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Alternator Wiring Problem

elektric_head

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Hi,
I have a 96 VS Commodore Equipe and lately the 10mm cable that runs to the bottom of the alternator is burning out causing the car to die. It has happened about 4 times over the past 6 months. The alternator is only about 1 year old and has probably done about 4000kms
Is this a common problem and does anyone have any suggestions as to overcoming this annoyance?

Cheers
 

Zuicider

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check the earths , battery terminals and general tighteness of plugs. could also be the wire shorting out on the frame. loose conections will cause arcing
 

ephect

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hako

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The entire cable from the alt to the battery should be replaced - what happens is the connection at the alternator has to carry quite a high load - in excess of 80 amps sometimes which causes the cable to overheat at the connection - this causes the copper wires inside the cable to degrade - the copper actually crystallises - this increases the resistance of the cable resulting in more overheating etc and the cable eventually snaps off. If you cut the cable back a few cm and rejoin the connector the wire can still fail again as the damage extends along the cable for quite a distance from the alternator.
So the proper fix is to trace the cable back from the alternator to where it joins the fusible link and replace the entire cable with one of equeal or greater thickness. On my car the cable goes straight to the battery but mine probably failed before it came into my posession.
It can cause a fire if the cable shorts out plus damage the electronics and also kill the battery if you do have the dead short.
Good Luck.
 
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Sorry I dont mean to be a thread digger, but could someone please link me to the fix of the cable behind the alternator? The cable behind my alternator is all brittle.
 

EYY

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Sorry I dont mean to be a thread digger, but could someone please link me to the fix of the cable behind the alternator? The cable behind my alternator is all brittle.
It's a thread to basically make you aware of the problem since it sounds like a few VS' burnt to the ground.

Mine had the same problem. You just need to connect the load sensing wire directly to the battery (with a 5a fuse). Then replace the wire from the battery to the alternator with 4AWG cable with quality terminals, make sure they're both crimped AND soldered.
 

EYY

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The wire basically is bolted to the back of the alternator and goes straight to the battery (with another part connected which goes to the fuse panel).
Unwrap the tape all the way from the alternator to the battery and you'll see what I mean. Leave the length of wire that connects the fusebox to the battery, but cut it off above that join, the part that goes up to the alternator.

Just connect a piece of 4 gauge wire from the battery to the alternator. make sure it's well insulated
 
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