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Old 03-04-2010, 08:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Volt Gauge reading low

So normally my volt gauge reads around 10 volts when I start my truck up, then once the GPR clicks after about 10 seconds, it reads right around 14 (needle straight up and down).

Today, it didn't return to 14 volts. So it's staying low around 10 volts (needle is just under the N in Normal).

I'm trying to figure out if it's alternator, the GPR not clicking off, or something else. Thoughts?

Thanks

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Old 03-04-2010, 08:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can check the two big posts on the glow plug relay with a volt meter. The front one is normally hot all the time and should read battery voltage. The rear one should only read when the glows are energized. Most likely your alternator has died.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Any suggestions for the best replacement alternator?
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Check the GPR and if it checks out as good, pull the alternator and get it tested. I just put a new one on. Got it at Checker for about $150, rebuilt with lifetime warranty.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Something else to add: this happened all of a sudden. I drove it home from work and it was fine. An hour later I took it to the hardware store, and the gauge jumped up like normal for a split second, then returned to 10V. Since then it's stayed there.

Normally don't alternators die slow?
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Maybe you have a bad connection at the alternator plug .... wiggle it an see what happens . The guage in the truck is not that accurate , you should see what it reads from one of the batteries with a good meter to determine your Alternator condition. It should be 13.5-14.5 volts at idle ....
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll measure it at lunch today. If it's not the alternator, what else could it be? Do GPR's stick open? Could I harm my GP's that way?

Thanks again,

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Old 03-05-2010, 09:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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On top of the alternator there are tiny wires. Three in a connector and one of those wires goes to a single connector. It's the single connection that may be your problem. Try wiggling it or replace the clip with a new female spade connector. That single wire is for the stator and if there is a bad connection the volts will fluctuate. A new spade connector is $.15 and will be a long term fix.

Understanding Alternators, How Alternators Work
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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New alternator fixed the problem. The old one was in fact bad.

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've got this exact same problem, I thought it was the alternator and replaced it. However even with the new alternator still have the same problem, the needle stays between the low mark and the N in Normal. What is the next thing to troubleshoot? GPR? I've got a 97 F350 CCLB, 4x4, ZF5, stock.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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How much voltage is the Alternator putting out at idle ? ( measure this from the red terminal on the back of alternator and a good ground )
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zarrinvz24 View Post
I've got this exact same problem, I thought it was the alternator and replaced it. However even with the new alternator still have the same problem, the needle stays between the low mark and the N in Normal. What is the next thing to troubleshoot? GPR? I've got a 97 F350 CCLB, 4x4, ZF5, stock.
Check your voltages and don't depend on the volt gauge. Have you done any work on the GPR? It may be sticking on.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just checked using the negative terminal of Passenger side battery and alt output bolt, its 11.97V. Does that mean bad alternator? I replaced it 2 days ago and charged the batts off the truck. The batts themselves are NAPA Legend 65's, with 850 CCA at 0*F, and I checked the passenger side Batt which showed 11.99V.
I let the truck run for a bit and then also checked the GPR, my multimeter showed one of the large terminals at 11.97V and the other at 0.01V. From what I've read in various forums, I no longer suspect the GPR of causing the gauge to read below the N in Normal. So if its not the alternator, where do I go from here regarding troubleshooting? Thanks for the assistance though guys, I'm hoping someone can help me nail down the problem. I'm pretty inexperienced with the multimeter, I used the negative post of the Passenger battery for my ground on all tests. If that will skew the results somehow please let me know and I'll go re-check everything.

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Old 01-14-2013, 01:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Volt gauge reading low

This is the highest it reads. About 2 weeks ago it was straight up and down, then one day it just started reading low. I took it and had it tested, and it read 11.02V while running. So I replaced the alternator, and the gauge still reads low. The Alternator is a Napa Premium New, and came with a build spec sheet that showed the alternator produced 12.80V prior to leaving the factory in 2010. That number seems low to me, I thought Alternators should be 13-14V to be considered good. Standing by for more troubleshooting ideas.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That is low. What is the voltage on your batteries with the cables disconnected? You may need to put a full charge on them with a battery charger and then check the alternator again.
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