2004 Neon SXT Man/Trans NEW alternator not charging battery-

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kj21
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2004 Neon SXT Man/Trans NEW alternator not charging battery-

Post by kj21 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:22 pm

2004 dodge neon SXT 2.0 SOHC M Trans, replaced old alternator because of battery
light, I took it into orielly's and they tested my alternator and said that the regulator
was bad (And failed to mention that in my model of neon the regulator is in the PCM
up next to to the radiator fan) so i bought a brand new alternator and new-ish battery
that tested positive at orielly's. my battery light stays on while the car is running and
the alternator does not charge the battery, and it will die shortly after ignition. Have
tested wire coming from alternator to the battery and it is not receiving a charge, but
the alternator is outputting one. I returned my car to orielly's to get the new alternator
tested and it tested that the regulator was bad again. So is it my PCM That i need to
replace? Or could it possibly be the fusible link? Any help would be appreciated. -
Kaden :shock:

occasional demons
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Post by occasional demons » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:40 pm

I would go for the fusible link first. It is located where the wire from the alternator connects to the starter. If you pull on it, and the wire stretches, the link is bad. You will have to solder a new one in place.

Seeing that you have volts at the alternator stud, (which should be 13.5 to 14.5) and should have w/e battery voltage is at the starter stud, that would be a sure sign the fusible link is fried. If you don't have battery volts at the starter stud, and not alternator voltage either then the issue is also somewhere between the battery post, and the starter.

But if you have alternator voltage at the starter stud, then it is only the battery to starter cable/terminals.
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Post by kj21 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:46 pm

So i went down to my fusible link right next to my starter, and the thing didn't stretch. it seems to be quite a sturdy wire, and i don't think it's broken. I don't own a multi-meter and had to go to my dad's with the car to even get the first readings i said before, but now i can't move the car so maybe i can borrow the multimeter to check those contact points and get back to you. See the only way to get a new fusible link would be to buy one (?) At orielly's they sell a kind of,,, kit that acts as a new fusible link, but i really don't feel comfortable soldering in my engine cavity and maybe accidentally fucking it up again (excuse my language) if it is indeed bad.

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Post by occasional demons » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:56 pm

LOL, yeah, it isn't the most convenient place for it. Unfortunately, there isn't much other reliable way to repair it. But since it seems good and solid, it may not be an issue.

Since it doen't appear broken, a multi meter is about the only way to really know. You could use a test light to see if there is power at the starter stud, then alternator stud with the engine off. An old head lamp would be best, that way there is a good load.

If there isn't power to the starter stud from the battery, you know there is a problem with a dirty battery terminal, or corrosion inside the wire at the terminals. If there is power there, then check at the alternator stud. No power there, it is somewhere between the starter stud and the alternator stud. It could even be a ring terminal at the alternator.
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Post by kj21 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:05 pm

Okay I actually do have an old test light from when i was wiring up my amp/subs, would it be suffice for the amount of detail necessary to make a diagnosis of the issue? I will try it regardless and i will note the contact points you wanted me to try to make sure I don't misdiagnose. Now, are any of these connections a good way to tell if my PCM is bad? It's a 170$ reman part i'm about to purchase because i am simply NOT sure if it is bad or not, because the Regulator for my New alternator is located in the pcm. I SHOULD ALSO NOTE: The new alternator i bought from Orielly's was a reman. 120 amp alternator. I actually do not know what the stock alternator was rated at (But i believe it is somewhere around 83.3?). Could the higher amp alternator have killed my PCM that was designed for my stock alt? (Sorry i am just trying to include anything i possible can, thanks a million dudes) Also i will come back with what i find out on my wire chasing fun tomorrow.

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Post by occasional demons » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:22 pm

No, a higher amp rating will not kill the PCM. I have a 136 amp SRT alternator in my '99.

Even if it was the PCM, there are other options for a voltage regulator. (the 1970's/80's VR can be used as an external regulator.) You may still get a CEL light tho. But probably not, as long as the PCM sees the target voltage.


The VR going in the PCM is not really that common. And at $170, you really want to be sure it is not a simple part.

If it is the fusible link, and you don't want to go to the trouble until warmer weather, then just get some 6 gauge amp wire, put some terminal ends on it, and run it from the alternator to the battery, away from the exhaust, and any place it will get rubbed/pinched. may need to zip tie it in place good, and leave enough slack for engine movement.

Now, without a circuit breaker, or 150 amp fuse, there is the possibility of a short in the wire, or alternator winding burning the car to the ground. A lot of folks that run big stereo amps have not used a fuse to protect the amp wire, and never had an issue.

But you should know that there is the risk. That is why the fusible link is there, to protect car manufacturers from potential lawsuits.

If the car is in an accident, and that wire is not quickly disconnected from the power source, and the car catches on fire because of it, you know a car company would have serious liability issues.

This is what I used in my '99:

Image

Buss makes them, they cost around $40. You can get larger fuses/holders also, but they are not resettable.

Edit: That is the original 100 amp CB, I had to go to 150, because it would trip under load.
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Post by kj21 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:42 pm

Are you suggesting i put my own regulator in? I'm sorry i just don't quite understand what you were getting at by your post. Also i do have a power wire fuse in between my amp and battery. And i need my car running as Soon as possible. I don't want to have to buy the whole PCM if i don't have to but, if i DO have to, i need to do it now. I'm in a time crunch. From everything i have read, the VR for my car is not in the alternator unit, but in the PCM, read KenF's reply to my question on (http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion ... een+posted.) for details on it. So all i really need to know is, how can i really tell if it's just my Fusible link, or my regulator inside of my PCM. Is there a real, specific sure-thing way to test if my PCM regulator is bad? And i can't wait until it is warm because i need my car as soon as possible.

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Post by occasional demons » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:20 pm

Using the test light like I said should tell you if it is in the cables, or fusible link.

Yes, you can wire in an external VR to charge the battery. But I would focus on the battery terminals, cables and fusible link first.

If it is between the alternator and starter stud, you can crimp a replacement link in there with butt connectors. But this will only last until corrosion from road spray takes it's effect.

If you do it this way to get by, get some heat shrink with the sealer that oozes out when heated. It will help keep the crimps from getting corroded. Even soldering it in, the sealing shrink tube is recommended.

I wouldn't use a torch to solder, just a good heavy duty soldering iron will do.
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Post by kj21 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:34 pm

I bought the new PCM and it did not fix the issue. Battery light is still on and it is still not charging. it must be the fusible link then, correct? I have no clue how to fix this part and there is nothing on youtube or anywhere else that i can find to help me repair this part. i have poured part after part into this damn car i am about to throw in the towel. can someone help me out?

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Post by occasional demons » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:07 pm

I would just remove it from the starter, and cut it out, then crimp a like size ring terminal to a length of 10 gauge wire, and crimp that onto the end of the alternator output wire. Reconnect it to the starter. Hopefully it will get things back in order.


IIRC, it pulls out of the connector.
Image

I routed mine like shown, so I don't have to disconnect it from the stater to remove the intake manifold. Such a pain.
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Post by kj21 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:11 pm

Thank you for the quick response man, i am desperate. So i see your picture, but to be totally honest the only thing in that photo i recognize is the starter terminal, i have no idea what else you have going on in there, i truly appreciate the images, but maybe you can circle some stuff in red so i can tell what's what? i'm kind of a noob, haha is this underneath where your intake manifold WOULD be?

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Post by occasional demons » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:19 am

Yes that is with the IM removed. The pic is from a different project.

The black wire with the white stripe, zip tied to the blue heater hardline, comes from the alternator. The part where the semi clear covering to the starter terminal is the fusible link.

From the factory, the BL/WT wire runs inside the injector harness, and down the middle of the IM to the starter.

I removed it from the harness and ran it underneath, and cut the solenoid wire and put a slide connector in that. (The Blue terminal hanging)

You will probably have to get to the fusible link from under the car, as it might be difficult to reach from the top. Kind of the reason I re routed the wire, as I was playing around with manifolds, and having to reach under there to take the wire loose from the terminal got old after the first time. :lol:

Once the starter wires are disconnected, removing the IM is as simple as taking the 5 bolts out, unhooking the injector connectors, and swinging it aside.
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Post by NickKo » Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:23 pm

occasional demons wrote: Once the starter wires are disconnected, removing the IM is as simple as taking the 5 bolts out, unhooking the injector connectors, and swinging it aside.
Correct !!
Removing the intake manifold on a Neon, is pretty easy. (assuming you have the tools)
There are a couple of 'hidden' bolts down low that you have to remove, F.Y.I.

You don't have to remove the intake manifold; but it will make access to that part of the wiring, so much easier.


- Nick
-1998 2-dr SOHC MTX= 57mm TB; Maddog STS
-2000 Ply.LX w/MTX = Maddog STS; CAI; 2.5 exh.; 60mm T/B
-2001 ATX w/Syked PCM + Magnum header
-2001 ACR w/SRT T/B bored out to 55mm

Official "I'm Going to Drive My Neon till it Dies" Club #000009

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Post by occasional demons » Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:44 pm

NickKo wrote: There are a couple of 'hidden' bolts down low that you have to remove, F.Y.I.

- Nick
Correct, it has been so long since I have used the factory IM, that I forgot. There are two screws, one on each side that attach to support brackets.
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