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    Tadpole igor's Avatar
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    Default Alternator Dying?

    Hi. Iím not sure if my alternator is on its way out, or if there is another problem.

    The alternator lamp on the dash has started to come on, periodically flashing when idling and flashing consistently when driving at a low RPM. However, when I get up to highway speed and the RPM is higher (or if I donít shift and let the engine rev) the alternator lamp goes off. What is strange is that if I turn on the headlights (or tap on the brake to make the brake lights come on) the alternator lamp goes off. If the alternator is on its way out, then why would the additional load from the headlights cause the alternator lamp to turn off?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts, suggestions, or amusing comments.

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    Best,
    --Igor

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    Fellow Frogger! pajamas's Avatar
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    What car?


    Paul in Canberra

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    Fellow Frogger
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    Are we talking D here?
    Possibly the regulator? Battery?

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    Fellow Frogger! Jinandfonic's Avatar
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    Have you a voltmeter?
    Citroen C5 II manual '05; C4 Exculsive '07; Citroen CX2200 Pallas '76; CX2400 C-matic Pallas '78

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    I have exactly the same symptoms in my D Special. The battery is good, and the current is ok. Would be interested in advice/views.

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    Tadpole igor's Avatar
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    Sorry. It is a 1969 DS21. I do have a DVM and the battery shows 12.75v. When running, I'm seeing it vary from 12.75v to 15.2v, depending upon the RPM and if the headlights are on or off. I do not see a correlation between changes in the voltage and the alternator lamp going on and off.
    Thanks,
    --Igor

  7. #7
    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by igor View Post
    Sorry. It is a 1969 DS21. I do have a DVM and the battery shows 12.75v. When running, I'm seeing it vary from 12.75v to 15.2v, depending upon the RPM and if the headlights are on or off. I do not see a correlation between changes in the voltage and the alternator lamp going on and off.
    Thanks,
    --Igor
    Hi Igor. You may call me Master.
    There. My funny comment. Anything else may get me banhammered.

    More seriously: Your regulator sound like a point of interest. At idle/low speeds, you need to see 13.5 or so volts. 12.75 at idle is an undercharge. You should see somewhere around that with the car at rest across the battery. 15 volts plus is an overcharge condition, probably the regulator responding to the headlights on by going full-field- basically squeezing everything out of the alternator it can. This condition will cause damage.

    The alternator sounds like it wants to work, so I would try another regulator. Another known good used one is OK. If you go the used route, don't toss your original one. Some have had success dressing the relay points and resetting the air gaps. A "modern" Ford regulator can also be fitted to the original case. Of course, you can get a new one, just expect to sign a deal with Lucifer for it.
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    My D Super 5 did this whilst on a road trip. By the side of the road I removed the brush carrier and tweaked the brushes to make better contact with the slip rings. This was enough to get me home. Then I installed new brushes and the problem disappeared.
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    Cheers Gerry

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    Tadpole
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    Igor
    the alternator has to put in at least 12.75to obtain decant charge check diodes and .brushes if ok most likely the regulator what brand alternator?cheers andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy bram View Post
    Igor
    the alternator has to put in at least 12.75to obtain decant charge check diodes and .brushes if ok most likely the regulator what brand alternator?cheers andy
    Hi,
    That voltage is not nearly enough. An alternator in modern cars should be keeping the voltage between 14 -14.5 volts at all times even under full load and idle. Perhaps some droop at idle only, is acceptable in older cars to say 13.5 or so. A lower or higher voltage indicates a fault. As has been said already by Hotrodelectric.
    Good luck jaahn

    Strangely Hotrod a Ford regulator that you think of as common would be as hard to find here as a Citroen reg !!
    Last edited by jaahn; 27th June 2014 at 10:20 AM.

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi,
    That voltage is not nearly enough. An alternator in modern cars should be keeping the voltage between 14 -14.5 volts at all times even under full load and idle. Perhaps some droop at idle only, is acceptable in older cars to say 13.5 or so. A lower or higher voltage indicates a fault. As has been said already by Hotrodelectric.
    Good luck jaahn

    Strangely Hotrod a Ford regulator that you think of as common would be as hard to find here as a Citroen reg !!
    Yah, 13.5 or so for an older car like a D. The demands aren't nearly as high as they are for, say, a C4 or C5, where you really do need a 14V plus output to keep up.

    Sorry about the Ford regulator bit. I keep thinking 'common as dirt' because they were used for so long on so many different models here. Sorta like the Bosch BE55, which we almost never saw (Richo was kind enough to send me one- first ever for me!), but I've seen referenced several times.

    Hmmmmm...... an exciting new source of income? I know what I want for my birfday! A pile of bad regulators, yeah!!
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

  12. #12
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    The old Bosch RE55 solid state regulator. Still made in Australia?



    (Note: Image lifted from someone's eBay listing.)

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    1000+ Posts forumnoreason's Avatar
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    I am currently (excuse the pun) getting a Ducelier alternator and regulator overhauled by auto electrician here. Going with this method, from the most comprehensive D rebuild site known on Earth! Thanks for finding Chris Greenblood! It's become a main reference source lately. Have a look at the images associated on the site. I'd do it myself but don't want to butcher the regulator.
    DS20 Teil03 Elektrik
    Hotrodelectric likes this.

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    I am currently (excuse the pun) getting a Ducelier alternator and regulator overhauled by auto electrician here. Going with this method, from the most comprehensive D rebuild site known on Earth! Thanks for finding Chris Greenblood! It's become a main reference source lately. Have a look at the images associated on the site. I'd do it myself but don't want to butcher the regulator.
    DS20 Teil03 Elektrik
    Nicely spotted. I had to bookmark that one.

    My only question is about the Hella regulator: is it another example of common to the nth there, and nobody else anywhere else has ever seen one? It looks like it's certainly easy to hook up and hide in the can. I have seen other brands with this configuration, so finding one might be a lot simpler.
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

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    1000+ Posts forumnoreason's Avatar
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    Bosch will do it, Hella just type in 14V solid state

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    Tadpole igor's Avatar
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    Hi. Sorry for the delay in responding; just got back to working on the car. It is a Paris Rhone A13R-110. Interestingly, there is what looks to be a condenser that goes from M to +. Is this common? I don't see one on in the schematics.
    Alternator Dying?-20140705_110229.jpg


    Thanks!
    --Igor
    Last edited by igor; 6th July 2014 at 04:24 AM.

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by igor View Post
    Hi. Sorry for the delay in responding; just got back to working on the car. It is a Paris Rhone A13R-110. Interestingly, there is what looks to be a condenser that goes from M to +. Is this common? I don't see one on in the schematics.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20140705_110229.jpg 
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ID:	57953


    Thanks!
    --Igor
    Previous owner trying to fix interference noise on the radio perhaps?
    JohnW

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    I am currently (excuse the pun) getting a Ducelier alternator and regulator overhauled by auto electrician here. Going with this method, from the most comprehensive D rebuild site known on Earth! Thanks for finding Chris Greenblood! It's become a main reference source lately. Have a look at the images associated on the site. I'd do it myself but don't want to butcher the regulator.
    DS20 Teil03 Elektrik
    Great link - many thanks. Top quality photographs of many component restorations. Meticulous work, too. Bookmarked here too!
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
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    1000+ Posts forumnoreason's Avatar
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    Don't thank me praise the Greenblood! It was a good find, young Thomas has gone ape on that vehicle. I get tired just from looking at the effort.

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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forumnoreason View Post
    Don't thank me praise the Greenblood! It was a good find, young Thomas has gone ape on that vehicle. I get tired just from looking at the effort.
    Thomas has announced on the German forum www.ds-freunde.de - Translator that his car is now complete and back on the road, member tomsail.

    He has his share of fans around the world, all following his very detailed restoration, I tried to sign up to their forum but alas without success. Yes a great resource for all aspects of a D restoration.

    www.ds-freunde.de/kunena/technik/498-endlich-fertig.html - Translator

    Cheers
    Chris
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    Tadpole igor's Avatar
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    The condenser does seem to be there as an RF filter.
    I just put the rebuilt alternator back in and, sadly, the problem persists.
    Since the car starts right up, I'm assuming that the voltage regulator would be the next thing to check.
    I'm still confused by the fact that if I turn on the headlights (or tap on the brake to make the brake lights come on, or the turn signals) the alternator lamp goes off. Why would the additional load from the headlights cause the alternator lamp to turn off?

    Best,
    --Igor

  22. #22
    Tadpole igor's Avatar
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    OK, time for a newbie questions. The repair manual lists a "Voltage regulator relay". Is this the actual voltage regulator and is called a "relay" because it is mechanical?
    Thanks
    --Igor
    Last edited by igor; 13th July 2014 at 02:49 AM.

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    1000+ Posts daffyduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by igor View Post
    The condenser does seem to be there as an RF filter.
    I just put the rebuilt alternator back in and, sadly, the problem persists.
    Since the car starts right up, I'm assuming that the voltage regulator would be the next thing to check.
    I'm still confused by the fact that if I turn on the headlights (or tap on the brake to make the brake lights come on, or the turn signals) the alternator lamp goes off. Why would the additional load from the headlights cause the alternator lamp to turn off?

    Best,
    --Igor
    Hmmm.
    cross feed situation occurring?

    Test the voltage at the exciter input to the alternator. The current should vary some. More excitation current equals more charge. See if the voltage changes when you load the system.

    Buy a plant ticket for hotrodectric. 5 minutes and he will have the problem isolated even if the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car.

    Doing the Daffyduck dance via the AussieFrogs app. With a cane! gimp quack quack ow ow ow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by igor View Post
    OK, time for a newbie questions. The repair manual lists a "Voltage regulator relay". Is this the actual voltage regulator and is called a "relay" because it is mechanical?
    Thanks
    --Igor
    It acts like a relay of sorts ??? I don't think there is a dedicated relay in the charging circuit.
    A bad earth can mean current finds another path to earth and can light up another light if it turns out to be a better earth path than the intended one. The cluster does have a couple of earth wires via the three plugs. It's also possible to have a break between the plug and board, so check those connections too.

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    Tadpole igor's Avatar
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    Daffy and Dave,
    I'll look for a bad ground or crossfeed.
    Thanks,
    --Igor

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