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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Ya, this is more like what I would expect to see...

Here I'm holding the RPM around 2k and my charger is pulling some current (maybe, I was approaching full...) along with the blower and headlamps as loads. You can see the GENMON% increase at the end where I let it back to idle, as the loads are using more of the capacity when the RPM are reduced. The entire time battery voltage is very consistent around 14.5 and the GENCMD signal is doing very little to try and make changes. GENMON_HZ seems to always be 127 Hz... I have to assume this is correct, but it is certainly VERY different than what was happening with the 250A alternator!

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It has to be boring working at a single brand rebuilder, At least the guy downtown has some challenge in his life rebuilding all brands.
Boredom leads to sloppy work.
 

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Anyway, looking into what it would take to return the alternator to Rock Auto (I think I'm on the hook for return shipping), then the consideration that I'd get a replacement reman of similarly dubious quality, I'm strongly considering having the reman re-remanufactured (is that too many re's?) by the guy at the starter/alternator place. He thinks it's likely replacing the regulator/controller would solve the problem. At the same time he can look over everything else (and I'm fairly sure he'd do it more methodically/reliably) and I should end up with a good 250A alternator for another hundred bucks or so - still assuming that the problem isn't somehow a compatibility issue, of which I have no way of knowing without trying it out.
Ive always held the opinion that the best alternator and starter rebuilds come from that shop in the industrial part of town. The place is appropriately called “Alternators and Starters”. Its been there for 40+ years, the owner and his buddy are both in their 70’s and they do all the rebuilds. The owners’ daughter is in her 40’s and is the office manager / receptionist. When you ask to use the restroom, they let you in back and all you see is an entire warehouse of ... alternators and starters .... yeah. That’s the kind of shop that has the good ones.
 

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2019 HR Cargo Oxford White 148 wb 3.7L
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Ya, this is more like what I would expect to see...

Here I'm holding the RPM around 2k and my charger is pulling some current (maybe, I was approaching full...) along with the blower and headlamps as loads. You can see the GENMON% increase at the end where I let it back to idle, as the loads are using more of the capacity when the RPM are reduced. The entire time battery voltage is very consistent around 14.5 and the GENCMD signal is doing very little to try and make changes. GENMON_HZ seems to always be 127 Hz... I have to assume this is correct, but it is certainly VERY different than what was happening with the 250A alternator!

View attachment 153872
I thought it was time I stopped hijacking the other thread where @f64 seems to have successfully upgraded from a 150A alternator to a 250A alternator. There were great instructions and it seemed like it would be very easy to do. I read over it a few times, read through the service manual, bought and waited for an alternator, and then finally did the swap and ....

Apparently I don't have the same sort of luck.

Refer to the previous thread here:

Here's a summary of what I've done:
  • Replace OEM battery [ https://tires.costco.ca/Batteries/Product?ItemNo=270552 ] (Note: The battery specs seem ok, but this battery is much smaller than the OEM version and may require some additional packing to keep it from moving around in the battery box. I have known this was needed for quite a while, as listening to the radio for 30 min or so could cause me a no-start.)
  • Remove assumed-original 150A alternator, install re-manufactured Remy #23038 250A alternator (about 2 hours on my back under the van with only wrenches and socket set)
  • Used FORScan to change "Alternator" setting from 150A to 220A (Have also tried it back at 150A and "not configured" with similar/same results)

Shortly after starting and running for the first time following the replacement, I received first the DTC:
P065B, "Generator A Control Circuit Range/Performance"

With the addition shortly thereafter of
P0625, "Generator Field/F Terminal Circuit Low" and
P0626, "Generator Field/F Terminal Circuit High"

And at some point the "red battery" charge system malfunction indicator lamp turns on. I may have seen it go off again at some point, but it always returns.

Monitoring the battery voltage, it seems that it is low - about 13.4 when my 50A charger is running, and maybe 13.8 with it turned off. It's hard to tell on a digital meter but I think the voltage is jumping around, maybe between 13.2 and 14.2 or so. I'll see later if I can narrow this down better or see any correlations.

In the meantime I'm going to go through the service manual and see how many of the pinpoint tests are feasible, plus try to learn exactly how the system is supposed to be working. It may require re-installing the original alternator to get some "good" readings. I've really worked that poor thing pretty hard though, so there's no guarantee that it's in pristine condition. I'm trying to sort through this problem eliminating variables because there are way too many right now to make any sense of things.

I may also give Remy a call as was suggested in the other thread. I'm doubtful this will prove useful, but who knows?

-- More to follow --
Just installed used 250 amp. alternator (wrecking yard $60. shipped) did clean up and installed new bearings, the Van came with 150 amp. alternator, the 250 amp. alternator seems to work fine, No DTC's, no malfunction indicator lamp, output about 14.5 v. the most load was about 95 amps. (everything on) voltage was 14.5 v.. I have not re-flashed the ECU because currently have no Laptop, Forscan Lite show max amps. available at 150 amps. I am getting a little intermittent bearing noise (cheap Chinese bearings?) the tag from the wrecking yard said the alternator is from a 2016 model, I have a 2019.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Just installed used 250 amp. alternator (wrecking yard $60. shipped) did clean up and installed new bearings, the Van came with 150 amp. alternator, the 250 amp. alternator seems to work fine, No DTC's, no malfunction indicator lamp, output about 14.5 v. the most load was about 95 amps. (everything on) voltage was 14.5 v.. I have not re-flashed the ECU because currently have no Laptop, Forscan Lite show max amps. available at 150 amps. I am getting a little intermittent bearing noise (cheap Chinese bearings?) the tag from the wrecking yard said the alternator is from a 2016 model, I have a 2019.
That's great. Thanks for the data point.

I've left the alternator with the local rebuilder. Everything was pointing to a faulty unit even though it shouldn't have been.

I actually tried to source a recycled unit a while back but they were scarce and expensive from the places I had access to.
 

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Your post spurred me on to install my 250 amp. alternator,
I have two, was going to mount both, with a custom machined
(billet) front cover, to mount both as one unit. with a idler
wheel, never got around to it. your post got me worried
that the 250 amp alternator might not work.
The hardest part was the removal of the upper stud, not enough
room for a socket and rachet, so 60 degrees at a time with a wrench.
also no mention in the factory service manual that the stud has to be removed.
I think I found some good quality bearings NTN brand (electric motor bearings)
for replacement. The numbers on the OEM bearings seem to be proprietary.
the size's are standard, but maybe they use a different grease or something.
The two alternators I got both tested out good on the Bench tester at the auto parts store.
the Tag that came with one said 2017, 75K miles, a bit of rust and corrosion,
looks like it came from some place where they salt the roads, the brushes had a lot of life
left in them, and the commutator had almost no wear, the bearings where
servicable, (seemed to spin ok) but I pried the rubber covers off, and it looked like
they needed to be regreased, so for $20 I bought new bearings, getting a intermittent
subtle bearing noise, if it dosen't go away, I will replace with some higher
quality bearings.
Good luck, you shouldn't have any problems if you get a good one.
 

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Did you get your remy back from the alt shop? I'm in this same boat, Remy from rock auto, 13.5 volt limp mode. I run a 30amp b2b house battery charger, negative connected to the battery. The alternator doesn't see to have a problem putting out amps, the voltage just stays low.

I've already sent my working 150amp alternator in for the core charge. Hoping I didn't just make a bad trade!
 

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I have a Sterling 12120 battery to battery charger, not hooked up yet. It's my understanding that the B2B pulls the
battery voltage down to make the Alternator output more current. If you have low voltage with the B2B disconnected
then you might have a problem. The voltage with 250 amp. alternator has been approx. 14.2 v. it replaced the stock
150 amp. alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Did you get your remy back from the alt shop? I'm in this same boat, Remy from rock auto, 13.5 volt limp mode. I run a 30amp b2b house battery charger, negative connected to the battery. The alternator doesn't see to have a problem putting out amps, the voltage just stays low.

I've already sent my working 150amp alternator in for the core charge. Hoping I didn't just make a bad trade!
Did it throw on the charge fault lamp (red battery symbol)? That's a good indication something is wrong. There are other things that could cause what you're describing. You should go through all troubleshooting steps before condemning the alternator.

When I looked at the voltage output from mine with an oscilloscope, it was all over the place (from fading memory, 12.5 to 14 ish?) This was without any additional loads. Digital meters average out quickly changing signals, so you can be easily fooled just hooking up the probes and trusting what you see.

I also scoped the control and feedback signals. I think they looked horrible, but I haven't yet scoped the same from the 150A that's back on now for comparison.

I haven't received it back yet. Actually haven't heard anything at all. I was trying to be patient because I'm not in any hurry, but at some point I'll phone to check on the progress.
 

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Did it throw on the charge fault lamp (red battery symbol)? That's a good indication something is wrong. There are other things that could cause what you're describing. You should go through all troubleshooting steps before condemning the alternator.

When I looked at the voltage output from mine with an oscilloscope, it was all over the place (from fading memory, 12.5 to 14 ish?) This was without any additional loads. Digital meters average out quickly changing signals, so you can be easily fooled just hooking up the probes and trusting what you see.

I also scoped the control and feedback signals. I think they looked horrible, but I haven't yet scoped the same from the 150A that's back on now for comparison.

I haven't received it back yet. Actually haven't heard anything at all. I was trying to be patient because I'm not in any hurry, but at some point I'll phone to check on the progress.

Yeah I get the charge fault lamp. I looked at it initially with forscan, I remember my results being pretty much what you have been describing. I also have my house battery on a breaker, I've run it without load and get the same results.

I've driven the van for about 2 weeks now ~ 500 miles-ish, it's definitely charging and can output a decent size amp load... just not at the idea voltage profile. I'll get it back on forscan today, happy to post some results if you think it would be helpful. I put this alternator in when I had the front apart... loathing the thought of buying another one and having to wiggle around and get a different one in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Yeah I get the charge fault lamp. I looked at it initially with forscan, I remember my results being pretty much what you have been describing. I also have my house battery on a breaker, I've run it without load and get the same results.

I've driven the van for about 2 weeks now ~ 500 miles-ish, it's definitely charging and can output a decent size amp load... just not at the idea voltage profile. I'll get it back on forscan today, happy to post some results if you think it would be helpful. I put this alternator in when I had the front apart... loathing the thought of buying another one and having to wiggle around and get a different one in!
If you can get your hands on an oscilloscope (and possibly an operator if this is new to you) the voltage trace with minimal load is probably going to be the most illustrative. It should be fairly constant with some medium to high frequency components overlaid.

I also suspect that the GENCMD and GENMON signals are important to look at, but these aren't easy to make sense of with my own slow, low resolution scope. Since it's PWM, a logic analyser would probably be more appropriate.

All of the above is pretty advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting stuff and isn't for everyone. If you can rule out a PCM or wiring fault then I think it's pretty safe to condemn the unit.

I'm strongly suspecting that they aren't testing these properly at Remy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I just received a very disappointing phone call from the alternator guy. When I went in there the first time he sounded confident he could get whichever parts he needed to replace. But, of course, now he discovers that he can't.

Not only am I a little miffed that he didn't check beforehand, but now I have to figure out if I can manage to return the unit. As already mentioned, I'm not confident I'll get a good one in exchange; especially if @OntheRoadAgain? is experiencing a similar issue.

This is turning out to be a very frustrating, expensive, and fruitless venture.
 

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Just curious , how are you guys determining the state of charge of the battery that you're trying to charge ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Just curious , how are you guys determining the state of charge of the battery that you're trying to charge ?
I have a Victron BMV-70x installed inline with my house batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
Does anyone have any more information about correctly identifying/differentiating Ford alternators? The visible external components sure look a lot like in this video that refers to it as a 6G series. I expect there are a variety of cases that share the same guts.

[EDIT: After taking off the back cover I'm going to say it looks a lot different than the one in the video.]

 
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yep , maybe get your alternator exchanged and then have your Alternator guy confirm that's good.
If it tests bad probably time to buy a alternator from a reputable dealer .
Or you could try to get a refund and then buy from a reputable dealer , just my thoughts , wish you luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
I've opened up the back end of the alternator to gather some data for detective work. There is only one valid search reference to the number on the regulator (13680200):


When I went to the web site for this company, I also found some pictures very similar to the avalanche diode ring currently in front of me:


Insanely enough, searching using the OEM cross reference number in the catalog yielded a listing on AlliExpress:


I'm still working on whether I can do any tests on the regulator itself.

Also of interest is that there's another regulator right beside this one in the catalog that looks almost identical (13680100).
 
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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I have a bunch of close up pictures of the internals I intend to share but it will have to wait until I'm on reliable WiFi.
 
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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
yep , maybe get your alternator exchanged and then have your Alternator guy confirm that's good.
If it tests bad probably time to buy a alternator from a reputable dealer .
Or you could try to get a refund and then buy from a reputable dealer , just my thoughts , wish you luck
Thanks for the moral support.

It would be great if I could trust the guy's testing methodology, but he did initially say it was working properly when he tested it on my van. His test box had a digital voltage readout and it wouldn't show how badly the voltage was varying as my oscilloscope does. I'm also not convinced that it was doing anything to validate the GENMON signal out. If it was I think it would have been a red flag.

Like many things automotive, there's a big lag between what's out there and the knowledge about it. I've learned a ton of stuff I never knew about the state of alternators. Frankly, I'd prefer I didn't have to do all of this but I'm kinda being forced down this path.
 

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Thanks for the moral support.

It would be great if I could trust the guy's testing methodology, but he did initially say it was working properly when he tested it on my van. His test box had a digital voltage readout and it wouldn't show how badly the voltage was varying as my oscilloscope does. I'm also not convinced that it was doing anything to validate the GENMON signal out. If it was I think it would have been a red flag.

Like many things automotive, there's a big lag between what's out there and the knowledge about it. I've learned a ton of stuff I never knew about the state of alternators. Frankly, I'd prefer I didn't have to do all of this but I'm kinda being forced down this path.
Sounds like your heading down a good path , just a matter of time i'm assure you'll get it figured out , i'm looking forward to seeing the results.
 
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