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Old 07-27-2016, 06:43 AM   #16
t_g_farrell
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The SAs have the tach signal on the leading because the stock ignition disables trailing on
certain conditions. Your car looks fairly stock so I would say it probably works this way.

I bet your alternator is just weak. I've seen the dash lights stay on like that if the voltage
is not good sometimes. Have you checked the battery cables yet? They may be original and
falling apart internally.

You're having fun now! I'm jelly. I'll take a look at my haynes manual to see if it has any
extra words on dealing with the regulator.






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Old 07-27-2016, 07:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC Zach View Post
Most parts stores have the ability to bench test alternators, whether or not this test can be done with your application, I don't know but it's worth a shot.

My guess is the regulator but I'm not familiar with the first gens and their parts.
I'm leaning toward the regulator as well. I just wish I knew how to test it. I mean, they really aren't expensive to replace. RockAuto has an option for less than $10 although the OEM piece is $100. Even replacement alternators are in the $20-30 range after returning the core. I still can't explain how something that was working a week ago suddenly breaks during transport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by t_g_farrell View Post
The SAs have the tach signal on the leading because the stock ignition disables trailing on
certain conditions. Your car looks fairly stock so I would say it probably works this way.

I bet your alternator is just weak. I've seen the dash lights stay on like that if the voltage
is not good sometimes. Have you checked the battery cables yet? They may be original and
falling apart internally.

You're having fun now! I'm jelly. I'll take a look at my haynes manual to see if it has any
extra words on dealing with the regulator.
Thanks. I found a thread on the other forum where someone was describing my condition of the voltmeter never switching over to the alternator. In that thread this, along with the other warning lights, was attributed to a bad voltage regulator.

My battery is only outputting around 12V as it stands so I may just throw it on a charger to see if that helps any. When the car is off I'm getting the same voltage at the alternator terminal as I am across the battery posts so I don't think it's the wiring.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:06 AM   #18
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The symptoms you are getting are the same as when I broke a belt on my 79, so I would check the harness connectors from the alternator to the voltage regulator, and the regulator to the instrument cluster. they might be corroded enough to drop the voltage below where the regulator can see it. It might have gotten jostled around during shipping?
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim. View Post
The symptoms you are getting are the same as when I broke a belt on my 79, so I would check the harness connectors from the alternator to the voltage regulator, and the regulator to the instrument cluster. they might be corroded enough to drop the voltage below where the regulator can see it. It might have gotten jostled around during shipping?
I unplugged and reconnected everything from the battery to the alternator to the voltage regulator and that didn't seem to fix the issue. I decided to pull the alternator to get it checked out and I've got the battery on a trickle charger. I'm going to tear into the instrument cluster later today and triple check the coil and distributor connections.

The car won't be going anywhere for a while as I've got the steering column pulled apart to replace the upper bushing, which had crumbled to pieces causing play.

Update: I took the alternator to Advance Auto Parts (don't judge) and their machine failed it. It looks like one or more diodes in the rectifier are bad so I'll be ordering a replacement from RockAuto. I still don't know if the regulator is also bad but this is a start.

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Old 07-27-2016, 10:44 PM   #20
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Update: I took the alternator to Advance Auto Parts (don't judge) and their machine failed it.
Is there some type of stigma toward Advance that I don't know about? I can see this being said for Auto Zone because of their separate search and check-out lines as well as poor service in my area but why Advance, does your store have bad customer service?

I must say I'm a little biased since I worked for the company for five years, best store in the district too
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Old 07-28-2016, 06:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Is there some type of stigma toward Advance that I don't know about? I can see this being said for Auto Zone because of their separate search and check-out lines as well as poor service in my area but why Advance, does your store have bad customer service?

I must say I'm a little biased since I worked for the company for five years, best store in the district too
I have no problem with them either, but there seems to be a negative overall opinion of Advance, AutoZone, O-Reilly's, etc. in general. I have no affinity for any one and usually go to whichever is closest, which happens to be Advance now. I accept the fact it's just an auto parts store with some limited services. Sometimes there's a knowledgeable guy behind the counter but most of the time it's just a kid following instructions.

Yesterday I verified the display and all its connections checked out. I've got a couple more grounds to check but it looks like at least the alternator is to blame. I'm thinking the alternator isn't outputting enough voltage to cause the voltage regulator to kick in, which causes the idiot lights to go out and the tachometer to activate. I won't be able to determine if the regulator is bad until the replacement alternator comes in.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FC Zach View Post
Is there some type of stigma toward Advance that I don't know about? I can see this being said for Auto Zone because of their separate search and check-out lines as well as poor service in my area but why Advance, does your store have bad customer service?

I must say I'm a little biased since I worked for the company for five years, best store in the district too
Besides the fact that they charge 2 - 3x what I can get the part for from
rockauto and they are prone to handing out unwanted and wrong advice about
my car and the fact that they try to upsell you on everything. No, no issues.

I go to the bricks and morter stores only under duress. Heres the process to
select the store to goto:

Is it a specialty part or something needs to be fabricated, CarQuest/NAPA
because they can do things usually close to right and here they do some
of this for the race shops so they have a clue.

Otherwise its like this:

Oriellys - not bad and have good stock
AdvanceAuto - I can walk to it so sometimes it wins, the dog likes to go there
AutoZone - desparate, only if I see they have and the other two dont
WalMart - to get cheap consumables oil, etc
PepBoys - never
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Old 07-28-2016, 11:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t_g_farrell View Post
AutoZone - desparate, only if I see they have and the other two dont
WalMart - to get cheap consumables oil, etc
Yes and Yes!
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infernosg View Post
The car won't be going anywhere for a while as I've got the steering column pulled apart to replace the upper bushing, which had crumbled to pieces causing play.
Mine was the same way when I got it. The bushing was little bits and pieces, that which wasn't powder. I solved it by going down to a bearing specialty place and was able to source a metal bearing that fit the steering shaft. It was slightly large on external diameter so I had to do a little filing on the plastic for the turn signal piece and used a socket to expand the metal tube slightly so the bearing would slip in. It is solid and turns easily now. No more slopping around when you try to turn the wheel.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:49 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GySgtFrank View Post
Mine was the same way when I got it. The bushing was little bits and pieces, that which wasn't powder. I solved it by going down to a bearing specialty place and was able to source a metal bearing that fit the steering shaft. It was slightly large on external diameter so I had to do a little filing on the plastic for the turn signal piece and used a socket to expand the metal tube slightly so the bearing would slip in. It is solid and turns easily now. No more slopping around when you try to turn the wheel.
I thought I was going to have to do the same until I found the OEM part is still readily available and fairly cheap. Your option is definitely more robust and likely will never fail, but for the use this car is going to see the stock plastic bushing should last me a long time.
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Old 07-31-2016, 05:32 PM   #26
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It turned out to be the alternator. Threw in the reman'd unit from RockAuto and everything worked as it should. Well, except for the speedometer, but that was because I forgot to reconnect the cable after inspecting the dash.
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Old 07-31-2016, 07:26 PM   #27
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