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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've just replaced my voltage regulator (actually went pretty well, and I didn;t need to pull the alternator to do it). Unfortunately, I fried the solenoid-starter connecting wire pulling it into the garage before the repair - I'm thinking a low voltage condition prevented the starter from firing and shorted the braided piece of wire that goes from the solenoid to the starter.

I've pulled the lug from the solenoid and plan on replacing it with a new lug and a soldered length of wire. HOWEVER, the connection to the starter is just a crimped terminal. My plan is to grind a channel in the starter terminal with my dremel, and solder in the end of the new wire. As much fun as molten metal directly over my face is, I don't see another way.

Anybody been down this road before? If so, what did you do to fix it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The trail has been blazed.

I replaced the lug that goes to the solenoid, attached a 3" length of heavy-gauge jumper cable wire, and soldered them together. I then drilled a hole in the starter terminal (just big enough for the wire to pass through), and cleaned it up with a grinder bit on the dremel.

The lug was attached to the solenoid, the wire threaded through the hole in the starter terminal then twisted around itself and soldered solidly together. That was fun - especially the molten bit of metal landing on the safety goggles (WEAR THEM!!!)

Reattach the battery, and she cranks up just fine - how's that for a MacGyver moment?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
PMI said:
Excellent!

Especially after replacing the voltage regulator with the alternator in place, that alone is a challenge on this car... :roll:
Yeah - I've got absolutely no desire to pull any components from the car that I don't REALLY have to. Too much chance of a bolt shearing off, or some such.

On the up side, I'm getting pretty good at working with one hand, bent at an unnatural angle.
 

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I'd love to read how TM-75 did the alternator. That the pieces can be removed without pulling the entire unit is no surprise..
And we do have a number of pros on this forum..
Mine is due, and are the brushes/regulator ever expensive - compared to the older 900s..
I've had to do likewise with the '88 Honda Accord alternator.
Not easy at all, but a Grizzly Bear of a task, laying on my back with minimum access - I almost think the only way to pull the Honda alternator is to pull the entire engine !!
In comparison, the Saab is a walk in the park..:cheesy:
 

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earthworm said:
...Mine is due, and are the brushes/regulator ever expensive - compared to the older 900s..
I have been told that you can use the brush kit (less than $10) from older Bosch alternators in the regulator on our car, this requires removing the regulator and resoldering the wires leading to the brushes, but I have not tried it.

I can see how you could remove the plastic back of the alternator, and then the regulator. The back is held by three Phillips screws, and then three plastic snaps that have to be released with a small screwdriver or something similar. The regulator is held in by two more screws.

Maybe TM75 can post how he did it, I could not get my hands in there... :confused:
 

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Thanks, PMI
I am a rather lazy man, Hkayssi, not good at times:nono;but labor , like money, is something to be saved ......

I think I'll just pull the whole unit this fall or next spring .
She passed the latest test (14 v with a nigh full load):cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
PMI said:
Maybe TM75 can post how he did it, I could not get my hands in there... :confused:
Here goes, if a bit long. Took about 1.5 hours, all told...

(fore = toward front of car, aft = toward back. right = passenger side in north america, left=driver side)

Jacked the car up using the central jack point, and jack stands were placed under the frame jack points behind the front wheels. As much height as you can get is a good thing here.

Throughout the process, keep all your tools within easy reach of your right hand. Saves crawling out over and over again.

The key for me was positioning. I laid flat on my back, pretty much under the cat. There are two openings that you can use to get your right arm up to access the alt...I used the one further right, and looked through the left one shining a flashlight up so I could see what I was doing.

You're NEVER going to get both hands up there, so forget about it now. It's a right-hand only job.

Disconnect your battery at the terminals. Remove the + cable, and the green/black wire with a short ratchet (mine was ~4"). No problem. Don't ask me what sizes - it was dark under there.

The three phillips screws posed a small problem. Use a large, blunt bit - the small pointy ones will strip the screws. The two aft screws required good pressure to get out, but went okay with a stubby screw driver. The forward screw requires a normal length screw driver - there's a pipe in the way that prevents you from getting straight in on the screw. PUSH DOWN HARD while you turn the screwdriver, or it will strip.

Okay, all the fasteners are out. Almost time for a break. I snapped off the three black plastic clips holding the housing on (there's one behind that @#$$ pipe one the fore side of the alt) - figured the screws would do a good enough job holding it on when I replaced it. I then took a stubby slot driver, inserted it in the lower aft 'clip hole' (where we just snapped off a clip) and twisted it enought to move the housing out a bit.

Get out from under the car (whew!) and look down at the alternator housing from the rear right of the engine bay. Get a looong slot driver, and insert it in the top clip hole and twist just enough to break the seal. Now insert that driver where the housing meets the alt body and pry the thing off the back. Twist, push, curse, swear, and it should come loose.

Crawl back under the car (doh!) and remove the plastic housing. I broke a chunk off mine at the back. Oh well. A good pull and it came out (brute force and ignorance triumphs again).

Remove the voltage regulator. I used a stubby phillips for the aft bolt, and a phillips bit in my short ratchet driver for the fore bolt. Again, pressure into the screw avoids stripping.

Tada. Putting it back together is way easier, except for lining up the regulator. It helped me to partially thread the aft bolt while I got the thing into position, and then gingerly thread the fore bolt . Replace everything the same way it came out, and Bob's yer uncle. Go have a beer or six, and let your neck muscles recover.
 

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Go have a beer or six, and let your neck muscles recover.
Well deserved, I am sure, and thanks for posting that!

I was wondering how one could release the plastic clips without breaking them while working up there, breaking them off on purpose actually did not occur to me, LOL!

Once I got my alternator out of the car and the back removed, I found that the two long Phillips screws which hold the regulator were put in with some loctite or similar, and taking them out took some effort even on the bench. I don't think I could have done that with a stubby driver myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
PMI said:
I was wondering how one could release the plastic clips without breaking them while working up there, breaking them off on purpose actually did not occur to me, LOL!
The initial plan was to not break them off, but it was about -10C in the garage and the plastic was a bit brittle. I think with warmer temps and some care, they could be kept intact.
 

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Thank you, PMI and TM-75

This thread is now a favorite.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My ninja-esque on-car replacement of the voltage regulator was all for naught, I'm afraid. It appears as though the windings are well and truly knackered.

After a half hour of driving, I heard the dreaded 'BING', and the lights glowed dimly. The belt has been changed, it's not a ground problem, and the field voltage is good. So....windings it is.

Oh well, I proved it could be done at least. Time to go stock up on some PB Blaster.

Crud.
 
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