See Figures 1 and 2
The alternator charging system consists of the alternator, voltage regulator, warning light, battery, and fuse link wire.
A failure of any component of the charging system can cause the entire system to stop functioning. Because of this, the charging system can be very difficult to troubleshoot when problems occur.
When the ignition key is turned on, current flows from the battery, through the charging system indicator light on the instrument panel, to the voltage regulator, and to the alternator. Since the alternator is not producing any current, the alternator warning light comes on. When the engine is started, the alternator begins to produce current and turns the alternator light off. As the alternator begins to generate power, the output is divided between the battery to charge the cells, and the electrical components of the vehicle A voltage regulator is wired into the alternator to prevent it from receiving too much power which could cause serious damage to electrical components in the vehicle. Conversely, if the voltage regulator does not allow the alternator to receive enough current, the battery will not be fully charged and will eventually go dead.
The battery is connected to the alternator at all times, whether the ignition key is turned on or not. If the battery were shorted to ground, the alternator would also be shorted. This could damage the alternator. To prevent this, a fuse link is installed in the wiring between the battery and the alternator on all 1970 and later models. If the battery is shorted, the fuse link is melted, protecting the alternator.
Several precautions must be observed with alternators to avoid damaging the unit. They are as follows:
Testing of the charging system requires the use of a Sun VAT 40 (or equivalent) charging system tester. Since this is usually not readily available, it is recommended that alternator testing be performed by a reputable repair facility equipped with this equipment.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Unplug all electrical connections (mark wire locations for correct installation) from the alternator assembly.
- Loosen the alternator adjusting bolt(s) and remove the drive belt.
- Remove the alternator mounting bolts and spacer (if equipped), and remove the alternator assembly.
- Position the alternator assembly to the brackets and install the attaching bolts and spacer (if equipped).
- Fasten all electrical connections to the alternator assembly.
- Position the drive belt on the alternator pulley. Adjust the belt tension. Refer to the necessary service procedures in Routine Maintenance .
- Connect the negative battery cable.