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87 Subaru GL Battery Not charging


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11 replies to this topic

#1 ganlek

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 12:22 PM

Hello all.

I just replaced both the battery and the alternator, drove it for a week and the battery died...again. What else could it be? or what needs replaced. I havent checked the connections yet, plan to do that tomorrow.

#2 NorthWet

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 12:44 PM

How about the voltage regulator? This is assuming that yours does not have an internal regulator... my '87 appears to have separate regulator.

Also, do you have anything drawing electricity while the car is off? (Or were you driving regularly as opposed to the car sitting for a week and not starting.)

Are you sure that the battery is dead, or does it just not turn the starter? Checking connections as you planned sounds like a good plan, especially the grounding wires. I tried to jump start from another car once and it wouldn't work until I ran BOTH power and ground cable to the starter. Replaced cables and cleaned all connections and car started without a problem.

Good luck!

#3 calebz

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 12:50 PM

87 Does have an internal regulator..

I had a similar problem a while back. Turned out the starter was toast.

Is your amp gauge reading high?
Are the dummy lights on the dash lit while driving?
Those are telltale signs of a bad alt/VR

Start with connection checking.. then maybe move on to the starter.

#4 nails24

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 12:57 PM

I will post one of my battery/charging adventures.
This was on a early-90's Chevy Cavalier a friend of my drove only in the winter opposite an NSX. He couldn't figure it out and when I looked at it, jumped it, charged it, checked alternator, it was a bad ground wire to the battery. Like NorthWet said, check the wiring. I have seen some cheap sets at automotive supply stores and will eliminate one possibility without paying some guy to look at it for hourly shop charges. Also, is the battery good ? I had a new battery for about 3 months and it "died". It was an Exide. Just wouldn't hold a charge. Replaced 100% under warranty. Still starts great.

Chad L
87 GL10 Turbo

#5 NorthWet

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 01:28 PM

87 Does have an internal regulator..


The '87 that I have home now sure appears to be external regulator (as judged by the connectors at alternator), as does my '85. I don't have the FSM volume with electricals, but a Chilton's (I hate Chilton's!!! :banghead: ) also claims that they are external. Either I am wrong (has happened once or twice! :D ) or they may have a mid-year change? Dunno, whatever... still might be worth looking at.

#6 Snowman

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 01:33 PM

All the ea82 subarus I have seen use an internal regulator. Northwet, where is the external regulator located? I know on the ea71 and early ea81 it's in front of the right strut tower.


What is the voltmeter reading with the engine running? A good alternator generally runs between 13.5 and 14.5 volts.

#7 spideyz

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 02:07 PM

I got a remanufactured alternator at AutoZone in California for my 89. Turned out to be the wrong one. And I wasn't able to get the belt tensioned properly. You should be able to sing the alternator a couple of inches on the bracket. If it only moves a 1/2 inch or so, that could be your problem.

Good luck!

Keith

#8 torxxx

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 02:09 PM

All the ea82 subarus I have seen use an internal regulator.


I'm with ya on that. I've worked on 85, 86, 90, 91, 92 and they all have internal regulators too. I've had parts stores tell me that 92's have external regulators by what the computer and books say, but it doesnt.

It should have a plastic T clip and a circle connector that goes to the stud and the 8mm nut. IF its like that, its a interntal regulator.

#9 NorthWet

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 02:30 PM

It should have a plastic T clip and a circle connector that goes to the stud and the 8mm nut. IF its like that, its a interntal regulator.


I apologize, and bow and scrape and beg forgiveness for my hubris :) . All of the externals that I have worked on have had the t-connector (brush and y-center), and all of the externals have been just 1 ground and 1 power wire. Haven't had to futz much with my soob alts (yet), and I a**umed. (Please note that I tried to CYA with my comment about "connector" :brow: .) Now, if you will excuse me, I need to pull my foot from my mouth so I can finish installing wife's struts. :burnout:

#10 calebz

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 03:19 PM

I apologize, and bow and scrape and beg forgiveness for my hubris :) . All of the externals that I have worked on have had the t-connector (brush and y-center), and all of the externals have been just 1 ground and 1 power wire. Haven't had to futz much with my soob alts (yet), and I a**umed. (Please note that I tried to CYA with my comment about "connector" :brow: .) Now, if you will excuse me, I need to pull my foot from my mouth so I can finish installing wife's struts. :burnout:


No harm no foul. Nice catch :)

For the record, 82 or 83 was the last year of the externally regulated alternator

#11 MilesFox

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 03:28 PM

maybe the battery is not dead, but the starter solenoid wont engage like everyones screwy ign switches.l

#12 Cougar

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 06:05 PM

Try looking the connections and wiring over to see if you can spot a problem. If you didn't clean the cable connections on the battery you should do so and check the belt tension. Look for loose or corrodid connections. If you can't find anything and don't have a meter to check the voltage then I would have a parts store look at it. They may find the problem and be able to sell you some parts to repair it.




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