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Thread: New Alternator, but still having problems

  1. #1
    Member Boingonut's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2017

    Location:  Santa Clarita, CA

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    My VIN:    10162

    New Alternator, but still having problems

    First off I'm not much of a mechanic, I have very little experience and this is the first time I really turned a wrench myself on the car. I had installed an alternator years ago on my 94 camaro, and watched some online tutorials so I was relatively sure I could do this repair myself.

    Anyway I replaced the alternator last week with a new one from DMCH a few days ago because the car had been quitting and I kept on having to get it jumped by AAA. AAA took the voltage and determined that that the battery and alternator was bad. So I replaced the battery and alternator. Everything seemed fine once I had installed it and the car drove and started up fine once everything was charged back up. All the voltages and everything seem normal, I had them double checked by AAA since I don't have the right voltage meters.

    The next day the car would not turn over. Not a dead battery I pretty sure because the starter would crank but the car would not turn over. I didn't want to flood the car so I left it alone for another day. Next day it starts right up after a little bit of trouble, but it sputtered to life and then smoothed out after about 30 seconds. I took it for a drive after letting it idle for about 5 minutes and it seemed all right, brought it back home, started it up 5 minutes later and it started up just fine, no sputtering this time.

    So last night I took it on the freeway and did a few errands in it. It started up ok every time with no problems. My girlfriend and I then went on a little date to a restaurant and the car sat for about 2 hours while we ate. When we came back the car did what it did the first day after I installed the alternator, it would crank but it wouldn't turn over. After really giving it gas while trying to start it it came to life and the engine sputtered for a bit but finely calmed down after about a minute. I let it run for about 10 minutes and then decided to see if we could nurse it home.

    Then when I got it up to around 50 or 60 mph and had it in 5 gear the rpm's started going crazy, it jumped way up and then way down and the car lurched quite a bit. I pulled over into a parking lot but left the car running. I drove it around the parking lot and I decided to nurse it home again but not get it up to too high of a speed.

    I haven't done anything to it since and it is parked now. I would like to try to figure out what is going on myself as I am sick of taking it to a mechanic and want to learn more about how to work on the car myself. Any advice you guys have would be great. Thanks!
    10162, 1982, Grey Interior, Manual, Stage II Engine and Exhaust

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
    Join Date:  May 2011

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    Restart after a two hour stop points to loss of rest pressure if it was a hot day. On a cold day two hours should be enough time for the engine to cool down.

    Now the jumping tach would be another problem. How long did the tach jump? Was the engine cutting out or did it feel like the engine was skipping?
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I'd say electrical too. Hot start problem with the fuel accumulator, maybe, but not after all the other problem descriptions were added in.

    Check the ballast resistor and ignition coil connections. This seems to be the trendy failure at the moment.

    As Dave asked, when that tach needle started going all over the place, did it seem like the engine was doing that too, or do you think it was just the gauge? More reason to think it's an electrical problem and not fuel.

    I feel like at least half of all the problems on our cars is wiring problems with poor connections and bad grounds. And the other half is everything else.


    Sept. 81, auto, black interior

  4. #4
    Delorean Guru
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    I would start with the CSV. The next time you have this problem try the plug swap. You can also do a quicky test on a cold motor by taking out the CSV and see if it sprays while cranking. Another quick check, as you start the motor and turn the key, you should see the ALT light come on and once the motor is running it should go out.
    Last edited by David T; 09-08-2019 at 09:32 PM.
    David Teitelbaum

  5. #5
    Member Boingonut's Avatar
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    Update

    Thank you guys so much for the responses!

    Its been a hot day, in the 90's. The car has been outside all day under its car cover (It is usually in the garage but I am moving things around in my house right now and the garage has been overrun with crap from the house.) Anyway I tried to start it and again and it will crank but no turning over. Last night at the restaurant when starting it I believe the only reason it turned over was because I was flooring the gas and being pretty aggressive and I'm not inclined to do that again

    I'm going to check the ignition coil and ballast resistor tomorrow. I'm a total noob so what is it I should be looking for while checking those out?

    I will also try to check out the CVS, but I don't know what that is (again I know I'm a noob, but we all have to start somewhere I guess.

    I'll give a little more explanation on the tack. What happened is the tack was jumping from like 3000 all the way up to almost 6000 and then back while driving around 60 or 70mph. And this jump happened fast, like less than a second or two. The car did lurch a little, and then a little stall, but it was very subtle, it didn't feel like it accelerated much or dropped down enough to stall out. It only did it the one time. It took us an hour to get back home since we stayed on surface roads and avoided the freeway and it didn't do it again. My gauge cluster is not in the greatest shape, the oil pressure gauge has been stuck at the top for quite some time now (I've had the oil pressure checked and it is definitely the gauge). So maybe its just electrical. I might have just been on edge and any of the gremlins that live in the car were making me especially jumpy. One problem at a time I guess.

    So I'll do the checks you guys suggested and see if I can get her to crank over tomorrow! Again thank you so much!

    BTW, the girlfriend has about had it with the "Other Woman"
    10162, 1982, Grey Interior, Manual, Stage II Engine and Exhaust

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    The white/slate wire that fires the ignition coil sounds like it may be a problem. That wire also goes to the tach, the RPM relay and the idle ECU. It comes from the ignition ECU and gets it's power from the ignition resistors. I'm not sure if an open connection would cause the tach to jump like you saw.

    Check the ignition resistors first. Check that the wires are tight on the terminal and clean terminals. This seems to be the most common problem.

    Since your oil gauge is also acting up you may have bad connections at the gauge cluster (binnacle). If the PO removed the binnacle it is common those connections get messed up.

    Another good thing to do is remove and re-install the bulkhead connectors so the pins get a little cleaner connection. If that fixes the problem you would want to get those connector pins clean and tight.

    I've never heard of the RPM relay or idle ECU causing a short of that white/slate wire so a component failure would probably be limited to the ignition ECU or ignition coil.

    Of course bad connections are the most common problem with our cars. That includes grounds as well as the 12 volt connections.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  7. #7
    Delorean Guru
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    CSV (not CVS) = Cold Start Valve. It runs for a moment during cranking to add fuel to start a cold motor, acting like a choke. If it doesn't work it can still start but it takes a much longer cranking cycle.
    David Teitelbaum

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I had an issue with the CSV where one of the two(?) wires going into the plug was not fully seated so it couldn't make a good secure connection. Once firmly pushed into the plug my starting issue went away. Worth checking out.

    Yeah, the girlfriend won't want any competition from the gullfriend.
    Shannon

  9. #9
    Administrator Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    CSV (not CVS) = Cold Start Valve.
    Well, while we're at it:
    Crank Over = Turn Over = Crank
    Crank Up = Start Up = Start

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Well, while we're at it:
    Crank Over = Turn Over = Crank
    Crank Up = Start Up = Start
    +1

    I like to use "fire" = start or tries to start.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

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