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Old 06-08-2008, 11:39 AM
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Alternator Gets Hot

After getting the Nova up and running, I noticed the alternator was getting pretty warm. I totally rewired the car, but I'm certain the wiring is correct. It's a 3-wire setup. There is an 8 gauge wire from alternator Bat post to the solenoid (I'm using a Ford solenoid for heat protection purposes). The wiring harness has an exciter wire to tab #1 on the internal regulator, and I looped a wire from #2 tab back to the Bat post. Everything I've seen indicates the setup is correct. The voltage output is just over 14, so that seems OK. I am concerned about the heat generated by the alternator as it runs. This happens only when turning, not stopped or with power switched on.

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Old 06-15-2008, 06:16 PM
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Make sure the 8 gauge wire has a 12 gauge fusible link where it connects to the solenoid. This should prevent any serious overload problems.

Alternators get hot because they are generating power. Its hard to tell whether yours is working and getting too hot, but it sounds like its okay. They do sell some Iceberg kits for 10si's and 12si's, and they have bigger cooling fins.

Do you have something in the car with a very high power draw? I've had my 12si get hot when the battery is run down (door was left open) and it has to work harder to recharge the battery. It sound like yours may be dealing with a high power draw of some type. Any big amps or high draw lights?

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Old 06-15-2008, 07:06 PM
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Hot is OK. Even under normal operation a long trip with the lights on and stereo cranked can make them almost too hot to lay your hand on; both from power generation and from underhood heat. If you are getting burned badly, then worry. I have a nice scar on my palm from laying my hand on an alternator after jump starting. I wanted to make sure it wasn't too hot charging the battery and guess what... it was.

But, it didn't fry it. Short high-heat bursts aren't abnormal.
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