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Discussion Starter #1
So I have been through 3 alternators in the last 16 months. The first time the brushes were bad and the car would die on me, but these last 2 times I have had to replace my alternator because it was putting out over 17 volts!! It turned my light bulbs into fuses and blew through the filaments and burned through the shunts. So now, my question is what could be wrong with my car that is causing my voltage regulator to fry? All of my grounds are ok, in fact I have made them larger. Should I fabricate an extra ground onto the housing of the alternator and mount it onto the frame somewhere? I am talking about grounds because I know that a bad ground could damage the voltage regulator. Any help would be great on specific reasons as to why I have had this problem.

BTW, my car is an 88 CRX Si.
 

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change the voltage regulator? also did you ground the thermostat?

my friend had same problem. when driving long trips we carried a spare alternator to swap out when the other died. found a pepboys swap it out again for a spare. had a volt meter connected running thru to the cabin lol... we would watch the volts as driving. it would be fine until 20-30 miles we would see it climbing. the next thing i did while he swapped them out was add more grounds all over the place lol... that was the last time we swapped an alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
^^ I have not changed the voltage regulator, I just got a replacement for mine from Advance Auto Parts. So grounding the motor excessively seemed to get the job done?? If that is so then I'm gonna ground the hell outta my motor, lol. And idk about a ground on my thermostat, there may be one there but I have not checked. I was planning on putting a ground from one of the housing bolts on the alternator to the frame --think that should suffice or would I need more?
 

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a faulty ELD could cause this problem...
yes but related cause is either bad grounds(excessive resistance) or voltage regulator faulty. ELD stands for electric load detector. its purpose is to monitor electric load and current. if voltage or current is out of norm the eld will throw a cel.

for the op. get copper plate or steel plate(if copper solder coat it to prevent corrosion) use 0 or 4 gauge to the plate from the (-) terminal, and run all grounds to the plate using 0 or 4 gauge. ground the frame, the engine, transmission, and the thermostat housing. the more grounds you have the less resistance there is as there are more path's for the electric current to run.

if this fails to fix the problem. try switching out the voltage regulator for another.


a possible cause is also a short somewhere. check for potential shorts as well.
 

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yes but related cause is either bad grounds(excessive resistance) or voltage regulator faulty. ELD stands for electric load detector. its purpose is to monitor electric load and current. if voltage or current is out of norm the eld will throw a cel.

for the op. get copper plate or steel plate(if copper solder coat it to prevent corrosion) use 0 or 4 gauge to the plate from the (-) terminal, and run all grounds to the plate using 0 or 4 gauge. ground the frame, the engine, transmission, and the thermostat housing. the more grounds you have the less resistance there is as there are more path's for the electric current to run.

if this fails to fix the problem. try switching out the voltage regulator for another.


a possible cause is also a short somewhere. check for potential shorts as well.

those alts have internal voltage regulators... and if he's going burning up brushes/regulators that fast then something is putting an excessive load on his alternator... yes a bad ground could burn it up, but a faulty ELD could also screw with the regulator and cause it to output crazy voltages, thus eventually burning itself (and the brushes) up in a high voltage blaze of glory :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the brushes were going bad then I would get low voltage. If my regulator is bad, then it would cause my diodes to overcharge the system and put out too many volts. So, my eld could be faulty, but why --I am going to ground the hell out of the motor and alternator housing first and see whether or not that fixes the problem. Thank you guys for the help and I will keep you posted as to what happens after I ground everything more efficiently.
 

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If the brushes were going bad then I would get low voltage. If my regulator is bad, then it would cause my diodes to overcharge the system and put out too many volts. So, my eld could be faulty, but why --I am going to ground the hell out of the motor and alternator housing first and see whether or not that fixes the problem. Thank you guys for the help and I will keep you posted as to what happens after I ground everything more efficiently.
try better grounds... then if that doesnt work try to bypass the ELD


p.s. your brushes could also burn up because your 80 amp stator is trying to push out 80 amps at 17 volts ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So... my voltage regulation still persists... I took the time to ground my tranny case, thermostat (with 4 gauge wire) and the alternator housing itself. What other sources of electrical havoc could cause this? Could I have a faulty ELD? If so, could I somehow circumvent it? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Does anyone have a reasonable explanation as to why my 88 CRX Si is eating alternators like they're candy? I have not had this one in there for 2 weeks yet and I'm having surges that cause my car's clock light to dim and I'm smelling a burning coming from the alternator itself. This is really frustrating me, so any reasonable help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
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