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Oh God... What did I fry?

So here is the back story:
Flipped the kill switch isolating the battery and put it on a trickle charger for the two weeks I was away for the Olympic track and field trials in Eugene (photography not participating).
Just went out to fire the old girl up took the charger off the battery, which showed full charge, flipped the kill switch, closed the bonnet and ran inside to grab some sunglasses.
When I came back out there was smoke pouring through the spoiler, so I popped the bonnet and the trunk flipped the kill switch back to off and ran to the back of the car to inspect what was going on.
Upon opening the trunk lots more smoke billowed out. Best estimate of its origin is the alternator...
Anyone experience this before? Causes? Solutions?
Thanks all!

Old 07-06-2012, 04:47 PM
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Any noticeable charring or burned wires? Pictures?
Old 07-06-2012, 07:11 PM
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Does it crank?

If so, does it run?

If so, is the green light on the dash on? if so = alternator

If it doesn't run, it could be the engine harness, similar situation occurred to me when the harness went up in smoke. BTW there is a guy in Atlanta that makes them, OEM is NLA.
Old 07-06-2012, 07:20 PM
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No noticeable charred wires, everything looks normal once the smoke cleared.
I have not retried firing her back up yet... Next step I guess?
Old 07-06-2012, 07:40 PM
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I know the feeling, believe me... but you have to try it, hopefully it is only the alternator.
Let us know how it turns out, I can give you some hints if it's the engine harness. Good luck!
Old 07-06-2012, 08:30 PM
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Thanks! I'll keep y'all posted!
Old 07-06-2012, 09:16 PM
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Hopefully just the burgers and weenies. Fingers crossed for ya
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:18 PM
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LOL!! that is just about what it looked like! Minus the food...
Old 07-06-2012, 09:37 PM
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Alright with some help I flipped the kill switch and watched at the back of the car... Smoke again coming from the fan/alternator area. Since I figure whatever is smoking already has terminal damage I jumped in the drivers seat and attempted to fire the old girl up. She'll crank but does not have enough juice to start from my best estimate. Check engine and oil lights are illuminated as normal in starting. Smoke continued so I threw the kill switch again.

That is where I am at... Am I right in assuming that the alternator is bad? Obviously the battery is done as well...

Anything else? All fuses and relays are still good.
Old 07-06-2012, 10:06 PM
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Wow..sorry to hear.

I tend to not trust a trickle charger especially when I am not home to keep my eyes on it, I have seen too many over charges on the electrical system and battery.

Hope you get it sorted out soon.
Yasin
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:08 AM
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replace the voltage regulator at the same time, its really cheap. and they are basically connected. not really to big a deal getting it out.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:26 AM
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Thanks for the VR tip. I was wondering if there was one inline, and why it failed to do its job??
Yasin: this will be my last experience with the trickle charger! For sure!
Old 07-07-2012, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Quicksilver77 View Post
this will be my last experience with the trickle charger! For sure!
Been using trickle chargers for almost 5 years with out any issues including leaving the cars on them for several weeks at a time.

Not sure if it matters or not but they are both Porsches though..
Old 07-07-2012, 05:23 PM
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I had one fry the battery on a c4s once, no thanx trickle charger!
Old 07-07-2012, 07:02 PM
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Never had a bad experience with a trickle charger. You may dig in there before flipping that kill switch anymore, with that much smoke surely there is some evidence Shirley. Check the battery cable at the starter, if that's where your kill switch interrupts.
Old 07-07-2012, 07:35 PM
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Trickle chargers that switch into float mode and stop charging when the battery is topped up are pretty safe.
I wouldn't leave one on when I'm not home though. Disconnect the battery if it's a couple weeks.
Old 07-07-2012, 08:20 PM
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Here is the latest:

Pulled the alternator out and I found out exactly what was smoking... BBQ spaghetti anyone?



Lines from the battery are still in good shape, so does the power to the alternator originate from the starter?

Alternator will go into a repair facility tomorrow for testing, and repair.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:51 PM
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Yup....battery to starter>starter to alt.
Hack your harness apart and see how far back the damage goes.
Look at the starter and see if it's fried there too.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:01 PM
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Alright I'm resurrecting this thread! Finally had time to work on the old girl...

It appears that the wire melting is limited to the power and ground lines to the alternator only, everything else is in good shape. Though there is some collateral damage to the wires that parallel the power line from the starter to the alternator. Therefor all of these lines need to be replaced.

Questions:

1- Besides the Power and Ground lines... What wires attach to the Alternator? And do these wires differ from the wires that pass through the firewall and down to the starter?

2- What would cause this isolated melt down? As previously stated this happened when the key was turned but the car was not started.

I need to have the Alternator tested, as well as the voltage regulator, is there anything else I should look into at this point?

TIA Guys! Have a great day!
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:19 PM
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Back to posts #3 & 5 above...

Old 08-20-2012, 06:39 PM
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