Ford Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
How much amperage draw do you have with the PCM connected and the CCRM unplugged? How much amperage draw do you have with the CCRM, PCM plugged in and the fuse installed? I will do my best to help you locate your issue.
Ok, it would have to mA, if it were amps the fuse in your multimeter would blow. 86-90 mA's is not enough to cause the concern you are having. So, lets get back to the original problem. The alternator is overheating. We need to see how much amperage the alternator is putting out to see if that is the issue (charging a lot all of the time). It is possible for the alternator to get hot, but not because it is putting out amperage. If there is an internal issue with the alternator it can get hot without charging a lot. You will need to check how many amps the alternator is putting out with an inductive pickup ammeter of some sort. If it is putting out an excessive amount (more than 20 amps at idle with no accessories on) and the battery voltage is staying below 14 volts with no accessories on then you probably have a battery or cable connection issue. If it is not putting out very much amperage (less than 20 amps at idle) but still getting hot, I would say the alternator has an internal issue. Typically we like to see less than 50 mA's draw with everything off after all modules have powered down. It takes up to 30 minutes for the modules to all power down. I hope this helps, let me know if you can do these checks.
The voltage is about where it should be. You will not be able to use your meter as it cannot handle the amperage. It wil have to be an inductive type pickup that goes around the large wire on the alternator. Alternators do get hot when they are charging, so lets make sure we really have a problem. The alternator should be rated at 130 amps on this vehicle, but you may not get quite that much out of it at full load. Maybe your local parts store could check your amperage output for you. A lot of parts stores will check this for free. I hope this helps you. let me know what you find. Make sure your battery cables are clean and tight also.
They will get pretty hot, I am still not sure if it is a problem. If it is charging ok (not overcharging or undercharging) it may be fine The only other thing I can think of thus far is the alternator fan. This alternator should have a fan internal. It should pull air through the alternator to cool it. Surely the fan is in there and going the right direction! Let me know what you find on the charging amperage and we will go from there.
If the alternator passes and the battery and connections are ok, I am not sure you have a problem. Alternators do produce some heat. I actually would suggest taking the car somewhere that can test the alternator output on the car. That would be a more accurate test. I hope this helps, If it does please click the accept button and I would appreciate positive feedback.
A poor connection on either end of one of the battery cables can cause the voltage to not reach the battery, therefore making the alternator work harder. That is why we need to check the alternator output amperage at the alternator, to verify a concern. If the ouput amperage is high all the time we can go a direction of finding a wiring fault.
You should be fine to drive 1.5 miles. I think we will know a lot more after you check amperage output at idle with nothing on. We will know for sure if the alternator is being overworked or not. If it is overworking, have them load test your battery also.
The next step is to check voltage drop across the cables. Place one multimeter probe on the large terminal of the alternator and the other one on the battery post. Make sure you put it on the battery post and not the cable end. Check DC volts, you should see less than .5 volts. Then check from the negative battery post to the alternator case and also to the body ground, you should see less than .5 volts here also. At the connector on the alternator you should have battery voltage at the light green/red wire and also at the violet and white wire. The white/black wire should have continuity from the larger connector to the single terminal of the alternator. Making all of these checks should narrow down the problem.
Sorry it was so long getting back to you. I had an out of town football game today. No voltage on the LG/R wire means we are getting close. I have attached a wiring diagram for you. The LG/R wire is fed through the Charge indicator in the cluster. Does the light come on with the key on engine off? And does it go off with the engine running? Here are some pinpoint tests to help you. Some of these tests we have already done. As you will see in test B2 it will tell you repair high resistance in circuit 904, which is the LG/R if you have less than 1 volt. This could be fuse18 in the instrument panel fuse panel, the indicator bulb in the dash or a problem in the wiring anywhere in between. Make sure the fuse is good, and make sure it is making good contact in the fuse panel. If the light is on with the key on engine off, the fuse and wiring to the fuse should be good. If the light does not ever come on, it could be the power side of the bulb or the ground side (between the fuse and the alternator. Let me know if you are able to isolate the issue with this information. I hope we are getting it narrowed down now.
Is voltage drop less than 0.25 V?
Is voltage greater than 1 V?
Are all ground connections clean and tight?
Is voltage at test point F equal to battery voltage?
Is resistance from either slip ring to housing less than 200 ohms?
I am looking forward to hear what you find.
Go through the pinpoint test, it should either lead to a wiring issue or a faulty alternator. The alternator you put on should have came with a regulator, so you would not replace the regulator. Let me know how it turns out.
Honestly it sounds like a defective alternator by what we have tested so far. Was the alternator replaced for this same issue?
Did the buld in the dash stay on with key on, engine off? Does it go off when the engine is started? What is the voltage on the violet/white wire with the connectors connected and the engine running? It should be battery voltage. Check these things and get back to me again.
I am going back through everything to see if there is something we missed. According to your test results it should not be overcharging. If the alternator is putting out that much amperage either it is not getting to the battery, or the battery is faulty. If we have good voltage drop on all cables, the amperage should be getting to the battery. You might double check the ground cable on the engine. It is possible for the battery to not accept a charge also. It is strange that it would have the correct voltage with that much amperage going to it.
There should be a ground cable going to the engine from the battery, and a wire going to the fender. Are they both there? There is not really a way to change the signal going to the alternator, the yellow/white wire is the sensing wire. It shows the regulator what the battery voltage is. The regulator then determines how much the alternator will put out. You could run a wire from the battery positive to the Yellow/white wire at the alternator to see if it made a difference.
I cannot find a good picture or diagram and I honestly don't remember exactly where it goes. It shows to "LH front of engine". There should be two ground cables coming off of the battery, one of them goes to the fender, the other to the engine. A heavy duty alternator would not help, it would just charge too much also.
Your alternator should not be putting out very much amperage to keep the battery charged period. Putting on a larger output alternator may reduce the percentage of load on the alternator, but it is not fixing the problem. I am still trying to figure out where the amperage is going. If it was going into the battery it would be boiling the battery, if it were not making it to the battery there has to be some high resistance somewhere creating some heat. Is there anything else aftermarket that could possibly be using this amperage while running?
Did you ever confirm you have a negative battery cable going directly to the engine block? The car sounds like a great ride, congratulations.
If there is a ground cable from the battery to the starter bolt, then that should be good. Just make sure it is a good connection. You could definitely run a ground cable to the engine to eliminate that as a possiblilty.
Let me check some tomorrow and see what the temps are and I will get back with you. I am not in the shop right now.
I checked the temp on a few alternators today. They were running around 140 degrees. Both were on vehicles with no issues and fully charged batteries. It is only about 60 degrees here today. So, I am not sure the alternator is actually overheating on you. It just does not add up that the alternator would be outputting that much amperage without overcharging the battery or losing current through a connection. Maybe you should have the output checked at another place. Make sure you ask them what the amperage is at idle with nothing on. We do not want to check the maximum output, we want to know what it is charging normally. We alreay know that disconnecting it makes it stop charging, we know the voltage checks and voltage drops are good, we know the battery voltage is good when it is running and the battery tested good. I am not sure where else to go except to double check the amperage output.
Let me know what you find out.