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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

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Old 10-14-2012, 08:56 AM
fordtough81 fordtough81 is offline
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External voltage regulator

I am having a problem with my alternator not charging my battery. I was told to check the passenger side firewall and replace the external voltage regulator. I searched the entire passenger fender and firewall. I located the starter solenoid and a red plug, but no voltage regulator. The truck has been running fine for a year. Is it possible that my truck has been running this long without and would installing it help my charging problem


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Old 10-14-2012, 09:02 AM
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You probably have the 2G alternator that as the internally mounted regulator on the alternator, not the externally mounted one. This alternator has a bad rap, and deserves it. Check the plug that has the two heavy wires coming out of the alternator. This plug likes to melt on these alternators.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:46 PM
81ChopTop 81ChopTop is offline
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Something I used to do is when a customer brought in an alternator for this reason is test it, then if it came back good, I'd tell them to re-install the alt, make sure all connections were clean, and bring the car down to test again. By testing it in the car (or truck), you will be testing the wiring and grounds too. A good way to narrow it down a little. Then I can look at things and make suggestions for fixing. Helped a bunch of people by doing it that way and got the issues resolved.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:11 PM
Holmesuser01 Holmesuser01 is offline
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On my '83, the alternator voltage regulator is right beside the battery on the fender. Corrosion under the two mounting bolts for the regulator can cause bad charging issues.

Is your alternator original? Brushes in the unit do wear out.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordtough81 View Post
I am having a problem with my alternator not charging my battery. I was told to check the passenger side firewall and replace the external voltage regulator. I searched the entire passenger fender and firewall. I located the starter solenoid and a red plug, but no voltage regulator. The truck has been running fine for a year. Is it possible that my truck has been running this long without and would installing it help my charging problem


86 f150 xlt lariat
5.0 efi
According to my shop manual all '86 models have the voltage regulator internal to the alternator.
Have you taken voltage readings at the battery? Should be ~14 volts or so when charging.

The red plug is probably the self diagnostic / code reader port (OBD-I).
http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/4334/obdiloc.jpg

.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:35 AM
1983F1503004x4 1983F1503004x4 is offline
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On an 80 to 86 F-series:

Voltage regulator under the solenoid: 1st generation alternator.

Voltage regulator inside the alternator: 2nd generation alternator.

The 2nd generation alternators are prone to fires.

For this reason, people upgrade to the 3rd generation alternator, which puts out a higher amperage and features an internal voltage regulator and isn't prone to fires.

If you suspect the charging system is bad, I'd pull the alternator and have it tested.

However, if the voltage regulator is bad or just the alternator is bad, replace both of them at the same time. Usually if one has gone out the other isn't far behind.

I'll be replacing my alternator and voltage regulator here soon. I'm tired of the burnt out diode sapping my battery while the truck sits.

Sounds like a new alternator is in the works for you.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:37 PM
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My 86 Ranger had one of these 2G alternators on it. It now has a 86 Monte Carlo 100 amp alternator on it. A modified bracket, swapping pulleys, and drilling out one of the holes on the GM alternator is what it took.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:37 PM
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