Pontiac Solstice Forum banner

61 - 80 of 120 Posts

·
Registered
2006 Solstice 2.4L
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #61
112030


I know it's terrible, but this is the absolute best photo I could get using a PC webcam and my phone from underneath to light. I couldn't use the phone for light and camera because it got blocked as it was too large and would get covered. Hopefully the annotations do a better job of explaining how I have things setup.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
If you have an android phone download an app called "Cozy Magnifier" You are going to love this application!
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
The photo is fine. I can tell you there is a lot of oxidation on the connections. I would undo them and wire brush them. If you have a Dremil tool use that with a small wire wheel attached to it. If you do not have the flexible wand that you can attach to the Dremil you might consider picking one up they aren't that expensive. If you do not have a Dremil tool go to a pawn shop or even a recycling place like ReStore and you can get one for maybe 5 bucks, they might have the wand also. Otherwise you are probably going to have a fight trying to get enough slack in the wiring to get it to a place where you can clean the terminal rings. You should also clean off the nut as well.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
also.. it looks like you are missing a wire somewhere. there should be 2 wires attached to the top post and one wire on each of the other posts.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
112031
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
I am betting that you don't have the alternator connected to the starter, and that is why you have a low voltage when the car is running... It has got to be there somewhere It shows it as 2 separate terminal rings in the schematics in the shop manual. It is 2 physical connections one for the battery and one for the alternator. The alternator wire is one size smaller then the wire from the battery, so it is going to be pretty decent size. larger than the purple wire.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
Oh now mind you. the wire from the alternator is a 10 gauge wire, but that wire has a fusible link on it (or it's supposed to) the fusible link is just a pigtail attached to the 10 gauge the pigtail is 12 gauge. if you didn't have it connected there is a good chance it shorted and melted the fusible link which would mean that there is a wire that is not going anywhere and has no ring on the end of it. It comes from the same harness that the purple wire comes from. so follow that larger harness in either direction and you should find the one that is missing.
 

·
Registered
2006 Solstice 2.4L
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #68
Oh now mind you. the wire from the alternator is a 10 gauge wire, but that wire has a fusible link on it (or it's supposed to) the fusible link is just a pigtail attached to the 10 gauge the pigtail is 12 gauge. if you didn't have it connected there is a good chance it shorted and melted the fusible link which would mean that there is a wire that is not going anywhere and has no ring on the end of it. It comes from the same harness that the purple wire comes from. so follow that larger harness in either direction and you should find the one that is missing.
I'll have to look for this. I'm thinking it's going to be pretty difficult to locate another wire in there given how tight the starter is in its place. I might even have to pull the intake manifold in order to access it well enough. Don't have a dremmel tool but I should invest in one as my friend's came in handy when doing the clutch job for numerous things.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
Don't worry about the dremil tool for now.
Locate that other wire. If you can get your hand on the purple wire follow it to the main harness, then follow the main harness towards the front of the vehicle until you locate the next branch off of it. follow that branch to it's end. that is the wire that is missing.

You should be able to do that without having to see what you are doing.
Close your eyes and picture what I just said in your head. get your hand in there and visualize where you hand is in that picture. keep your eyes closed while doing this. I know it sounds crazy but this is how you see with your fingers.

Here is a diagram to help you draw that mental picture.

#4 is the purple wire and the wire you are looking for is #5
112032
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts

·
Registered
2006 Solstice 2.4L
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #71
I had to remove the wheel and guard to get my hand in there enough. There is actually two wires connected to the top post, as there's supposed to be - the one shown in the first picture from before, and another, thinner, all red wire that looks like it leads to the alternator but I really can't confirm as the wires are so crammed in there that they can't be moved around enough to get my fingers on it. I tried to take a photo of it:
112042

I'm not able to get a brush or even my fingers on the contacts well enough, and certainly can't get them unbolted to clean thoroughly as the space is too small to fit my tools in. It was possible when doing the clutch because we had the car up on stands and it was quite a bit easier to access from the bottom. No longer have stands since the harbor freight recall where they took my stands and then afterwards told me they couldn't give me new ones since they didn't make them anymore, so I was stuck with store credit (n)

So looks like I'll have to go get some more of those from somewhere else and try to get to a better place to clean the contacts from.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
well if you are saying it is connected then it must be connected. I would do the voltage drop test at the alternator and see if the voltage differs from what the voltage is at the battery with the car running. Tomorrow morning I will get the voltage from the generator turn on and field wires to let you know what they should be so you can test those to make sure the ECM is telling the alternator to turn on.

If you are not able to get to the post on the alternator to test the voltage then you will have to pull the alternator and bring it back as defective and have them give you a new one. You should still address the battery with them as well. explain to them that the car started and 1 minute later the dash lit up like a Christmas tree so you shut the car off. you checked the battery voltage and it was at 1.9 volts. Tell them that you believe there is an internal short in the battery and that took out the alternator. also explain to them that when they fast charged the battery from 1.9 volts the battery is now damaged and show them the swollen side.
 

·
Registered
2006 Solstice 2.4L
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #73
well if you are saying it is connected then it must be connected. I would do the voltage drop test at the alternator and see if the voltage differs from what the voltage is at the battery with the car running. Tomorrow morning I will get the voltage from the generator turn on and field wires to let you know what they should be so you can test those to make sure the ECM is telling the alternator to turn on.

If you are not able to get to the post on the alternator to test the voltage then you will have to pull the alternator and bring it back as defective and have them give you a new one. You should still address the battery with them as well. explain to them that the car started and 1 minute later the dash lit up like a Christmas tree so you shut the car off. you checked the battery voltage and it was at 1.9 volts. Tell them that you believe there is an internal short in the battery and that took out the alternator. also explain to them that when they fast charged the battery from 1.9 volts the battery is now damaged and show them the swollen side.
Getting around to this tonight. I had a very busy weekend but have much more time this week.
Once you get those voltages, how would you suggest taking a reading of the turn on & field wires since their contacts are jammed into a harness. Would I just pull it off the alternator and test that way?
 

·
Registered
2006 Solstice 2.4L
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #74
well if you are saying it is connected then it must be connected. I would do the voltage drop test at the alternator and see if the voltage differs from what the voltage is at the battery with the car running. Tomorrow morning I will get the voltage from the generator turn on and field wires to let you know what they should be so you can test those to make sure the ECM is telling the alternator to turn on.

If you are not able to get to the post on the alternator to test the voltage then you will have to pull the alternator and bring it back as defective and have them give you a new one. You should still address the battery with them as well. explain to them that the car started and 1 minute later the dash lit up like a Christmas tree so you shut the car off. you checked the battery voltage and it was at 1.9 volts. Tell them that you believe there is an internal short in the battery and that took out the alternator. also explain to them that when they fast charged the battery from 1.9 volts the battery is now damaged and show them the swollen side.
Got around to doing the voltage drop off test and found the following:

14.5-15v on the alternator (alligator clip on the alt's main positive terminal to the multimeter, negative to multimeter housing)
11.3v on the battery posts themselves

Sounds to me like good news in the sense that this gives us some more information, right? It sounds to me like somewhere between the alternator and the battery there's a failure to transfer power.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
It is definitely a connection problem. We just have to isolate where it is. We are going to hit the easiest things first.

There is a ground wire attached to the front of the engine right above the alternator. It is a fat wire and you cannot miss it. Check that connection make sure it is clean and tight.
If that connection is good you are going to need a piece of wire that will reach from the alternator to the battery. It does not have to be a large wire, we are only going to test voltage with it.

I want you to take the positive test lead and stick it into the positive terminal on the battery. It might be easiest to loosen the terminal some so you can get the test lead between the terminal and post and then tighten up the terminal a little. Place the meter up high enough so you can read it from a distance away. Tape the wire to the negative test lead. Strip the end of the wire first and make sure the bare wire is touching the metal tip on the lead.

Start the car. strip the other end of the wire and touch it to the outside of the alternator. tell me what your voltage is.

Then we are going to do this same kind of a test except hook the negative test lead to the negative terminal and attach the wire to the positive test lead, start the car. touch the wire to the post on the terminal and tell me the voltage.


This is a pretty simple thing to do so we know whether the problem is a ground problem or a positive problem.

The alternator grounds through it's case to the engine block. the block is then grounded to the battery, I have not checked but the block could also be grounded to the frame. I know there is a ground that runs from the battery to the frame. So there is a potential for a connection problem there.

The positive comes off of the alternator and goes to the starter, then from the starter it heads over to the battery. So there is a couple of connection points there but they involve the starter which I know is a real ball buster to get to. So let eliminate everything else and deal with the starter last if the need arises.

We still have not fully removed the possibility that it could be a blown fusible link. Before you do any of the above tests I want you to disconnect the harness that is clipped into the alternator. Then test the voltage at the post without the car running. Tell me what the voltage is. There is the possibility that the fusible link could be toast and the voltage you saw before at the post without the car running was because of one of the wires coming from the ECM. so lets disconnect those and check.

Get prepaired to invest in some good jack stands because you may need them. I am really suspect of the connections at the starter because none of these problems existed before you did the clutch, one of the things you did when doing the clutch was you messed with the wiring at the starter.
 

·
Registered
2006 Solstice 2.4L
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #76
It is definitely a connection problem. We just have to isolate where it is. We are going to hit the easiest things first.

There is a ground wire attached to the front of the engine right above the alternator. It is a fat wire and you cannot miss it. Check that connection make sure it is clean and tight.
If that connection is good you are going to need a piece of wire that will reach from the alternator to the battery. It does not have to be a large wire, we are only going to test voltage with it.

I want you to take the positive test lead and stick it into the positive terminal on the battery. It might be easiest to loosen the terminal some so you can get the test lead between the terminal and post and then tighten up the terminal a little. Place the meter up high enough so you can read it from a distance away. Tape the wire to the negative test lead. Strip the end of the wire first and make sure the bare wire is touching the metal tip on the lead.

Start the car. strip the other end of the wire and touch it to the outside of the alternator. tell me what your voltage is.

Then we are going to do this same kind of a test except hook the negative test lead to the negative terminal and attach the wire to the positive test lead, start the car. touch the wire to the post on the terminal and tell me the voltage.


This is a pretty simple thing to do so we know whether the problem is a ground problem or a positive problem.

The alternator grounds through it's case to the engine block. the block is then grounded to the battery, I have not checked but the block could also be grounded to the frame. I know there is a ground that runs from the battery to the frame. So there is a potential for a connection problem there.

The positive comes off of the alternator and goes to the starter, then from the starter it heads over to the battery. So there is a couple of connection points there but they involve the starter which I know is a real ball buster to get to. So let eliminate everything else and deal with the starter last if the need arises.

We still have not fully removed the possibility that it could be a blown fusible link. Before you do any of the above tests I want you to disconnect the harness that is clipped into the alternator. Then test the voltage at the post without the car running. Tell me what the voltage is. There is the possibility that the fusible link could be toast and the voltage you saw before at the post without the car running was because of one of the wires coming from the ECM. so lets disconnect those and check.

Get prepaired to invest in some good jack stands because you may need them. I am really suspect of the connections at the starter because none of these problems existed before you did the clutch, one of the things you did when doing the clutch was you messed with the wiring at the starter.
Not seeing a ground wire above the alternator. Does this for sure exist on the 2.4L? There's 3 chassis grounds, 2 right next to each other on the left side frame, and the other on right side. There's an engine ground on the opposite side of the block from the alternator, right above the exhaust manifold. Two different ground wires meet there. Further back towards the trans, but on that same side of the car, there's another ground bolted to the engine, hidden a little, almost by the firewall. I've cleaned all these thoroughly months ago to no avail - wire brushed and sanded off dirty areas, inside out. I also cleaned the threads and sockets where they screw in to. Am I missing a major ground somewhere? I see a bracket in the place you described that's holding up an engine cover mounting post, positive wire to starter, and main wiring harness.

Then we are going to do this same kind of a test except hook the negative test lead to the negative terminal and attach the wire to the positive test lead, start the car. touch the wire to the post on the terminal and tell me the voltage.
I want to clarify what you mean here... I get to switch which common denominator of what we're testing by changing from using the (+) test lead -> (+) battery & (-) test lead -> (-) alt housing over to (-) test lead -> (-) battery and I would figure (+) test lead -> (+) alt via the single large wire post on alternator based off what we're trying to get done but wanted to clarify that is indeed what you're asking since I wasn't sure with how it was worded.

I'll measure these voltages now.

Before you do any of the above tests I want you to disconnect the harness that is clipped into the alternator. Then test the voltage at the post without the car running. Tell me what the voltage is.
On this one, we're measuring (+) test lead -> (+) alt via its own positive contact again and (-) test lead -> (-) alt housing to see if disconnecting the field and turn on wires' harness makes a difference? I'm 99% sure we're on the same page, just want to make sure that I'm not measuring something in a different place that could change what values you're expecting and result in a wrong diagnosis because of me. Thank you so much again!
 

·
Registered
2006 Solstice 2.4L
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #77
Got the readings:
(+) test lead -> (+) battery & (-) test lead -> alt housing: 11.3v
(+) test lead -> (+) alt post & (-) test lead -> (-) battery: 5.6v

All values were staying constant and even the hundredths of a volt were barely fluctuating. Sounds to me like a pretty clear ground interruption unless I have things backwards.

EDIT: All of these values were taken while the engine was running, just to clarify, even though the best voltage is still less than the 14-15v I was seeing directly on the alternator itself.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
(+) test lead -> (+) battery & (-) test lead -> alt housing: 11.3v = bad positive
(+) test lead -> (+) alt post & (-) test lead -> (-) battery: 5.6v = bad ground


Which the above doesn't make a damned bit of sense.

And when you test the post on the alt to the alt housing you are getting 14ish volts when the car it running and the clip is plugged into the alternator?

For all of these tests leave the clip plugged into the alternator.

The following tests we are going to be using the post on the alternator.
put the neg test lead on the alt housing, record the voltage.
put the neg on the block, record the voltage
put the neg on the frame, record the voltage

we already know that there is 5.6 volts with the neg on the battery.

you are correct with the ground location being the right (passenger) front corner of the engine... That ground goes directly to the battery. there is a ground that also goes from the frame to the battery.

When you test from the post on the alt to the neg on the battery you should be seeing the exact same thing as post on the alt to the housing on the alt. which is 14ish volts. You are not seeing this for some reason. The car starts and that would mean the battery to engine ground is good. Now the question is why is there a good ground on the housing for the alt but not the engine. There should be a good physical connection between the alternator and the block because it is bolted to it. Maybe the bolts are not tightened up? That is the only thing It could be. The alternator is a fixed position mount, there are 3 bolts that hold it onto the engine.

OH btw, if you remove the alternator you should be able to access all of the wiring at the starter. The alternator is pretty easy to take out and you may consider doing this to clean up the terminals on the starter, I would also do a continuity test on the wire from the alternator to the starter just to make sure everything is good.

Make sure the alternator is bolted on nice and tight and do the voltage test I outlined above, report back the voltages.
 

·
Registered
2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP
Joined
·
1,457 Posts
There could could also be dirt/oil residue on the mating surfaces of the alternator and the block. That could be causing a ground issue between the alternator and the block.
 

·
Registered
2006 Solstice 2.4L
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #80
(+) test lead -> (+) battery & (-) test lead -> alt housing: 11.3v = bad positive
(+) test lead -> (+) alt post & (-) test lead -> (-) battery: 5.6v = bad ground


Which the above doesn't make a damned bit of sense.

And when you test the post on the alt to the alt housing you are getting 14ish volts when the car it running and the clip is plugged into the alternator?

For all of these tests leave the clip plugged into the alternator.

The following tests we are going to be using the post on the alternator.
put the neg test lead on the alt housing, record the voltage.
put the neg on the block, record the voltage
put the neg on the frame, record the voltage

we already know that there is 5.6 volts with the neg on the battery.

you are correct with the ground location being the right (passenger) front corner of the engine... That ground goes directly to the battery. there is a ground that also goes from the frame to the battery.

When you test from the post on the alt to the neg on the battery you should be seeing the exact same thing as post on the alt to the housing on the alt. which is 14ish volts. You are not seeing this for some reason. The car starts and that would mean the battery to engine ground is good. Now the question is why is there a good ground on the housing for the alt but not the engine. There should be a good physical connection between the alternator and the block because it is bolted to it. Maybe the bolts are not tightened up? That is the only thing It could be. The alternator is a fixed position mount, there are 3 bolts that hold it onto the engine.

OH btw, if you remove the alternator you should be able to access all of the wiring at the starter. The alternator is pretty easy to take out and you may consider doing this to clean up the terminals on the starter, I would also do a continuity test on the wire from the alternator to the starter just to make sure everything is good.

Make sure the alternator is bolted on nice and tight and do the voltage test I outlined above, report back the voltages.
Will do these tests tomorrow. The alternator is bolted to torque spec and is very firmly in place. I cleaned all the surfaces That the block and alt come into contact with each other when installing the new alternator.
All of the tests I performed with the clip in. I haven’t taken it out for any tests yet.
 
61 - 80 of 120 Posts
Top