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Thread: Starter or alternator issue?

  1. #1
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    Default Starter or alternator issue?

    I have pictures, this is my first project car and I have no idea of what I'm doing. Any help would be appreciated! I checked the voltage, the car normally runs fine but has issues starting. The alternator is actually overcharging the new battery that was put in when I bought it so I think its the starter? My friend also said the timing is off but I don't know which to fix first or how to do either...I posted pictures of the alternator because it's different from most I've seen so far. Usually it's just one wire to the solenoid yet this car has two? NEED HELP POR FAVOR...Thanks guys.
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  2. #2
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    The overcharging would be from a bad voltage regulator, and should be the first problem that you fix. It will destroy your battery and other stuff if you let it continue. Have you actually measured voltage or is the battery boiling?

    Describe what you mean by "issues starting". Could mean many things.

    And what year car are you working with? Auto or manual?

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    the car's a 73, it's all original except the previous owner must've messed with the wiring. I've actually measured the amp age from the battery to the starter to the alternator, the alternator for sure needs to be replaced.

    By starting issues I mean, it won't start now. I've had it for about 3 weeks. For the first week it would just need a jump to start, the last two weeks it's been starting great until yesterday. Now when I turn the ignition on the car makes the typical clicking and I hear the engine about to start, it just seems like it needs a bit of kick and it'll go. It's the original 4 speed manual, I've turned the choke/pumped the gas as I try to start as well but no luck.

    I'm thinkiing it's the weird starter wiring because there's that second wire and from trial and error I've concluded it has no apparent usage...not sure.

  4. #4
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    Overcharging can also come from replacing the alternator with the wrong type. Starting with 78, the alternator was internally regulated. If an internally regulated alternator is paired with an external voltage regulator, overcharging can result. If that is the case, it is easy to remedy. You can either change out the alternator for the proper type or jumper out the voltage regulator.

    However, I suggest that you start by downloading a copy of the FSM and going through the diagnostics in the engine electrical section. You can also use the wiring diagram in the body electrical section to verify whether or not the wiring has been altered.

    As for the starting issue, is the solenoid clicking at the starter? You may need to have someone turn the key while you listen to the solenoid. Clicking inside the car is usually the accessory relay. Is the starter engaging? Is the motor turning?
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    Registered User Gary in NJ's Avatar
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    First off, the photo is the Starter.

    Secondly, what is the static voltage at the battery terminals? What is the voltage under load?

    Third, have you checked the condition of the battery terminals? Are the connections clean and tight at the battery? Have you checked the ground strap?
    Last edited by Gary in NJ; 05-18-2012 at 04:43 AM.
    Gary
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    First thingto do is take the battery out and take it somewhere to have it checked. You will be chasing your tail if you have a bad battery. Next, put up a pic of the alternator and the wiring.
    Thirdly, I doubt you checked amperage- how about a volt reading?
    While you have the battery out- check battery cable condition and connections.
    Also yank on any wires on the back of the alternator to check tightness.
    Find a number or tag on the alternator and try to cross reference to see if it is the correct one.
    Then report back!!
    Steve
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    TMSAWS, Welcome to the forum !!.. You have found a invaluable resource for your Z.... I would encourage you to put the Year, Model and VIN in a signature OR on your Avatar area so that the rest of us will know what you've got and give you more focused answers to your problem.

    So here are my 2 cents... Get yourself a Factory Service Manual (FSM), you can search the forum for a downloadable one. The FSM will assist you in learning how to make adjustments and repairs. If you are EVER in doubt, ask the folks on this forum - there are no dumb questions.

    Important! - If you are removing the Alternator or Starter, you have to disconnect the battery first or you migh have an early July 4th celebration and short something out....

    Here we go.. Begin with the easy stuff....

    1. Replace the alternator. Have the new alternator tested before you leave the parts house, this way you will not install another bad one.
    2. Check the battery again and make sure that the alternator did not cook it. If the battery is toast, you will not have enough amps to crank it (thus the clicking...).
    3. Clean all of the connections going to the starter, Look at your cables. Are they clean and well insulated? Are the terminals in good shape?? You might go ahead and remove the starter and clean it up. Bench test it to see if it is spinning and the solenoid is functioning. If it is bad, replace the starter.
    4. If you can jump start the car, get it to normal running temperature and the set the timing. This will probably solve a bunch of other problems real quick.

    Good Luck AND Post Pics. We all like pics.
    Last edited by ZCurves; 05-18-2012 at 07:23 AM.
    Andrew (ZCurves)
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    Registered User LeonV's Avatar
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    Don't replace anything unless you know it is bad. Go through the FSM, download from xenonS30.com. Spend days, maybe weeks getting to know what/where/how. If the FSM makes no sense, then pick up a general automotive technology book. Use the search function to your advantage as well.
    2/74 260Z

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    Thanks everyone, I found out the wiring to the starter was loose. Any suggestions for an alternator upgrade? I know I need a new one but I need something with more ampage, ideas?

  10. #10
    Registered User Gary in NJ's Avatar
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    What are the requirements? 35A, 40A, 60A? More? No need to run a massive alternator if you don't need to. What upgrades have you done (lighting, big amps) that require additional amperage?
    Gary
    Guardian of HLS30-91415
    Previous Owner of a 10/70 240Z ('83-'85)

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