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Old 06-23-2015, 10:39 PM   #1
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The wrong side of Barstow

Making my way home from a 9 day trip trough CA, AZ and NM with my son, and after a pit stop about 20 miles east of Barstow, I noticed the red Battery idiot light indicator on my dash. Scrolled through the available indicators on my ScanGauge to the Voltage indicator and it read 11.9V. Oh, and outside temps of over 100 degrees. Crap.

Kept watching the ScanGauge, seeing the voltage go from 11.9 to 11.7, back to 11.9. Decided to tough it out and see how far back home we could make it. What a miserable three hours of my life, stressing about whether we would make it back home without a tow, and how to handle things if we did breakdown along the way.

Slowly watched the voltage drop lower and lower, unplugging phones, tablets, my fridge along the way to minimize current draw, but made it home with the pathetic voltage of 11.4V. The batteries are only a few month old Napa batteries, so I'm thinking the the alternator (or probably the voltage regulator in the alt) is toast.

Just dropped almost three grand on a new radiator, oil cooler and fan clutch before the trip (better cooling now), and now it looks like it's time to research 7.3L alternators.....


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Old 06-23-2015, 11:31 PM   #2
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

No useful input on your electrical situation, it just seemed like the appropriate time to mention that Barstow is known as the "Bermuda Triangle of all things internal combustion" amongst my friends. Each and every one of us has had some degree of break down at least once in the general vicinity of Barstow.

I spent 3 days there waiting for my buddy to go pick up his car trailer and come back for me when my <1 week old transmission (700R4) $4!+ the bed on the way home from Moab.

Another buddy of mine had a rocker arm break on his freshly built BBC immediately after passing the city limit sign on the highway on his way to Moab. Junkyard to the rescue... not surprisingly, there are lots of junkyards near there.

Another friend had an engine compartment fire (TBI350) while passing through town towing his crawler to Moab. Truck was a total loss.

Another friend has his front differential EXPLODE on his AWD Exploder just outside of B-town on his way to Vegas. He dropped it off at a local shop who suggested installing a junkyard unit which they would have done by the time he was coming back through from his trip (he hitched a ride with his brother the rest of the way.) He picked up his 'ploder on the way back and the carrier bearings on his "new" diff grenaded 30 miles outside of Barstow. He had it towed back to the shop where they decided that maybe it would be a good idea to actually rebuild the junkyard unit (ya think?) One week later he picked it up AGAIN and this time the diff lasted 42 miles until it took a dump. I tried to talk him through removing his front cv shafts over the phone in an attempt to limp it home, but it was a bit too in depth as a side-of-the-highway job so back to Barstow it went. I told him not to let them touch it again and I'd be there in 7 hours with my car trailer. Once home, he had a reputable local shop put in new carrier/pinion bearings and a new ring and pinion and it lived happily ever after.

The common theme? Nobody goes to Barstow on purpose. It is merely a place that we HAVE TO pass through to get where we actually want to be! At least you made it through and lived to tell about it!
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:26 PM   #3
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

Last fall my alt finally went out coming back from a river trip. Had to drive 200 miles home, pulling a trailer! Threw it on a charger, then drove 4 more days for work (another 300 miles) before I had a chance to yank it out. I learned the V10 still runs fine a 9 volts! However, my HID headlights most definitely do not. Lost those once it dropped below 10 volts. Luckily i have a pair of LED daytime running lights on it too...
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:17 PM   #4
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

185A DC Power alternator on its way to me.
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:18 PM   #5
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

Alt showed up yesterday, and I swapped it out for my my old one earlier today.

First alt swap I've done on a PowerStroke, and much easier than I expected, except the guy who installed the last alternator was either the son-of-Hulk, or had the an impact driver set to Grade 8 bolt snapping territory. Had to use the breaker bar and some major body language to get the mounting bolts loose.

Supplied DC Power adapter cable was a perfect fit too. Now for a good long drive to charge up my batteries. Hopefully I didn't hurt them too bad, especially as they only 6 months old.


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Old 07-07-2015, 09:35 AM   #6
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
much easier than I expected
That's because you have a hood and all the space in the world.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
much easier than I expected
That's because you have a hood and all the space in the world.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:40 AM   #8
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

I had to put an alternator in my neighbor's (here in Baja) '97 F150 with 5.4L a couple of days ago. Eight 10mm bolts in total and a breaker bar to hold back the tensionor. 20 minute job with a 1.5 hour drive to AutoZone in Cabo for the part.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:47 AM   #9
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

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Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
I had to put an alternator in my neighbor's (here in Baja) '97 F150 with 5.4L a couple of days ago. Eight 10mm bolts in total and a breaker bar to hold back the tensionor. 20 minute job with a 1.5 hour drive to AutoZone in Cabo for the part.
EIGHT bolts? Damn, I only had three mounting bolts, an electrical connector, and the power lead to contend with.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:32 AM   #10
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Re: The wrong side of Barstow

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Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
20 minute job with a 1.5 hour drive to AutoZone in Cabo for the part.
Sigh.... I still fondly remember the days way back when when I flew into Cabo when it was a little fishing town. Just buzzed the town and all the Mama's grabbed their kids out of the street and that's where we landed. Times have a changed....
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