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Charge light is blinking on and off


mikeh

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St. Louis, MO
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98 XLT SOHC V6
My battery or charge light on my dash blinks on and off intermittently. I don't see any other problems. The engine starts fine and everything works fine. When the light comes on and off I don't see the headlights dim or anything. The light comes on and off pretty quick and keeps doing it on and off while running. The battery is relatively new so I'm not sure what the problem is? Any Ideas? Thanks.
 


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Layinhp

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2002 XLT v8
start looking for an alternator.... yours is politly warning you its going to fail verysoon
 




Blee1099

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Get the alternator tested right away.. You don't want to be stranded when the alternator finally lets go..
 




L4CX

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Let's say that Hypothetically he just redid his Head gaskets and may have busted off the part of the Connector that holds the connector in place. Would/Could that make this happen too? It was Hypothetically the white connector. :D
 




mikeh

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So if my Alternator goes out will my truck immediately stop working or will I be able to limp home 10 miles on just the battery?
 




Blee1099

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It'll run till the battery power is drained to the point that the engine will stall out.
 




mlowney

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have the altinator tested if it dies and you run down the batt you will be replacing both and getting a tow.
 




mikeh

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So tonight the charge light seemed to come on when I accelerated. When I took my foot off the accelerator the light would turn off.

Does this still point to the alternator for sure? It seems to come on more consistently now.
 




mikeh

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Ok so I went to O'Rielly Auto Parts this morning and had it tested. As the light seemed to be coming on constantly now.

His little tester thing said the alternator was bad.

So I picked up a remanufactured one for $170. Tax and core charge out the door for $200 but I get $15 back.

Looks pretty easy to install. Any tricks I should know about before I start?
 




Layinhp

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its a tight fit if you have the v8 to get the belt off to get at the tensioner its best accesible from underneeth just move the flexable rubber out of the way. other then that its pretty straight forward. hope they got you the right alternator theres 2 different ones 1 is hard to get (black back plate)
 




bigblockford

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i have the same trouble tested the alternator an it is fine turned out to be just the little wire on the back was corroded took it off an cleaned the terminal and now its fine its worth a try.
 




mikeh

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Layinhp called it. Wrong Alternator.

I don't know how they did it but they gave me the wrong one. They changed them in 2004 but I clearly told the guy that it was a 2004. The way to tell the difference is that there is 3 electrical connections instead of two. Mine has a round connection with a nut, A larger rectangle connection and a small square connection. The older Alternator has no small square connection. That's the easiest way to tell them apart. The guy said they switch to the new alt about halfway through 2003.

Oh yeah, And it cost $60 more. Ended up about $250. :(

It's a pretty simple repair. Getting the belt off is a pain. If you haven't changed your belt yet you might as well change it. I had already changed mine before.

Here is the step by step if anyone is interested.
1. Remove neg battery connector.
2. Remove the belt from the alternator. don't unweave it from the rest of the stuff.
3. There is a little air hose in the way which I removed for more room.
4. Remove the three electrical connections being careful not to break the plastic connectors. Get a very small screwdriver and insert it in the end of the connection to pull out so that the connection unlocks.
5. Take the three bolts off that hold the alternator on and pull the alternator out of the truck.

Put the other in reverse order.

One strange thing happened when I went to start the truck. It started fine but the little wrench light was on on the dash. When I pressed the accelerator it didn't do anything. I shut the truck off and restarted it and the wrench light went off and it ran fine. I have no idea what that is?

I'd hate to see what a dealer would charge for this repair. Easy to do yourself.
 




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