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Old 05-06-2009, 09:22 PM
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RicardoJM RicardoJM is offline
Rising Sun Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Centennial, CO
Posts: 2,398
Default Alternator Relocation Issues

I had a few issues come up with my alternator relocation work; pulley alignment, let the smoke out of a wire and no headlights.

First, no headlights; when relocating the alternator I split up a splice of ground wires. I made the assumption that each of the ground wires were attached to ground and that by separating them I was "cleaning up" my wiring, this was a bas assumption. My mistake here could have been avoided if I had done some testing on the ground wires to confirm where each one went. Failing this I could have found my problem sooner if I had checked the function of my lights right after completing the wiring changes. I didn't do either of these things so I did not find my headlight trouble until after I had buttoned everything up. The picture quality is not very good, but here is the splice of ground wires that I split up:

Here is what my nice, neat splices looked like after I was done with the split.

It turns out that in splitting up the splice of ground wires I removed the ground portion of my head light circuit. A circuit is not a circuit unless it is complete and has a ground. MtnTrucker helped me through the de-bugging process to find the problem and getting it fixed.

Second, let the smoke out of the wire; when adjusting the alternator tension my wrench slipped from my hand and made contact with a post on the alternator. This resulted in a short and in quick order the white wire to my ammeter heated up and burned through. My battery had been disconnected for weeks while I worked on the conversion and within 10 minutes of be being connected the mishap occurred. The needle fell off my ammeter from the ordeal so after replacing the white wire I had to manually check and confirm the voltage at the battery to make sure it is charging. I've found a new ammeter and will be installing it this week. The lesson here is clear; always disconnect the battery no matter how simple the electrical system work may seem to be. Here is a picture I snapped just after letting the smoke out. Do not give yourself the chance to take a similar picture.

Third, pulley alignment; when using my existing alternator the pulley alignment was not perfect. My existing alternator is a reman that I purchased last summer. As a reman the original pulley had been replaced with something smaller than OEM. When installing it originally it needed some shimming to get it aligned. When moved over the passenger side and placed into the 2F bracket there is very little shimming that could be done and it would not line up as needed. To get through this issue, I took an OEM alternator from my parts stash in the garage to D and D Auto Electric. This alternator had the larger pulley. I could have just swapped pulleys between the two but being that I did not have the correct sized nut to remove the pulley I took the more expensive route.

While not really an issue, I really overcomplicated the rewiring process. If I were to do this again, I would have routed the wires directly to the new alternator location, i.e. up and over the valve cover versus routing them across the fire wall and around the passenger side fender.
Ricardo Maestas - Bio Page
1999 LX 470
SOLD - 1971 FJ-40
TLCA #18941
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