GC

FollowupID: 630413

Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Friday, May 01, 2009 at 23:19

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 23:19
check earths , ok but also check main fuse links at the battery, check there is no corrosion biuld up on ignition fuses ,see that the (meter) fuse is not corroded or blown
AnswerID: 362714

Reply By: Flywest - Monday, May 04, 2009 at 22:55

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 22:55
spent a few more hours at it today - renewed an earth moved an earth from the body to the engine block as suggested above.

Neither cured the problem sadly.

Then I undid the round plug and it appeared to have water & crud in it - it was pretty dirty in there - so a faor amount of WD40 to wash it out and re connect....

No change - problem still exists.

So next was to flood the Alternator with WD40 about half a can in the front and back.

Well this was interesting.

Now the damn dasj lights stayed on all the time...even revving the engine up wouldn't make the damn things go off now - so I took another trip to another auto sparky someone recommended.

This guy didn;t quote and suggested maybe a sticking brush or intermittently faulty regulator..

Made a booking for it tomorrow morning bout 730 am...to look at the brushes box and regulator.

Damn me on the way home from the auto sparky the dash lights go off (back to normal) and so when I get home I switch her off - start her up again etc and NOW the damn dash lights etc are working properly - switching themselves off straight after startup like they should!

Looks like maybe the WD 40 has worked it's way into the stuck brushes or internal regulator while driving too and from the auto sparky.

So - now what do i do?

Still take it to the auto sparky as booked tomorrow morning?

Damned if I know?

AnswerID: 363274

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