Question about 1991 Ford Thunderbird

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Wiring short charging system not working

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Joe Public

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There is a fusible link in the connection between the alternator and the positive battery cable connector.

On the 1997 it is a 175 amp Mega Fuse mounted on the outside of the high voltage fuse box located on the drivers's side in the engine compartment. After replacing the battery and the alternator, it turned out to be a $4.99 fuse that was keeping the alternator current from reaching the battery.

The alternator cable bolts on to one end of the fuse, and the positive battery cable bolts on to the other end. You can test it inline without removing it by checking for continuity across the two bolts. An open circuit indicates that the fuse is blown and needs to be replaced.

If the fuse is blown (which means you have an open circuit), the battery light in the dash should be on.

The car will start normally if the battery has enough of a charge, but it will eventually die when the battery is too depleted to keep the car running, because the alternator can't take over if the current doesn't make it across the blown fuse.

If the battery is dead, it will start with a jump start, but it will die shortly after you remove the jumper cables for the same reason.

This is one of those problems that you might not think of right away, and it will drive you out of your mind. ALWAYS check this fuse before replacing a battery or an alternator on a mid to late '90s model Thunderbird. You will save time, money, and you won't pull out your hair.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012


jeff rollins

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See if all wires are connected tightly...battery,starter alternator. also see if any wires look melted or burned. if all that is fine then maybe a voltage regulator (if it has one)

Posted on Sep 15, 2012


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