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I purchased my 1976 2002 back in December.  It's my second 2002 and the only thing wrong with it mechanically is that it's had a very dim "L" light on the whole time.  I just assumed it was putting out too few volts and I've been leaving it on a battery tender when I haven't been using it.  It has antique plates so I only use it on the weekends and for short trips, though I have put about 500 miles on it in the past three winter months.

 

Today I hooked it up to a voltmeter and it's actually putting out 15+ volts when running.  I played around with some of the accessories (lights, wipers, fan...that's basically all I have to work with) and I did see a good correlation between the "l" light and the load.  It would always look like the light was brighter under load...but in retrospect, that was just because I'd use more power in the dark.  Anyways...rather than ordering a new alternator or chasing down some things I ordered a regulator for about $35 (shipped).  Hope that works...if not I'll just install 16 rally lights and run them all the time to bleed off the extra power.

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Also, I've been on this site since 2006...this is my first time posting.  Glad to be back in a 2002.

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I've had issues with the brand new voltage regulators sold by Bosch. Some failed within weeks of installation. You might consider the Hella 14V regulator as a higher quality alternative. I found out about these through the BMW motorcycle folks. They plug right in. Not a fan of the Beru ones, either FWIW

 

The sad truth, is that Bosch quality has gone 100% right down the shitter, in recent years. I don't trust any of it anymore. Consider having the alternator inspected / rebuilt locally, if you can find one of the those old school alternator repair shops. If nothing else, have it tested. 

 

Make sure ALL the wires in the black plug of the alternator are clean and unbroken, also. They live in a harsh environment. 

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Find this article in the FAQ section and buy this handsome guys books... short but sweet answer I have found is it is either the VR or alt gone bad, so throw some money at the prob and should go away

 

But don’t be an idiot like me and install new alt will battery hooked up. I cooked diodes and spent a long time in denial. Replaced with fresh alt and all good

 

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Thanks, Paul.  I went with Beru...so I hope it works for a bit as I'm planning to daily this in the summer months.  I've already run through the connections and they appear to be clean to my mechanically inclined, but not professional, eyes.

 

I'm actually more worried about the car now that I know it's putting out too much before it was just a risk of getting a dead battery, now I'm worried about burning things out.

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Worzella, I used that same article to replace the regulator...if it works, great.  If not I'll just replace the alternator.  You're local (ish).  I'm up in Hampton, VA.

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Yes a new voltage regulator should take care of your problem, the voltage regulator controls the voltage the only way it could be your alternator can go into a over voltage condition is if the exciter diode were to fail in the closed mode but this is highly unlikely (think winning the lotto odds) all of this is assuming good solid connections and ground in the charging circut.

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13 minutes ago, Someguy said:

Thanks, Paul.  I went with Beru...so I hope it works for a bit as I'm planning to daily this in the summer months.  I've already run through the connections and they appear to be clean to my mechanically inclined, but not professional, eyes.

 

I'm actually more worried about the car now that I know it's putting out too much before it was just a risk of getting a dead battery, now I'm worried about burning things out.

Yeah. OVER voltage will do vastly expensive and dangerous things - like make your battery explode. Any evidence of acid seeping from the battery? Any signs of bloating? if so - I'd replace it ASAP. 

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No evidence of any of that...but I'm leaving the car in the garage till I can sort it out.

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Voltage regulator is my guess.  I recently had 2 Beru's non-op right out of the box ..... and 2 Hellas also.  My solution:  a Napa Auto Parts Echlin VR503.

 

lots and lots of good info (and hopefully answers) here ........

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

Carl

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2 hours ago, wegweiser said:

Make sure ALL the wires in the black plug of the alternator are clean and unbroken, also. They live in a harsh environment. 

 

Also, there's a wire bail (clip) that holds this plug in place on the back of the alternator.  It's often missing--and was there for a reason.  A loose plug can lose both volts and amps, and with all the vibration from the engine, the plug will loosen without that bail.

 

mike

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I went through a voltage stage. Bought new alternator,  bought new regulator, new starter, etc. 

 

My brand new Beru was putting out 15-17 and idled at 13. I swapped back to the crusty OE and voltage was in line at 12.

 

I have a new one on order from Napa too for a back up. I think it is the VR503. I heard this is consistent with stock voltage too.

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