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Thread: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

  1. #1
    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Finally replaced the external voltage regulator with a new one. The voltage output is stable, I'm getting 14.5v on idle and on any RPM, with loads on it maintains over 13v which is good compared to the old one where it would fluctuate 12-13v and sometimes drops under 12v under heavy load!

    BUT! The damned flickering lights is still there. The dash lights, headlight or any lights would flicker whenever there is a load on the electrical - fuel pump, turn signal, headlamp, etc. What else could cause this other than the alternator and the regulator? Alternator is pretty new, I can't remember how old but less than 5 years old IIRC. I've took the alternator apart few weeks ago to clean the mess (damn PS fluid leak - deleted the PS already lol), and I can't see anything wrong with it.

    My wiring is fine, or at least I thought it is, new 4ga grounds from the battery to the body, 8ga from the alternator bracket and valve cover to body and fused 8ga positive wire from alternator to the battery. I even replaced most corroded wire/connectors few months ago. Newish battery, even tested with a known good battery.

    Is there anything else I'm missing?

    BTW whats the function of condenser?

    1986 Honda Prelude build thread
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  2. #2
    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    One more thing, there is a condenser connected on the alternator according to the manual and mine is missing. Will this cause the flickering light problem?

    1986 Honda Prelude build thread
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    carotman's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    A condenser will "absorb" variations in current. This could be the problem indeed.

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    Ichiban's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazwan View Post
    One more thing, there is a condenser connected on the alternator according to the manual and mine is missing. Will this cause the flickering light problem?
    Normally not. The function of most of those capacitors is to control radio noise. I usually throw them away. Your 12 volt battery should be enough to absorb sudden variations in load until the alternator compensates. My headlights dim at idle, and you can see the fuel pump cycling on the volt meter. I consider it normal.
    Last edited by Ichiban; 04-01-2008 at 03:38 PM.
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    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    I went ahead and install a new condenser as well as replacing the one near the regulator and still no difference. Oh well.. as long as it provides enough juice to the whole car, I guess I'll live with it.. Any chance that my alternator is bad?

    1986 Honda Prelude build thread
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  6. #6
    2ndGenGuy
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Always a possibility that your alternator is bad. I've yet to have one last over a year in my 2g. My 1g is also very sensitive to load on the electrical system. Lights dim a bit when I hit the brakes, heater blower dims the lights a bit, headlights drop the idle a bit. Though, I don't get any flickering that I can see...

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    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    The lights not exactly flickering all the time, they dim and bright again whenever there is a load. Compared to the old regulator where it would flicker all the time.

    The voltage now is stable, except when there is a load (turn signal, brake light - any small load) where it would drop a bit and then goes back up according to my volt meter.

    I guess thats how it supposed to work on the 1g?

    1986 Honda Prelude build thread
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  8. #8
    2ndGenGuy
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazwan View Post
    The lights not exactly flickering all the time, they dim and bright again whenever there is a load. Compared to the old regulator where it would flicker all the time.

    The voltage now is stable, except when there is a load (turn signal, brake light - any small load) where it would drop a bit and then goes back up according to my volt meter.

    I guess thats how it supposed to work on the 1g?
    Yep, that's exactly what mine does. It's not exactly a powerful electrical system, and personally, I think Honda did a shitty job wiring the whole car. It could just be thats how all car makers did things back then. But what an upgrade the 2g got for wiring.

    I also found that replacing some of the fuses helps too. The old fuses tend to get corroded, and the solder joints inside them seem to come apart. Or maybe they've been run a few times at a load close to blowing but not quite, they get hot and soft. Oh also, the main fuse likes to deteriorate when they get old. I'd replace it too, and clean all those rusty contacts on it and upgrade the wiring that connects it up. My main fuse was working, but as soon as I touched it, it crumbled to dust.

  9. #9
    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndGenGuy View Post
    Yep, that's exactly what mine does. It's not exactly a powerful electrical system, and personally, I think Honda did a shitty job wiring the whole car. It could just be thats how all car makers did things back then. But what an upgrade the 2g got for wiring.

    I also found that replacing some of the fuses helps too. The old fuses tend to get corroded, and the solder joints inside them seem to come apart. Or maybe they've been run a few times at a load close to blowing but not quite, they get hot and soft. Oh also, the main fuse likes to deteriorate when they get old. I'd replace it too, and clean all those rusty contacts on it and upgrade the wiring that connects it up. My main fuse was working, but as soon as I touched it, it crumbled to dust.
    I've replaced my main fuse few years for the same problem, it turns to dust as soon as I touched it lol. I have to rig some wires to bypass the fuse box before I could find the replacement fuse. Good idea on replacing the fuses though. I'll get the rest checked later on.

    I'm wondering if this OMG JDM product would help to smooth out the voltage fluctuation? http://pivotjp.com/product/frame-vs-1-e.html

    I wouldn't buy that of course. Way overpriced for something basically bunch of capacitors in pretty box. I could build one on my own for a lot less. Just wondering if its worth my time and money to try this. I'm sick of seeing ricers spending hundreds on this and mad tyte grounding cables and claimed to have 100hp and extra 500mpg gain and "oh my stereo is louder and my lights are brigher" BS.

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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    How many amps does the 1G alternator provides?

  11. #11
    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    55A IIRC. Mine is reconditioned alternator with 1KW sticker on it, which *should* be 70A something.

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  12. #12
    2ndGenGuy
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    I think mine is like 40 or 50 amps. I know it's pretty small.

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    carotman's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Well, if it's only around 50 amps, there's a good chance the power wires are small too.

    Try upgrading the wire going from the alternator to the fusebox and upgrade your ground wires. This might be of some help. Upgrading to a bigger alt (if possible at all) would also give a more constant output.

  14. #14
    2ndGenGuy
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    It's a pretty generic alternator. With no internal regulator, I imagine there would be about 50 other alternators that would fit, or could fit with minor modifications. Looks like the same alternator on my friend's Chevy pickup.

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    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Quote Originally Posted by carotman View Post
    Well, if it's only around 50 amps, there's a good chance the power wires are small too.

    Try upgrading the wire going from the alternator to the fusebox and upgrade your ground wires. This might be of some help. Upgrading to a bigger alt (if possible at all) would also give a more constant output.
    I've upgraded the power wires from the alt to battery already. This is what happens to the old one:



    If my alternator output is correct according to the sticker, it should be more than enough for my car.

    Actually, I don't think its alternator related as the lights actually flicker even with the engine not running. I'm going to check the combination switch as the lights flicker the worst when turn signals, both left and right is turned on.

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    Ichiban's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Mine did that on my 82 as well. We upgraded.
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  17. #17
    2ndGenGuy
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Oh jeebus! Maybe I need to upgrade mine as well before this happens.

  18. #18

    Ichiban's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    I think they actually fixed it in '83. On american 82's it was actually a recall item, but canada didn't have enough cars to warrant a recall. Same propensity to failure, though.
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    AccordB20A's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    my mates prelude does that when the indicator is used.

  20. #20
    2ndGenGuy
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Quote Originally Posted by guyhatesmycar View Post
    I think they actually fixed it in '83. On american 82's it was actually a recall item, but canada didn't have enough cars to warrant a recall. Same propensity to failure, though.
    Sounds like replacing it on the 81 would be a good idear then. The 84's electrical system is just solid.

  21. #21
    DX User
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    I find this and I get all excited till the end. Any updates on this Hazwan? I have the EXACT same problem with my lude and I can only think their 95% similar in harnesses due to the EK1. I've replaced the condensor and voltage regulator with no success and also replaced the ground wires from the tranny and valve cover.

  22. #22
    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Replacing the alternator did the trick (Y) One of the rectifiers(?) are fried. Replaced with a new alternator with built in regulator and everything else works fine.

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    LX User PDXAccord79's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Which model alternator did you use? I have flickering issues and would like to do the same thing.

  24. #24
    LXi User 79cord's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    Was tempted by the idea alternator with built in regulator just to remove the old one from the engine bay.

  25. #25
    2.0Si User Hazwan's Avatar
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    Re: Yet another thread about my flickering lights

    It was a Nissan sentra B11 alternator and I believe the pulley has to be swapped. Mine came with a v-belt pulley already attached.

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