1999 Ford Windstar Charging System Design
Reviewed by: Violet
On: 28 Jun, 2019
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First, we’ll start with our older charging system example. Please don’t assume, since this is a late 90’s Ford vehicle, that it has a simple “Ford” charging system. It is not like the charging system on a F-Series tru...
First, we’ll start with our older charging system example. Please don’t assume, since this is a late 90’s Ford vehicle, that it has a simple “Ford” charging system. It is not like the charging system on a F-Series truck or even an Escort of that period. That era Windstar utilized a smart charging system. The point here is to be aware of the system you are working on. Knowing this information will make your problem analysis quicker, more accurate and more fun.
This Ford smart charging system is configured such that the PCM determines the required charging voltage and sends the command to the voltage regulator that is housed in the generator case (see the wiring diagram in Figure 1).
This communication takes place on two dedicated communication lines between the PCM and the voltage regulator: generator command and generator monitor. This generator command signal wire transmits a pulse width modulated signal used to command the voltage regulator. The generator monitor sends a pulse width modulated signal back to the PCM to provide feedback as to what has happened. This action/reaction data can be seen in the scan tool capture (Figure 2) and the labscope capture (Figure 3). The voltage regulator has one more wire going to it. The orange/light blue wire is the voltage sense wire. This wire should have system voltage at all times.
This makes four wires to the generator: the B+ wire, voltage sense wire, generator command wire and generator monitor wire. It doesn’t take long to check the voltage and/or waveform on these wires to verify correct inputs and outputs from the generator.
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