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Thinking of rebuilding the alternator #4689746
03/09/18 05:08 PM
03/09/18 05:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,519
The Motor City
Kestas Offline OP
Kestas  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,519
The Motor City
My winter car has 95K with an original alternator. I'm thinking of rebuilding the alternator when it's retired for the summer. It seems I can do it with the $50 kit from this web site.

Alternator starter rebuild kits

They have good video tutorials, and the pictures they show of the worn copper rings makes me think my alternator may be close to being consumed. The last time I though about doing both starter and alternator with another car, I thought too long and the started conked out and I had to do an emergency repair in 11F weather.

Checking rockauto, the alternator for my car varies from $80 for the inexpensive all the way to $250 for OEM.

I've been stranded before more than once with a bad alternator. Is this a good plan? Has anyone done anything like this?

Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689762
03/09/18 05:21 PM
03/09/18 05:21 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,268
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,268
NJ
What kind of car is it? My Rav4 still has the original alternator. Why fix what ain't broke unless you suspect your alternator has a short life span due to its design or lack use over the summer.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689772
03/09/18 05:27 PM
03/09/18 05:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,278
San Antonio, TX
E150GT Offline
E150GT  Offline
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,278
San Antonio, TX
I did the same thing to my truck, well I had it rebuilt. After 22 years and 248k miles it made no difference.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 57k 10w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 31k 5w30
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689775
03/09/18 05:29 PM
03/09/18 05:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
One of the things a rebuilder can do is to put the armature on a lathe and cut slightly where the brushes hit. Can you do that?

How about the 6 diode bridge, will you replace that?


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689814
03/09/18 06:06 PM
03/09/18 06:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,519
The Motor City
Kestas Offline OP
Kestas  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,519
The Motor City
This is for a 2001 Mercury Sable. The alternators reportedly last an average of 120K. I want to stay on the good side of the Bell curve.

The voltage regulator is included with the kit. Would that include the diode bridge?

I have easy access to a lathe.

At the very least I'll have the luxury of time to be able to take it apart and assess the unit before tackling it.

Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689818
03/09/18 06:21 PM
03/09/18 06:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 19,921
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 19,921
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Sure why not, a lot of the kits listed have a new armature inc.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689822
03/09/18 06:23 PM
03/09/18 06:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,226
Central Virginia
Silverado12 Offline
Silverado12  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,226
Central Virginia
My brother is probably one of the best shade tree mechanics that exists and he yelled at me for being lazy and buying a rebuilt alternator LOL. It was for a 1999 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 and the bearings seized up sometime during the summer (it was a winter car). I figured as hard as it was to get to I should get it right the first time but it def is a DIY job if you have the motivation and want to save a few bucks. I replaced diodes in an old Buick alternator a LONG time ago and IIRC they press out of the "bridge" and you can replace them individually.


12 Chevy Silverado ext. cab LS, 2WD 4.3 auto
18 Mustang GT 5.0 auto
07 Harley Dyna Street Bob 96 c.i. 6 sp.
00 Mustang GT auto
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689826
03/09/18 06:26 PM
03/09/18 06:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,226
Central Virginia
Silverado12 Offline
Silverado12  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 3,226
Central Virginia
FWIW you probably have an old guy in town with an electric motor shop who can rebuild it for you less than a junk parts store alternator would cost.


12 Chevy Silverado ext. cab LS, 2WD 4.3 auto
18 Mustang GT 5.0 auto
07 Harley Dyna Street Bob 96 c.i. 6 sp.
00 Mustang GT auto
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689890
03/09/18 07:37 PM
03/09/18 07:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
A rebuilder will also have can oscilloscope to look at the output waveform.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689911
03/09/18 07:48 PM
03/09/18 07:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,288
Kansan,1911 45ACP fan
Marco620 Offline
Marco620  Offline
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,288
Kansan,1911 45ACP fan
Kinda thinking of getting a rebuilt or high performance alternator. Making 20 HP more than stock I most definitely need one lol jk.


15' Civic 179k.0w20 Redline/Archoil9100,Eibach,Yokohama/Borla Exhaust/Tein Suspension/Fu7317/Redline Si-1
Right to work state proud. Non union household
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Donald] #4689965
03/09/18 08:50 PM
03/09/18 08:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,529
Marshfield , MA
andyd Offline
andyd  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,529
Marshfield , MA
Originally Posted By: Donald
One of the things a rebuilder can do is to put the armature on a lathe and cut slightly where the brushes hit. Can you do that?

How about the 6 diode bridge, will you replace that?
Yah, I've seen starters and generators rebuilt. Sonny Oxner had an an electric thingy that tested windings on the armature by turning it into an electro-magnet. The lathe was driven by wide leather belts from a huge electric motor 30 feet away. You could probably turn an armature on a wood working lathe. Sonny used a tool to clean the gaps in the commutator. Bearings were repacked, bushing replaced and reamed to fit. brushes were replaced. In alternators, diodes were checked and resoldered. This was over 50 yrs ago. The rebuild kit for a 1 or 2 wire Delco alt. came with a new diode pack

Last edited by andyd; 03/09/18 08:53 PM.

'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689977
03/09/18 09:10 PM
03/09/18 09:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,099
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 33,099
ME
I've fiddled around inside of Delco CS130s.

The bearing is a common 6203 (?) and $2 on ebay.

Sometimes the front and rear are clocked differently for different applications but they're otherwise identical inside.

If you have a couple of them you can build a mongrel that works for you.

I tried fiddling with the armature of a motorcycle starter motor, didn't end well.

I would just change the diode bridge if necessary and the bearings and brushes.

Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4689984
03/09/18 09:17 PM
03/09/18 09:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,841
South Florida
bubbatime Offline
bubbatime  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,841
South Florida
I wouldn't touch it until it goes out. Which could be years and years from now. You might even sell the car before the alternator ever goes out. I have almost a million miles on the road without an alternator failure. My last alternator failure was probably 20 years ago.


17 Chrysler Pacifica Mobil 1 5W30
13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40
12 Suzuki S40 Rotella 15W40
10 Acura TSX 2.4 PZL Plat 5W30
06 GMC Sierra Nextgen 10W30


Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: Kestas] #4690098
03/09/18 11:58 PM
03/09/18 11:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,157
MA
Wolf359 Offline
Wolf359  Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,157
MA
Originally Posted By: Kestas
This is for a 2001 Mercury Sable. The alternators reportedly last an average of 120K. I want to stay on the good side of the Bell curve.

The voltage regulator is included with the kit. Would that include the diode bridge?

I have easy access to a lathe.

At the very least I'll have the luxury of time to be able to take it apart and assess the unit before tackling it.


Which engine do you have? The duratec was a pain, but you could flip the alternator and get it out of the wheel well instead of dropping the subframe. The vulcan was easier to get at from the top. I went over 200k on the duratec engine and changed the alternator 3 times. I got one with a lifetime warranty from Autozone. I think the first one conked out at around the 100k mark and I think I changed the 2nd one at a bit under the 200k mark and then the 3rd one was just hopping that some glitches I was getting was just an electrical problem as the alternator was free and the mechanic only wanted $50 to toss it in. I think it was only a bit over $100 for the alternator. I did have them test it before I took it, lots of stories about how the reman ones are duds.

Re: Thinking of rebuilding the alternator [Re: andyd] #4690193
03/10/18 06:37 AM
03/10/18 06:37 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 19,921
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 19,921
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: andyd
Sonny Oxner had an an electric thingy that tested windings on the armature by turning it into an electro-magnet. The lathe was driven by wide leather belts from a huge electric motor 30 feet away. You could probably turn an armature on a wood working lathe.


Years ago we had a small hand crank commutator lathe and a motor growler, both still worked fine despite being 25 yrs old then.
The growler was a primitive yet very effective way of checking the armature winding's, checking the field is easy with a VOM.
There was a big round soldering iron for replacing the commutator if necessary.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
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