Thursday, April 22, 2021

Mariko's electrical issues - resolved for now?

 So, as a review.  I was driving my Samurai in the vicinity of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona on March 27.  It was a light rain kind of day, so driving with headlights on, wipers going, heater going as it was a bit chilly.

Everything went dead after a high pitched squealing noise as I pulled away from the gas station in Marble Canyon.  Long story short, I lost the fusible link and there were electrical shorts occurring even after replacing the fusible link.

A shop in Page, AZ diagnosed a damaged ECM, Electronics Control Module, as causing the ignition short circuit which kept frying the ignition fuse.

Fast forward to my return to the Metro Denver area on April 6.  I drop off the Samurai with my "regular" shop and was told that the main culprit for all the electrical issues appears to have been an alternator with a failed internal regulator.  When the regulator failed, the alternator was generating 19+ volts into the electrical system!  Normal, is 14.5 volts, max.

This over-voltage resulted in, a damaged ECM (replaced with used one), damaged battery (replaced with new one), fusible link (replaced), damaged wiper motor (to be replaced by me eventually), the radio appears to be toast and an electrical short circuit for the headlights (fixed).  The alternator was a GM alternator installed by some mechanic's shop in Boulder, CO at the behest of the previous owner back in September of 2016.

My own mechanic mentioned said alternator had been wired up in a "funky" manner and not the correct way.  I can't say for certain but suspect that it might have contributed to the relatively early failure of the internal regulator on the GM alternator.

So, alternator has been replaced with another GM alternator; apparently this was easier and faster than trying to source the OEM alternator.  I guess we'll see how long the repairs last and how long till the next issue?

The Sammy is back for now....

Note: Email notifications for new blog posts will stop starting July, 2021.   The previously mentioned subscription service via has been canceled (too spammy).  More to follow.


SonjaM said...

Ah well... the downsides of a used vehicle. Hope the replacement will last you a while longer now.

redlegsrides said...

I can only hope SonjaM.... thanks