thunderbird alternator problems

I have an 1988 thunderbird that the amp light came on in. I took to get tested and it turned out fine and then the amp light went off. A couple of weeks later it came on again so i ignored it thinking it was maybe because i
don't drive the car that much. Well I enede up breaking down and had to have to battery charged to get home. After the battery was charged we tested the alternetor by removing the positive cable and the car died. I took my alternator to get fixed and when I got it back I tested it again because my amp light was on still. Car died just as suspected. I checked the plugsto the alternator to see if they were maybe dirty, but they weren't. Is there something else that could be bad on the car that would make me think it is the alternator? The engine is a 5.0 and fuel injected. Any one that has any help i would really appriciate it cuz I don't want the car to sit all winter and not be able to start it and drive on the nicer days.
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Depending on the vintage, the alternator may be fine but the voltage regulator, which is usually located separately on the wheel well, may be the problem.

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Donald Baker wrote:

This car should have an internal regulator from the factory. Pay special attention to the plug that's on the back of the alternator. These have been known to have contact problems. Most rebuilt alternators that you buy for this model (well, the good ones anyway) have a new plug that you are supposed to crimp on the old wiring. Be leary of rebuild kits that are available on the market for these alternators. When one of these alternators fail, a lot of parts in the alternator quite often fail at once.
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nightmagic wrote:

I have an '88 Cougar that I purchased new and now has about 300K miles. Does your radio lose the station presets when you start it? If it does, replace the battery. The battery is not keeping enough voltage in the system and it will need replacing.
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[quote=]>Does your radio lose the station presets when you start it? If it does,

My radio was replaced and the kid that owned the car before me had allsorts of stuff messed up and too many different color wires, We still are having diffeculty with figuring out all the speakers. So I would no be able to go by that. The battery is fine any way, I have no problems starting it. But thanks anyway. Beings that I didn't buy the alternator at a part store ( because i had my old one fixed) I didn't get a new plug. I will see about getting a new one of those and go from there....Thanks very much to all. I'll let you know what happens....in the mean time if any one else has any other ideas please post them! the more i check into the better!
--
LOVE thunderbirds


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"nightmagic" wrote

That's a "test" that went out with mechanical voltage regulators. On anything made within the last 30 years, it's an excellent way to fry the alternator, regulator, computer, radio, and any other electrical devices in the car. Please don't do it again.
http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com /
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nightmagic wrote:

Amp light coming on means the alternator isn't producing enough current to charge the battery; it's most likely a defective alternator OR separate VR (typical for 5.0 engine) OR battery going out OR cabling problems. I don't really trust the amp idiot light; get a cigar lighter plug-in digital voltmeter for about $15 that shows what's going on much better that the idiot light. If you let the car sit for weeks at a time, invest another $20 in a 2A trickle charger that will keep the battery charged and also prevent it from freezing in winter.
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