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Old 01-29-2011, 07:56 AM
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1997 Trans Am not charging battery

I can charge the battery and the car will run great till the battery goes dead. Alternator good, Battery good. Someone said Exciter Wire may be bad, how do I test that

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Old 01-29-2011, 02:59 PM
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try checking ALL of the fuses. I think the gauges fuse is the feed for the brown wire that energizes the alternator.Check the fuses then check to see if the terminal is powering up at the alternator.Make sure the large red wire is powered all the time, if it is not then you have a blown maxi fuse somewhere.

The brown wire that energizes the alternator(makes it charge) comes from the engine computer. It can be bypassed if it is determined that the PCM (powertrain control module or engine computer) is not turning on the alternator.

Last edited by latech; 01-29-2011 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:03 PM
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I checked the fuses and they all checked good. I have two wires, one from a bundle of wires (small red) with a plug end on it, which i thought was the exciter wire. The second wire is the one that goes to the battery.
I was wondering if there is a way to check to see if the exciter wire is working? Can I bypass it?
Thanks for all your help.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:12 AM
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should be able to apply 12 volts to the little red one and get the alternator to charge.as long as the large red one has power it should charge. If not , then the alternator is bad.
The schematic for your car shows the red wire as a brown wire, no biggee, also showed that the vehicle ECM was in control of the voltage on it , not to sure if that is the case.try to jump it and see if it works.
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:43 PM
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Pin 1 is where the exciter should be if it is a 10 or 12 si
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:25 PM
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Could I connect a battery charger to the red wire? Would that supply the 12 volts needed to check it? Hopefully, I'll have time to check it this week.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:38 PM
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Ok. I have figured out that it is charging about 10 volts untill I rev up the RPM's, then it starts charging about 14 volts. It will stay up for a while and then go back down to 8-10 Volts. If I rev it up again, it will go up to 14 again. What would cause that.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:42 PM
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1997 Trans Am charging only 8-10 Volts

I have put two new alternators on my T.A. I thought they were bad. I dont know what the problem is now. The Alt seems to be charging about 10 volts untill I rev up the RPM's, then it starts charging about 14 volts. It will stay up for a while and then go back down to 8-10 Volts. If I rev it up again, it will go up to 14 again. The battery will eventually go dead. Any ideas how to fix?

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Old 02-09-2011, 01:56 PM
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Are you sure the belt isn't slipping. What type of alternator is it. Have you checked for voltage at pin 1 of the plug with the plug disconnected. This is required for it to work. Pin 2 also needs to see 12 volts with the key on. It will work witout it but not well. Have you had the alternators tested on a machine. Most parts stores have one.
Is it a 10Si alternator or a 130 style. If you are not sure, take a picture of the connector and post it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:52 AM
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Is this a 1 wire alternator?
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:41 AM
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It is a one wire alt. I checked the connector from the one red wire(exciter wire) it showed to have 12 Volts. Are the pins in the connector?
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:03 AM
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Bingo ! there will not be an exciter wire. That alternator will only charge when the motor is running at the higher RPM range.

To solve your problem you will need to replace the alternator with a 3 wire version. I am putting a link in here that will answer your questions and give you the reasons why.

http://www.madelectrical.com/electri...hreewire.shtml
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:28 AM
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Well just because it is wired as a one wire doesn't meen it is one and that could be the issue. An easy test would be to connect a 12 volt source to pin 2 and see if it charges properly. Pin 2 is the sense terminal and the alternator will not work properly without it.
If you are buying these at a regular parts store it is unlikely it is a 1 wire
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:46 PM
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What is it about the fact that this will charge when the motor is run at a higher RPM, that you have such trouble understanding. And by the way, it is the 3rd one doing the same thing ........... That mean anything?

If this was a good set up the 1 wire thing. I must ask "why the factory cars are not sold in that fashion.."

The car originally came with a 3 wire that matter?
I know what's a few extra wires got to do with anything, they just add weight and make stuff look messy..
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepi
What is it about the fact that this will charge when the motor is run at a higher RPM, that you have such trouble understanding. And by the way, it is the 3rd one doing the same thing ........... That mean anything?

If this was a good set up the 1 wire thing. I must ask "why the factory cars are not sold in that fashion.."

The car originally came with a 3 wire that matter?
I know what's a few extra wires got to do with anything, they just add weight and make stuff look messy..
I hope you are not directing this at me.
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