I fixed my alternator!

The reason for the exclamation above is because a REBUILT alternator for my car was $140.00 US for the cheapest and that one only had a 30
day warranty. My car is a '92 Dodge Colt. Actually made by Mitsubishi. Feeling I had nothing to lose since the one in my car wasn't working and nobody stocked a replacement, new or rebuilt, I took mine apart to see if I could fix it. Alternators are simple machines and pretty robust generally. The brushes supply the field and so carry little current. The field coils rotate in an automotive alternator. I imagine most alternators are built with rotating fields. This means that the high current produced by the alternator doesn't have to go through the brushes. This is a good for several reasons. Anyway, this alternator has a built in voltage regulator so the three thing most likely to fail were the regulator, diodes, and brushes. The brushes are at the top of the list because they are subject to mechanical wear while the diodes and regulator are solid state devices and should last just about forever as long as their design specs are not exceeded. The brushes had indeed worn so far that they no longer made reliable contact with the slip rings. I called the auto parts store to see if they sold rebuild kits for this alternator. I could hear the laughter in the background. Why sell rebuild kits for 10 bucks if you can gouge someone for 140 bucks? I figured that would be the case. The local hardware store carries all sorts of stuff so I checked the replacement brush drawers and found a size that was a little wider and longer than the original brushes. A file made quick work of the extra carbon removal. The modified brushes were installed and the alternator works now. Total cost was less than 8 bucks. Cheers, Eric R Snow
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On Sat, 06 Nov 2004 12:48:10 -0800, Eric R Snow wrote:

Cool... They may have been in good shape, but when you had the alternator out it might have been a "good thing" to also replace the bearings.
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In this case the following saying comes to mind: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.!"
Way to go Eric!
Lane
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On Sat, 6 Nov 2004 16:28:46 -0800, "Lane"

The alternator is easy enough to get at and the bearings give enough warning when they're going bad that it's reasonable not to replace them just because you've got the alternator out.
Also, didn't Lindsay (or someone) have a book on how to repair an alternator? It's sure easy enough.

Exactly!
That which does not kill us makes us stronger. --Friedrich Nietzsche Never get your philosophy from some guy who ended up in the looney bin. -- Wiz Zumwalt
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Rather upsetting that you couldn't get replacement brushes for it, they should be a stock item :-(
Mark Rand RTFM
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Just think how upset the alternator re-build folks are, if everyone did this, they'd go broke!
Jim
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On Sun, 07 Nov 2004 00:21:02 +0000, Mark Rand

The local

Back before government legislated owner repair out of existence, repair parts like this were readily available from any auto electric shop and could be installed in ten minutes with little more than a screwdriver and pliers. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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On Sat, 06 Nov 2004 22:34:28 -0500, Gerald Miller
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Explain that? ***************************************************** Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a headache.........
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vaguely proposed a theory

Simple.... greed by the seller.
bp
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proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

How do you blame the Govt for that, though? ***************************************************** Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a headache.........
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Old Nick wrote:

I would guess that government regulations forcing auto makers into certain safety modes and certain air pollution modes - moved autos to be computerized. Remember the early ones ? - 'oh your computer broke - $400 now!'
Those computers are now hardened a bit more for auto and the auto makers know how to spec them better.
It is the computer and the computer control - so much of the engine is beyond help, the Radio is throwaway while earlier, change a tube or vibrator... Electronic modules are now turn signals not thermo-relays...
Some of this stuff is hard to come by - but possible. Getting the binary codes the computers report is yet another problem.
Martin
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On Mon, 08 Nov 2004 05:34:45 GMT, "Martin H. Eastburn"
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Yehe! My radio has a "mind of its own" I tell ya. I don;t bother any more. No great loss to me, as i am not much into music while driving anyway, but........

Yes. It's basic stuff, really, that these things are doing, but they can be hidden behind enything when it's software. ***************************************************** Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a headache.........
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wrote:

Ever heard of legislation concerning "corporate product line fuel efficiency rating" or words to that effect. In an effort to increase mileage, every part is made to the absolute minimum and you end up with rusted out oil pans, four year radiators, and over all, early demise - of course the manufacturers are happy to go along with this as it sells more product, and anyone who doesn't want to go along with this can shell out for an "Urban Assault Vehicle" like an Excursion or a Yukon. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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On Sun, 07 Nov 2004 00:00:39 -0500, Gerald Miller
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
OK. But how else do you make cars more efficient, and lighter? And keep them affordable, by not using exotics.
I feel that this legislation that may be laid at Govt door (they mamke the laws), but which has to be done, somehow.
Actually talking of "ueban assault vehicles" rhrgrh! Bloody fuel guzzlers!
We spent _years_ getting cars more and more efficient, while keeping their overall performance as it was, in most cases. Now I see the fule economy is all shot to bits again, because the power of motors has jumped by 25% over maybe 5-10 years ago for a given sedan etc.

***************************************************** Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a headache.........
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Actually, in the '70s and '80s, performance declined. Performance didn't start coming back until the mid '90s.
I just jumped from a 289 hp car to a 400 hp car, and guess what, fuel mileage improved. The 350Z got an honest 25 MPG while the new Corvette gets 28 MPG on the same trips. (I used "honest" above because the Z never got its manufacturer claimed MPG, but the Vette does.) The Z has a 3.5 liter V6 while the Vette has a 6.4 liter V8.
As a point of historical comparison, the last Corvette I had, a pre-electronics era '63 Stingray which made 300 hp, only got 12 MPG. Sedans of the era got about 14 MPG from 210 hp engines. We've come a *long* way from there.
The Vette is now my high MPG champ. The rest of my fleet doesn't do as well. My '97 Intrepid 3.5l V6 215 hp, gets 27 MPG, my 2x4 '93 Cherokee 195 hp 4.0l I-6 gets 22 MPG, and my 4x4 '87 Comanche pickup 190 hp 4.0l I-6 gets 24 MPG. (No explanation for the latter, it shouldn't do that well, but it has, since new.)
My '78 F350 dually with a 400 cu-in V8 gets 6 MPG (luckily I don't have to drive it every day). And my '66 98 Olds 425 cu-in V8 gets 12 MPG (but this one is a jewel, 62,000 actual miles, all original, in my family since new). These are more typical of the pre-computer era.
You gotta give those software bit twiddlers some credit. The newer cars are *so* much better in *both* performance and economy than those from the pre-computer era. And even for recent models, the newer ones produce more power *and* better MPG than their immediate predecessors. We're just finishing replacing our fleet of Durangos at work. We're seeing a MPG improvement of a little over 2 MPG for the new ones compared to the 5 year old ones. The new ones also have more power, and more room. What's not to like?
Gary
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
I think you missed ny point. I know power dropped during ghe 70s and 80s. Then we started to get really well-designed injection system (not scrappy little electronci spark sensors still on carbed cars).
Mid 80s I reckon tyhe real first efficient cars came out. I had an 86 computed injected 6 cyl that got 25MPG, with the same power (150HP roughly) as a mid-70s carbed car that got 18-20 mpg
But I look at cars being built now, and they are using roughly the same technology as they were from mid-80s 1990 onward, but the power is creeping up, so that they use more juice. Buy a 6 cyl family car now and it gets 200 hp and is again back to 20 MPG.
Sorry if we disagre, and your snortin giant gets a really good mileage. I am going by repeated official tests by respected motoring organisations. I have no personla experience of a new car for the last 5 years.

Yup
That's not what repeated reports are telling me.

***************************************************** Dogs are better than people.
People are better than dogs for only one purpose. And then it's only half of ofthe people. And _then_ most of them are only ordinary anyway. And then they have a headache.........
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calmly ranted:

And I'm surprised it is, given the new MPG requirements.

The V-8's extra torque could have something to do with it. 6.4L? A newfangled Chebby 386 CID? What about transmichigan differences? Both 6-speeds or OD-autos?

Thank Buddha. My fuel-injected/computer-sparked '90 Ford 5L has 100 more horsies than my '68 302 with points and a 2-bbl carb.

With or without the 5th-wheel draggin' behind it?

PRICE! Have you tried one of the plug-in computer enhancers that they've shown on Trucks! lately? The JUICE is one, and a friend with a Dodge diesel says he got 60 more horsies out of his beast with it on a 60% setting (ad lib, I forgot the actual terms he used.) and he likes the truck even better. It hauls his 5th-wheel up mountains without going peddle-to-the-metal any more, and it's more responsive. I see they're coming out with more for gas vehicles now, too.
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On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 08:14:18 -0800, Larry Jaques

Love the sig.
Price & have to call a tow truck when it won't go instead of a tool bag and a couple of spare parts.
Still have no idea what I'm going to do with a very good 500 ci engine.
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On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 13:40:24 -0800, Sunworshipper

Thanks. I found that just after a Buddhist got mad at my using "Oh my Buddha" instead of "Oh my God" one time. My reply to him was that sig. ;) I'd never come up against an irate Buddhist before. He must not have been a very good one, y'think? ;)

Saved in better fuel mileage in months/less than a year.

I worked on a lot of dead cars way back when but I've never had one of my own vehicle computers die. All those had points and/or cracked/wet distributor caps, or distributor rotors whose spring top had come off. No spark? No kidding.

Caber Tosser!
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On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 20:21:06 -0800, Larry Jaques

Funny, but I wouldn't do that on purpose in person. Sounds like asking for trouble.

$20,000 ? I was just about to undertake building a new (new to me) truck , but had a set way back that has canceled that plan. Now I'm not sure what to do , guess keep my Toy running. Maybe I wasn't following your other post. A month ago I watched the in laws bitch at a new $30,000 truck that wouldn't start and no one had a clue what was wrong. Got me , but seems like people who knew how to work on their vehicles are pretty much lost when the new ones go south.

I don't know what your talking about. I've heard lots of stories of magic boxes going bad. From cross country trips to intersections , with the vehicle just dead from a pot hole to nothing at all. Beating on them seems to be about the only quick fix.

Don't know that phrase. In other words?
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