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Old 10-18-2021, 06:01 PM   #1
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Bad alternator?

Hey everyone! Our 1996 Damon Daybreak died on the road Saturday requiring me to rescue it. So, it died and they were able to get to the shoulder until I got there.

I got there and found that the chassis battery was at ~9V when I got there. Now it was kinda old, so we went and got a replacement. Put it in and she started right back up and made it all the way home ~30mins worth of travel.

So I'm not sure this thing is getting charged. I found this "busbar" which I thought was the mystery hidden Damon isolator no one can ever find, by tracing the alternator wire backwards. While running this reads 11.99 VDC...I'm thinking that should be reading different. Is the Alternator bad?
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:23 PM   #2
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Test the alternator AT the alternator, no where else. Touch the battery post on the alternator with your red test lead, then touch the black lead to both the alternator housing, then the vehicle frame. Touching both will tell you whether the alternator is secure and properly grounded. Should be well over 12V.
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:52 PM   #3
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So if you test at the alt output post on alt.. and still think is bad.. take to any auto parts store and have them bench test.. it's free.. then work from there.. one thing.. upgrade alt to more powerful.. in your budget..
I don't like the look of bus bar.. needs cleaned up and really good.. use round tiny wire brushes to clean the corrosion off the plug and eyelets.. and reseal with red battery sealer.. it's a spray you get at a/p shop.. get electric contact cleaner too..
I don't like the look of the fusable link.. check it closely..
Good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:54 PM   #4
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Corroded wiring and connections make alt work harder and over heat faster.. stress it does not need.. it already does big enough job.. if it's 1996.. way past do.. for failure.. good luck and keep us posted
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Old 10-18-2021, 09:04 PM   #5
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Fusible link you say? Is that on this wire?
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Old 10-18-2021, 09:05 PM   #6
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Getting to the rear of the Alt while the engine is running may be a challenge...I'll see what I can find out, or I'll just pull it and bring it with me and they can test it.
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Old 10-18-2021, 09:11 PM   #7
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Just above that white connection at 12.15 on your circle.. looks bare? And the connection at top of bus bar.. the wire that is marked alternator.. looks old and brittle ? Just what I am seeing.. not there so just suggestion to check carefully.. use all safety precautions and disconnect batteries so when pulling alt and cleaning you don't get a short.. good luck and keep us posted
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Old 10-18-2021, 09:14 PM   #8
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put a volt meter across the batt posts,should have 14.4 volts while running if not you have issues.what engine is in it?chevy,ford ??
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Old 10-18-2021, 11:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catmandoo62 View Post
put a volt meter across the batt posts,should have 14.4 volts while running if not you have issues.what engine is in it?chevy,ford ??
I definitely do not have 14V across the battery. It's a Chevy 454 V8 5.4L engine.
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Old 10-19-2021, 01:06 PM   #10
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Should have said check while running.anyway Delco alternators are real easy to work on.
My guess is gonna be broken wires on the brushes.i have had 2 of em in the last 2
years.lost one on my motorhome 2 yrs ago and last yr on my freightliner.both sat alot.the brushes themselves looked almost new yet the little copper wires corroded away.if that's not it either a diode trio.rectifier or regulator.
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Old 10-19-2021, 08:48 PM   #11
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So, it turns out the Alt is bad. Pulled it out and took it to be checked. I also felt/heard the left 2 solenoids trip. So I think they're ok...

However the right one that runs back to the DC converter isn't. I don't know what controls this solenoid. There is a purple wire that runs from one post to "somewhere." I haven't been able to find it inside the cab. I also rechecked all the fuses I could find, nothing. This is what charges the house batteries so I'm still looking. I'll post the results of the alt replacement tomorrow.
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Old 10-19-2021, 08:51 PM   #12
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This purple wire...(top right) I still can't find details on this DC3000 box anywhere.
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Old 10-20-2021, 12:12 PM   #13
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Well one issue is fixed...new alternator is charging the Chassis battery. Now to replace the contactor on the DC converter and hopefully it will charge the house batteries. Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-20-2021, 12:57 PM   #14
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Two day resolution with an online back & forth, pretty darn good forum responses.

Thanks to OP for reporting back.
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