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Alternator?? HElP

G

golfsnc

Guest
1991 Convertable L98 engine.
I only drive my Vette About once every other week. Last week I drove around the city and noticed my volts rather low, I turned off the a/c and radio and Volts picked up right around 12. I figured it was just having a rough day in the hot sun. I headed home and parked it.
Today I try to start it and the battery is drained. I jumped the car and it started fine and remained running when I disconnected the jumper cables. But the volts went down to around 8ish when I disconnected the jumper cables and reving the engine only slightly increases the volts. After a couple of minuites of running the car I turned it off and tried to restart with no luck. I wasn't sure if I should leave it running to try to charge up the battery or if it would be extra work on the alternator. I sounds like an alternator to me, but I'm really not knowledgable with cars. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I'm guessing its the Alternator but really have no idea.
I called chevy and a local garrage for estimates of alternator replacement and I was given $420. from chevy and $350.00 from local garage.

Do you think the car will make it if I try to drive it to get it fixed...10 miles 15 minutes?
Does anyone know of a place to get it fixed in Washington DC or Northern VA?
Thanks for any advice you can provide.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,237
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Welcome To The Corvette Action Center golfsnc!

Both estimates are much too high! You can find someone to do it cheaper, or you can save mucho dinero if you do it yourself. :upthumbs

A "12" is too low for adequate charging; you should be seeing between 13 & 14 volts under normal load. If you load everything up (turn on every piece of electrical equipment that is on the car car, including flashers and brakes), and subject the engine to a load (which you can simulate by holding your foot on the brake while putting the car in gear, or if it's a manual transmission, hold the brake while engaging the clutch), the voltage should then drop to maybe the high 12's, not as low as 12 volts. :eek

And yes, you are correct in assuming that charging a dead battery with the alternator would harm it. ;)
 
G

golfsnc

Guest
1991 Convertable L98 engine.
I only drive my Vette About once every other week. Last week I drove around the city and noticed my volts rather low, I turned off the a/c and radio and Volts picked up right around 12. I figured it was just having a rough day in the hot sun. I headed home and parked it.
Today I try to start it and the battery is drained. I jumped the car and it started fine and remained running when I disconnected the jumper cables. But the volts went down to around 8ish when I disconnected the jumper cables and reving the engine only slightly increases the volts. After a couple of minuites of running the car I turned it off and tried to restart with no luck. I wasn't sure if I should leave it running to try to charge up the battery or if it would be extra work on the alternator. I sounds like an alternator to me, but I'm really not knowledgable with cars. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I'm guessing its the Alternator but really have no idea.
I called chevy and a local garrage for estimates of alternator replacement and I was given $420. from chevy and $350.00 from local garage.

Do you think the car will make it if I try to drive it to get it fixed...10 miles 15 minutes?
Does anyone know of a place to get it fixed in Washington DC or Northern VA?
Thanks for any advice you can provide
 

Rob

Site Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
13,546
Location
New Hampshire
Corvette
1990 Corvette ZR-1
Golfs,

Check out our Corvette Portal under Repair and Restoration Shops. Look under Virginia. There is a place in Alexandria that I highly recommend.
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
Same thing happened to me . I went to NAPA bought a set of brushes, cost 4.95, replaced them and the original 120 amp still works great.
 

JT ZR-Won

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2000
Messages
1,273
Location
Bradenton, FL
Corvette
'90 ZR-1 #365 (SOLD...but Dad's got it now)
$350 - $420??

Man, call the cops........that's highway robbery :eek
Actually, the alternator isn't that bad to replace. A rebuilt unit costs around $100 or so......maybe a bit more. There's only one way the alternator comes off, and only one way it goes on. Without looking at the motor, I can't recall exactly how many or what size the bolts are but I know it's not bad. Luckily it sits on the top of the motor. I'd give it a try yourself before taking it somewhere..........

Jay
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,237
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Hope ya don't mind but I merged the two threads. It really didn't belong in the ZR-1 forum seeing as how it's an L98. ;)

Ken
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Welcome,

Sorry to hear about your problem, but we will all point you in the right direction.

You are going to love this. We have a 90 which is near identical to a 91 under the hood.

My Wife (the most awesome chick in the World) called me at work one day to let me know the car was acting up. Almost the same description as you posted above. So, I tell her it is the alternater and she will have to wait until I get home.

Here is the cool part. I keep a couple of cheap ($30) emergency tool kits around. She found one of those, pulled the alternater off, put it in a small hand bag, and walked it up to the local auto parts store on the corner. They tested and verified it was a bad.

She bought a new one (lifetime warranty-not a rebuilt) $120 walked back to the house and installed it herself. She followed th correct procedures for recharging the battery and got the car running.

By the time I got home and was ready to work on the car, she had already washed up, put back on nice clothes, fixed dinner and was waiting with a big grin on her face. She asked me to look over her work and make sure it was okay. I popped the hood and could find nothing out of place, too tight or too loose. She said she got tired of waiting on me and had seen me do this enough times that it really did not look that hard.

She had the most difficult time releasing the tension on the serpentine belt. She was afraid of breaking a nail or pinching a finger. She used my 1/2" Craftmans pull handle to detention the belt.

Okay, now that I have told you this true story, there is now way you won't be able to get this fixed! :D

No-she does not have a sister :(

BTW-Don't EVER jump off your Corvette! Don't take my word for it, you will see it in the owner's manual. If you must jump it, unhook the battery first to protect the onboard systems from getting zapped.

Nikki used her car to jump off a coworker last year. She thought she was doing a good deed. However, by the time she got home the climate control head had been fried!-We have also had the hit and miss computer connection commuication failure every since as well.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,237
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Chris McDonald said:
No-she does not have a sister :(

****! ;)

That's really cool Chris, you're right when you say she is "the most awesome chick in the World". :upthumbs

Ken
 
T

TopDown94

Guest
Alternator?....Maybe NOT!

Before you go spending hard earned money, take the battery out and take it down and have it checked. Its free at most Auto Parts stores. Sounds to me like yours is bad. It will give you the same symptons that you describe. IF they say the battery is GOOD.....then it is your Alternator. I had the same problems......and it was the battery. And, dont be afraid to plop down 150.00 bucks on an OPtima. They are well worth money spent. Good Luck.

RIKO
 

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