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Old 12-28-2012, 02:22 PM
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Aleksey Aleksey is offline
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Car went up in smoke... need a hand

Hey guys, I been lurking around since you guys have best knowledge on painting/restoration and now it looks like this place also has great electricians as well.

I have unplugged my negative strap and cleaned/coated front chasis and frame on Por-15 (using Marine Clean and Metal Ready) and in a process it seems like I got a little tiny bit of Por-15 in (along with Marine Clean but keep in mind that the car has been dry for a while before I tried to start it) the alternator.

The wiring did not really change, I did clean and checked for ground on engine to frame ground strap since I painted around it with Por-15 and re-secured it.

When I went to put in negative strap on the battery it almost welded it self to the post and alot of smoke came out of the engine bay, there is some damage on the harness (mostly brown) wires (they got really hot) but not enough to cause that much smoke, the only other culpit would be red wire running directly to my alternator.

I'm aware that this issue is caused by positive cable getting grounded some where but since nothing is has been really touched/changed I'm confused.. can a little bit of Por-15 in alternator cause this type of impact?

Things I did so far:
  1. Tested resistance on battery ground strap, under 0.5 ohm
  2. Test ground on engine to chasis, under 0.5 ohm
  3. Unplugged hot wire from battery to starter, symptoms did not go away (volt meter would weld it self when testing AMP between negative strap and post)
  4. Unplugged hot wire running to starter and alternator, everything would work (radio etc)
  5. Inspected wire to starter, it's seems good but the big red wire to alternator is under intake manifold.. hard to see.

Before I go and try to take out alternator, can I test anything using huge red wire that is going into alternator or the ground wire comming out of alternator?

Open to suggestions and ideas.. Thanks.
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