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  #1  
Old 11-23-2007, 04:47 PM
chetwesley's Avatar
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voltage regulator visual inspection?

Is there anything to look at or test with a voltage regulator to see if there is something wrong with it? I have been having intermittent charging from my alt, so I took out the VR today to see if it might be the culprit.

One of the screws that holds it on to the alt was missing, which might be the cause of my problems (?)

Does it make contact to something moving inside the alt with those two spring loaded graphite looking bars?
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voltage regulator visual inspection?-snb10665.jpg   voltage regulator visual inspection?-snb10666.jpg  
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1979 240D w/4 Speed Manual, Light Blue Estimated 225-275K Miles - "Lil' Chugs"
Sold but fondly remembered: 1981 300TD Turbo Tan 235K miles, 1983 300SD Astral Silver 224K miles

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  #2  
Old 11-23-2007, 05:35 PM
guage's Avatar
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The brushes appear to still have some life left, I'd replace the missing screw and see if that corrects the problem.

It may have not been getting good contact with a missing screw.
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:05 PM
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It might be the misleading in the pictures but I expect to see the contact patches on the brushes to be clean and shiny. Those look to me to be barely making contact with the armature(?) or there's oil/sludge/dirt getting into the alternator.

Sixto
87 300D
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  #4  
Old 11-23-2007, 06:14 PM
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No,it must just be the picture. they are relatively clean, other than some fine dirt/dust, which I assume is just dust from wear.

I am going to replace the screw and see what happens.
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1979 240D w/4 Speed Manual, Light Blue Estimated 225-275K Miles - "Lil' Chugs"
Sold but fondly remembered: 1981 300TD Turbo Tan 235K miles, 1983 300SD Astral Silver 224K miles

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  #5  
Old 11-23-2007, 06:34 PM
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I believe one mounting screw enables the regulator ground to be functional. The other screw just helps retain the regulator. If you remember the side the screw was missing from and examine the regulator you might find out if you had a good ground or not.
If the screw that establishes the regulator ground turns out to have been the one missing remount it with both screws and try it. Clean the regulator ground area as well as the area on the alternator housing where it contacts. Also since the screw was missing I think the regulator has been changed out before. Some of the aftermarket type regulators of this type were not particularily reliable. After about 3 good regulators or a lot of miles the slip ring inside can groove pretty bad from wear by the brush contact. If you can see the slip ring in there maybe have a look at it's condition.
They start out smooth right across when new.
A good rebuilder can change the slip ring out. Even I keep the slip rings in stock for some bosh alternators as it is not unusual to run into very high milage examples of them.
I just had a look at your picture and assume the ground side had the screw. Unfortunatly there is no quick test for a regulator of this style except substitution of it. Somewhere on site will give the amount of brush wear permissable.
A good sign on yours is both brushes are worn evenly. Beware when pulling a regulator that has one brush much shorter than the other. I cannot remember the reason for this at the moment. Only that it is indicative of an underlying condition.

Last edited by barry123400; 11-23-2007 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 11-23-2007, 07:39 PM
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Barry thanks for all the info. I replaced the missing screw, but it is still not working.

I guess I will have to just take the thing out and bring it back to NAPA. The thing has been a pain all along. It has had bolts and screws falling out of it the whole time I have had it. I think it may actually be missing one of the bolts that holds the whole case together.

This is a replacement for another one that has gone bad. I have only had it since May. I just thought I would save myself the trouble of messing with that tensioner bolt again, but I guess not. Hopefully it will get a little warmer this weekend.
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1979 240D w/4 Speed Manual, Light Blue Estimated 225-275K Miles - "Lil' Chugs"
Sold but fondly remembered: 1981 300TD Turbo Tan 235K miles, 1983 300SD Astral Silver 224K miles

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