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Old 08-03-2007, 11:26   #1 (permalink)
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Charging Problems 97 Expedition

I'm experiencing some charging problems on my 1997 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4, which I think is a bad alternator.

When the car is running the voltage meter indicates everything is fine, but when the air conditioning is on, the meter will very slowly begin to fall. But - when the motor that fills the load leveling bags kicks in, the meter drops to almost nothing and quickly all guages will drop and the battery/charge light comes on. And the battery does not seem to be taking a charge.

When I have the car running and remove a battery cable, the car immediately dies, which leads me to believe it is the alternator and not a battery problem.

The belt seems tight - and no squeeling - so I don't think that is it.

Am I missing any thing that could be causing this problem?

I can see the car has battery fuses and I'm not sure what those really are or do. Might that be a cause of the problem? Or, is it my alternator, as I suspect.

Jim
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Old 08-03-2007, 18:30   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Charging Problems 97 Expedition

Sounds like the alt. or voltage regulator. The voltage regulator may be built in the alt. on that model, but I don't know for sure. Removing the battery cable while the vehicle is running is definately old school and not recommended on todays vehicles.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:49   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Charging Problems 97 Expedition

The alternator is the likely problem. Use a volt meter and hook it to the positive on the alternator (big wire) or right to the battery. Start it up and monitor voltage. Start turning on lights and blower fan and stuff. If it is anywhere below 13.6V then replace it.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:15   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Charging Problems 97 Expedition

I ended up just pulling the alternator, figuring that must be the problem, and taking it to a local parts store to have it tested. It failed! For being right on top and in front of the engine, replacing it was a little more difficult than I thought it was going to be (the fan blades were constantly in the way when trying to remove bottom two bolts and releasing the tensioner for the belt), but I got it done and the problem was solved!
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