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My '94 Samurai doesn't get driven much as I basically use it as a UTV. So I wasn't terribly surprised the battery was dead. I hooked up a battery charger and about 30 min. later I tried to start it. Dash lights came on and the starter clicked, but didn't start. So I let it go another 30 min. or so and came back and the alternator was smoking. Scared the crap out of me. I thought it would catch fire and a barn full of hay would go up in smoke. Does this sound like a short in the alternator? Or? I've never had this happen with any vehicle before. Thanx.
 

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My '94 Samurai doesn't get driven much as I basically use it as a UTV. So I wasn't terribly surprised the battery was dead. I hooked up a battery charger and about 30 min. later I tried to start it. Dash lights came on and the starter clicked, but didn't start. So I let it go another 30 min. or so and came back and the alternator was smoking. Scared the crap out of me. I thought it would catch fire and a barn full of hay would go up in smoke. Does this sound like a short in the alternator? Or? I've never had this happen with any vehicle before. Thanx.
More likely, a rectifier diode - for lack of a better description - shorted out.

The rectifier diodes serve a dual purpose - they help convert the Alternating Current in the alternator to Direct Current and they block backflow of current through the alternator armature (the copper wire coils inside the alternator) when the engine is shut down.

Time to get a replacement alternator just to be safe.
 
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