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Senior TEXAS member
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1,526 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just a LITTLE electrical problem:
Two nights ago, while completing the last leg of a 275 evening run, my lights suddenly started to flicker BRIGHTER than bright and my instrument lights were also bright enough to read by.
The engine als started to cut out., but after a couple of minutes, this stopped and everthing went to "normal" not to return...yet.
The battery reads 12.5+ and the alternator is puttting out 12.5+, but the 'generator' light on the tach pod does not come on when the key is first turned on, but glows dimly at idle and while running.

Any ideas on what is going on??? '78 Spider, by the way.
Thanks to all
 

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4,450 Posts
Hey Bill:

It sounds like you have a coroded positive connection between the alternator and battery or a bad ground strap. Be sure to check the positive lead from the alternator to the ds fender where it meets with the battery lead. Replace the ends on all your positive wires as they corode internally and fail to pass the juice. If that does not get it (and my bet it does), check the ground strap.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Trained (ex)Professional, , 1953-2018 RIP,
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16,232 Posts
In addition to the battery cable/ground strap checks/repairs as very accurately described by John M., the symptoms you describe could also point to the voltage regulator. If the reg shorted to field and then failed, you would get very bright lights possibly followed by a charging system that doesn't work. In addition, the "gen" light, which doesn't work in key on engine off, is grounded thru the reg. This is assuming, however, that all the fuses and their connections are good (particularly fuse #6).
 

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I'm going to go with Meatpile, Aliens have been responsible for a LOT wrong with my car.... :D
 

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Senior TEXAS member
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the advice about "aliens", but as it turned out, I had an alternator that 'bit the big one'. Found the replacement at O'Rileys for 1/4 the cost from Centerline and IAP. Works great.
( I also now have the cleanest ground connectors of any '78 Spider).
Another note of interest, the car ran for 3 days on battery juice alone, a testament to Alfas efficiency and durability.

Thanks again for the help.
 

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Senior TEXAS member
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Discussion Starter #10
The alternator is a rebuilt Bosch. Same specs as the one replaced. O'Riley's is an autoparts store like NAPA or Autozone. Just happened to be the closest one to the house, and the guys were very helpful. Didn't have one in stock, but had it trucked up from Houston in 5 hours.
 
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