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1999 V70XC Alternator R/R ..Charging system questions... Topic is solved

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

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wizechatmgr
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1999 V70XC Alternator R/R ..Charging system questions...  Topic is solved

Post by wizechatmgr » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:56 pm

1999 V 70 XC Turbo...

Are the alternators self=exciting or is the small gauge wire an exciter wire? Reason I ask is I'm trying to figure out a way to potentially limp home tomorrow.

How often, if ever, has someone had the alternator to starter portion of the wire go? My starter functions fine. Reason I ask is if the cause of the alternator not running is indeed the ignition switch, I can jerry rig that with some alligator clips just to keep the alternator running long enough to limp home.

Also on the list to check is the wires in the main fuse block.

@Abscate had mentioned the potential of an ignition switch.

Here are my vehicle's symptoms...
  • Starts fine, but won't charge at all.

    As voltage drops on the battery (10-11V) the throttle gets non-responsive and she'll idle but that's it. She bucks a bit right before this.

    Had traction control, ABS, ETM and battery light all go on while driving on thruway for about 5 minutes, then the battery light hasn't been on since. Multimeter confirms battery isn't getting a charge and slowly starts depleting when car is running.

    No headlights unless I turn on high beams. If I put the switch into the headlight position then dash lights go out. The idiot light for them indicates they're out.

    Checked chassis of engine to negative terminal - 0.01V drop so if it is a bad ground, it isn't the engine to chassis or chassis to battery negative.
I'm preparing to go to battle with the car tomorrow before I call for a tow.
Wisdom requires knowledge as a prerequisite, but knowledge can be developed due to a lack of wisdom.
In order to learn how to fix something, you must first learn how to break it.
1999 V70 XC AWD - ~187k miles

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bmdubya1198
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bmdubya1198

Re: Charging system questions...

Post by bmdubya1198 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:33 pm

I would definitely do a drop test on the alternator positive and negative and main fuse block wire.
Misha shared a link on my thread that is helpful for the alternator: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=82268#p446545
2000 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 195k
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 253k
2003 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 109k
2007 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 165k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1991 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 172k
1992 245 Base White/Beige 249k
Sold-
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k

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wizechatmgr
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Re: Charging system questions...

Post by wizechatmgr » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:43 pm

Thanks, reviewing that. It sounds like it may be self exciting but I'm still not 100% sure. I'll bring some extra wire on the MC ride back to the car. Unless the wire from the alternator to starter failed (possible...) then my next place to check would be the main fuse box. I doubt the main fuse box is "the" problem as I would believe (if the alternator is self-exciting) that it shouldn't have had an issue. I don't believe I have a short based upon the length of time it takes to discharge.

I may also adjust my key in the tumbler a bit (apply a little pressure) on the oft chance it is just a bad ignition switch. The only way this could be true is if the alternator isn't self-exciting...
Wisdom requires knowledge as a prerequisite, but knowledge can be developed due to a lack of wisdom.
In order to learn how to fix something, you must first learn how to break it.
1999 V70 XC AWD - ~187k miles

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Re: Charging system questions...

Post by abscate » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:00 am

I've got a spare car and a place to work, plus I'm off for next two days in Albany....where are you stuck?

Text me in the am
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1999-V70-T5M56 2005-V70-M56 1999-S70 VW T4 BMW
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Re: Charging system questions...

Post by wizechatmgr » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:29 am

Texted. =)
Wisdom requires knowledge as a prerequisite, but knowledge can be developed due to a lack of wisdom.
In order to learn how to fix something, you must first learn how to break it.
1999 V70 XC AWD - ~187k miles

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Re: Charging system questions...

Post by Klausc » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:38 am

I would suspect the alternator brushes need replacing. Without a 1999 diagram, I would suspect that the small wire controls the idiot light. The other symptoms are all due to a low battery charge.

With the headlights off, and radio + cabin fan + AC off, and a full charge, you should be able to go about 30 miles before the battery gets too low.
Klaus
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kahl

Re: Charging system questions...

Post by kahl » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:55 pm

image.jpg
Plus 1 on what Klausc post. When these brushes wear down no alternator.
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Re: Charging system questions...

Post by bmdubya1198 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:55 pm

I need to change my voltage regulator, or at least the brushes if that's possible. Mine are unevenly worn and one is rather low.
2000 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 195k
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 253k
2003 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 109k
2007 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 165k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1991 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 172k
1992 245 Base White/Beige 249k
Sold-
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k

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wizechatmgr
Posts: 1312
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Year and Model: 1999 V70 XC AWD 2.4T
Location: Albany, NY area
Has thanked: 22 times
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Contact:
United States of America
wizechatmgr

Re: Charging system questions...

Post by wizechatmgr » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:12 pm

I believe the regulator and brushes come as an assembly. Not sure if you can get them separately

POST-OP report:
Bad alternator
Battery took ~10 hours to charge. Limped over to the Albany Volvo Land on a generator in the back seat with 12V @ 8A. Yes, all windows, sunroof, etc were open - I'm not THAT stupid. Used to do this in agriculture sometimes - it obviously isn't a preferred way of doing things...

Remove covers from computer modules to get enough room to work.
Remove power steering pump & belt.
Loosen lower AC bolts, remove top as they go through the alternator. Aka the sandwich from heck...
Remove alternator - helps to have someone that is a contortionist.

No one in my area was able to test the alternator. The machine just kept saying bad ground... It is a 120A alternator...

Replacement:
Reverse of removal, lots of bad words...

Also replaced the low pressure power steering pump to reservoir hose. Either it or the pump was leaking, I'll know which shortly. We also improvised a shield to keep the fluid from being sucked into the alternator. Total elapsed time for the project: 6 hours including about an hour or so parts hunting...

Replaced both headlights, they both blew. Noticed both fog/driving lights also aren't working, suspect they need to be replaced.

Checked the ignition switch, it will need to be replaced in the future but not just yet.

Pictures to follow later tonight... It is believed this may have been the original alternator. ~148,000 miles. No lights on anymore.

I'm long winded, don't worry, the pictures abbreviate this process =)
Last edited by wizechatmgr on Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wisdom requires knowledge as a prerequisite, but knowledge can be developed due to a lack of wisdom.
In order to learn how to fix something, you must first learn how to break it.
1999 V70 XC AWD - ~187k miles

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abscate
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Re: Charging system questions...

Post by abscate » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:14 pm

As long as Kira and Geirge don't find out we had an unscheduled Albany Volvo Fest without inviting them we. Are good. Nice fighting the battle with you today, w.c.m
Empty Nester
A Captain in a Sea of Estrogen
1999-V70-T5M56 2005-V70-M56 1999-S70 VW T4 BMW
Link to Maintenance record thread
Link To Volvo Glossary

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