Defender Td5 Alternator Overcharging






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  1. #1
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    Question Td5 Alternator Overcharging

    According to my MadMan, My Alternator charges to 14.3 volt after a startup in the morning and then later subsides to 13.9 volts where it stays for pretty much the rest of the time. (Normal daytime driving no lights etc).

    But the National Luna Dual battery monitor shows that my alternator is overcharging with the 4 top green lights flashing the entire time.

    Should I worry and change the Voltage Regulator on the Alternator before we go on out Botswana trip?
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

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    13.9V is certainly well within the safe limit for charging and a simple test with a multimeter will confirm whether the Madman or NL gauge is accurate.
    i would for peace of mind just have someone confirm the condition of the battery before setting off on the trip. i know the batteries are new but one can never be too sure. if faulty, they can swop it out under warranty before hitting the road.
    you have had so many issues with the alternator/s since getting the batteries replaced that one would never know if there could possibly be residual damage.

    Land Rovers never die, they simply become organ donors!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landyluvver View Post
    13.9V is certainly well within the safe limit for charging and a simple test with a multimeter will confirm whether the Madman or NL gauge is accurate.
    Tested on both Batteries with the Multi-meter while Landy is idling.
    Multi-meter - 15.2V on both Batteries
    MadMan was on 14.3V
    NL was Flashing
    Both batteries was 12.6V when Landy was switched off.

    So what now
    This is a genuine Land Rover Alternator that was reconditioned.

    Do you get a Voltage Regulator Separately for a Land Rover Alternator
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

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    voltage regulators are available seperate for any alternator.
    it is not normally required for cars but is used extensively to protect sensitive electronics. many car chargers for laptops etc have this built in to protect against voltage spikes.
    two points that need to be considered when shopping for one :
    1) must be able to handle the amps - 120 Amp would probably be the minimum spec.
    2) should preferably be adjustable so you can decide where to cap it. 14.4V is normally the safe cap. many come preset for 13.8V.

    older cars used to be fitted with the electromechanical regulators.
    sure something like this is still freely available but more modern electronic ones are more reliable and cheaper.

    Land Rovers never die, they simply become organ donors!
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    Hi guys

    interesting debate. Just remember one thing, no matter how fancy the alternator or the voltage regulator, a battery in a motor vehicle cannot get fullly charged while driving it. Not even on a 5000km journey.

    The 12.6V you measured is open circuit voltage and ideally this should be measured about 24hours after the vehicle got sitched off.

    For peace of mind, proceed as per LL's suggestions and also fit a CTEK D250S secondary battery charger. This WILL BE ABLE TO FULLY CHARGE the secondary battery, as it is an inverter charger. The load on the alternator will show that this charger draws more current then a normal 2nd battery conditioning system, but your beers will remain cold
    George Bosch
    2003 RangeRover Vogue 3.0 Td6 (Mine) / 2005 LR Disco3 TDV6 S (Swambo's) / 1998 Disco1 Tdi ES (Sold) / And some more serious stuff

    Distributor for:

    Special offers for 4X4community forum members on CTEK! Send PM with your email address for details

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    15.2 is very high and you will run the risk of damaging the battery/ies.
    fitting an aftermarket regulator may be a good idea.
    simply cannot understand that the regulator in the alternator will allow such high voltage. a regulator when faulty normally drops to 0 rather than allow higher voltage.
    2 devices show overvoltage which should be conclusive enough.

    Land Rovers never die, they simply become organ donors!
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    Surely since this alternator was reconditioned a faulty voltage regulator should be replaced under some warrantee.
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

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    Wink

    Keep us posted - I have a Discovery D2 TD5 ES with a nippon-denso alternator and the NL monitor always flashing until alternator is warmer and then goes to 14.2 / 13,9. I have spoke to NL and they said it is normal for newer Alternators to give more than the 14.4v. I was not happy so I phoned around and got the same reply from a few 4x4 workshops... One said - be glad your alternor is working great! I have 3 batt's fitted and would like to be sure I am not hurting them. So..if you find a nice voltage regulator that is not too expensive let us know.
    tx
    Disco II td5 Es and loving it

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    shopped around a bit and body mounted voltage regulators are available from several spares shops. prices vary depending on make obviously.

    http://contentinfo.autozone.com/znet...VR603/image/2/

    this is an example of one.
    it would obviously require some wiring but should not be difficult.
    one thing that concerns me is that some of these alternators are wires for 2 wire and some for 3 wire. the 3rd wire must have some purpose.

    Land Rovers never die, they simply become organ donors!
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    Default Sparxx

    I have found a lot of these type of things at sparxx.
    Not sure if you have them there might be worth while..
    http://www.sparxx.co.za/plunger-bosc...m-p-38216.html
    Disco II td5 Es and loving it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Landyluvver View Post
    one thing that concerns me is that some of these alternators are wires for 2 wire and some for 3 wire. The 3rd wire must have some purpose.
    When I had some trouble with the previous Alternator, the Auto Electrician said there must be 3 wires and they installed a third wire. The Landy always just had the two wires.

    Could be something to do with this third wire. Don't know where its going.
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

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    one wire normally supplies power to the field coils (without the alternator simply cannot excite the field coils and the alternator cannot generate current. the regulator is like a governor. it regulates the current to the field coils thereby limiting the amount of current the alternator can generate. as the voltage goes up, the regulator "clips" some of the voltage to the field coils and as the voltage drops it "opens up" to allow more voltage to the field coils. these units normally work with a Zener diode which either works or does not.
    the second is normally the wire to the charge light on the dash.
    no idea what the 3rd would do?
    Last edited by Landyluvver; 2011/06/05 at 12:19 PM.

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    Some Interesting Reading RE Alternators:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

  14. #14
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    It would the three wires are connected as follow:

    B+ Main Bat Feed
    D+ Warning Light
    W Phase Terminal (12V)

    Also read this on another forum

    "There should be 3 wires coming out of the alternator.
    One thick one going to the +ve of the starter (that's the main charge out to the battery)
    Then 2 smaller ones, brown/yellow which feeds the red light (and is obvously working as the red light illuminates),
    and a green/yellow which goes through a header joint and down to "passenger compartment fuse box" , it's fuse # 6, 10amp, the red light is fuse # 7, also 10amp"

    And note the following RE LandRovers:

    "Land Rover common faults
    Most Land Rover Defender, Discovery and Range Rover 2.5 diesel models
    regardless of year of manufacture all seem to suffer from the same problem
    BAD EARTHS on both Alternators and Starter Motors.
    Before installing the replacement unit on a vehicle with a discharged (flat) battery,
    non-start or non-charging please check the condition of all earth connections within
    the engine bay and if corroded replace.
    Affected part numbers are QA1502, QA2097, QS1461, and QS1693.
    Another Land Rover fault is quite an unusual one:
    On the Defender and Discovery TD5 models the alternator is fused through the
    brake / stop light circuit.
    Should the fuse for the brake lights blow the alternator will not charge, always check
    this fuse before replacing what appears to be a faulty alternator.
    Affected part number is QA4120."
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JohanJvV; 2011/06/05 at 01:44 PM.
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride_Alot View Post
    I have spoke to NL and they said it is normal for newer Alternators to give more than the 14.4v.
    Interesting, have picked up the same story on another forum:

    http://www.landyzone.co.uk/lz/f38/na...ler-94829.html

    National Luna Dual Battery Monitor & Controller
    It came to my attention that myself & a couple of other users have had issues in the cold weather with these units.
    The meters are reading a constant overcharge state on both batteries from cold start either until the engine has been run for a while or until electrical components are in use...all alternators concerned are outputting the correct charge...here's the response from Luna support...

    Greetings Mr Fossett

    (Looks like you're having one serious winter over there)
    We are typically seeing more of this "error" especially with modern vehicles. In most of the reported cases, the alternator output voltage is over the over-charge warning voltage of the monitor (set at 14.65V). Most manufacturers of lead-acid batteries specify a maximum charge voltage of 14.6V.
    We are also seeing an increase of battery failures due to excessive overcharge.

    This happens quite often in cold conditions as many alternators compensate for the low temperature and increase their output voltage.
    Normally this only happens for 10 to 15 minutes or until the engine temperature has increased sufficiently.
    Turning on heaters, lights or other accessories help to bring the voltage down to within range by loading the alternator.

    It is normal for the monitor to react in this way simply because it is warning of the potentially dangerous charging voltage. Unfortunatelly you will not be able to eliminate this warning.

    We are working on an intelligent means of dealing with this type of warning while still keeping the health of the battery of high priority.

    Kind regards
    Steven Lambert
    Product Development Manager
    National Luna
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hgbosch View Post
    Hi guys

    The 12.6V you measured is open circuit voltage and ideally this should be measured about 24hours after the vehicle got sitched off.
    12,4 V on both Batteries.
    Vehicle was not used today
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

  17. #17
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    My TD5 reflects the same on my Madman and National Luna monitor.....But only until the solenoid engages, and early winter mornings when its around 0 to 5 degrees. I had my alternator checked and it was fine.

    I just switch off my NL alarm in winter during normal driving......
    Regards
    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
    My TD5 reflects the same on my Madman and National Luna monitor.....But only until the solenoid engages, and early winter mornings when its around 0 to 5 degrees. I had my alternator checked and it was fine.

    I just switch off my NL alarm in winter during normal driving......
    Dave, I think you are correct.

    I have seen today after picking up my Explorer that when the NL system kicked in and thus the alternator charging three batteries (Crank, Dual & Explorer) the voltage dropped on the Madman to 13,7V and even on the Mechanical voltage meter to 13,5V. The NL system just kept on flashing.
    Starting to think there is a problem with NL system.
    OK I could test with a Multimeter at that moment.

    Maybe I should install a body mounted Voltage regulator to use when just driving around and Dual Battery is disconected and no towing, with an overide switch for when towing and Dual baterry is connected.
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

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    Can somebody please help me URGENTLY, we are leaving Saturday to Botswana and I am still having trouble with this.

    Had the Alternator out today and they tested the Voltage on the Bench. It was charging at 14,7V.

    As soon as we fit it back to the car the Voltage on the battery is 15,1 V.

    I am really to worried to leave like this.

    Who is an expert on Landrover Alternators and wiring from the Alternator.

    The whole story about 2 and 3 wires from the Alternator is concerning me.
    Land Rover Defender Td5

    Nissan Navara 3,0 V6 dCi
    Land Rover Discovery 4 V8 HSE (Swambo)

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    Default Same old

    Johan,
    I have the same problem with mine....damn alarm makes we crazy...I have pulled the damn thing out....It seems that we all have this problem.It has to do with the cold weather....have not had a problem with the system in summer.

    Had both batteries on my cteks the weekend (also leave on holiday Friday) and now the alarms on BOTH "arms" of NL system is going crazy in the mornings...

    Fredor
    "The darkest places in hell is reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crises" Dante Alghieri


    Defender Puma 110 2.4 White 2011

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