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Dead Battery - Generator?

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Scotty, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Scotty

    Scotty Donation Time

    I'm going to make this a separate thread because it's a topic I'm really unclear on and maybe it'll help someone whose searching for answers on this, too.

    So I decided after I got home yesterday to try again and drive the SIV to the DMV. This time I was successful and the SIV is now registered, new plates and all!

    When I tried to drive earlier, I had a slight issue with what seemed loose wires on the distributor. Turns out, I ended up having a depleted dead battery. First time my GF took it to Autozone and it had 45% of a charge and on the way home, it died and I couldn't get it to turn over, no matter what I did. I got a jump and after a few minutes it fired right back up, drove until I stalled and I couldn't get the motor to turn over, so she got towed home. So, before I yank off the Generator and charge the battery, is there any common things with the charging system that I should look at first? Beyond the battery dying, everything else was working without a hitch except for the dimming lights. Ideas?

    What's the best way to test a Generator? My understanding is that even though it does a similar job as an Alternator that it doesn't work the same way in terms of output at idle and things like that.

    And I don't know much about how a charging system works in general beyond Engine -> Generator -> Charges Battery, so anyone that can shed some basic light on that is really appreciated :)
  2. husky drvr

    husky drvr Gold Level Sponsor

    I'm not an electrical wizard, but I'll give these things to check, for a start.

    Do you know if your battery is connected as positive ground or negative?

    Think it would be possible for you to get some decent pics of the back of the generator, the wiring at the solenoid, and the fuse box?
    Pics might help the real wizards see something obvious.

    Any chance you have a voltmeter you could check voltages under different conditions?

    It almost sounds like your battery will not hold a charge even when charged, or you have a short, as quickly as your description seems to indicate discharge.
    If your battery is old and wont pass a load test, even if the generator functions, it can't charge the battery and keep it charged.

    The obvious first check is to make sure all the grounds, engine and body, are clean and tight.

    Here is the link to the electrical section of WSM124. It contains operation descriptions, some fault finding checks, and repair procedures. If nothing else, it can give you an idea about stuff you might be asked about your problem.


    Hope this helps,
  3. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Sounds like your charging system is not working, or possibly you have a bad battery. Does your Alpine have an ammeter installed in the dash? If so you can watch that and see if the needle goes positive when running, which would indicate the charging system is working. But surely your Alpine has a red Ignition lamp, next to the ignition key. It should light up as soon as you turn the key to the ON position. If not you have a wiring error or bad lamp bulb. Then when the engine is running the lamp should go OFF, or at least go dim and then off when the engine is revved up a bit. If it stays on, you have a problem in your charging system- it's not charging. If the charging system is not working it could be 1) The generator itself, most likely needs new brushes, or 2) it could be the Control Box, or 3) it could be a missing , broken, or disconnected wire. You really need a multimeter to troubleshoot the system . You can get one for under $10 at Harbor Freight, or a better, more reliable, one on Amazon or Sears, or Home Depot, etc. Then follow the diagnostics that Don suggested above.

  4. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Just saw your post about the Weber. It mentions an Alternator. Which is it?Alternator or Generator? Or is your battery problem problem now solved ?

    You need to improve the completeness and precision of your communications.

    Scotty likes this.
  5. Warren

    Warren Donation Time

    Batteries have a date code. Sometimes in a sticker sometimes heat stamped into the side. If it's over 3 years old and even if it's over 1 year old some of the cheaper batteries don't even last that long. You can get a harbor freight volt ohm meter for under $5 and sometimes you can get it for $0.99. You can also get one of their cheapo battery maintainers that you could put on for a couple days or you could look in your old wall wart , I mean transformer collection for a 12 volt one. But obviously dim headlights are the quickest battery check. Idling typically does not keep a generator car battery charged at least on a Tiger . I've never had a Tiger that didn't already have a alternator already dropped in, but had plenty of VW one's and if the generator was not working the red light came on.
    No light about 4 to 5 hours of time till no power for coil to run car. Use starter then take off an hour , put lights on maybe one hour till it is in old put it in P for push . I don't know if the brushes are exposed on a Alpine gennie but on other cars you can see the shiny penny of the contact points of the brushes and little sparks while operating.
  6. Scotty

    Scotty Donation Time

    What I need is some sleep because I was half-asleep writing that post, sorry Tom :(. I have a Generator.
  7. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Apology accepted. Then my advice just above that complaint still applies. Does your Ign light near the ignition switch operate correctly as I described?

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