62 alternator (?) issues

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Jul 12, 2011
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
My 1988 FJ62 has been having some electrical issues lately. Just today, the radio, clock, headlights, and power locks quit functioning. The "ding" noise to warn you that your keys are still in the ignition varies greatly in pitch. I'm not too sure what is up, but I think it may be the alternator. The vehicle has always had electrical issues however.

So I have two main questions - how do I take out the alternator, and what are some things I can do to fix up the old electrical stuff?
There are a number of things to look at...

Make sure your battery is in good shape, holds a charge, and that all cells are functioning properly. Most autoparts stores will do a free battery check.

Clean the battery posts, and the cables that attach to them. Also remove and clean the ground wires.

The alternator is on the drivers side, underneath the smog pump.

You can check the function of an alternator on the car, all you need is a basic multi-meter, and a helper in the car to manage throttle, rpm, and electrical loads (lights, fan on high, etc).

At idle, the alt should put out 12.5 - 13.5 volts, with no loads. With loads, volts will drop to below 12.5, maybe below 12. If you keep it at idle with loads, the volts will likely drop slowly over time.

At ~1200 rpm, no load, you should have 13.5 - 13.8 volts. With loads it may drop to below 13, but should still be above 12.5.

At 2000rpm, no load, should be the same as at 1200rpm. With loads should stay above 13v.

The test above is checking the function of the voltage regulator, and the total amp output of the alternator. If it fails any of the above (and your battery is in good shape) then you'll need to get a reman alternator. Do not buy a "lifetime" replacement warrenty alternator from the chain autoparts stores. Buy a Denso or bosch reman. If you are unsure what your data means, post it back on here for further input.

There are other things that can cause or contribute to the symptoms you are having, but in my opinion the best approach is to base-line the primary components in your electrical system (battery, big cables, alternator).

When I though I had an issue with mine I removed it and brought it to auto zone. They tested it and I was good. Its a pain removing and applying. There was a write somewhere on here.
Thanks for the reply! To check the alt, do I remove the wire I can unbolt and measure it?

No. Just put the + lead from the multi-meter onto the + terminal of the battery, and the - lead to the - terminal.
Its a pain removing and applying. [/QUOTE]

Which is why I suggested doing it in the truck. :) Easier, faster, and you don't have to worry that the auto-parts guy is trying to sell you something.

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