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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Feb 2005
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    7

    Default red flashing alternator light

    The battery on my Ford 1600 diesel was 7 years old and had to be charged before I could start in cold weather so I replaced it. With new battery everything works fine...glow plug and start up but the alternator light flashes after about 1 minute of running. What is going on? Thanks

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    1,121
    Location
    Thurmont, Maryland
    Tractor
    TC35D w/ SS

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    Maybe the alternator is going bad.. or is bad. While your tractor is running.. disconnect (+) battery terminal.. the tractor should still run from the alternator's current. If it dies.. your alternator's bad.. and the old battery was probably still good.. but just dishcharged.

    Hmmm.. now I'm thinking.. does this method only work for gas engines?

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    57
    Location
    braselton,ga
    Tractor
    mahindra 4500

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    that test only works with gas engines

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    3,493

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    You need to check the battery voltage at a high idle. Should be between 13.5-15 volts. Anything lower is bad alternator/generator or regulator. Of course you will need a volt/ohm meter.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    7,345
    Location
    Northeast, Ohio
    Tractor
    TC-40D SS New Holland

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    I had a strange case where I replaced the instrument cluster because of a fogging problem. Not only did the new cluster fog too but the alternator light flashed intermittently at me from time to time to annoy me. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]

    Putting the original cluster back in place stopped the alternator light flashing.

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    48,343
    Location
    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( that test only works with gas engines )</font>

    It works with diesel engines that have a fuel cutoff solenoid as well...

    Soundguy

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    91
    Location
    Upstate New York/Holbrook L.I.
    Tractor
    BX 22

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    Labopr
    Welcome to the forum.
    Let's start with the easy things first.Check your belt for slippage. Make sure your connections are clean and tight. If these are ok then put a volt meter across the pos. &amp; neg. terminals on the battery,with the machine not running you should have 12 volts.Start the machine and the voltage should rise to 13.5/14volts.If this is verified then the alternator /regulator are o.k. if you don't have this rise in voltage then either your alternator or regulator is not working and needs repair/ replacing.If you still have a flashing red light with the correct voltage readings look for a short.
    Good Luck

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    27
    Location
    Central Florida

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    As a rule of thumb DONT EVER DISCONNECT A BATTERY from a running machine. Two reasons why:

    1. When a person does that it can create a syrge that is strong enough to destroy an alternator. It was an old trick that worked with the generators of yesteryear.

    2. Any spark at the right moment, with the right amount of escaping gas can cause a battery to BLOW UP in a person's face. A very ulgy, possibly blinding and scarring situation.

    I hear of hundreds of people that try this every year, especially mechanics. PLEASE PLEASE don't.

    Here is the proper way to check a battery and charging system.

    1. Visually check for the obvious, broken or disconnected wire to the battery and alternator.

    2. With engine off, check belt tension. You should not be able to turn the alternator's pulley. Do not overtighten the belt because that will lead to bearing failure in the alternator.

    3. Remove the battery, charge the same battery on a slow or trickle charge, for at least 8 hours.

    4. Same battery still, have it "load tested" at your local parts store or repair shop. Literally a 10 second job.

    5. If battery checks out OK, reinstall and check alternator's output voltage off idle. Should be at least 13 - 15 Volts. (Most usually do at idle)

    6. If all checks OK, then the diode in the alternator, sending the signal to the "dummy lamp" is on its way out. (Hence the word idiot light - still charging but says no at the same time)

    A guess would be that the battery is bad. A bad battery will cause an alternator to show a lower charge voltage and even cause an alternator to fail eventually.

    I hope this helps.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    7,386
    Location
    North East CT
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    Bugsy..... you nailed it perfectly.... I couldn't have said it better. To add to this, one thing that will kill a battery quickly is not having it properly secured in the battery box. My experience with diodes is that they are either good or bad, but never in between. An alternator will continue to perform even with a defective diode, but just not up to par. I would take the alternator off and have it bench tested. Also, check the wiring on the "idiot light" to make sure that it doesn't have an intermittent ground. If the flash is uniform in duration, then I blame the alternator..... if not, then I look for other wiring abnormalities....

  10. #10
    Platinum Member TCBoomer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    599
    Location
    CT
    Tractor
    New Holland TC24DA

    Default Re: red flashing alternator light

    Another possibility is the new battery is undercharged. Just because it's new, doesn't mean it's fully charged. The glow plugs draw a considerable amount of current and if the battery is undercharged, the alternater will be maxed out trying to restore it.

    Try charging the new battery for a few hrs...it might be as simple as that.

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