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alternator or electrical problems?

Discussion in 'Honda Acty References' started by CompleteLawnCare, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. I have a '92 Honda Acty HA4

    It has been parked at the deer camp for a few weeks.

    I started it up on opening day, to let it warm up. When I turned on the headlights, they flickered a little, and then came on just fine. After about 15 minutes of letting it warm up, I got in to head to the deer stand, and noticed the lights looked dim. The engine died, and it would not start again. So, I had to walk to my stand.

    When I got back from hunting it cranked right up again, but later died, and the battery was now too weak to start it again.

    We put a tester on the battery and it showed just under 12 volts while running, but when I turn on the headlights, the volts drop to about 10 or less, again, while the engine is running.

    My question is: Is it the alternator? Or, is there something else that could have shorted out to be causing this situation?
  2. fupabox

    fupabox Active Member

    should be around 13v minimum while running or it won't be able to handle charging and the lighting...sounds like the alt. is on the way out..could be voltage regulator as well,but it is prob. internal on that alternator..check your ground wire to the engine and the battery cables..could be a bad connection..engine ground being a common cause of bad alternator performance...I always run an extra ground wire from the neg battery post straight to a mounting bolt on the alternator just to be sure..all my vehicles are almost 20 years old so it's almost a necessity for me :)
  3. Thanks Fupa....I'll try checking the ground. But it will be after Thanksgiving before I get back out to the camp.
  4. spaner

    spaner Well-Known Member

    Yup, when you go back out, test it again.
    Then run a set of jumper cables from neg-bat to the alt case. Test it again.
    Then take the alt off and bring it in. Don't forget to tell the testing site what your minimum alt rpm is. ie/ truck@1000=alt@3000/ or what ever the ratio happens to be cu'z the wont know that off hand.
    The other side to the equation, is that it could be a shorted cell. Bring another battery, any size, remove old bat from the system, hook the new one via cables, test the output again. So, yes, if something is shorted, it'll be one of the bat cells.
  5. Thanks guys. I'm heading back to the camp Thursday after lunch.

    I'll post what I find.
  6. Well....I cranked it up and put a volt meter on the battery, and it tested at about 13.9 volts without the headlights on, and about 13.6 with the headlights on. That is about where it should be, so the alternator is charging.

    The next morning, while heading to the stand, I noticed that suddenly, the headlights got brighter, and the heater fan got stronger. Which means it wasn't charging, then suddenly began charging again.

    Later that day, we added a ground wire from the block to the frame. Not sure if that cured the problem, but time will tell.
  7. This problem seems to have reared it's ugly head again. I have the mini truck at home now and I will do some testing as soon as I get time.
  8. When I charge the battery on a charger, the truck will crank about 15-20 times before the battery is dead again. This is all without using the lights. And testing the volts at the battery while the truck is running, I'm getting about 11.5.

    I pulled the alternator off and took it to 2 different auto parts stores to get it tested, but, neither of them could test it because they don't have a 'code' to put into their computer for proper testing.

    I'll take it to a local shop next week to see if they can test it and rebuild it. I found a new one online for about $300, but I'd like to test this one before spending that much.
  9. I took the alternator to a local shop today, and they said it checked out okay. But, they still charged me $50 for repairs.

    Got it back on the truck and it is working now. When I put my volt meter on the battery with the truck running, I get about 14.5 now. And, when I turn the headlights on, I can hear a difference in the engine speed. When it wasn't working, there was no difference in engine sound when I turned the lights on.

    Not sure if they fixed it at the shop, or if something else is going on, but it's working now. I may install a volt gauge to better monitor what's going on.
  10. Since everything was working properly, I decided to install a LED light bar on the front of my truck. After several hours, I got the light bar all mounted and wired up, and it worked great.

    But.........When I went to start the truck, it had NO electrical power. I removed the battery cables from the battery posts and re-installed them, and NOTHING.

    Tried several things and never got power to the truck. Tomorrow, I'll try to trace the battery cables back a ways to see if I can find anything. I even tried jumper cables and still got nothing. This makes me think my battery cables are bad somewhere.
  11. firejonny89

    firejonny89 Member

    Hey lawn care. I'd bet on the cables are bad or didn't some of the trucks have a main fuse or was that just for the starte can't remember. Hope it's just a cable and easy fix for ya
  12. Thanks Jonny. I think I found the problem. There was a wire broken just in front of the battery box. This may be the main fuse you are talking about Jonny.

    It must have finally broken completely when I took the positive battery cable off. I got it back together, and everything seems to be working fine.......for now.....

    IMG_0127 (800x600).jpg IMG_0128 (800x600).jpg IMG_0129 (800x600).jpg IMG_0131 (800x600).jpg
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
  13. firejonny89

    firejonny89 Member

    If that's a nice cooper wire I'd say its a form of a cooper fuse some how but I don't know much :). Glad u got it fixed
  14. OldMachinist

    OldMachinist Moderator Staff Member

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  15. OldMachinist

    OldMachinist Moderator Staff Member

    Did you find a fuse for it? I can send you one if you can't find one.
  16. I picked one up at O'Reily just like the one you showed. I haven't put it on yet, but haven't used the truck much either. Thanks again.
  17. Got the 45 amp fuse installed today. Thanks for the 'heads up' on this Old Machinist

    45 amp fuse.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  18. OldMachinist

    OldMachinist Moderator Staff Member

    Looks good.

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