Continental 2000-2002

Alternator

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Diagnosis & Testing




WARNING
To prevent damage to the generator, do not make jumper wire connections except as directed.


WARNING
Do not allow any metal object to come in contact with the housing and the internal diode cooling fins with the ignition key ON or OFF . A short circuit will result and burn out the diodes.


NOTE
Battery posts and cable clamps must be clean and tight for accurate meter indications.


NOTE
Refer to the battery tester manual for complete directions for testing the charging system.

  1. Turn off all lamps and electrical components.
  2.  
  3. Place the vehicle in transmission range NEUTRAL and apply the parking brake.
  4.  
  5. Carry out the Load Test and No-Load Test according to the following component tests:  
  6.  

Alternator Load Test
  1. Switch the tester to the ammeter function.
  2.  
  3. Connect the positive and negative leads of the tester to the corresponding battery terminals.
  4.  
  5. Connect the current probe to the generator B+ output terminal, circuit 38 (BK/OG).
  6.  
  7. With the engine running at 2,000 rpm, adjust the tester load bank to determine the output of the generator. Generator output should be at least 87 amps.

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    Fig. Alternator load test amperage vs. engine speed chart

  8.  
  9. With the engine running, turn the A/C on, the blower motor on high speed and the headlamps on high beam.
  10.  
  11. Increase the engine speed to approximately 2,000 rpm. The voltage should increase a minimum of 0.5 volt above the base voltage.
  12.  
  13. If the voltage does not increase as specified, carry out the No-Load Test in this section.
  14.  
  15. If the voltage increases as specified, the charging system is operating normally.  
  16.  

  1. With the engine running, turn on the blower motor and the high beams ( or other electrical accessories to place a load on the charging system).
  2.  
  3. Increase and hold engine speed to 2000 rpm.
  4.  
  5. Measure the voltage reading at the battery.
  6.  
  7. The voltage should increase at least 0.5 volts from the voltage test. If the voltage does not meet specifications, the charging system is malfunctioning.
  8.  


NOTE
Usually under and overcharging is caused by a defective alternator, or its related parts (regulator), and replacement will fix the problem; however, faulty wiring and other problems can cause the charging system to malfunction. Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your alternator.

Alternator No-Load Test
  1. Switch the tester to the voltmeter function.
  2.  
  3. Connect the voltmeter positive lead to the generator B+ terminal and the negative lead to ground.
  4.  
  5. Turn all electrical accessories off.
  6.  
  7. With the engine running at 2,000 rpm, check the generator output voltage. The voltage should be between 13.0 and 15.0 volts.
  8.  

  1. Connect a tachometer to the engine.
  2.  


CAUTION
Ensure that the transmission is in Park and the emergency brake is set. Blocking a wheel is optional and an added safety measure.

  1. Turn off all electrical loads (radio, blower motor, wipers, etc.)
  2.  
  3. Start the engine and increase engine speed to approximately 1500 rpm.
  4.  
  5. Measure the voltage reading at the battery with the engine holding a steady 1500 rpm. Voltage should have raised at least 0.5 volts, but no more than 2.5 volts.
  6.  
  7. If the voltage does not go up more than 0.5 volts, the alternator is not charging. If the voltage goes up more than 2.5 volts, the alternator is overcharging.
  8.  


NOTE
Usually under and overcharging is caused by a defective alternator, or its related parts (regulator), and replacement will fix the problem; however, faulty wiring and other problems can cause the charging system to malfunction. Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your alternator.

  1. If the voltage is within specifications, proceed to the next test.
  2.  

Voltage Test
  1. Make sure the engine is OFF , and turn the headlights on for 15-20 seconds to remove any surface charge from the battery.
  2.  
  3. Using a DVOM set to volts DC, probe across the battery terminals.
  4.  
  5. Measure the battery voltage.
  6.  
  7. Write down the voltage reading and proceed to the next test.
  8.  

Precautions



Several precautions must be observed when performing work on alternator equipment.



If the battery is removed for any reason, make sure that it is reconnected with the correct polarity. Reversing the battery connections may result in damage to the one-way rectifiers.
 
Never operate the alternator with the main circuit broken. Make sure that the battery, alternator, and regulator leads are not disconnected while the engine is running.
 
Never attempt to polarize an alternator.
 
When charging a battery that is installed in the vehicle, disconnect the negative battery cable.
 
When utilizing a booster battery as a starting aid, always connect it in parallel; negative to negative, and positive to positive.
 
When arc (electric) welding is to be performed on any part of the vehicle, disconnect the negative battery cable and alternator leads.
 
Never unplug the PCM while the engine is running or with the ignition in the ON position. Severe and expensive damage may result within the solid state equipment.
 

Removal & Installation



  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Coolant recovery reservoir
     
    Accessory drive belt from the alternator pulley
     
    Electrical connectors from the alternator and voltage regulator assembly
     
    Bolts and nuts from the alternator mounting bracket and remove the bracket from the top of the alternator.
     
    Through bolts and alternator
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Alternator. Tighten the bolts to 15-22 ft. lbs. (20-30 Nm).

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Tighten the alternator through bolts to 15-22 ft. lbs.

     
    Alternator bracket. Tighten the nuts to 71-106 inch lbs. (8-12 Nm).
     
    Electrical connectors. Tighten to 62-79 inch lbs. (7-9 Nm).
     
    Accessory drive belt
     
    Coolant recovery reservoir
     
    Negative battery cable

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Tighten the alternator bracket retainers to 71-106 inch lbs.

     

  2.  



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Fig. Rotate the tensioner and remove the belt from around the alternator pulley



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Fig. Detach the 2 connectors from the alternator



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Fig. Slide the boot up to access the battery cable on the rear of the alternator



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Fig. Remove the nut retaining the battery cable and . . .



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Fig. . . . remove the battery cable from the post on the rear of the alternator



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Fig. Remove the three alternator rear mounting bolts



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Fig. Remove the two front alternator mounting bolts



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Fig. Remove the alternator from the engine by carefully lifting it up and out of the engine compartment

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Tag and disconnect the wiring connectors from the rear (or side) of the alternator. To disconnect push-on type terminals, depress the lock tab and pull straight off.
  4.  
  5. On 3.8L and 4.6L engines, rotate the automatic tensioner away from the drive belt and disengage the drive belt from the alternator pulley. Remove the alternator brace.
  6.  
  7. On 3.8L engines, remove the alternator pivot bolts, top and bottom and remove the alternator.
  8.  
  9. On 5.0L engines, loosen the alternator pivot bolt and remove the adjusting bolt. Disengage the drive belt from the alternator pulley.
  10.  
  11. On 3.8L and 5.0L engines, remove the alternator pivot bolt and the alternator. On 4.6L engines, remove the alternator mounting bolts and remove the alternator.
  12.  
  13. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. On 4.6L engines, tighten the alternator mounting bolts to 15-22 ft. lbs. (20-30 Nm) and the alternator brace bolts to 70-106 inch lbs. (8-12 Nm). In addition, on 5.0L engines, adjust the drive belt tension (refer to Section 1).
  14.  

 
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