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Old 03-19-2019, 07:29 PM   #1
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Alternator question

I have a 2000 Itasca Horizon on Freightliner chassis with Cat 300. While on the road last week I noticed the volt meter gauge was all over the place. Dropping al the way to the left and then back to the normal range. I have a Scanguage D on the dash and could see the volt gauge fluctuating between 11 & 13.5 volts. Am I same to say that the alternator needs a rebuild?
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:27 PM   #2
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May be loose connection/bad ground I would check connections.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:42 AM   #3
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How about the belt? Maybe it's loose. But, I'm not all that familiar with the 3126 version of the CAT like I am with the C-7 version. In the later one, like ours, it has a spring tension serpentine belt that spins that alternator so, I'm not sure on yours. Could be loose connections on the back of the alternator too. Let us know what you find.
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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3126 has a separate belt for the water pump all else runs off the serpentine belt
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:23 PM   #5
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In almost all cases, alternators are built to run the life of the engine.... but sometimes the brushes wear more quickly than others.... In all the HD units I've had apart, its always been brushes worn down to the spring.... new brushes.... all's well... that's where I'd go first...
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelag View Post
In almost all cases, alternators are built to run the life of the engine.... .
Interesting observations. I have had 2 separate alternators lockup due to bearing seizure.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:35 AM   #7
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I had similar issues last year ; the A/C compressor clutch bearing was failing , binding and causing the serpentine belt to slip ( then finally break ) volt reading was erratic prior to the belt breaking.

Easy enough to check ; remove serpentine belt and spin alternator , A/C clutch hub, and all related bearings in the belt routing.

A second thought; I always have them .

Is it possible that the outside temp was low enough that the engine's intake manifold heater was cycling , or was the engine at full operating temp ??
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:35 AM   #8
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I think inactivity may be why MH alternators seize.

I don't recall seeing any seized alternator bearing, in 35 years of heavy equipment repairs.

In my experience, dirt was the killer, and even then, most were pretty hardy.

Leese Neville, on Cummins powered wheel loaders, was the one we replaced more often.
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Old 04-09-2019, 12:48 PM   #9
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Voltmeters get their power from any circuit that's hot with the key on......
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:39 PM   #10
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A third thought .

Did the battery light come on when the gauge dropped to the bottom of the scale ?

Testing info on the gauge system in this file .
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Freightliner gauges operation , testing.pdf (127.9 KB, 25 views)
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