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Chrysler Repair/'90 Lebaron 3.0L alternator circuit


I have a 1990 Chrysler Lebaron Convertible, 3.0l V6 with 64k miles.
This past week the "Check Engine" light came on and then the lights started to go dim.  Finally the car died.
Classic alternator problem, right?
I removed the old alternator and replaced with a new one.
During the R&R there was an arc when one of the touched a backet on the car (I forgot to disconnect the battery).
I jump started the car and it ran until the jumper cables were removed.  It died immediately.
Still not thinking that spark had anything to do with anything at that point I removed the new
alternator and exchanged it for another new one.  (The NAPA was unable to check the alternator at that time so they replaced with another new one)
At this time I also picked up another battery as the old one was already 5 years old and it was time for a new one.
So with the new battery in place, battery terminal disconnected from the post, the new alternator was installed without any trouble.
connect the battery, car started without any trouble but the "Check Engine" light was still on.
Leading me to believe that the car was only running off the battery.
I couldn't get my hands on a voltage meter to confirm this.
But now I'm thinking that the spark may have fried something.  Is there a fusible link or an in-line fuse between the battery and alternator that would take the brunt of the spark vs. frying a major electrical component?

Hi Tom,
Yes, there is a fusible link between the alternator's black/gray wire and the splice where all the fusible links are connected to a black color fat + battery wire. There is a natural color disconnect in the alternator lead (black/gray wires on both sides), and the upstream side goes to a splice where it is connected to a dark green fusible link between that splice and the main multi-fusible link splice. So you could open that natural disconnect and check for 12v there as a test of the condition of the dark green fusible, or you can check at the alternator black/gray wire similarly.
When the engine ran, what did the volt gauge show on the instrument cluster, any increase as compared to before you started the engine?
Please read the PS below and respond to it.

Hi Tom,
That fuse #16 is the source of voltage for the field windings of the alternator and the automatic shutdown circuit for the engine. It would blow as the result of an accidental short circuit during your repair and replacement of the alternator if you had both not disconnected the battery and ALSO the ignition switch would have had to be "on" for there to be current flowing to the fuse from the ignition switch. You asked me to focus on the other alternator circuit carrying the output current from the armature of the alternator, which I shared with you. So that would explain what actually happened and why you believe that my knowledge is only at the 5 level. I hope this problem is now resolved.  

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

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Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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