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stumped on alternator issue

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stumped on alternator issue
Old September 17th, 2019, 11:07 AM   #1
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stumped on alternator issue

So I posted a while back about my 96 R/T 10 (RSI twin Turbo) not charging properly as when I first start the car it charges fine at 14.3 volts and stays consistent. Then if it runs for 5 minutes or more and I shut the car off and start it up within an hour or so the voltage will only start around 14 volts or less and they will keep dropping off down below 13.5 volts. I wired an external voltage regulator to the alternator and it is doing the exact same thing. The voltage gets so low that I will eventually not be able to start my car.

I have gone through 3 alternators and a starter trying to figure this out and nothing changes. So yesterday just for the hell of it I wire another ground wire directly to the alternator (14 gauge) (I already have one on it from the external voltage regulator) and the alternator acts the same way but I gain .1volts. I put another 14 gauge ground on just to see what happens and I gain another .1 volts. I am so confused on what is going on. So with the 2 extra ground wires I see across the boards a .2 voltage increase. So with load on the alternator (lights on, a/c on high, radio on, etc... it was dropping down to around 13.2 volts but with the extra ground wires I was getting it back up to around 13.4, 13.5. Just to be sure I bought a second external voltage regulator and it acts the same way.

Does anyone have any idea what is going on? I am so confused how when I start the car cold it works fine for as long as I drive it, then once I shut it off and start it again then it starts acting up. I thought maybe a ground issue but how can it be perfectly fine at first then on re-start it isn't? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by daaam; September 17th, 2019 at 11:28 AM.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 04:01 PM   #2
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Check the ground strap near the front right side of the engine. If it is loose or disconnected, it could be causing the problem. I have heard it can cause problems with the oil cooler lines too.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 04:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99RT10>S View Post
Check the ground strap near the front right side of the engine. If it is loose or disconnected, it could be causing the problem. I have heard it can cause problems with the oil cooler lines too.
I am thinking this is probably the issue as I just touched a 4 gauge wire on the alternator and touched the other end to ground and it went from 13.5 up to over 14 volts.

I looked and couldn't see this ground strap from the engine. Just to clarify is it drivers or passengers side? Also do you have any better description on where on the engine it's connected too? Can I get to it or see it from the top of engine or do i have to get under the car? Remember this is a gen 1 engine.

Thanks!
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Old September 17th, 2019, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99RT10>S View Post
Check the ground strap near the front right side of the engine. If it is loose or disconnected, it could be causing the problem. I have heard it can cause problems with the oil cooler lines too.
I like that possible cause !

This makes me think that I very dimly remember a thread about some problem that led to discovering that the engine block was connected to ground only (or primarily) through the braided oil lines and connections.
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Old September 18th, 2019, 02:30 PM   #5
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It should be on the passenger side bolted to the frame.
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