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Old 02-15-2005, 16:10   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Ford 3.8 charging problems, please help!

Please excuse me if I post this in more than one forum section, I need this 'van running again by wednesday, I start my new job. I had a turbo Caravan, but destroyed the motor today.
Anyway, here's some background info.

My dad bought this Windstar back in 1999 brand spankin' new from a dealer. We've had some problems with it. Once the injectors stopped working, once one of the valves cracked, etc. But usually it's been a good reliable vehicle. This has always been my favorite vehicle to drive out of all my family owns (including a 99 passat and an 04 Golf TDI.)
I've stomped many a rice-burner. 200hp it's no slouch!
At 125,000 the transmission had to be rebuilt at a cost of $2100. My dad broke down 100 miles from home and took it to the nearest shop, so he had him by the balls if you know what I mean.

anyway, now the van has 127,000 on it. Recently the van stopped charging. Or so I think. It would drive until the battery died. The electronics would slowly stop working, then finally the engine won't run.

I thought it was the alternator, so I took the old one off and wanted to get it tested. Napa, Autozone, nor the dealer could test it. I had a local junkyard pull a "good used" alternator. I swapped it in, with mixed results.

I jumped the van off my brother's Geo Prizm. It would start up fine. I'd let it idle about 10 minutes, then I took it out for a drive. I took it for a drive for about 30 minutes, and at no time was I concerned about it. I went on the highway and gave it a little juice, it functioned perfectly. I pull back in the driveway and shut it off. Just to make sure all was well, I attempted to start it. Starter solenoid goes CLICKKKKKKKKKKK. The gauges go from maximum left to maximum right, and then back again. (as in, speedo goes 0-120-0, coolant temp goes Cold-Hot-Cold.).

What's going on here?

Thank you all!
Even though I currently own a Dodge, my heart is with Fords. Our family has had 3 Econolines, all of which have earned much respect.
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