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Old 01-05-2004, 01:46 AM
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Can a dying alternator cause the engine to stall?

My '94 5.8 XLT has been stalling numerous times in last couple of days. I could be driving and the engine would suddenly die.... I think this tends to happen at night (but my wife begs to differ...) so here are my questions...

1. If an alternator is dead/dying can it cause frequent stalls?

2. If this is my problem, should I get a third party "higher amp" -type alternator to replace it with? If so anyone have any suggestions?

3. Does anyone think that its something else?

Thanks in advance,

J
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Old 01-05-2004, 02:28 AM
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1. Probly not, a dying alt. would just put out less amps.
2. how many lights are you running? I have seen problems where there are too many things running at the same time, and the alt. is drawing tons of amps too recover. But that would only stall the engine if your idle is below like 500rpms.
3. I would check idle speed, or I don't know if fuel injection TBs can be adjusted. Then check for codes.
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Old 01-05-2004, 03:13 AM
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Roadkill,

I'm just running lights stock as can be... just thought if I was going to replace the alternator, I would through in a performance part while I was at it...

Well what I'm sorta concerned about is when I start my car and let it run about 2-3 mins in "Park" and then if I put the tranny into "D" the gauge on my instrument panel drops a bit... then when i turn on my lights, the gauge drops even more, bump up the high beams and a/c and it drops even more.... cause typically, my meter is pointing to around the "M" where it says "NORMAL" on the meter... then with all my stuff on it drops almost to the "O" in "Normal". Is this normal? Am I just being paranoid?

I'm thinking about changing my fuel filter tomorrow and putting some of that fuel conditioner stuff to try to get rid of any water in my tank...

wish me luck...

j
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Old 01-05-2004, 07:02 AM
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Im getting a gret deal on one from a guy on ebay that I bought from before. Im getting a 200amp for 150 + shipping.
Im out the door for work so Ill post more info later tonight
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Old 01-05-2004, 09:46 AM
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The alternator charges the battery as needed. If turning on your lights makes the needle jump, then it is possible that the battery has a bad cell. The more that the battery puts out, the more that the alternator has to supply the battery. I thought it was my alternator as well awhile back. I would replace them and then they would go bad shortly after the install, I had the battery checked and it was bad. The battery needs to be fully charged and in good working condition when you put in a new alternator or it can cause the alternator to go bad. Go figure. I replaced my battery and haven't had a prob since, and my alternator has held up 4 yrs so far.
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:44 AM
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merkstang,

is the guy you're buying from called motorcityreman? I was wondering if anyone bought something off this guy too... Pls let me know if he's legit.
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:46 AM
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Billybob

You said that you haven't changed the Alt for more than 3 years.... I've had my truck for about 3 years, bought it at around 120k miles and now its got 150k+, and I dunno if the alt has ever been changed.

I know this may be a stupid question, but is it time for a new one?
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:50 AM
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It was 3 years since I had the prob. I had a bad battery and it kept killing my alternators. The one before that was the original and the truck had just hit 170K. If I had changed the battery when I first noticed a slight prob, maybe I would still be on the original. Ah well...we live an learn. The truck is at 217K now.

As for changing yours out....If it works, dont mess with it.
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:04 PM
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>>If it works, dont mess with it

I hear you there.... but the only question is... how do you know if something is "working"

I think I'll drop by Sears to have them take a look at my battery.




I have another question... a while back one of my friends had a more serious problem where the car wouldn't start, and it ended up being a wire that grounded the engine. Could a bad ground be one of my problems? If so where is this located?
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:12 PM
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What you want to look for is the lights or heater motor to go dim, slowing down that sort of stuff. Usually what I had, was the heater motor would slow and the headlights dim when I came to a stop. During the lower RPMs. Usually meant the truck accessories were pulling more than what the alternator could recharge cause the battery was old and was draining faster than it should of.
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:24 PM
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So even if the voltage meter drops, if I don't experience any "dimming" in my lights, I should be ok? Cause the meter drops, but the lights are not dimming in my truck.... so maybe its something else. I hope I can figure it out.
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:35 PM
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ok heres my 2 cents use a real volt meter you know like a craftsman meter for an electrician or a mechanic you should be getting around 14 volts ate idle with nothing running (heat, lights,ect.) with everything running you should get no less than 12 volts if you are under these numbers its time for a new altinator... another thing about them is that it is very hard to get a big altinator for ford trucks because of the positioning. the case cant be too much bigger and it will have to go on a arm that has to be installed .the problem with that is you need a bigger belt and when you give it throttle the belt expands outwards and hits the bolt securing the altenator wich causes a very anoying squel and you go threw belts like crzy. the other way to go about it is to stuff a high power altenator in a small shell but the heat dosnt disperse very well and cook altenators very frequently.
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:37 PM
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o yea as for the stalling problem good luck there are countless things it could be im in a bind with that myself
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Old 01-05-2004, 01:01 PM
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Actually you can get a high output alternator for the Boncos. And they dont have the probs you were pointing out. I cant remember the name of em but they cost about $200. Just do a search in this forum for ALTERNATOR. Maybe those probs are for certain years...who knows.
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Old 01-05-2004, 01:03 PM
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hmm realy ...had a hell of a time in rhode isalnd trying to find them...new to the site didnt think of checking here.
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Old 01-05-2004, 01:03 PM
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