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89 100 Wagon Alternator fix details

Ok,  This may be one for the archives.....


14.0 volts at Jump Start post and cable 
that runs into the firewall....

12.6 volts at Battery post


A/C is running on multiple short trips
in addition to the fan running after
car is shut-off repeatedly eventually 
kills the battery.

Dash lights dim.

Head lights dim.

Dash Voltage guage shows 12 volts.

Tools/Materials Required:

Wire Snips
Razor blade of some sort
Thick rubber section about 4" x 8"
3 hose clamps
Digital Multimeter with pointed cord ends
Needlenose vise grips(Optional)
Pete's Wicked Honey Wheat on ice

Things that won't fix it :-(

Replacing or tightening Alternator belt
(Don't ask how I know)

Replacing Alternator and/or voltage regulator
(Again, Don't ask how I know)

What will fix it :-)

Unscrew Philips screw on bottom front corner
of small panel on the right of the passenger 
footwell.  Push towards front of car to slide
it out from rubber molding on door frame.

Carefully pull carpet from top right hand corner
back so that it reveals a triangular shape of

Carefully pull insulation back as well.

Now there is a bundle of thick wires going up
behind the CPU and up slightly behind the heater
vent running to the drivers side.

Look for the thick one with an extra piece of plastic
insulation(this is your crimp) about 3-4 inches long
slightly hidden by the heater vent.

That should be your battery cable.

Start her up.

Measure the voltage before the crimp and after.

If you get 14.0 on one end and 12.6 or something 
significantly less on the other.. there ya go
problem found :-)

Shut of the car.....

Take out backseat and disconnect positive cable.

Cut the crimp out with the wire snips

(Loosening the clamps around the cable under the hood
 and taking the cable off the starter then pulling more
 of the cable into the car will make it easier to clamp
 it all back together, but of course I didn't do it 
 this way....)

Trim about 1/4 inch of insulation back from both wires,
grab a hose clamp with a pair of vise grips, put both ends
together. Clamp together.  Holding the clamp with a pair
of vise grips makes this a bit easier....

Stick Rubber section behind the New Crimp, Cover liberally
with grease.  I sprayed it with lithium grease :-)

Wrap it up, clamp on both sides.  

Put the cable back on the battery, start her up and 
check the voltage. If you know get 13.85 +/- .15 volts
your deserve a beer, drink now :-)


Re-assembly is the reverse of yanking everything apart.....

Honey!! can I have the V8 back now!?

Thanks Scott and DeWitt for pointing at the crimp!!

Mike L.
89 100 Wagon with bright lights and a happy battery getting fed well...
90 V8 back where it belongs :-)

P.S. Things to ponder...  all those cars with dim lights where people
     have thought that 12.5 volts at the bulb socket was a problem
     with Audi design.  I noticed the fuse box measures 12.6 volts
     at all fuses with power.  Wonder what reads now ?  The lights
     are know noticeably brighter.
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