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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,
Just got back from a trip doing the old Mojave Road. For those of you familiar, against my better judgement, I bent to peer pressure and completed the Afton Crossing. After the Afton crossing and before the train trestle is another developing hole...and here the bottom is soft; I got completely stuck. All told, I probably sat in water for 30+ minutes. After Afton, I heard a squealing from my engine, but I had walked away to help another driver. I asked someone to check and they said it was the belt. So I thought nothing of it.

Flashforward 4 hours and we are in Soda Dry Lake...my battery and brake light come on. I notice my battery is almost dead..."wtf? Oh fuck that squealing was my alternator" I think. I radio my group and we decide to press on knowing we can recharge my batteries with one of their rigs and a charger if necessary.

Two hours later, alternator starts working again. Whew works for the rest of the day and all the next day, and the first half of the third day. After we finish the trail, as I'm driving home I stop to get gas twice. The second time after 5 hours driving on highway, when I start the car, I notice I've stopped charging again.

This seems abnormal. I know I need to check a few things, but I'm a bit lost on the specifics for our rig:

The rig: 2013, dual battery, mean green alternator.

1. Wiring: I know I need to check whether all my wires are connected and tight.
2. I deleted the fuse link for the alternator, no issue there.
3. ECM plug. Could this be the issue if mud got inside? How to clean?
4. Bearings??? It didn't make noise after the initial squeal.

Anything else? Tips or tricks? Getting our alternators off is a pain and this particular alternator especially a bitch to get mounted so I'm not anxious to remove. Anything I test BEFORE removal is highly preferred.

Also it's DUMPING rain so all this will have to wait till Monday or Tuesday.

And yes, I learned my lesson, less than axel deep from now on.

Vehicle Car Off-roading Regularity rally Natural environment
 

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I mean the alternator sat submerged so that should be a very strong indicator of what to look for. Fuses don't burn and unburn. See if you can graph the output of the alternator or at the least be able to check it's output when it stops charging again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I mean the alternator sat submerged so that should be a very strong indicator of what to look for. Fuses don't burn and unburn. See if you can graph the output of the alternator or at the least be able to check it's output when it stops charging again.
Maybe? But fuses could potentially seat and unseat, yes? Wires could also seat and unseat. As for the alternator, what PART of the alternator should I check? I didn't ask for a smart ass remark, I'm working through this, but I'm not a mechanic nor an electrical engineer.

Update, I took the alternator out and I opened it up, didn't see any visible burns or shorts. Taking it for a bench test.
 

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Good thing you tracked it down. I blew my rear diff on that trail little over a month ago...
I didn't even get to make it to the water crossing. I exited to Baker, CA and was fortunate enough to drive home. Do you have a pic of the area you got stuck? Kind of curious.

Btw, @satown210 's response was a genuine attempt to help you. Your response to him was an overaction, hopefully just out of frustration.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good thing you tracked it down. I blew my rear diff on that trail little over a month ago...
I didn't even get to make it to the water crossing. I exited to Baker, CA and was fortunate enough to drive home. Do you have a pic of the area you got stuck? Kind of curious.

Btw, @satown210 's response was a genuine attempt to help you. Your response to him was an overaction, hopefully just out of frustration.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
Probably true. Sorry @satown210 it seemed like it was just a flippant remark to get rid of a noob. Especially because just like a dead fuse, a dead alternator also shouldn't come on and off. And, in this case, it wasn't dead at all:

Took the alternator apart. And low and behold some grass/reeds and silt had gummed up one of the brushes. Only thing I can guess is that I probably jostled it "closed" on the trail and then it got stuck "open" from another jostle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good thing you tracked it down. I blew my rear diff on that trail little over a month ago...
I didn't even get to make it to the water crossing. I exited to Baker, CA and was fortunate enough to drive home. Do you have a pic of the area you got stuck? Kind of curious.

Btw, @satown210 's response was a genuine attempt to help you. Your response to him was an overaction, hopefully just out of frustration.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
I don't think I do. Once our group's cameraman puts up the video of the trip I'll be able to show you! We took some good footage of me sitting in the mud.
 

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Intermittent charging from an alternator is very common when they fail. That is why don't even bother with Autozone or other autoparts tests. They just look and see if it does anything and then call it good.
 
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