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  #1  
Old July 6th, 2012, 12:27 AM
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Jesse Hardin
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It died on me today...

So I was driving down the road today (about 98 degrees in Dallas) and my truck died on me as I approached a stoplight. I had just finished a 90 mile roadtrip. For 80 of the 90 miles, I left the AC off and windows down as I have been feeling like my truck is running hot. About 10 miles to home, I cut the AC on. What was strange is I also had my radio on and I noticed a severe lack of sound coming from the stereo when I turned up the volume. Then the volume cut back on, but the truck died when I came to the stoplight. I turned the AC off, cranked her back over and started right away. Drove the rest of the way home without AC.

Any thoughts? My first thought is perhaps a bad alternator, it should be pretty simple to measure the power output on the unit right? I don't have any major modifications. There was an Alpine head unit (no amp) and an alarm system (that I hate and want to remove) when I bought the truck. I have a winch and two Hella front lights, but none of that was on today. Only the AC and radio were on.

I guess I'm partly concerned about the truck running hot. I haven't heard the fan kick on again like it did a month or so ago after a full day of running in about 95 degrees. I also don't think these two are related issues, but you guys are so much more knowledgeable than I about these things. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old July 6th, 2012, 06:21 AM
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Jeff Labbé
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Any flickering battery warning light?

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  #3  
Old July 6th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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Mike
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I would look at the A/C compressor and fans. Both take power from the engine and the alternator. After the truck cools down, next day etc, does the truck run with the A/c on?
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  #4  
Old July 6th, 2012, 09:16 AM
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Jesse Hardin
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No flickering battery light that I saw, I did see the oil light and seatbelt light come on once the truck died. Related to starting the next day, the AC stays off if I start it. It's never started the next day with the AC on.

Could be related, but does anyone hear a "clicking" noise when your AC is on. It sounds like a consistent click or tick and definitely stops when you turn the AC off.
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  #5  
Old July 6th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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Bill Larson
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I noticed that when I was having my alternator issuies the AC would vary in speeds and the componets drawing current would act out of ordinary...is it possible your alternator is doing a slow burn? just a thought. it may be something along those lines if it's all random and recent!?! Also in the weeks up to the alternator problem I did notice an increase hum over the speakers when I had the radio on. It was strange but in the end the alternator was the fault but it didnt just fail it was a four or five week process.
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  #6  
Old July 6th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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Jesse Hardin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
Also in the weeks up to the alternator problem I did notice an increase hum over the speakers when I had the radio on. It was strange but in the end the alternator was the fault but it didnt just fail it was a four or five week process.

Funny you mention the radio quality, I've noticed more static on the sports station I listened to. I think I'm going to point my finger at the alternator first and see if I can't find a way to measure the output to diagnose if it's dying.

How did you diagnose the alternator dying?
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  #7  
Old July 6th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Jason
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterjah View Post
Funny you mention the radio quality, I've noticed more static on the sports station I listened to. I think I'm going to point my finger at the alternator first and see if I can't find a way to measure the output to diagnose if it's dying.

How did you diagnose the alternator dying?
I'm not expert but removing the overheat concerns, sounds like an alternator. That's where I'd start.

I never had electrical issues (alternator etc) with my 90, but, I did have a '69 Bronco that did exactly what you are describing (but I didn't have a radio). It would stall at every intersection and die. I'd have to roll start the car and make all kinds of crazy right turns at red lights to keep it rolling and pop the clutch to start.

In the end I replaced the alternator on the road (as well as re-did the points/coil) to finally get it reliable.

On the overheat, you're probably at the age that you need a new radiator. But before you go that far replace the $13 thermostat. But a rad flush if it's not too far gone would be second (or replace)
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  #8  
Old July 6th, 2012, 11:21 AM
Tyler Wirken
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Tyler Wirken
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Is your tac still working? It runs off of the alternator. So when that starts going wonky or stops that is a good sign it is an alternator problem.

Sounds like a lose of a power to me as well.
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  #9  
Old July 6th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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Bill Larson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterjah View Post
Funny you mention the radio quality, I've noticed more static on the sports station I listened to. I think I'm going to point my finger at the alternator first and see if I can't find a way to measure the output to diagnose if it's dying.

How did you diagnose the alternator dying?
yes my tach was acting a little weird but nothing severe, unlike the first time i replaced the alternator. this is the second alternator in a year and a half. the first one just stopped putting out. One the second one the regulator was going and putting out to much current and overcharging which resulted in other issuies. This second go round the tach wasnt acting too funny...nothing abby-normal for a defender. the battery light flickered twice that I noticed...I think I like everyone else here gets into their defender like they get into a suit...it is part of you and you can almost sense when there is a problem.

My issuies were almost undetectable, but you knew something was going to happen. The shop I took it into detected the problem, so I had a more defined expectation of what was to come, but I just had to wait as it was not consistant.
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  #10  
Old July 6th, 2012, 12:14 PM
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BRIAN
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speedo

Will odd fluctuations in the speedo indicate the same problem?
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  #11  
Old July 6th, 2012, 12:43 PM
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Jesse Hardin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCN View Post
Will odd fluctuations in the speedo indicate the same problem?
I am seeing that too, but I chalked that up to other issues. Not huge fluctuations, just slight bouncing in the needle. I figured that was just the age of the speedo. I've not noticed anything abnormal with the tach. The truck runs great with the AC off.

I've also noticed that the truck will run real rough at idle after I've used the AC and turned the truck off. So, I turn the AC on, drive, then park. Once I get back in to startup, the engine runs rough almost like it wants to die. But, I gave it a little gas the times this has happened and nothing persists.

I think I'll play with it this weekend a bit. I'm thinking the radiator and alternator are two separate issues at this point.
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  #12  
Old July 6th, 2012, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCN View Post
Will odd fluctuations in the speedo indicate the same problem?
I didnt experiance that, just the tach as its connected to the alternator.

------ Follow up post added July 6th, 2012 11:51 AM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterjah View Post
I am seeing that too, but I chalked that up to other issues. Not huge fluctuations, just slight bouncing in the needle. I figured that was just the age of the speedo. I've not noticed anything abnormal with the tach. The truck runs great with the AC off.

I've also noticed that the truck will run real rough at idle after I've used the AC and turned the truck off. So, I turn the AC on, drive, then park. Once I get back in to startup, the engine runs rough almost like it wants to die. But, I gave it a little gas the times this has happened and nothing persists.

I think I'll play with it this weekend a bit. I'm thinking the radiator and alternator are two separate issues at this point.
yes the problems do seem to come in waves...!
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  #13  
Old July 6th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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I've had the same issue with my newly purchased 94 ST (114K - I'm owner #3) but chalked it up to a cooked harnass in the engine bay. I patched with new wiring and it seemed to cure the problem until she quit on me last weekend. Fired right up too but I am concerned. I have noticed the odd bounce of the speedo (rpm works fine) and slight "weakness" at idle particularly when caught in the heavy stop and go. My stereo will very occassionally loose power and reboot even when not on. A/C is disconnected due to bad compressor.

I spoke to Owner#1 and he stated that the alt is 2-3 years new so I had crossed it off my list. I thought perhaps the fuel pump was weak (it's the original) or loose wiring but it looks like the alt is back on top... I'll see if I get lucky and track it down this weekend and let you know what I found...
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  #14  
Old July 6th, 2012, 02:21 PM
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Jesse Hardin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCN View Post
I've had the same issue with my newly purchased 94 ST (114K - I'm owner #3) but chalked it up to a cooked harnass in the engine bay. I patched with new wiring and it seemed to cure the problem until she quit on me last weekend. Fired right up too but I am concerned. I have noticed the odd bounce of the speedo (rpm works fine) and slight "weakness" at idle particularly when caught in the heavy stop and go. My stereo will very occassionally loose power and reboot even when not on. A/C is disconnected due to bad compressor.

I spoke to Owner#1 and he stated that the alt is 2-3 years new so I had crossed it off my list. I thought perhaps the fuel pump was weak (it's the original) or loose wiring but it looks like the alt is back on top... I'll see if I get lucky and track it down this weekend and let you know what I found...
Please do, I'm going to read more this weekend about how to trouble shoot a faulty alternator. Then beyond that, I may need to take her into my mechanic.
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  #15  
Old July 6th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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BTW, have you taken it by to have Alan look at it (North Texas Rover)?
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  #16  
Old July 6th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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Jesse Hardin
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Not yet, Alan has done all the work on it so far though. He does good work! I'm in the tinkering mood this weekend, but I won't end up doing anything big unless I feel like I can pinpoint something obvious.
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2008 LR LR3 HSE (Alaska White)
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  #17  
Old July 6th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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Sudden death is often a fuel pump fuse, relay or motor.
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  #18  
Old July 6th, 2012, 04:13 PM
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you can put a screwdriver up to the alternator and listen for some grinding. It'll still work, but like Bill said it's just a matter of time. We had a weird grinding coming off a 94 NAS D90 and that's how we pinpointed the grinding. Replacing that alternator this weekend.
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  #19  
Old July 6th, 2012, 04:30 PM
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Jesse Hardin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
Sudden death is often a fuel pump fuse, relay or motor.
A motor? Say what?
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  #20  
Old July 6th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triple9music View Post
you can put a screwdriver up to the alternator and listen for some grinding. It'll still work, but like Bill said it's just a matter of time. We had a weird grinding coming off a 94 NAS D90 and that's how we pinpointed the grinding. Replacing that alternator this weekend.
I experianced the same noise on the first alternator...there were also small chunks of a ceramic material that I assume came loose from inside the alternator that were laying on the engine in the V hollow.
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