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  #1  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:14 AM
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'86 190D - Battery not charging

While driving in traffic on Sunday I noticed all of my dash warning lights were flickering at idle. Just tested my alternator and didn't get a jump in voltage after I started the car. Was still around 12.5 volts. I swapped out my voltage regulator about 2000 miles ago so I'm guessing it's alternator time.

Just in case it isn't, is there any sneaky bulb or fuse that could prevent the battery from charging? I ask because this was a trick on my 1980 BMW 528i. If the battery warning bulb was disconnected or burnt out your battery wouldn't charge.

Will go ahead and order the alternator but is there anything else I should look for that would prevent the battery from charging?
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:48 AM
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The battery bulb in the dash can cause the issue, however the flickering lights are part of a backup scheme to allow the alternator to flash in the event of an alternator bulb failure. Likely the new regulator is bad (new doesn't always mean good), or the alternator is failing (probably worn slip rings).
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:09 AM
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Many new voltage regulators of aftermarket suppliers where junk. Forcing us to buy the more expensive original brand type in my opinion.


Typically as in your case having very short lifespans in my past experience. No certainty that this is your issue but could be. Stay away from aftermarket starter and alternator parts made by marginal Chinese suppliers.


In my opinion they have done massive damage to the rebuilding of alternator and starters business. At the same time they probably build for the big names today the original replacements but with quality build standards.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:56 AM
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I used the Bosch voltage regulator thinking it was OE quality. The KAE regulator I replaced was causing my radio to cut out and also burned out my brake light bulbs. When I checked the voltage it was over 18 volts on the old regulator.

I've ordered the Bosch alternator so hopefully that solves the issue.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:04 PM
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I would stick to the official Bosch factory reman alternators, not the generic ones from the chain auto parts store. A little more expensive but worth it.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:19 PM
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I ended up buying a kit from these people Rebuilder in a box for my Dodge Cummins. Perhaps the vids will be useful and/or they may have parts for the MBZ.

The new Bosch voltage regulator was bad out of the box on my SD but I eventually found a good one. I forget whether the unregulated alternator puts out a high voltage but remember that something I found when testing indicated that the voltage regulator was at fault. Also, make sure that the glow isn't stuck on as that can pull the nominal alternator voltage down. The parts store condemned my regulator when the car was glowing. You have to be certain what your test results mean or will install incorrect parts.
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Old 06-06-2019, 03:12 AM
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While i'm not a 190D expert, this guy on Ebay sells beefed up stock alternators. Maybe he has something or can help you out. As i remember, you can actually call him and ask tech questions. Wanting OEM fitment, i bought one of his 300d units and it hasn't missed a beat in the last 10k mi.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-ALTERNATOR-240D-450SL-74-77-78-79-1980-81-83-85-120AMP-Diesel-Generato/362637532764?hash=item546ee19e5c:g:TdsAAOSwuMFUi6jq:sc:USPSPriorityMailLargeFlatRateBox!94133!US!-1
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottarollwithit View Post
While i'm not a 190D expert, this guy on Ebay sells beefed up stock alternators. Maybe he has something or can help you out. As i remember, you can actually call him and ask tech questions. Wanting OEM fitment, i bought one of his 300d units and it hasn't missed a beat in the last 10k mi.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-ALTERNATOR-240D-450SL-74-77-78-79-1980-81-83-85-120AMP-Diesel-Generato/362637532764?hash=item546ee19e5c:g:TdsAAOSwuMFUi6jq:sc:USPSPriorityMailLargeFlatRateBox!94133!US!-1
Pretty far from stock considering it has ground down case lugs and a totally different plug system from the stock "push pin" style connector. That's just a later alternator sold to people who don't know better for a silly amount of money. I picked up the 143A version of that alternator a few months ago for $30 shipped to my house and running perfectly in my 350SD.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkman View Post
I ended up buying a kit from these people Rebuilder in a box for my Dodge Cummins. Perhaps the vids will be useful and/or they may have parts for the MBZ.

The new Bosch voltage regulator was bad out of the box on my SD but I eventually found a good one. I forget whether the unregulated alternator puts out a high voltage but remember that something I found when testing indicated that the voltage regulator was at fault. Also, make sure that the glow isn't stuck on as that can pull the nominal alternator voltage down. The parts store condemned my regulator when the car was glowing. You have to be certain what your test results mean or will install incorrect parts.
What's the best way to determine whether my glow plugs are staying on? Can I unplug the relay and still start the engine to check voltage?

My battery was pretty low yesterday when I got home, charger indicated about 25 percent and it took a long time to come up. Fully charged now. Battery is less than a year old.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:26 AM
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PKdavidson, on a cold engine if leave the key in the glow position, you should hear the glow plug relay click off after 10 or 15 ish seconds.

Open your hood, put in glow position and walk over to the glow plug relay for a listen.
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2019, 11:51 AM
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Get one of those led voltmeters that plugs into the lighter socket. The glow system pulls so much current that system voltage will be below 12v while they’re heating.
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2019, 12:36 PM
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Just checked the glow plug relay. Heard a loud audible click after about 10-15 seconds. Sounds like the relay is working fine and the glow plugs are off. New Bosch remanufactured alternator gets delivered this weekend.
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2019, 08:26 PM
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UPDATE:

Finally had a chance to swap out the alternator. What an easy job. Think I did the whole thing in less than 40 minutes. Light flickering is gone and the battery is charging again. I think I found my culprit: the new voltage regulator.

Looks like the voltage regulator was subjected to poor installation (my fault, was in a huge hurry originally due to family emergency). And also the channels on the old alternator were worn down to nothing. All good now!

'86 190D - Battery not charging-img_5875.jpg
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  #14  
Old 06-20-2019, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKdavidson View Post
UPDATE:

Finally had a chance to swap out the alternator. What an easy job. Think I did the whole thing in less than 40 minutes. Light flickering is gone and the battery is charging again. I think I found my culprit: the new voltage regulator.

Looks like the voltage regulator was subjected to poor installation (my fault, was in a huge hurry originally due to family emergency). And also the channels on the old alternator were worn down to nothing. All good now!

Attachment 152883
Well, I spoke too soon. Battery isn't charging even with new voltage regulator and alternator. Just had to get a jump.

Any other ideas? Would the OVP prevent the car from charging?
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2019, 01:41 PM
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Now you have to check carefully. New alternator may be bad. Many problems with rebuilts today. I do not know if the practice has changed. Basically most chain stores sold rebuilts with junk aftermarket parts used in rebuilding. Possible a junk brand of voltage regulator on it has failed.


First of all check for tension on the belt. Although unlikely if it is serpentine. I have never owned a 190d.
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