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Old 11-03-2019, 12:13 PM   #21
Jonasan308
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1999 SC1
Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

I found one of those clip on wheel weights on the outside. Also was the spot where the most corrosion was present. Another wheel had the same clip but no corrosion and it holds air. One in the rear is trying to go flat but hasnt yet. Theres a tire shop down the street so ill head there to put in some air.

If it can be fixed, I think ill just keep air in it until i get steel wheels. I think ive seen an SL2 with steel wheels at the yard i bought the car from.
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1999 SC1-156K at purchase(oct 2016)-215k(Oct 2019)
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:27 PM   #22
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
.......The ultimate fix is to upgrade to steel rims.
And I thought an upgrade on rims was going from steel to aluminum......
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:46 PM   #23
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Back in the Neanderthal age, I had a wagon with aluminum rims. After awhile one leaked. When the tires were replaced, the tire man used an air driven tool to sand the inside bead clean. I was intrigued and wasn't smart enough to ask why. Looking back, he knew bare aluminum rims corrode right around the bead area. Some time afterwards that one tire began leaking again. I tried green slime, hoping it would distribute, from rigorous bouncing, and seal. I wound up breaking the bead and dribbling more slime to seal it once and for all. That was an amateur mistake, not realizing the correct way to repair leaks. If I'm not mistaken, most aluminum rims are coated, inside and out against oxidation. Incorrect wheel weights piercing the clear coat or paint simply breaks the plastic seal against oxidation. Once chipped of paint or clear coat, oxidation begins and works its way into the inside bead where it forces the bead seal to break and leak air. The only way to correct every bead leak is removing the steel wheel weights (for correct balancing using stick on weights), sand off all corrosion on the perimeter (inside and outside) until aluminum shines, wipe off the rim and immediately clear coat or paint the rim. If you get this far, you'll understand tire shops aren't all the same and better shops take extra steps against ruining aluminum rims with steel clamp on weights. Rebalancing each rim and tire then involves placing stick on weights onto the inside of the rim. Centrifugal force prevents these weights from being thrown and doesn't scratch clear coat/paint.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:30 PM   #24
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1999 SC1
Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Sounds like ill have to look closely for a reputable shop that will know what to do with my wheels. The alignment place i used for the SC1 seemed like a rather high quality shop so i think ill ask them.

Ive looked into the process, it seems tedious but may very well be worth the effort. Ive been doing some doordash with the SC1 and the SL2 some as well so ive got another source of income which gives me freedom to do extra stuff like getting steel wheels and refinishing the alloys. Maybe ill even put on a set of summer tires, as for some reason the cooper Cs4 tires i have currently are 185-65 R15, much smaller than i would have hoped for 15s.
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:12 PM   #25
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

I neglected to suggest searching youtube videos on wheel balancing with aluminum rims. I would presume most tire shops experienced in steel and aluminum rims know about using the correct wheel weights (clamp or stick on) when using their computerized balancer.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:01 PM   #26
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Ive taken a look at a few videos to see the process. Some youtubers have extremely useful videos.

Ohio rust struck hard again, because the driver side brake line blew on the SL2. The light kept coming on randomly as the engine was revved, and i happened to force the line to blow during a hard stop test out of curiosity. Since i already had a whole roll of NiCopp left, and the tools, i was able to get a new line on yesterday. But no fluid was coming out and the brakes were soft. I ended up having to bleed the master cylinder by loosening the flare nuts on it and getting fluid to come out by pressing the brake, and then having someone tighten it when fluid came up. It was still soft, so then i bled all 4 corners of the car. Other than a stubborn nut that wouldnt tighten and not leak out fluid, the bleeding went well and now i have stiff brakes and can lock up the wheels from a hard stop, before slamming the brakes produced noticeably poor braking and no lock up.

This cost about $100 or so to deal with. Not too bad compared to taking it to a shop.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:18 PM   #27
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Well, the car isnt starting now. And this time its more serious.

Started with the lights dimming randomly. And then the most severe symptom was staying in 3rd gear. I shut the car off and took a look under the hood for anything suspicious. Nothing was seen so i tried to start it and nothing. No clicking just silence.

Called the insurance company for a jump and the jump start worked, but the car was BARELY running. Stuck in 3rd. Lights dimmed to the max, every additional use of any accessories drained it. Didnt even make it out the parking lot before it died again. Another jump to move it out the way and i left it to have it towed home.

So when it came back home, i swapped the alternator out for one that was on the Sc1 (it is no longer road worthy) and had a jump start done. The car fired right up and was running fine for awhile. But eventually the same problems came back and its dead again. The battery isnt some premium brand. Just from walmart, it had been once drained before.

To add at all this... The guy who towed my car destroyed an axle boot while loading it up. So now i have an exposed axle.. No noise yet but give it time and it will be making some.
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Old 12-25-2019, 01:54 PM   #28
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Measure voltage at the alternator side post. Battery voltage should be there at all times.
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:06 PM   #29
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

At the current moment, the car isnt somewhere i can put it on stands. Last time it died, i could only get it 10% into the driveway onto the grass and onto a hill. No way to safely jack it up.

I had to wait until stores were open to go grab a new multimeter. I tested the volts from the battery, and with the key at On, it read 9-10 volts at the highest, and slowly sank to 0 volts. By then nothing on the car works and the relays are clicking in the dash.

I tried a jump start too so i could move it. The car DID start right up. i could power on all accessories no issue. But take the cables off and it quickly looses power and stalls, no lights.

If i can somehow get it moving up the driveway and on stands, ill measure the volts from the alternator too. Until then, im going to try and swap the battery with another working one.
...
1999 SL1-129k at purchase(may 2016)-139k when wrecked(September 2016)
1999 SC1-156K at purchase(oct 2016)-215k(Oct 2019)
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:30 PM   #30
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonasan308 View Post
At the current moment, the car isnt somewhere i can put it on stands. Last time it died, i could only get it 10% into the driveway onto the grass and onto a hill. No way to safely jack it up.

I had to wait until stores were open to go grab a new multimeter. I tested the volts from the battery, and with the key at On, it read 9-10 volts at the highest, and slowly sank to 0 volts. By then nothing on the car works and the relays are clicking in the dash.

I tried a jump start too so i could move it. The car DID start right up. i could power on all accessories no issue. But take the cables off and it quickly looses power and stalls, no lights.

If i can somehow get it moving up the driveway and on stands, ill measure the volts from the alternator too. Until then, im going to try and swap the battery with another working one.
That sounds like your battery and alternator are both dead, to me. If you have a battery charger, charge the battery. You should then be able to drive the car until the battery gets too low to power everything...plenty far to get it into your driveway.
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Old 12-26-2019, 04:45 PM   #31
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

+1^ It's obvious to most of us here the battery was discharged and supplying power to the car when the alternator is supposed to do that and failed, leaving the battery to drain to near death. You'd be lucky if this battery can be recharged back to full capacity with little loss of cca. As mentioned above, have this dead battery fully recharged before using it again. A good battery will run the engine a good amount of time and more than enough to move the car into the garage for more troubleshooting.

The reason the car acted erratically most likely occurred from one or both alternators not powered - the fusible link wire is calibrated to no more than 30 amps to protect the battery from alternator voltage regulator short circuiting to short circuit the battery. Under normal circumstances, the alternator is always outputting voltages above battery voltage and varying current to supply all the electrical needs of the vehicle while recharging the battery. This means anywhere from 20-120 amps of output depending on the alternator maximum amperage output. Something is preventing the alternators from operating and the fusible link wire seems to be the common point. And do not assume the low amperage rating of the fusible link wire is at fault for being rated for 30 amps (or so). Electron flow is negative to positive - all current flows from ground to positive and grounds between engine block and battery negative carry more amperage for recharging batteries, not thru the fusible link wire. If the fusible link wire is damaged, either mechanical damage occurred or it burned out as a result of the alternator suffering an internal short. The fusible link wire opens first to protect against battery shorts so the battery remains viable instead of short circuiting due to alternator damage. This was the reason I asked you to measure battery voltage at the alternator side terminal to see if the fusible link wire opened (zero voltage would be indicated on a dvm). It wasn't known if the battery was discharged until you measured it. Battery voltage below 12 volts indicates it was discharged without being recharged. Below 11 volts indicates severe discharging occurred with zero recharging from both alternators.
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Old 12-26-2019, 05:39 PM   #32
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

I dont have a garage.. Lol. Used to but it started leaning and had to be torn down.

I got the new battery in and the first start, it came on but immediately stalled. Tried again and it stayed started this time. Put it in its spot in the driveway.

This may sound odd but for some reason im not able to get any readings from the battery now. Key on run or running. Hm.

I also had my old alternator tested. It checked out fine with some grinding bearing noise coming from it in the 3rd test.

The wire for the fusible link ended up holding the weight of the alternator because the bolt on top of it for some reason ended up being very tough to remove. I couldnt make enough torque to remove it while the 2 13mm bolts were still holding in the alternator. Could this have damaged the fusible link?
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1999 SL1-129k at purchase(may 2016)-139k when wrecked(September 2016)
1999 SC1-156K at purchase(oct 2016)-215k(Oct 2019)
1996 SL2-116k- (oct 2019)
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:11 PM   #33
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonasan308 View Post
I dont have a garage.. I also had my old alternator tested. It checked out fine with some grinding bearing noise coming from it in the 3rd test.

The wire for the fusible link ended up holding the weight of the alternator because the bolt on top of it for some reason ended up being very tough to remove. I couldnt make enough torque to remove it while the 2 13mm bolts were still holding in the alternator. Could this have damaged the fusible link?
Oh, I thought you had a garage to work indoors.... Find cardboard boxes, slice them up to make them easier to move them around to lay on instead of cold hard ground, gravel, wet grass, etc. Cardboard boxes are disposable so there are plenty of places to find them.

If one alternator bench tested fine but making bearing noises, it's eligible for rebuilding if you have skills and tools. Bench testing from stores separates alternators from the vehicle'e electrical system (wiring, battery, cabling). What you don't know is if the stretched fusible link wire broke internally when it was used inadvertently to hold the alternator as it hung freely. The weight of the alternator is enough to stretch and possibly break the thin gauge wire inside insulation. If the wire broke the multimeter won't show battery voltage on the alternator side terminal connection where power is applied from the starter terminal. The large terminal on the starter has the large battery cable and fusible link wire; the fusible link wire is basically an extension cord for battery power to the alternator. The alternator has live 12v power at all times but doesn't drain battery power due to its voltage regulator - it draws power only when the alternator is spinning.

When a vehicle doesn't have its alternator outputting to supply all the power s vehicle needs, the battery strains as it discharges to keep the car running. At some point below a certain voltage, say around 11.5 volts, the electrical and electronics begins to suffer with strange symptoms as the xmission acts up as if its failing wile the engine runs erratically and lights begins to dim. The battery is draining and dropping voltage. Most vehicle electronics have a minimum voltage, around 9-10 volts dc to operate. Below this voltage, electronics spaz out, unable to function from low voltage. Strange symptoms appear if not aware of lower operating voltages. Running on battery power alone, the battery discharges as the vehicle fails to run right until no more battery power is left to keep the engine EFI system running. No power.....
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Last edited by fdryer; 12-26-2019 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:48 PM   #34
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

That seems to describe the situation with my car well so far. So my next step is checking the fusible link it seems. When i measure that, thats with the key at on right? And im to probe either end of the link? Just making sure, im a bit iffy about getting so close to that and having it powered up.

Could i swap fusible links from either car too?
...
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:58 PM   #35
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Think again. No ignition on. Battery positive (red) is connected to the main engine fuse box under the hood and continues to the starter terminal. The starter terminal should have another wire on it, the fusible link wire. This f/l/w goes to the alternator side terminal. Engine and chassis are grounded with two ground connections; battery negative to chassis, chassis to engine block so the entire car body and engine block are grounded for every electrical connection needing ground. The starter ground is its frame. The alternator ground is its frame. Both are electrically wired to ground thru their frames to simplify wiring.

The alternator side terminal wired connection is HOT at all times so its supposed to be at battery voltage, 12.5v with ignition on or off. Ignition does not need to be turned on to measure voltage at the alternator side terminal. Remember, all measurements for voltage are to ground for this check. The fusible link wire is supposed to be intact, extending battery power from its connection to the starter terminal with the only red cable from the battery. The fusible link wire should have 12v on the other end of its wire connected to the alternator whether ignition is on or off.

Special precautions are required when replacing alternators. The side terminal with fusible link wire connection requires care. This terminal is insulated to prevent a short circuit or breaking the internal wire as the wire connection enters the case to the voltage regulator. There are two mounting nuts on the side terminal; one to secure the insulator from movement (the nut closest to the frame), the other to fasten the two ring terminals to the stud (the outer nut and washer). Its recommended to have two wrenches; one to hold the inner nut from turning, the other to tighten the second nut to secure both ring terminals. If the bottom nut rotates, the wire passing thru the case frame can become damaged and break easily. Once broken, the alternator voltage regulator cannot operate with a broken internal connection. The bottom nut must not rotate as the top nut is tightened. Less than 8lbs of torque is needed to tighten the nut and washer to secure the two wires (battery cable and f/l/w.
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Last edited by fdryer; 12-26-2019 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 12-28-2019, 04:56 PM   #36
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Okay, so im not even 100% sure i was measuring it right, but i got no volts with the multimeter connected to the alternator side post. Also. The wire isnt hot at all. Hmmmm.

I didnt have enough space underneath to turn much so i used the same as a ground.

The car is still starting up. It hasnt drained the batttery yet. But it isnt being driven. And every start up. The engine is misfiring and the battery light is lit up with it running.
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Old 12-28-2019, 08:43 PM   #37
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Default Re: New addition to the family (96 SL2)

Starting up drains battery capacity. If you measured battery voltage before and after startup, without the alternator operating (battery light on), battery voltage will continually drop below 12.5 volts as the engine drains the battery. You won't go very far without an operating alternator.

Replace the fusible link wire. You can use the other one if its intact. An easy way to test a spare one: be sure both ends are terminated, not broken and a tug won't pull a crimped terminal off, connect one end temporarily to battery positive and measure the other end. You're seeing the same configuration as it would be in the wiring harness. Measuring 12v on the end verifies a good replacement.

On a good vehicle, measure battery voltage twice; engine off then engine running.

An easy way to understand how battery and alternators operate; measure battery voltage with engine OFF - good batteries always measures around 12.5v. Startup the engine and measure battery voltage again - you should see approximately 14.5v, the alternator is running and supplying power to the vehicle's electrical system while recharging the battery.

Disconnect battery negative before running this temporary setup to avoid becoming a welder.

If you want to try a temporary fusible link wire replacement, connect a 8 gauge wire or spare fusible link wire between starter terminal and alternator side terminal. Be sure not to overtighten the nut on the alternator side terminal - use two wrenches as described previously. Once this setup is made, reconnect battery negative, measure the alternator side terminal and verify battery voltage then startup. If done correctly, the battery light will turn off and battery voltage should around 14.5v as the alternator is operating.
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