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Old 12-14-2020, 07:49 PM   #1
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Alternator/starter/battery issue...alternator replaced

Help guys, I guess I'm just not smart and have to ask for some sdvice.

I thought my old alternator had given up the ghost so I put in a new 130A with a bit of effort, but it got done.

My issue is when I turn the key dash lights up fine, starter relay/solenoid (whatever ya want to call it) in engine compartment clicks as it should. Power to both large posts on the starter relay have 12.6v between them, also power between the small post and the lower right post on the relay. Also, this setup was work fine and measurements are as I think is the way they should be.

The alternator spins and whirls but that is all that happens, no hint of starting. I am thinking it might be the battery after all? It was marginal for a while and I have been putting it off but I get same results with my 40A jump start battery charger, spin-click and no turning over at all.

I have never run into this behavior before which made my initial guess to just put in the replacement alternator I bought as a backup and had on hand. Both alternators behaved the exact same way...I did charge the engine battery all day today but that doesn't me it is giving me enough current, yes?

Am I on the right track to get the new battery before going after the starter. It is a PITA for me to get to the starter when I replaced it late last year but probably not as bad having done it once. I don't really know and this is now darts at a board for me.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:04 PM   #2
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Hopefully you own a 12 volt test light and know how to use it. If not, go buy one and do some testing. You will find out quickly what the issue is. Test lights can be had for under $10.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:17 PM   #3
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of course I do silly...how else would I know the voltages mentioned?
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:24 PM   #4
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If your turning the key to start, the whirling sound is the starter motor spinning, not the alternator.

Starter is under the engine, passenger side, towards the back of the oil pan. Battery and small cables go to it.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:40 PM   #5
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crankshaft position sensor might have gone bad. check for spark
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
If your turning the key to start, the whirling sound is the starter motor spinning, not the alternator.

Starter is under the engine, passenger side, towards the back of the oil pan. Battery and small cables go to it.
thanks, understood which is where, I replaced the starter and the engine compartment relay late last year, ugh!! But I can feel the alternator spinning. I am alone and can't get down to handle the starter. I thought it was the starter too because Ive never heard an alternator do this...but maybe I'm feeling an odd vibration and the sound is just reflecting from under the rig from the starter....So maybe it's the starter?

I did check the click and the voltages of the starter relay that is mounted in the engine compartment (not the one on the starter itself as mine has the relay on the motor as well) and they seem fine.

Am I seeing this correctly in that if the starter is getting power and spinning could it be busted and just not engaging the flywheel? If so I better call a friend so I can directly check myself unless someone has a way to do that...oh, yeah, I still can't find my F53 Ford shop manual ...it's apparently somewhere safe where I won't lose it.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:47 PM   #7
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For test purposes the engine will still crank over and start even without an operable alternator...not sure what the "alternator spins and whirls" even means?
Does the starter engage and turn the engine over? If so, it's not your alternator at fault.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brecklundin View Post
thanks, understood which is where, I replaced the starter and the engine compartment relay late last year, ugh!! But I can feel the alternator spinning. I am alone and can't get down to handle the starter. I thought it was the starter too because Ive never heard an alternator do this...but maybe I'm feeling an odd vibration and the sound is just reflecting from under the rig from the starter....So maybe it's the starter?

I did check the click and the voltages of the starter relay that is mounted in the engine compartment (not the one on the starter itself as mine has the relay on the motor as well) and they seem fine.

Am I seeing this correctly in that if the starter is getting power and spinning could it be busted and just not engaging the flywheel? If so I better call a friend so I can directly check myself unless someone has a way to do that...oh, yeah, I still can't find my F53 Ford shop manual ...it's apparently somewhere safe where I won't lose it.
The alternator is turned by the belt, it can't turn on its own.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
The alternator is turned by the belt, it can't turn on its own.
oh duhhhh!! See I am just not thinking it through. Thanks for that...is there any way to check the starter w/o removing it? I mean I know it's got power and is turning but if it's not engaging then it is likely buggered? Would this be a case of a few light smacks with a rubber mallet might knock sense into it?

Ok, checked my notes from the starter Dx last year. Looks like my best bet is just get a new one. Notes show this could be several issues with the starter from bendix to wiring to the solinoid or ?? Looks like there goes a couple million on a new one tomorrow, hoho-D'OH!!!
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:39 PM   #10
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If you hear a fast spinning when you try to start the engine, then the bendix isn’t engaging, or you have teeth stripped on the flex plate. Really can’t test either with the starter still in the vehicle. Almost every parts store can test the starter out of the vehicle. You can then inspect the teeth on the flex plate as well.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by HarryStone View Post
If you hear a fast spinning when you try to start the engine, then the bendix isnít engaging, or you have teeth stripped on the flex plate. Really canít test either with the starter still in the vehicle. Almost every parts store can test the starter out of the vehicle. You can then inspect the teeth on the flex plate as well.
perfect, then that's the plan for tomorrow morning. thank you for the explanation and advice.
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:45 AM   #12
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When a starter suddenly starts spinning but doesn't engage the fault is usually with the the starter or the solenoid piggybacked onto it. Usually a problem with flexplate teeth will be a growing problem over time with teeth grinding noises. Usually. For sure you want to have a look as best you can through the starter mounting hole opening after the starter is off. Though you might swap the bendix or solenoid as needed on the starter to fix it standard procedure these days is to swap out the starter entirely for a new or rebuilt one. If you have time to wait on shipping you can buy anew starter online for a LOT less than at the local parts store. Plus as far as I can tell they seem to come from the same source. Local parts stores are MUCH better with warranty issues though.
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Old 12-16-2020, 12:16 AM   #13
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The description of the problem is confusing.

He said the alternator was spinning, It sounded like the motor was turning over but not starting.
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Old 12-16-2020, 04:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jyrocharlie View Post
He said the alternator was spinning, It sounded like the motor was turning over but not starting.
He said he can " hear ", what he assumed was the alternator, spinning.
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