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Dying Alternator?


Aug 23, 2010
Reaction score
Los Angeles, CA
Vehicle Year
Make / Model
Engine Size
245 CID 4.0 V6
A couple of quick questions for you guys (who are the best let me add. I've saved at least $700 in the last year referring to you guys instead of a "mechanic".
Anyway just a couple questions. First for the back story... skip to next paragraph if'n you don't care..

A few weeks ago my truck was broken into (window smashed). They stole my Alpine 9886 Head unit, a 1200W Sony amp, 2 12' Subs with a custom box, a 2.2 farad capacitor, my iPod, my GPS, blah blah blah, the list goes on. They also ripped up my carpet, and damn near ripped my entire dash board off. The Police ended up getting the douche bag a block away, and I got everything back except the window (duh) and the iPod with some other random stuff. Since then I have installed a Viper 350 Alarm system in hopes that that eliminates the temptation for stealing my hard-earned stuff.

Since all of that the alternator seems to be taking a dump on me. The Electrical gauge (and head lights and such dim) bobs around during idle, and sometimes when stopped at a light. Now today after driving about 6 miles (enough to stabilize in my opinion) it was on the south end of the dial. I let it idle instead of killing the engine when I got to my destination, and it seemed to go "normal", and stay there until I returned home. It has bee doing this for a few weeks now. I am concerned because I just had a new baby, and I had little to no funds for the truck to begin with. I was just curious if the fact that they ripped everything out could of caused a problem. There were a lot of stereo, and power, and just a lot of live wires grounding to God knows what before I had a chance to disconnect the battery. I have since fixed everything, but now I am having the alternator issue. I do have a lot of electronics sucking juice, but I do have a Optima yellow top, and a 2.2 farad capacitor, so I was under the impression that I shouldn't be having these problems...
What you guys think on that?

On a side note I had to replace my thermostat a month back and had to use a cheap-o murray one (O'reilly, autozone, and pepboys had no motorcraft, or good ones). It has an opening temp of 190. It seems like over half the time the needle gets past the L on NORMAL before it opens, and drops to C or normal. I also notice that even after a short drive (5-10 mile round trip) it is filling up the coolant reservoir. Is that normal? This truck has had cooling issues(or lack thereof) for about 5 years now.

1993 4.0 V6 AT 105k

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