1994 Toyota Corolla Charging System Problems

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  #1  
Old 07-11-03, 08:10 PM
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1994 Toyota Corolla Charging System Problems

Hi guys;
Maybe someone here can give me some ideas. I have a 1994 Toyota Corolla that recently started to have some headaches. My father had this car laid up for awhile and was not driving anymore. (He has since passed away.) The car has run perfectly until recently.
At times the car will work, then suddenly it will apparently not charge and the battery will be dead. I have even noticed at highway speeds a apparent loss of electrical power (dimming lights,sudden bucking , hesitation,etc) then it clears and all is okay.
When it has stopped,I can jumpstart it and drive for about three miles and it will again stop.While it is running the lights are real dim. Could this battery draw enough of a charge from the portable jumper to run for awhile?
Recently I took the battery off the car and charged it. I have cleaned the terminals and the inside of the cable lugs and reattached using felt battery isolators. Then it ran good for several days with no problems. But with the recent heat I have been using the AC more which is in itself a power eater and heats the engine compartment more.
Is it possible that the alternator is going, or that the battery is causing the problems? It is a Exide battery ( not my choice of brand)about two or three years old. Could this battery be a drain on the alternator and stopping it from working properly (shorted battery, open circuit)? Right now the battery is a boat anchor( dead as a doornail!).

Am trying to get my hands on a ohm meter to test the output at the terminals. But have a sinking feeling the alternator is bad. Will it act randomly like that? My past experience is that they just go phlat, and thats it!!!

Any suggestions.
 

Last edited by Bob M; 07-11-03 at 08:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-03, 09:19 PM
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batteries really don't like to be at zero volts at all, and the longer it sits at 0volts the more damage that happens to it, some never take a charge after the first time. what i would do is get a $19 radio shack voltmeter, get some long wires and run it off the battery to inside the car, even tape it up to something solid within easy eyesight, now you know exactly what your alternator is putting out as you're driving, it should never be under 12.5 volts running, ideal is 13.5-14.5 all the time. if it is dropping low intermittenly, and if it is over 150,000 miles, i would look towards an alternator(plus probably a battery by now) that would be two less things to worry about too. if the alternator was 'good' it would run the car almost indefinitely, regardless of the battery's condition.

let us know what you find
 
  #3  
Old 07-12-03, 07:21 AM
Joe_F
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Bob:

Likely a bad alternator here. If so, replace it with a Toyota branded rebuilt, aftermarkets vary widely in quality.

Do as Mike suggested and let us know. Change the belts at the same time you do the repairs.
 
  #4  
Old 07-12-03, 08:23 AM
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Hi guys;
Thanks for the replies. This morning I dug through my basement and found my old RAC engine analyizer. Even had settings for points and dwell !! LOL!! Anyway here are some particulars.
Engine 1.6 liter
oval connector on alternator
Alternator has following on it on a label;
IC regulator built in
27060-02050
12v 10480095
Delco Remy 06284

Here are some volt readings at battery terminal;

start will jump to 13.5
idle(no load) 11
idle(lights on) 11
after period of time will fluctuate between 10-12
at accelerated idle 13.5
lights on (acc) 13
AC on (idle) 11
AC (acc) 12

with the whole works on ( just like my wife would drive!)RADIO (of course!!)AC Hi. fan hi, lights on
everything on!! 11.5

This all leads me to believe that it is the regulator not compensating and the alternator going bad. Am I on the right track?
Also which of those numbers would be the number that I would use to get a new( rebuilt) one?
 
  #5  
Old 07-12-03, 08:31 AM
Joe_F
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Yup, sounds like the alternator is finished .

You can give all of those numbers to the Toyota dealer, but they will be able to find you a rebuilt by application. Delco Remy/Nippondenso design of that unit.

I have many of those old engine analyzers, including a MINT one I found thrown out (complete with the owner's manual!). They are handy .
 
  #6  
Old 07-12-03, 09:33 AM
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Hello guys;
Okay I figure that the alternator is a goner. Started hunting around. Has anyone utilized the Autozone for parts? Never been to one of their stores but they do have the alternator I need in stock. Feedback appreciated on this before I buy.
Called a shop I dealt with a long time ago and they also have it ( they were always good, even at midnight! (wink, wink!!)LOL!!!) but means a longer ride into old stomping grounds of the South Bronx.
Curious as a sidebar. This regulator has the IC reg built in yet, Auto zone sells a regulator for this auto. Is that for older or different alternator models?
 
  #7  
Old 07-12-03, 11:09 AM
Joe_F
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Bob:

Pay a little more money and get the Toyota OEM rebuilt. Less problems, less headaches.

Alternatively, buy an AC Delco rebuilt. Use acdelco.com, get your part # and then shop for that part #. ACDelco is remanning it for Toyota. (In theory, Delco has someone do it for them, but it's as close as you are going to get).

The Delco rebuilt will be the same quality/thing/item as the Toyota part, so price around.

Any parts store handling Delco can order or will have a Delco rebuilt unit for you. That's the way to go.

Yes alternators can be rebuilt (I do my own for instance), but it's not worth it here. The cost of quality parts to do it exceeds the value of buying a GOOD rebuilt from an OEM source like Delco.

Let us know what you find.
 
  #8  
Old 07-12-03, 06:01 PM
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Talking

Well, I went out and shopped. Lots of different prices for same alt. including some knockoffs. Found A AcDelco in a Strauss Store. Cost was about 19 USD more than the knockoffs, but I figured for brand recognition like Joe said here previously. Probably could have saved some more if I ventured further but time constraints started to factor in.
Installation of those things in the Japanese cars is a real back bender!!LOL!!! Between Toyota and Mazda my back and the back of my hands are killing me!! NO MORE SMALL JAPANESE CARS FOR ME!!! lol!!!
Seriously, new alt runs at 12.5 to 13 with all systems on. Real test is when my wife takes it out again! So between the new alt and a new Champion battery I hope to be set until the next crisis arises.
Thanks for your help guys!
 
  #9  
Old 07-12-03, 07:09 PM
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Wink

Mike/Joe;
As a addendum to my last post, maybe we should advise anyone who goes looking for a alternator to make sure that they strip all removable brackets, pigtais, fusible links, etc. from their old alt before tradining it in.
It was a long time since I had to obtain one and forgot to take off the retaining bracket and pigtail. Thank God, I took one last comparison look and realized my mistake in not removing them.
lot to be said for tools in cars! LOL!!!
Most counter people in some non-industry supply stores are not cognizant enough to see this themselves.(No slight on anyone intended here.)
Just posted as a informational piece.
 
  #10  
Old 07-12-03, 07:13 PM
Joe_F
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Thumbs down

Bob:

Follow me. The BOX has to have AC Delco on it. That means it is rebuilt by their company. I do not believe that Strauss carries Delco BRANDED (boxed) rebuilts; they carry NASTRA or USA industries. A Delco part # would be something like 321-123 for an alternator in AC Delco.

You have to go to an authorized AC Delco distributor to get a Delco rebuilt unit.

You are running on battery voltage.
 
  #11  
Old 07-12-03, 08:03 PM
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Joe;
Please don't tell me that! LOL!! I understand what you are saying but their computer reads it as a Delco and it says delco on it. That was the buying point to me.
Since it is not a delco how would it be running on battery voltage?
Should have gone down to B&G parts on tremont.
 
  #12  
Old 07-12-03, 09:36 PM
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old alternator:

Here are some volt readings at battery terminal;

start will jump to 13.5
idle(no load) 11
idle(lights on) 11
after period of time will fluctuate between 10-12
at accelerated idle 13.5
lights on (acc) 13
AC on (idle) 11
AC (acc) 12

with the whole works on ( just like my wife would drive!)RADIO (of course!!)AC Hi. fan hi, lights on
everything on!! 11.5


new alternator:

Seriously, new alt runs at 12.5 to 13 with all systems on.


sounds about right for me with all accesories on "at idle", i've seen this before on other products
did the new battery/alt combo jump up to 14 volts at 1500-1800 rpm with all accesories on? that's the true test, it's what is happening at 55 mph, if you suspect it's running off the battery alone, leave all accesories on and shut the engine off, then watch for the voltage to drop, if it doesn't--it's running off the battery alone, if it does drop to 11ish--the alternator is working.

alternators don't put out full voltage at idle, that's why all tests are to be done at 1500-1800 rpm

if it says delco inside and out, it must be one

joe, bob mentioned money in USD, this usually means canadian, the strauss stores might carry different things up there as they tend to do things a little(lot) differently

(was i correct--canadian)
 
  #13  
Old 07-12-03, 09:59 PM
Joe_F
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Still seems a little low to me.

Bob, follow me buddy

Every alternator cataloged in any parts store for this car will show Delco equipped. That means that Delco made the ORIGINAL unit which is used on production. However, Delco DID NOT supply your remanufactured unit. In other words someone other than Delco (NASTRA or USA industries) rebuilt the original DELCO alternator you bought in Strauss today.

My point to you is they tend to be poor quality. Delco REBUIILT units are higher quality. You may find yourself doing this again .

What does Delco rebuilt mean? A division of GM (which Delco is a part of) does the rebuilding (Delco's plant in Anderson, Indiana for instance), or Delco farms out their rebuilding to someone else and tells them,

"Ok Mr. Alternator company. Every part you reman for Delco will have this changed, this changed, this inspected.

Again, you can usually ONLY buy Delco's products through a parts store that sells their product. Strauss "ain't" one of 'em. They sell Delco filters and other items, but that's about it. NASTRA or USA Industries supplies their rebuilt alternators. Why? They are cheaper than Delco is .

Mike: I do not believe R&S Strauss sells in Canada. They are mostly Northeastern U.S. based. As you know they have their headquarters in your home state of NJ (South River to be exact).

If the box didn't say "GM AC Delco" in red, white and blue letters and show GM and Delco logos, it is NOT a Delco marketed rebuilt alternator.

Bottom line: An AC Delco rebuilt will have a part number like 123-456 format. NASTRA & USA industries have a 1234 part # format.

Mike: Look at Bob's post. "Tremont" is Bronx, NY . Bob is from/lived in the Bronx.
 
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