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Leak onto alternator


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#1 TonyB

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:06 PM

I have an 1982 280zxt with nearly stock everything. If I can get the car started the fuel, brake, door, and light/key warning lights turn on. The battery dies mid drive. So it's something with the alternator. I have replaced the alternator once already, and its lasted for about 5 months now. But now it seems like something has leaked onto the alternator and damaged it. Anyone have any idea as to what is causing the leak and damaging my alternator?

#2 Gollum

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:04 PM

Checked the power steering pump/lines? It's directly above and prone to leaking. Almost all of them have oil stains on the top from the lid leaking, and it's not uncommon to see oil collection/staining on the lines where the attach at the pump. Good units, and will last forever if you keep their fluid level full, just leaky sons of guns.

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#3 TonyB

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:27 AM

I swapped in a new power steering pump. It might be the lines. Is the alternator done for? Or can it be cleaned or repaired?

#4 BluDestiny

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:51 AM

Take the alternator out and have AutoZone test it. Power steering fluid is pretty bad stuff I, so I wouldn't be surprised.
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#5 Leon

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:43 AM

The water pump intake is also right above the alternator, check that as well.

#6 TonyB

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:52 PM

Is there any chance its motor oil? I can see the liquid on a pan underneath the alternator. Any way to identify what kind of liquid is leaking. I'm almost 100% sure whatever is leaking is damaging my alternator. The alternator is what is bad. I need to fix whatever is leaking and get a new alternator.

#7 Gollum

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:01 AM

Hard to tell what kind of oil it is if it isn't fresh. Power steering will have a reddish hue usually, while motor oils go from amber (clean) to rather black (dirty). But all oils will eventually look black as they spend time in the atmosphere and collect contaminants.

I personally find it hard to imagine it's motor oil though. There just isn't much over on that side of the engine to leak, except the oil filter but that's a good 12+ inches away. That'd have to be some impressive oil flinging which would be dirtying the whole engine bay. By contrast the power steering pump is DIRECTLY above the alternator, hence why I suggested it first...

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#8 TonyB

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:14 AM

I'm just kind of skeptical that its the power steering pump leaking. I had it replaced a few months ago. I guess I'll check the water pump, power steering, and lines. Thanks all.

#9 Gollum

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:20 AM

I'm just kind of skeptical that its the power steering pump leaking. I had it replaced a few months ago. I guess I'll check the water pump, power steering, and lines. Thanks all.


All the more reason to be skeptic. How long have you owned and driven the car? How long have you been having alternator issues? If the last alternator went out soon after having the PS pump replaced that's certainly cause to check over the work done.

'75 280Z, L28ET, Street going rat rod

http://forums.hybrid...ms-dd-l28et-75/


#10 TonyB

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:32 PM

All the more reason to be skeptic. How long have you owned and driven the car? How long have you been having alternator issues? If the last alternator went out soon after having the PS pump replaced that's certainly cause to check over the work done.


Its been about 6months since the power steering pump/alternator replacement.

#11 dan5138

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:27 PM

Time to do a taste test! If it drips on to a clean pan under the car, dab a bit on your finger and give it a taste. Coolant is extremely bitter if its the newer stuff, the older stuff and in states that don't require bittering additives its going to be sweet. Engine oil is really waxy tasting. Power steering fluid is pretty nasty tasting, not as waxy as engine oil. I have my doubts that oil contamination would ruin an alternator really fast like that. Ive seen a few that were saturated in stuff and still worked! I would check your battery out, how old is it? lots of corrosion and nastieness on top? If possible a battery load tester is the best way. Make sure none of your battery leads or alternator are chaffed or can ground out on anything.

#12 surpip

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:30 AM

Don’t forget to do a taste test on the battery too, should have a spicy/extreme burning taste to it. (Please don’t really do this or put any fluids on your tongue if you don’t have experience with it your just going to end up with a nasty taste in your mouth an still have no clue what the fluid was.)

Edited by surpip, 31 March 2012 - 12:44 AM.

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