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seth25
05-24-2010, 01:17 AM
2000 Maristar 230 with LTR engine. Was out today for about 4 hours. Voltage gauge on the dash read just below 13. Is this normal? I put two new batteries in last week to make sure that they are good for the season. If the alternator was not putting out sufficient charge, would the battery be dead after running it for 4 hours? I will check the voltage at the batteries in the next couple of days, but just curious about the dash reading. I am going to Lake Powell on Friday and i guess I am wondering if I need a new alternator befor going.

Thanks

LaRue
05-24-2010, 02:17 AM
owners manual says normal operating range is btw 12.8 -14.8 volts with engine running. does yours usually run higher?

FrankSchwab
05-24-2010, 02:33 AM
Put a voltmeter on the battery.

Up until two weeks ago, my dash gauge read about 10 volts engine-off, about 11 engine running. Battery voltage was just fine. But, as a result of removing/replacing the dash (and disconnecting/reconnecting all of the connectors, as well as loosening, cleaning, and tightening all of the gauge connections), the dash gauge now reads about 12v engine off, 14.5V with the engine running - right where it should be.

Corrosion can build up on electrical connections, making the gauge read low. Measure the battery with a voltmeter, and you'll find the truth:
12.4-12.7 V - battery is fully charged, and has been sitting for 8 hours or more.
13.2V - battery is fully charged, and the engine got shut off a few minutes ago.
13.8-14.4V - Alternator is charging the battery. Voltages below this with the engine running above idle suggest maybe you should have someone look at it.
(Note: voltages are approximate, and can change by several tenths due to temperature, battery age, etc).

Good luck at Powell. I gotta imagine the water's still cold (we normally go in September).

/frank

Jason99T/A
05-24-2010, 12:22 PM
I agree with Frank above. You may also check your bolts on your alternator bracket. The LTR had issues with these bolts shearing and Mastercraft offers an updated alternator bracket. I went through this on my '99 PS205 last year. I had issues with throwing belts and this (along with the water pump pulley) were the culprit.

The bolts shearing would usually result in belt issues as I had and not slightly lower than normal voltage. It may be something to look into though.

Jason

seth25
05-24-2010, 07:11 PM
Thanks for the help guys!! I thought I would start by checking the connections at the alternator. I literally touched the charge wire on the alternator and it fell off!! I guess that the connection was a little corroded. I put on a new water proof connector, hooked it up to the water and started it up....

Volt gauge started at 13 and climbed above 13 after running a little while. Hooked volt meter up to the battery, 13.8 while running at 1500 rpm, 13.2 after shutting the engine off.

This makes me a little more comfortable for the trip this weekend!!

Thanks Again

Seth