anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Talk about anything and everything here within reason.
User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7658
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Dauntless » Sep 08 2017 10:54pm

So they're telling me there's no telling when I'll be able to get an alternator for of all things a Ford Mustang. I've never even tried to make the old one work. Anyone ever succeeded?

It went suddenly, doesn't seem to be any juice. I'm thinking it's the voltage regulator not clicking over. Can't guess how to fix that.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

User avatar
spinningmagnets   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 11195
Joined: Dec 21 2007 10:27pm
Location: Ft Riley, NE Kansas

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by spinningmagnets » Sep 08 2017 11:14pm

There's a bridge rectifier that often has a fried diode (from heat). Bearings are either bad, or will be bad soon, it probably needs two. Get the part number for the voltage regulator, order one, easy to swap that out...

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/thr ... se.542646/

User avatar
Hwy89   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 398
Joined: Mar 03 2013 9:52pm
Location: Northern Arizona

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Hwy89 » Sep 08 2017 11:23pm

Never a Ford, but I have worked on lots of the old Delco alternators. 99% of the time it's the brushes that are worn out. A few had bad bearings. I always expected the bridge rectifiers would be blown but never found a bad one.
Take it apart you have nothing to lose and I guarantee parts are available with a quick Google search.

User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7658
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Dauntless » Sep 09 2017 2:23am

Available sooner or later, but not right now. At least not a whole alternator.

Are you saying I'll recognize the problem when I see it?
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 27387
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by amberwolf » Sep 09 2017 3:08am

The bridge you can test with a multimeter on diode-test mode (see the meter's instructions on how to use that).

Brushes you can usually see how far down they are worn; if they're not pressing against the commutator anymore, or actually missing the carbon from the springloaded holder, that's usually fairly obvious.

Voltage regulator you can also test (if it's separate from the bridge) by inputting a DC voltage high enough to simulate the alternator's output (15-16v? I don't recall) to it's alternator side, and seeing if you get the correct voltage out from it's battery side.

If it's not separate from the bridge then you'd need a little higher voltage to compensate for the diodes in the bridge part.


I don't know if any of these are useful:
https://www.google.com/search?q=testing ... 8&oe=utf-8
as I haven't looked at any of the results, but some look like they might based on the snippets the search page shows.

User avatar
Hwy89   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 398
Joined: Mar 03 2013 9:52pm
Location: Northern Arizona

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Hwy89 » Sep 09 2017 10:08am

If the brushes are worn out or the bearings are bad it will be obvious.
Have you considered calling auto salvage yards for a used alternator?

melodious   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1154
Joined: Aug 26 2011 8:57am
Location: East Coast, U.S.A.

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by melodious » Sep 09 2017 10:40am

Try your local junk car depots. Just bring some tools to remove it from the donor car. Though finding similar models can be problematic. It's been awhile since I've been to one, but I'd imagine the better ones have an ongoing electric catalogue to keep track of the cars in stock so one would just require a phone call to verify before making the trip.
Surly Ogre rigid 29er, rear 10T MAC @ 50V 25AH & 40A: 30mph road/gravel/hill machine
42" dual diagonal Eskateboard @6s & 90mm wheels
Next: eMTB @10-12s & 8"-12" pneumatic wheels; Got Strapped? d-(',')z

markz   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7425
Joined: Jan 09 2014 11:38pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by markz » Sep 09 2017 3:22pm

My first stop would be the junk yard, and swap one in.
Next would be to open up your old one and see if anything is obvious, then inspect brushes, and do the other tests as mentioned. If its an easy fix, then fix it and clean everything up so it looks good, inside and out, and swap the junk yard unit out, and throw in the fixed unit. Then if you are ambitious enough, open up the used one from the junk yard and inspect that, and clean it up inside and out. That one will be your spare, or just sell it for equal to junk yard price or a bit more depending on how "new" it looks ;)

User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7658
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Dauntless » Sep 10 2017 7:30pm

I don't like junkyard parts for something that can just turn around and go bad. All my tests on this one tell me it should be fine, I don't know a voltage regulator test. But is the regulator in the alternator? I'm reading people online thinking it is not, but they might just be performance car types who put a separate one in. I'm also wondering about "One Wire" vs. "Three Wire." I have a positive post that's obviously a single and a 3 pin plug separately.

All well, I think I have my truck to where it'll pass smog, the DMV is literally about a mile from the Pep Boys, but I'm not sure I can have it cleared and renewed in time to be on time at 11:30. (Sigh.)
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

User avatar
marty   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2194
Joined: Apr 19 2007 5:44pm
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Contact:

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by marty » Sep 10 2017 8:05pm

Ford Mustang.... What year? Engine size? AC? Think that's about all the questions the auto parts guy might ask? Are you in the USA? I find it hard to believe that you can't find a alternator? Have you tried the telephone? If your car is not older then 20 years or so, bet ya I could have a rebuilt alternator in a few hours. I might be weird but when I need a auto part, I go to, or call my favorite auto parts place. If they don't have it they always get it in a few hours, or a few days if it is far away. Also there is always the Ford Dealer.

If you don't want to mess around with muddy junk yards. Try http://car-part.com/
<title>Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market</title>
Database of every junk yard in North America.

Is alternator hard to get to? Service Manual is good tool to have.

My car 2003 Suzuki Aerio SX. Alternator was easy to get. Plastic guard around it was cracked. Think it was a water splash guard? I might have been the first one in the US to ask for that part. Dealer took 2 weeks to get part from Japan. Think other mechanics would just throw away the cracked plastic guard and not worry about rain, dirt of what ever it is supposed to protect the alternator from?
MARTY
Volt Electric Vehicles
http://www.voltev.com

User avatar
marty   10 MW

10 MW
Posts: 2194
Joined: Apr 19 2007 5:44pm
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Contact:

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by marty » Sep 10 2017 8:43pm

One more tip. Ford Dealers have two prices. One price for everyone and a lower price for auto repair people. I always ask for the lower price. I tell them that I want a lower price because I am "special". Some auto dealers have two parts counters. Go to the counter in back for the lower prices.
MARTY
Volt Electric Vehicles
http://www.voltev.com

User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7658
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Dauntless » Sep 10 2017 11:42pm

The phone didn't have any and neither did the people I called. Auto Zone and Pep Boys literally refused to take an order. Ford sounded like they wouldn't but it was almost twice as much anyway so if I order I might as well order the cheaper one. Napa told me there was not one in an inventory anywhere in California and some other nearby states, either. I guess they'll be calling this the Great Ford Alternator Shortage of 2017.

Mine is a 2012 V6 stick shift.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

mark5   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1253
Joined: Dec 28 2011 9:26pm
Location: USA

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by mark5 » Sep 11 2017 12:09am

Here's a couple of ebay numbers for remanufactured alternators. The Van Nuys one does list their shop info and you can call them. Are those prices what you were expecting?

Denso $180 Los Angeles
253026051841

Motorcraft $275 Van Nuys
282364494608

Just examples and maybe not even the right part--might instead need Motorcraft GL-997. Point is many of the sellers look to be around L.A.

While looking around, found service manual: http://iihs.net/fsm/?d=1001.

John in CR   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 13770
Joined: May 20 2008 12:58am
Location: Paradise

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by John in CR » Sep 11 2017 9:17pm

They're pretty simple to fix. Brushes, bearings, or voltage regulators are typically the problem as mentioned above, and they're cheap and sold separately.

chuckklr98   1 mW

1 mW
Posts: 15
Joined: Aug 26 2017 8:42am
Location: Pearl river

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by chuckklr98 » Sep 11 2017 9:29pm

there is a alternator, starter repair place in my town. check for one near you. perhaps for a few extra bucks they can cue yours next .

User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7658
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Dauntless » Sep 11 2017 11:35pm

Image

The fact is I had considered that alternator repair angle. The search turned up the picture of this house.

In college I had this 'Classic' Ford Cortina. (Nobody understood why I thought it was so dang kewl.) Obviously no American Ford dealer would stock parts for an English Ford exotic if they WERE still made. (Except I did learn there was one that could get me a few things.) This old man who was not going gentle into that good night kept his shop going, we made jokes he might have kept it open some months after he died, he was so determined. I have not been able to find anyone to fix something like that ever since, unless of course it's from a car with more people in agreement on the 'Classic' status, such as a Mustang or Camaro from the same year as my Cortina.

So maybe this guy really does fix alternators in his garage. Mostly I got shops who'd be happy to CHANGE it for me. But I can do that myself if I can get one. Now that I'm driving my truck again I can take my time, but the idea of fixing this thing for pocket change compared to $166 at Pep Boys is appealing, of course. I had a busy day so I didn't try calling him. We'll see about tomorrow. But maybe he'll just want me to let him replace it. Doggone it.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

deronmoped   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 706
Joined: Oct 06 2008 11:55am

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by deronmoped » Sep 12 2017 12:18am

I always fixed my alternators. There are places that sell the parts, repair places and auto part stores. The last one I fixed was my VW buggy, replaced the regulator, everything else was good in the alternator. I always work on my own stuff, makes you real familiar with what is going on and you usually do better work then what is out there.

User avatar
Drunkskunk   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7167
Joined: Apr 14 2007 11:37am
Location: Dallas, Texas. U.S.A.

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Drunkskunk » Sep 12 2017 4:31pm

The rebuild kits for those are available all over ebay. $15-$30 depend on the model and source,
but they are all basiclly 2 bearings, the brushes pack, and the rectifier.

Rebuilding is an hour job for most, but might need a gear puller to get the pulley off.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-Motorcraft ... 0338.m3726



Image
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Monster Bike:http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=38667

User avatar
bigmoose   100 MW

100 MW
Posts: 2676
Joined: Aug 06 2009 3:05pm
Location: North coast USA
Contact:

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by bigmoose » Sep 12 2017 4:53pm

If it's got 140,000 to 160,000 it's likely the brushes are just worn. I've rebuilt a ton over the years... only had one with a blown diode, and then it was in one leg of the 3 phase only, so the alternator still had minimal output, and that was back in 1976.

Then again, if you can't get an alternator, you likely can't source a brush set. If you change bearings, no chinese bearings... get a name brand one from NAPA or a bearing distributor. The needle bearing on the non belt end of the shaft never goes bad.
"Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God..." all the best, Dave

User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7658
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Dauntless » Sep 12 2017 6:46pm

Now that's the right idea, a kit of the right parts I can just swap. Not that I'm finding it for a 2012 on ebay or on maniacelectricmotors.com but I'm on a Mac and I can do it better at home on a PC.

It only has 76k, strange so suddenly bad that it makes me wonder if there's an ignition switch problem.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

mark5   100 kW

100 kW
Posts: 1253
Joined: Dec 28 2011 9:26pm
Location: USA

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by mark5 » Sep 12 2017 7:22pm

This youtube video shows a place (from the video maker's business) to get rebuild parts. Which parts depend on what's inside yours. Voltage regulator, for example, you'll have to open the alternator up to see which of several possibilities is inside.

How to rebuild a 6G Alternator by Mike Lauer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGIdnOwHZUM

A different place to get parts in this video's description:

How to change the Voltage Regulator on Ford 6G Alternator by alternatorman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuKCrnoe_Vs

User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7658
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Dauntless » Sep 13 2017 1:37am

This is going nowhere. I mean, no wonder my battery isn't charging, they don't have an alternator for the 2012. No replacement, no kit to rebuild, nothing.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

User avatar
amberwolf   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 27387
Joined: Aug 17 2009 6:43am
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth, Sol, Local Bubble, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Local Group
Contact:

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by amberwolf » Sep 13 2017 1:51am

So the world really did end in 2012, and we just didn't notice?

DAND214   1 GW

1 GW
Posts: 3166
Joined: Aug 10 2008 8:28pm
Location: About 1200 miles south of Chicago, in sunny/rainny Port Richey, Florida!

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by DAND214 » Sep 13 2017 8:36am

It might sound stupid as I didn't read all of this. Did you check the fuse #20 in the engine junction box?

Dan

User avatar
Dauntless   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 7658
Joined: May 29 2010 1:49am
Location: Coordinates: 33°52′48″N 117°55′43″W

Re: anyone Ever Fixed an alternator?

Post by Dauntless » Sep 13 2017 9:59am

DAND214 wrote:It might sound stupid as I didn't read all of this. Did you check the fuse #20 in the engine junction box?

Dan
What an incredibly stupid thing to expect me to have checked. I mean, a fuse, you really think I'm going to look at THAT? I'll bet YOU are the kind that expects me to make sure there's enough oil. I've noticed that the car runs longer without oil than without coolant, so why have overblown concerns?

So I was in high school and getting going working on cars, if ever there was a car with the hood up for whatever reason, I'd start checking the oil, the radiator, water in the battery, if possible tire pressures. Need I explain to you what I discovered? What's funny is when people reacted to what I found on their car with---"SO?"
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

Post Reply