Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

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neil123
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Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by neil123 »

Xantia 110 Hdi - battery went flat while it was offroad for steering pipe replacement.

I jumpstarted it with a booster pack and stupidly mistook the negative for the positive. Spark alerted me, it then started OK much to my relief when connected properly.

But - it's now not charging. I guess I was lucky not to fry the ECU or the gauges, but I'm guessing diode pack may be kaput on the alternator?

Or - if I'm REALLY lucky - a fuse? A main fuse?

Any thoughts where to start looking?

Thanks
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xantia_v6
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by xantia_v6 »

I don't think they put fuses on alternators. So yes the diodes are probably fried.
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by RichardW »

Changing the alternator on a 110 HDI is a barrel of laughs......
Peter.N.
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by Peter.N. »

You were very lucky, the electronics on my 406 have just got damp and it won't start. I would agree its probably just alternator failure that's the problem, a simple job compared to what it could have been. The fact that the battery on the car was in good condition probably saved it from more damage.

Peter
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by RichardW »

Here's how to get it out:

Disconnect the battery

Remove (half the car :twisted: ):

Engine upper and lower covers
Intercooler pipe
Oil filter
Ecu and box
OSF wing liner

There's a wiring harness in a plastic tray across the front of the engine, undo a bolt at either end and ease it upwards (noting that it has a pin that goes into the alternator bracket) - about an inch and it will sit on the fuel filter drain plug.

You need to get the aux belt off now - the spring tensioner is 15mm - which happens to be the size of a push bike pedal spanner - which are nice and thin by design 8-) . With the ECU box out of the way, I was able to get this on the tensioner and turn it enough to get a pin (4mm) in the second hole in the bracket, which leaves enough room to get the aux belt off.

Remove the wires from the alternator and cut away the cable tie holding them to the bracket (a bit of a challenge....!). Now you can remove the four (!) mounting bolts.

Re-set the wiring harness to roughly its original posiion and there is *just* enough room to wiggle the alternator out past the PAS pipe and top hose (which needs a bit of a squish). Note that the 2 inboard bolts have a collar and taper fitting in the bracket which may be loose - recover the bits if so.

And after I had to take the first one out again...

Had the duff one out in about 15mins, got it sussed now :lol: Trick is to lift the alt over the PAS pipe firs before going across and then out to the right of the top hose, rather than trying to squeeze it between the rad and the pipe.
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CitroJim
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by CitroJim »

I well remember doing this very job when I had an HDi... Your instructions worked a perfect treat then Richard :D
neil123
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by neil123 »

Bloody hell fire! Thanks Richard, for your helpful - if depressing - 'how to' guide... and to all.

I think discretion best part of valour on this one, I'll let my mechanic bloke do it.

I shall put it down to stupidity tax. Sort of thing you only ever do once - like misfuelling!

Thanks again.

Neil
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by CitroJim »

Neil,

It's really not that bad, just tedious.. Like doing a heater matrix...
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xantia_v6
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by xantia_v6 »

CitroJim wrote:Neil,
Like doing a heater matrix...
Go on Jim... encourage him!
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CitroJim
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by CitroJim »

xantia_v6 wrote:
CitroJim wrote:Neil,
Like doing a heater matrix...
Go on Jim... encourage him!
I'm trying :wink: Just trying to make the point that it's not incredibly technically difficult, just a bit tedious and long-winded...
neil123
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by neil123 »

Well - turned out very painless indeed - I got my mechanic chap to do it! I watched, and it took him less than an hour all in. Lots of wobble bars, little stubby ratchets with swivel handles, and a tensioner spanner extender all made it look easy - it would have been an absolute swine without these.

Thirty five quid labour - and an entertaining hour watching someone else work - I'm sure I made the right choice!

Thanks for the advice - and particularly to Richard for the detailed 'how to'.

If I'd had no option, I could have done it with that help - just would have taken 3 days to recover the ability to straighten up!

She lives to fight again.

Cheers

Neil
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by jgra1 »

good news neil :-D

watching someone else working on your car, this sounds like paradise! a guilty pleasure maybe :twisted:

what is a 'tensioner spanner extender' ?
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neil123
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by neil123 »

'tensioner spanner extender...'

Well...it was about 10 , maybe 12 inches long, a similar form to open ended spanner but longer, jaws at one end sort of 'curled' so as to engage around and apply leverage to the shaft of an open ender. Shaft twisted 90 degrees further up to provide flatter face of handle against which to push - more comfortable. Other end had a square projection but it was the 'jaws' end deployed to extend a 15mm open ender and make easy holding the tensioner back while taking off and subsequently putting back on the serpentine belt. Avoids having to hold back the tensioner by pin etc.

This isn't a home-made thing, its purpose made. Not sure who makes it or what its marketed as, but will try to find out. Releasing tensioners on belts seems to be its main or only purpose.
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CitroJim
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by CitroJim »

Great stuff Neil, I use two spanners locked together - a ring with the jaws of an open-ender in it - to do the tensioner...
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Re: Mistaken polarity jumpstart AAARGH Help?

Post by c.morewood »

I'm with you Jim.. a pair of spanners works a treat...only tricky thing is getting the locking pin into the tensioner hole :-)