Question about 1998 Ford Windstar

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I have a 1998 Ford WIndstar. It died on us the other day. we put a refurbished alternator in it, changed the clamps that attach to the top of the battery, when the battery is in OUR van and is charged, it will hold the charge running for 1-2 minutes, then the radio goes off, the RPM goes to 0 and then it dings a couple times, then it dies. However, when the battery was in my friends truck it ran it just fine. so its not the battery. we are pretty much stumped. anyone have any ideas? I would greatly appreciate it! oh, and while it is off, it will keep what little charge it had. ie. my friend boosted it, I turned it off, it sat all night, i went in the morning and fired it up. *stumped*

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  • manda__mama May 18, 2011

    I had someone say possibly a parasite battery drain? know anything about that and what the liklihood that is actually the problem?

  • manda__mama May 18, 2011

    OH MY GAWD! I TOTALLY forgot that we had gotten a used netbook that day, had plugged it into the car charger to charge, and it threw a blue spark right where it plugs into the cigartette lighter. is there ANY way that is the cause?. it died... roughly 2 hours after that



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I suspect you hav a defective alternator. Remans are famous for this. Take it back where youbought it and have them put it on their testor to make sure it works.

A battery should read about 12 1/2 volts when charged, engine off. It should read about 14 1/2 volts with the engine running, if the alternator is working. Try that first.

report back resuts.

please rate, thanks

Posted on May 17, 2011

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  • gerry bissi May 18, 2011

    That says the battery is not charging. Does the BAT light come onwhen yu turn the key to ON?

    Does it go out with the engine running?

    Check the fuses under hood box and under dash. Look in owner manual for fuse chart.
    report back.

  • gerry bissi May 18, 2011

    Section 14-02: Generator, Integral Rear Mount Regulator-Internal Fan Type

    1998 Windstar Workshop Manual



    The generator (GEN) (10346) :

    • supplies current to the vehicle's electrical system.
    • charges the battery (10655) .

    With the ignition switch in the RUN position:

    • voltage is supplied through the I circuit to the voltage regulator.
    • the generator warning lamp turns on (lamp prove-out).
    • the voltage regulator turns on, allowing current to flow through the A circuit to the generator field coil.

    With the engine running:

    • The generator produces alternating current (AC), which is changed to direct current (DC) by the rectifier diodes.
    • Current is supplied to the vehicle through the generator B+ terminal (stud).
    • The generator warning lamp turns off.
    • Generator output is controlled by the voltage regulator.


    Fuse Link

    The fuse link is a short length of insulated wire integral with the engine compartment wiring harness. It is several wire gauges smaller than the circuit it protects. The fuse link for the generator is a 12-gauge gray wire.
    The fuse link is designed to burn out, thus protecting the generator and wiring, when heavy reverse current flows, such as when a booster battery is connected incorrectly, or a short to ground occurs in the wiring harness.
    A burned-out link may have bare wire ends protruding from the insulation or bubbled insulation with illegible identification. If it is hard to determine if the link is burned out, perform a continuity test.
    Service fuse links are brown, green or black depending on application. All fuse links have a flag moulded on the wire or on the terminal insulator. Color identification of the flag or connector for the external voltage regulator system is gray 12-gauge wire. The illustration shows fuse link installation.

  • gerry bissi May 18, 2011

    fuse link info

  • gerry bissi May 18, 2011

    charging system fuse links

  • gerry bissi May 18, 2011

    Parasitic drain just means something is still on and draining the battery with the key off. There is always a slight drain for the computers which draw just miliamps. It would take a month for a computer to drain the battery. A hood light or glove box light left on would drain a battery in one day.

    The easy test is to disconnect the battery overnight & see if starts the engine the next day.

    But, you already said it reads 12.2 volts with the engine running. That means a bad alternator or a burned fuse link or bad fuse.

  • gerry bissi May 19, 2011





  • gerry bissi May 21, 2011

    you should check the battery cable to terminal connections and the battery grond cable to the engine block.

  • gerry bissi May 22, 2011

    It is very common these days with remanufactured alternators. I work with reman products and thequality just isn't there today. I would only accept a reman electrical part if it had a sheet of paper that showed it was performing after it was rebuilt.



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