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Old 03-08-2014, 05:55 PM   #1
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Alternator replacement difficulty?

I'll be replacing my alternator next week. The power regulator inside is bad and giving me problems starting up. Anything I should expect or know before starting? Seems like I should be able to replace it with out having to move around anything in the engine bay. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Old 03-08-2014, 06:26 PM   #2
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Piece of cake but.....I assume you are talking about the voltage regulator. What exactly are the symptoms and what tests have you done? What is the voltage when the engine is running?

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Old 03-08-2014, 06:40 PM   #3
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Voltage regulator is built into the PCM, not the alternator.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:31 PM   #4
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Assuming you have the 4.0 engine, it's easy to replace the alternator if that's the problem.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:34 AM   #5
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Piece of cake but.....I assume you are talking about the voltage regulator. What exactly are the symptoms and what tests have you done? What is the voltage when the engine is running?
Yes. I took it to two separate "Oreilly's" And had then test my battery, starter, and alternator. Both shops told me all three were good, but that I have a bad voltage regulator; and that it is inside of the alternator.
The jeep runs at right under 14 when running. About 13.5. When key is turned before starting it reads only about 9 or 10.
When the problem first started It usually would start up after a try or two in the morning, but then not start after I parked it at work. It would take me cranking it over and over for several minutes for it to give in. Also , when it first started happening; If I drove it for awhile before shutting it off, it would start again no problem so long as it hadn't been forever since I turned it off. I would also be able to jump it.
Now the jeep doesn't respond to having cables hooked up to it, and there seems to be no difference between how long I run it before I shut it off. It all results in me having to repeatedly try and start it for minutes on end before it finally catches.
When I turn the key you can hear what I'm assuming is the starter spinning, but nothing else. Except the occasional, split second, turn of the motor before you hear the spinning again. And when it does start it is sometimes strong, or very weak. Strong if it is started up right after I turn it off. Weak if it's been turned off awhile and I've been cranking for a bit.
Sorry for the length. Just trying to be as detailed as possible for you all.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:25 AM   #6
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Doesn't sound like your alternator at all. Sounds more like a fuel issue to me. The biggest indicator of a bad alternator would be low voltage when running, which would kill your battery.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:26 AM   #7
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Starter is spinning but not turning the motor over?If that's the case it's either a bad starter or a bad spot on the flywheel.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:30 AM   #8
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Could there be a bad sensor?
I had this problem with my jeep and I believe it was a sensor
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:33 PM   #9
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Could there be a bad sensor? I had this problem with my jeep and I believe it was a sensor
There is a code that has been thrown for awhile now . I think it was for bad 02/fuel sensor. Never thought of any relevance between the two because the problems starting came months after the engine code. Could it be the problem?
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:34 PM   #10
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Starter is spinning but not turning the motor over?If that's the case it's either a bad starter or a bad spot on the flywheel.
I had the starter tested at two different places, they said it was fine. And the flywheel , along with the clutch; were replaced with new ones like two or three months ago.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:48 PM   #11
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Starter is spinning but not turning the motor over?If that's the case it's either a bad starter or a bad spot on the flywheel.
Or just a bad starter drive (Bendix) on the starter.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:50 PM   #12
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Doesn't sound like your alternator at all. Sounds more like a fuel issue to me. The biggest indicator of a bad alternator would be low voltage when running, which would kill your battery.

I have to agree with this. Try putting some starting fluid in your IAC and see if it fires up. If it does and then stalls out it's not getting fuel. You may have a bad fuel pump. Sounds alot like the problem I had when my fuel pump died.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:50 PM   #13
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You should have about 14.5 volts when running. The 9-10 when you turn the key points to a battery problem.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:03 PM   #14
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When you turn the ignition switch to start the motor is the motor turning over and trying to start or do you just hear the starter motor spinning?
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:12 PM   #15
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When you turn the ignition switch to start the motor is the motor turning over and trying to start or do you just hear the starter motor spinning?
Both happen.
Sometimes it catches a little like it's trying and then goes back to spinning. And then sometimes It just spins and doesn't catch; well most of the time it does that lol.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:13 PM   #16
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You should have about 14.5 volts when running. The 9-10 when you turn the key points to a battery problem.
Well even with cables hooked up and the proper amount of current flowing through it still acts the same. Shouldn't that rule out the battery?
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:21 PM   #17
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Yep,I think your battery is ok.I think your starter is bad.It should be turning the engine over.Check all of your connections going to the starter make sure their good.If it's not a bad connection then I would replace the starter.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:29 PM   #18
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Yep,I think your battery is ok.I think your starter is bad.It should be turning the engine over.Check all of your connections going to the starter make sure their good.If it's not a bad connection then I would replace the starter.
I'm beginning to think the same about the starter. But what doesn't make sense, is why the test is telling me I have a bad voltage regulator if it's my starter that's bad?

Is the voltage regulator a seperate problem? And what would that cause.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:36 PM   #19
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So as someone stated before the voltage regulator in our jeeps is not an external or internal part of the alternator, but instead part of the ECM. And if a part of the PCM is bad, then the whole unit needs to be replaced. So since this part was tested and failed it would seem that this is my problem , butt.. what confuses me is that if my ecu isn't giving enough power, and that's why it isn't starting, then how come when I hook up cables and it does have enough power; it isn't starting. Or is the power that I have going through it with cables just not getting where it's supposed to because of the regulator not placing it correctly? It's time like these I wish I was a high speed electrician.. Lol
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:16 PM   #20
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Starter gets its power straight from the battery.If the starter is just spinning then it's not engaging the flywheel.Bad starter
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:46 PM   #21
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Sure sounds like the issue is the starter, how old is your battery?
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:56 PM   #22
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I'm beginning to think the same about the starter. But what doesn't make sense, is why the test is telling me I have a bad voltage regulator if it's my starter that's bad?

Is the voltage regulator a seperate problem? And what would that cause.
The monkeys who perform those tests are wrong more often than they aren't, and not always because they are monkeys but the test just aren't very good tests.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:14 PM   #23
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Well thanks for the replies guys. I guess I will be buying a starter and trying that out first. Fingers crossed that fixes it and I don't have to spend more money hehe
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:21 PM   #24
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Well thanks for the replies guys. I guess I will be buying a starter and trying that out first. Fingers crossed that fixes it and I don't have to spend more money hehe
or you just take it to a mechanic who knows what's really wrong with it hahaha
Instea of buying different parts thinking that u fixed it but u really don't
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:02 PM   #25
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or you just take it to a mechanic who knows what's really wrong with it hahaha Instea of buying different parts thinking that u fixed it but u really don't
I think part of the jeep lifestyle is learning to tinker with it yourself. Not to mention the rates for work up here in Alaska are through the roof.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:04 PM   #26
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Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:21 PM   #27
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People who work in parts stores are often right out of high school & rarely have any formal automotive education. They often feel pressured to speak like they know what they're talking about when all they're doing is repeating, with feigned authority, what they heard some other parts store guy say.

I never ask for technical advice from the auto parts people, they just aren't that level of person. As evidenced by them claiming your problem was caused by the voltage regulator inside the alternator... and the TJ's voltage regulator, as already said above, is inside the ECM (engine computer) and not inside the alternator at all.

Not to mention that problem doesn't sound at all related to the voltage regulator no matter where if physically resides. Another auto parts store employee strikes again... the guys who can be trusted for their advice as far as you can throw them.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:25 PM   #28
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I think part of the jeep lifestyle is learning to tinker with it yourself. Not to mention the rates for work up here in Alaska are through the roof.
true true..
Alaska, wow I bet gas is a hell of a lot of $$$$
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:21 PM   #29
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People who work in parts stores are often right out of high school & rarely have any formal automotive education. They often feel pressured to speak like they know what they're talking about when all they're doing is repeating, with feigned authority, what they heard some other parts store guy say. I never ask for technical advice from the auto parts people, they just aren't that level of person. As evidenced by them claiming your problem was caused by the voltage regulator inside the alternator... and the TJ's voltage regulator, as already said above, is inside the ECM (engine computer) and not inside the alternator at all. Not to mention that problem doesn't sound at all related to the voltage regulator no matter where if physically resides. Another auto parts store employee strikes again... the guys who can be trusted for their advice as far as you can throw them.
Yea I talked to my cousin, he's a certified master mechanic (I think that's the correct title); and he agrees with the consensus on this forum that it's my starter. So that's where I will start. Hopefully I can find it super cheap at a salvage yard, or maybe I will just buy it new if prices are not too inflated.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:33 AM   #30
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Speaking of auto parts people, I was standing in one of my local parts stores a few weeks ago looking at plastic paint when a guy walked in and asked what the difference was between regular oil and high milage oil.

The parts guy takes a bottle of each type, reads the back, and tells the man with full confidence that the high milage oil comes with more oil in the bottle so if your engine leaks some it isn't as bad. I just couldn't take it and walked up and explained the differences and when high milage oil can be helpful. I also showed both contained the exact same amount of oil. Both of the guys looked a little surprised as I (an 18 year old) explained properties of engine oil...

Gotta love Wrangler Forum and Google

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