Could it be something other then the Alternator? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 11-04-2011
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Could it be something other then the Alternator?

Hi Guys:

Some quick advise before I just go pulling and ordering parts...

2003 Ford Ranger 4.0, 4wd. 222,000 miles.

Truck died on the highway today. Radio went out, noticed the electric gauge at "L", tach at 0. Hmmm...been here, done that with my '97 F-150 alternator...

Called boss and told him I didn't think I'd make it in (ended up a mile shy). Little bit later the speedometer dropped to 0 as I continued down the Interstate.

When she finally sputtered to an end, I called AAA and she's home now.

Serpentine belt is in place, though it will be replaced once I start working in the area.

I assume I need a new alternator. Do they even test those anymore? Can they be tested if I'm not at a garage with my truck? Is there way to test at home with just a multimeter once I charge the battery to get the truck running?

Is there anything else I should check beyond the basic connections before I order a new alternator?

Anything I should order for parts in addition to the alternator and belt?
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Old 11-04-2011
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My dad's truck did the same thing when his alternator went bad on his 2000 F150. He was going along and all of the sudden all of the gauges quit working but the truck was still running. Then the truck came to a stop. We were about 15 miles from an Auto Zone but I have my Ranger so I took the battery out and took it with me. They tested it and said it was bad. Got a new one and put it in the truck. Truck fired right up but the battery light was on. Made it the rest of the hour trip home. Replaced the alternator and good to go.

Yes they still test alternators. Best thing to do it take it off and take it to like an Advance Auto or something. They can put it on a machine and test it. The dumb *** at mine didn't know how to run it so I had to do it for him. Some of the people those places hire are not car intelligent at all.
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Old 11-12-2011
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What I did for a home brew test was give the battery a charge for a few hours, started truck, went inside. Volts on a multimeter were 14.4 when I started, but within a half hour truck had died and volts were at 10.

Just a quick follow up...popped in the new alternator & serpentine today...short of changing wiper blades and an oil change I think that's about the simplest maintenance job I've ever done. Took me less then an hour, if you asked to me to do it again I could do it in a half hour I think!

Trucks been running a half hour, going to double check the voltage with my multimeter then head out.
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