Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Matt
 
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Unhappy Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

I've bin out of town for two weeks, got back and finally took the car for a drive. After 45 min cruse it died on me at a busy light. Just as I started to go the motor started so sputter and then died. When attempting to restart the motor there was nothing there, not even a crank. Luckily, I was next to a road construction site where I was able to push the car to the side and get behind some cones. Knowing my luck this was the day I accidentally walked out of the house without a cell phone. Luckily a couple nice construction guys let me use their phone. I called home but no answer as my wife was out and about. She recently changed her cell # so I didn't have it memorized yet . I ended up calling my mother in law in MO who then called my wife in Denver who then finally called me on the construction guy's phone. She brought the truck along with some tools. The car started as soon as we put jumper cables on the battery and would die as soon as I took them off. The voltage gauge in the car read 10V while the car was running. That gave me a pretty good clue...dead alternator, no charge and between the dual BeCool fans and 6Al MSD the battery went dry fast. Decided to shut off the car and charge the battery of the truck's battery for about 15 mins. That gave me enough juice to get home (3 miles). Talk about a kick butt rescue! Took the wife to dinner last night

Hooked up the voltage meter when I got home and it read 10.3 V at the alternator. I took the alternator off and had it tested at a local parts store. Dead as dead gets.

The alternator was a 140 Amp Summit brand and only 16 months old. What causes these things to go dead? So...I am in the market for a new one. Any good suggestions would be appreciated.

Matt

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 07:52 AM
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Steve
 
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

Diodes and brushes are the only 2 things I can think of that would normally be a problem on an externally regulated alternator, but yours is internally regulated so perhaps the regulator?

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 08:19 AM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

I have nothing to add but want to follow this post and not sure how to do it. I am also looking for a new alternator.

Dave
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 08:35 AM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

this is where I got mine, about$50.00
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

Forgot to mention, I am definitely looking for 140 Amp, chromed or polished finish.

Matt

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 09:04 AM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

Sorry to hear about being dead on the side of the road.

Why not rebuild it. Change the diodes, voltage regulator, brushes. Brushes are probably still good. They used to sell kits in the help department.

Do you have any places in town that rebuild alternators??

Mike
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 09:33 AM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

I agree^^ rebuild it yourself. It's not difficult, in fact kinda fun in a twisted sort of way. http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=330440

Also I'm assuming you had it wired as a one-wire, and therefore no warning light on the dash? Might not be a bad idea to use a 3 wire alt so you get that warning light as gauges don't scream at you like a light does. Plus with 3-wire you get the benefit of remote voltage sensing.


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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 10:10 AM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

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Originally Posted by BPOS View Post
I agree^^ rebuild it yourself. It's not difficult, in fact kinda fun in a twisted sort of way. http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=330440

Also I'm assuming you had it wired as a one-wire, and therefore no warning light on the dash? Might not be a bad idea to use a 3 wire alt so you get that warning light as gauges don't scream at you like a light does. Plus with 3-wire you get the benefit of remote voltage sensing.
^^^^I agree,,I like 3 wire better than 1 wire alternators.

Mike
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

In the meantime, I cleaned up my old alternator from previous motor and put it on. I think it's a 70 amp or so. Took the car for a spin around the block and the voltage gauge showed the alternator charging. However, when I got home the alternator was HOT and I mean hot to where I could not touch it. Should the alternator be this hot?

EDIT:
Also took a voltage reading at the battery with the car running. It was 14.4V. Does that seem high? Battery is not fully charged yet so I am thinking the alternator is working extra hard to charge it.

Matt

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 01:22 PM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

I could see it getting hot if the alternator that is charging a battery down to 10.3 volts, I wouldn't think it would be that hot normally. What did you voltage get up to when you were done driving?

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

Charging the battery now. Will see what the voltage reading will be when fully charged. Took my old alternator apart. Will post some pictures later. What should I be looking for regarding damage, wear?

Matt

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 03:04 PM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

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I have nothing to add but want to follow this post and not sure how to do it. I am also looking for a new alternator.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 03:12 PM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

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Originally Posted by zlek131 View Post
EDIT:
Also took a voltage reading at the battery with the car running. It was 14.4V. Does that seem high? Battery is not fully charged yet so I am thinking the alternator is working extra hard to charge it.
That voltage sounds right for a healthy charging system working on a battery that's a bit low. I get 14.1 at an idle when the battery is fully charged using my multi meter - the gauge in the car (autometer) reads a bit lower than that, but probably isn't as accurate.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

OK, battery has been fully charged. I get 12.34V at the battery with the car off and 14.7V at the battery with the car running. Took the car for a spin and the alternator is hot but not any hotter than the valve covers. I have a rather far fetched question but, would the tension of the belt contribute to the heat? Mine is a little tight but I can still move the belt when I press/pull on it.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Aug 21st, 11, 04:49 PM
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Re: Got stranded, the story, fried alternator - recommend a new one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zlek131 View Post
In the meantime, I cleaned up my old alternator from previous motor and put it on. I think it's a 70 amp or so. Took the car for a spin around the block and the voltage gauge showed the alternator charging. However, when I got home the alternator was HOT and I mean hot to where I could not touch it. Should the alternator be this hot?

EDIT:
Also took a voltage reading at the battery with the car running. It was 14.4V. Does that seem high? Battery is not fully charged yet so I am thinking the alternator is working extra hard to charge it.
I'd be looking for a short or some other serious current drain - dual fans and an MSD6AL should be easy work for a 70 amp alternator.

Mike - '68 Camaro - aftermarket or modern pretty much everything.


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