1991 Prelude Electrical

My 1991 Prelude had a power steering leak that basically poured into the alternator. The battery light came on and the car eventually stopped. After recharging the battery, the vehicle was restarted and ran for about 3
minutes before the battery light started coming back on and died (which I assume the alternator is now bad). There was also a puff of white smoke from the alternator area as it died. The battery is in good charge again.
The question is: now there is no power when the ignition switch is on. The dome light does not work but the brake lights do come on. My understanding is that the alternator would not cause this because the battery runs thru the ignition to the starter and then back to the battery with a branch the alternator off of this loop. What am I missing? What would cause this? Thanks for your feedback.
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events included the power steering fluid (basically an oil) getting on the brushes and disrupting contact with the slip rings. What I fear happened was intermittent contact between the brushes and rings (thus the smoke) and wild gyrations in the voltage.
First thing to check is every fuse you can see. Some of them might not have survived the ride. After that, it's time to troubleshoot the easiest things (lights) first. There may be a large "main" fuse for the switched power - I dunno.
The alternator may even be okay after cleaning and relubricating or it may have been spiked too much - you won't know unless you remove, disassemble and clean it up. You may elect to replace it at this age, depending on how much you fight to get it out and in.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

Alternators use sealed bearings, they don't need relubing. It will, at the very least need to cleaned up and checked out electrically, e.g., diodes, regulator, stator and rotor windings. The "puff of white smoke" symptom was probably a component inside the alternator that burned up or one of wires connecting to it. The factory service manual has procedures in it for checking the alternator. You can get one at http://www.helminc.com . The simple solution, of course, is to replace any blown fuses and any bad wires along with the alternator. Honda sells nice remanufactured units but they're a little on the pricey side (but then you shouldn't have to worry about it again for many years).
Eric
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Robert F. Smith wrote:

Did power steering fluid get on anything else?

Have you checked all of the fuses under the dash and in the relay box under the hood? My 1988 Prelude has 31 fuses. It's probably one of more of those.
-- Chuck
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