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This is an old thread but I'm posting here in case someone else finds it like I did.

2001 Sequoia alternator went out / battery light on / lights dimming / tested bad. Got a new one at Auto Zone - gave me 14.xx volts at the battery posts. Headed out of town on a Boy Scout campout and it died (thanks to frequent jump/drive/jump/drive/repeat, we got there and back).
Took the new A/Z alternator back - they say it tests okay. I say I want my money back anyway and they obliged.
I ordered a new 180 amp alternator from DC Power (good product / horrible service). Installed that and got 12.3 volts at the battery posts / battery light on. Took the DC Power alternator to Auto Zone to test - they say it tests fine. Then I found this thread.

Started measuring voltage & resistance - found weird things. 12.3 volts at the battery posts when running 3.6 volts at the alternator (?). Removed the signal wire from the alternator and it goes up to 6.5 volts (?). Kept looking / testing (re-read this post)...

Aha! The main wire that feeds the relay box looked funny - and loose. Previous owner put a ring terminal under it to power his off road lights. The nut was tight but connection was loose / plastic around it burned / insulation burned. Either there was a short that got hot (probably) or when the original alternator went out, it gave me too much juice (much less likely). I cleaned up the connector & threaded post, added a couple washers so it would tighten when the nut was up on good threads, replaced the bad connector on the off road lights and connected it up on the battery where I can see it. Put it all together and I'm getting 14.6 volts at the battery posts / no battery light / charges fine.

What I learned:
- Listen to the people on this forum - most know what they're talking about. If you've checked everything and someone says, "Why don't you check the connector in the relay box?" just go ahead and check it.
- If everything is working and one part goes bad, that doesn't mean it's the only thing that went bad. Sometimes 2 things can go bad at once.
- Check everything - keep checking - you'll find it.
- When you connect accessories, use good connectors, solder, and shrink wrap. Connect them where they're visible and not hidden & forgotten
- And lastly - no amount of electrical tape will prevent a bad connection from causing problems eventually (remember that previous owner?)

Thanks for the thread / thanks for the forum. I may have never thought to start looking at the wires/connections.
 
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