My Z is running again!

Well, it was good to hear it fire up today. Everything looks and sounds pretty good. It was finally nice to get those noisy old idler pulleys replaced. I can definitely tell that the motor mounts are more firm on start up, that’s for sure.

I only seem to have one issue. The alternator (or generator) is not charging. I checked connections on the alternator and they seem to be good. This was a fairly new alternator, but I am still not going to assume that it is working properly because of this reason. But before I squeeze my hands in there and pull that thing out, I am wondering if there are any other things to look into that can cause this. I am hoping it is something simple. And simple would be that a replacement alternator would do the job. But I have a 30 mile drive to get it tested and replaced and that will eat into my day pretty good so I want to be sure that there is nothing else to look into before I make the drive.

Now this may be unrelated but the only real issue I had with any ground connections was with the unit that bolts down in between the battery tray and the ECM. It has three wires going into this little plug and bolts down to the body. The original bolt that held it down snapped off when I went to remove it. I drilled out the bolt and chased the threads and bolted it back down. I have no idea what this grounds, but if it wasn’t grounded properly would it be something very obvious I would notice? Would the car not start, lights not work, something along those lines?

Thanks guys, once I get the charging system working again I should be good to go. As well as giving it a good bath. It’s amazing how much dust has piled on it while it was under the knife.

welcome to back on the roadville…

as for charging, make sure all alt connections are correct and secure… as far as the broken bolt and the ground junction, as long as that bracket is back to touching a solid piece of metal you should be golden.

i have wiring diagrams here so if you told me the location and the number of wires and their color, as well as the model year zx2, i can look up what exactly those grounds are for.


The connections on the alternator were good. They make those pretty much idiot proof. I’ll get back to you on the colors of those grounds, but I think they are ok. Can a bad ground actually cause the charging system to not work?

I am just hoping that the alternator went bad because after all this work I don’t want to have to chase down a bad wire or some kind of electrical problem.

i guess if the engine was not grounded to the battery or frame it could potentially keep it from charging. but i’d think there would be other larger issues to go with that as well if the engine was not grounded (like the starter not working).

I wonder what happened to my other post. Maybe I didn’t submit it. Oh well. I figured the problem out in about two minutes yesterday morning. I went out to look at all the wires coming from the alternator to trace them back to see if there was any damage or so on. While I had the plug disconnected from what I think is the voltage regulator, I noticed that one of the wires had pulled slightly out of the plug. Snapped it back in place, hooked the plug up and I am back up to holding 14+ volts again. So it did turn out to be a connection, it just wasn’t a very obvious one at first.

its usually the simple solutions that puzzle the most…

when taking my s/r out of a 2 year storage, i attempted to fire it up and it would crank but not start. i could hear the fuel pump was not making any noise upon key on so i figured the pump seized during storage.

i replaced the pump and it still did not start so now i was at a quandry. it wasnt until i was disconnecting the battery with the key on that upon jiggling the ground connection i heard the fuel pump start to work.

it turns out the only thing wrong was not tightening the ground terminal bolt on the battery so that little junction block (containing the ground lead for the fuel pump circuit it turns out) would be sufficiently grounded.