Ailing alternator

Kneale Brownson knotnook at
Tue Mar 5 17:00:00 EST 2002

My slush-induced alternator troubles continue:

I tightened a fairly loose belt (no thanks to whoever it was that chewed up
the teeth on the otherwise neat adjustment wheel thingy) till it deflects
2-3 mm with a little fingertip pressure, but still have battery, ABS off
and red brake warning lights showing, and alternator output still is sub-12
volts, according to the gauge on the dash.  These are the same symptoms
that showed up after I drove through some really deep slush Saturday.

So, Bentley says I can check brush material, etc., with the alternator in
place.  But it fails to illustrate how the plastic cover on the back is
held in place.  I took out the three screws I could see, and can barely pry
up the bottom of the plastic cap.  Is there a fourth screw I can't reach
without dropping the alternator out?  Do I have to take off the bumper and
half the front of the car to get the vent tube off?

Also, I have no famous little blue wire.  I have a really large wire that's
blue inside but has a black skin outside of that (the black skin is cracked
at the rigid fitting that disappears inside the cover I can't remove, so I
can see the bright blue inside).  And I have a smaller (looks like 10- or
12-gauge wire) that also disappears behind the cover I can't remove.  Would
the latter be a replacement for the little blue wire?

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