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As well as my 200tdi  defender, which is still in the garage waiting for the timing kit to be done but now a new rear x member with worling lights😀 I also have a RRC 3.9 auto softdash. I've been doing a lot of welding during the lockdown and now ready for a pre MOT check. However, the ign light doesn't light when you  turn the ign on and the rev counter now works when it feels like it. Any ideas where to start the step by step it find what is at fault? The battery has never been connected during any welding. Everything else works as it should. It's been off the road sice 2010.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi, long lag in getting back. But I've got the RRC on the road. There were rusted screws that hold the gauges in place in the gauge cluster. They apparently earth them as well. Put in new ones and all is well there. BUT, the alternator is still a problem. I had the alternator repaired £120, after 2 days I checked for charging, it wasn't. I took it back and the guy said 'very unusual' but I'll do it on warranty. Before connecting the wires the repair guys wanted to check the wiring and did a resistance check and said all seems ok. It was charging for a week or so. I did a long family visit, after lock down, some 600 miles, thought I would give it a good run. I came home and I parked it up. After 5 days I went to check it out and it was totally dead. Called out the AA and with a jump she fired back into life. The guy said that I need a new alternator. I said it's just been repaired. Oh you have a problem it said. Nothing more I can do right  now. Your battery is 8.98 v it's 50/50 if you can save it. So, now I'm depressed. It runs lovely, 20 miles to the gallon, doesn't burn or leak oil or water. Lovely to drive. Dispair!!!  Where do I start to look for a possible cause or do I did it a grave? I opened a gallon of scrumpy!!

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I'd give all the wiring a check-over for any loose/corroded joints, chafed wires, etc. (there's not a lot of wiring in the battery/alternator circuit really) and as Bowie suggests you might have killed the battery with the original dodgy alternator.

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Yes, unfortunately I have to fix the alternator again, 120 a shot, or would it be better just to get another new cheap one? But I need to find the cause. I'll find a local auto electrics guy to see if he can uncover anything. I can start to trace and open up the wiring loom. Like you say, the circuit can't be that complex. Wouldn't mind if it was just blowing a fuse!! Appreciate your thoughts. I'll keep you posted. It can't be that unique!!

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If you own a multimeter it's not that complex to check / diagnose the alternator etc., there's a whole section on it in the back of the Series 3 service manual (available online in PDF form for free if you search), the 200TDi alternator is almost identical (Lucas ACR) as far as I'm aware.

If you don't own a multimeter, they're all of a fiver for one that's more than good enough - see if you can get one with continuity buzzer too for tracing wires.

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Ok lovely. Yes I have a multi meter and it does have the beep. I checked all the gauge cluster bulbs with it. Very handy tool. Ah, ok I'll download that pdf. I did find a RRC electrical fault finding manual with the circuit diagrams and the tests that can be carried out. But it only identifies if you have a faulty alt or bat not why they became faulty if you know what I mean. Ok, I'll check out the 200tdi alt. Many thanks, cheers, Paul

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Yes agreed. I think a mistake to keep to the original alt. I spoke to a friend of a friend who is a land rover mechanic and he said  unlikely to be in the loom but more likely either something bad inside the alt, because this is not looked at when the rectifier or regulator is changed. Bench tests don't really show it under load. So because of old faulty inside bits it will burn out on long trips or it is a bad earth which again will eventually burn out the alternator.  Like trying to swim up steam against the tide, instead of just swimming with the tide, it will just be working the balls off the alt when charging. So, I will have a guy look for any internal faults to see if we can find the actual cause then buy a new replacement and see how it goes. Plus add another earth strap (s) and clean up the others. I'll keep you posted. Cheers, Paul

on a happier note, this weekend my old 110 was reborn with a replacement chassis which is now a rolling chassis, next weekend fitting a defender 300tdi engine and gearbox. Hopefully by next spring she'll be on the road.

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