Likely the alternator?

Hello Folks
Shut off my 92 XLT this morning and it wouldn't restart. Minor lights go on, but when I turn the key to the "On" position everything goes
dead or almost dead. And of course it won't start on it's own
I jumped it with my portable jumper, and it started several times. So I thought it was the battery, which is pretty old. I see a code J9 on this DieHard. That, believe it or not, tells me October 1999. And I checked my owners manual, and sure enough it shows my last battery replacement 50,000 miles ago, in January 1999! That's a lot of time for one battery. I removed the battery and used my voltmeter. It's showing about 60 volts with no load. (Not sure what that number means) But there's little question the battery is drained and won't oeprate under full load.
So I jumped it again and started off for the shop. But I noticed that the alternator gauge is steady sometimes and then starts to jump around as I'm driving steadily. Seems to me a worn battery would not make the gauge do that. Is that right, or could that be the battery? Cables were tight with no visible corrosion. No apparent problem with the drive belt. Is that likely the alternator? Regulator is part of the alternator on the Explorer, no? Any other possibilities? Could it simply be the battery.
Thanks as always.
Anthony Giorgianni
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Incidentlaly, this is the original alternator. I have 108,000 miles.
Anthony Giorgianni
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Sorry, reading the wrong scale. The old battery is 12 volts with no load. That makes more sense :O)
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Additional info:
I put the battery back, jumped it again and voltage across the battery terminals at idle is 14 volts dead on and consistent, with lights on and off. Shut off the engine, and the light dim to almost nothing immediately. I'm thinking now that this is just a catasthropic failure of this really old battery? On Sep 14, 6:22 pm, Anthony Giorgianni

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Free battery/alternator check at most parts stores.
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If the alternator is putting out 14 volts across the battery when the truck is running then it should be OK. If the battery does not hold with the truck off then it's the battery. Sounds like the battery for sure from what you've described. At 10+ years, it is about time ;-)
I like Costco batteries but everyone has a preference...
--
Allan Williams




Anthony Giorgianni wrote:
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On a 92 if you can jump start the vehicle pull the negative cable off the batttery if the truck keeps running the alt is good. However the alt good be over charging the battery.
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On Thu, 16 Sep 2010 16:23:20 GMT, "Al Williams"

Or it (the truck) has a parisitic draw that is too high...

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PeterD wrote:

Replace the dead battery and do not pull anything off when the engine is running or you will have to replace more than just an old battery.
ron
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Thanks everybody for the advice.
I decided to go ahead and replace the battery, since it was so old anyway. (Had to wait because the battery tray was rusted and I had to paint it and wait for it to dry. I wash the engine time I wash the car, which seems to take it's toll on the battery tray.)
I just put the battery in and drove a few blocks. Voltmeter is nice and steady and about where it always is.
So my 92 is up and running great.
Now I can shampoo the interior, finish waxing the outside and some selective underside painting just to keep everything new and fresh, and I'll be set for winter!
Thanks again!
Anthony Giorgianni.

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Anthony Giorgianni wrote:

Add a beer or two just to make it worthwhile good luck.
Ron
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