So the good news is that I managed to get the new engine started today. She fired right up after a crank or two and ran great!! First time in 2 years...
Then, I noticed the alternator light was on -RED. Then I noticed a bunch of smoke from the engine bay. Turned her off and...The red wire from the starter to the alternator was red hot and burning...it burnt all the way to the alternator from the starter.......
The battery was also making strange noises....and was very warm
When I got the engine the harness was already connected. I connected the longer end to the starter. and also plugged it in to the relay board
Sounds like something wasn't connected right? Perhaps the red wire wasn't connected correctly to the alternator?
That would be a dead short to cause the burned wire. Happened to me one time on my Jeep when a non-fused wire hit the chassis.
Verify the circuit pathway was/is correct and make sure the ring terminals to not touch grounded metal.
Glad it wasn't a whole lot worse.
Was this a rebuilt alternator? Likely the stud terminal on the back of the alternator was too long and contacting the cover.
Hiya... Glad you are here. One thing to check on the electrical stuff... make sure the stud on the back of the alt for the positive battery wire doesn't hit the cover. It happens all the time with rebuilt alternators. Causes one hell of a short. I always put the wire on, and take a dremel and cut the remainder of the stud off. Then I make sure the boot is over the stud.
Yes, it was quite a scare and I was ready to pull the fire extinguisher but it went out itself...phew. I agree its a short. Everything looks good at the starter - so it must be at the alternator end. I'll have to remove the alternator and see if its visible. The wire itself was in excellent shape.
I've been trying to follow this build and lost track of where you were with it... Sorry to hear about the trouble, but excited to see it come together. I'm sure you'll get this fixed up and on the road soon. I look forward to seeing the progress here and hopefully seeing it in person one day!
So I managed to get the alternator out..
As you can see, there was a short between the SIDE of the nut and the alternator cover plate. See straight edge of cover plate. The cover plate then also shorted against the engine itself.
What I can't figure out is why?
One option is that it looks like the nut was too wide? It doesn't look too long and it shorted to the side , not the top.
The second option is that perhaps the cover was put on incorrectly? You can see that the inside of the cover is mostly rounded - but then has a square side. Its the square side that shorted. But the cover has to point in the right direction for the rubber sleeve (for cooling) to attach to. So it seems it can only go on one way?
Not sure how to solve this…Ideas? This was all assembled when the engine was delivered.
and not sure if the alternator still works..
We take our starters and alternators to a local battery shop. They test for free and rebuild for $75-100 depending on what’s needed. Usually takes a day or 2. Ask around to find a local place that can do the same.
perhaps this is what happened ? Its the washer that shorted?
How does that 2nd stud compare with a stock 914 alternator?
I’ve also seen it before on a rebuilt unit where the black diode plate was mounted too high because of thick nuts used underneath it. I compared this to an original unit where thin nuts were used.
So it looks like the post was not too high - rather the washer on the post B+ underneath the Nut was too wide. Thus it was hitting the side of the cover. The answer from another readers experience is to trim the edge of the washer. What a lot of work for a small thing that almost turned into disaster.
btw, what I saw, but failed to appreciate, is that when I had hooked up the battery the Alternator light on the dash stayed on. It stayed on after starting up the car also. This should have been an indication that something was wrong.....
Here is the solution...cut the edge off the washer
That flat sided cover doesn't look quite right. I don't remember a flat side being on the alternator cover at all.
Let me look at my stash of alternator covers after work and get back to you.
I recently had this problem with a rebuilt alternator.
It was supplied on a engine from a rebuilder here.
The problem was revealed immediately when the battery was connected.
Luckily....because the battery contact was only momentary the harness and the alternator were not damaged, but this was not known before two hours were spent removing, repairing and reinstalling the alternator.
The lesson here is this.
Never ignore evidence of a 'voltage draw' when connecting a battery.
Make sure all consumers are OFF
Find the draw or the short before continuing.
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