RWT363K - now BRV3500H

mrtask

Well-Known Member
My old banger set a new record today; it was the first time I've had to make three calls for roadside assistance in just one week! It seems that the alternator isn't returning any charge whatsoever to the battery, which I must've run pretty much completely empty before finally conking out. No chance of restarting, it barely turned the engine over once. The lesson learnt being not to just ignore the red IGN light if it stays on and keep driving on regardless. :rolleyes:
The lingering but faint burning smell, which I had wrongly attributed to the shiny silver high temperature paint I used on my freshly refurbished exhaust, was probably the alternator melting down inside, or something! Hindsight is marvellous. Having checked and re-checked that it wasn't my fuse box melting again I had just carried on motoring, thinking that pesky burning smell would soon go away. Doh! :(
I do hope I can charge the battery back up and carry on using it, and that it isn't now knackered. Here's also hoping the alternator can be repaired. I'll report back on Monday, after I get a professional diagnosis. Guess I'll be back on my bicycle this weekend. Serves me right, I suppose.
 
Sorry for introducing a side note. Maybe there should be a “what have you ignored” thread. Mine was a knocking noise from the rear (on the interstate 5 freeway). So I thought, “let’s just get to the next exit”......then the wheel fell off; fail. Theres a first and last time for everything.
 

mrtask

Well-Known Member
The non-charging problem turned out to be the dodgy state of the wiring behind the alternator. The two old connectors weren't gripping the spade terminals on the alternator tightly and the wiring had more-or-less disconnected. The insulation was also a bit cracked just behind the connectors, from bending the wires tightly to locate them in the small gap between the back of the alternator and the front of the valve cover. New connector for the big brown and white wire with a neat 90 degree bend, and a plastic reinforcing piece around the connection of the smaller wire, and all is well again. Battery hadn't completely lost its charge, and the alternator fortunately seems undamaged. Now I just need to locate where that faint burning smell is coming from! Maybe it really is just the exhaust paint after all?
I was disappointed to find another fresh small puddle of coolant collecting on top of the timing cover, next to the distributor. I think it is coming up and out from the waterway seal between the timing chest and the engine block. It doesn't look like it is coming down from the front valley gasket seal, or the front end of the intake manifold gasket at the head, as was the case before. Nor from any of the hoses above the front of the engine. It seems to be 'weeping' as opposed to really flowing, so I'll live with it for now and keep a close eye on the coolant level. I really want to enjoy driving the car for a bit now, before I have to do any more spannering!
Furthermore, the ghastly groaning noises the front suspension used to make really do seem to have been banished by fitting a new steering idler! I had feared it was the rubber bushing on the end of the actuating rod inside the front road spring, and that I would have to dismantle the front suspension to replace them. In fact the noises must have been coming from inside the old and bone-dry knackered steering idler, and the sound was somehow being transmitted along the steering side arm and through the road spring. So that is a big win. One more job thankfully crossed off my long to-do list. :)
 

mrtask

Well-Known Member
500 miles since I swapped the manual transmission in and I can now say for certain I don't regret it! It is now quite hard to remember to exercise restraint and drive in a civilised fashion, the temptation to be a hooligan being very difficult to resist. The faint burning smell was indeed the exhaust paint bubbling before flaking straight off the front section, but hey, who's looking down there anyway, right?
Where the right down pipe joins the front section there is a small blow, which makes for a nice loud exhaust burble! Would wrapping it in heat tape, because it is actually very close to the clutch slave, also muffle the noise a bit?
 

quattro

Well-Known Member
Well done on the LT77 install, makes it a lot more civilised at speed.

Personally, I would fix the blow first, then wrap it if you need to. You don't want any exhaust fumes getting into the car.

Richard
 
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