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Thread: Alternator replacement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana USA
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    236

    Alternator replacement

    Gretings

    Wow, last visited 12-03-2003.. been awhile

    I have a 95 SC. It has 110xxx on it and what appears to be the factory alternator is on its last legs. On the way home today, the battery light started flickering. I was able to get the car 50 miles home by the way of autozone, so I guess it could be worse. Maybe the Optima Yellow Top was really worth it! I remember when my 95 LX did this back in 97 or 98 I couldn't even make it across town with the diehard in it. The stocker in it lasted til 75k or so, but I had a huge stereo in it.

    Anyways, I remember from my car audio fanatic days that bigger alternator = better. I'm pretty much grown out of the needing a stereo that will rattle someones fillings in the next county, but it might be nice to have something a little better than stock on it instead of the 110 amp stocker.

    Autozone can get me a stock replacement for $130 with a limited lifetime guarantee. It has a $70 core charge - $60 isn't unreasonable. They had one from Beck/Arnley for $240 with a 3 month guarantee, so if I buy one from them I'm probably gonna buy the stocker replacement. Any of the ones from Autozone take 3-5 days to get here, as they don't stock them.

    Advance has a Bosch that is 130 amps for 180 with an $80 core charge. For another $40 I can get 20 amps more. Is that a fair deal, or should I bother?

    Is this the way to go? If not, is there a popular replacement that people use on their SCs?

    Is there any merit to having the stocker rebuilt? Or using a OEM Ford alternator?

    I'm not really worried if I have to ship something in, I have a pickup I drive sometimes too, so the SC can sit for awhile if it needs to.

    Also, anything I should know when swapping this thing? It looks like it's wedged in the engine compartment pretty well with the metal intake tube from the intercooler somewhat wrapped around it. A lot of them say they have a "F2" plug - is that the right one?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Vancouver B.C
    Posts
    154

    alternator

    im running the bosch, ive had it replaced under warrenty once, pretty big drain with my system, but the best i could find, i mite need to upgrade my battery to a yellow top aswell

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    H-Town Tejas
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    2,891
    About removing the alternator:

    If you remove the Tensioner assy you can get it out without removing the upper IC tube and having to reseal it. The tensioner assy is not open and is easy to remove no need to worry about a spring popping out or anything.

    Alternators I would have it rebuilt if you have the time, but if not I stay away from anything electrical from autozone as a "liftime" warranty means that you can replace it all the time. And since it is lifetime I don't think they really rebuild them other than to replace the parts that are bad and then replace the bearings. I have gotten alternators from them and had to go through 3 of them before I got a good one. I have also gotten starters and went through 4 of them in a month. What a hassle. Unless you get a name brand alternator then leave it alone. I think the biggest problem is that they can't load test an alternator at the store. One time in my moms car my dad was in Peru and her battery died. I charged the battery and ran the alt. down to Autozone they checked it and said it was fine. Being a jid at the time I didn't know any better, so I took it home and reinstalled it. 3 days later same thing happens. My dad called and I told him what was going on. He said to replace it, and after I told him I had laready had it "checked" he said do it anyway. So I did and never had another problem. Turned out that 1 of the doides was bad and the alternator couldn't put out enough to handle driving at night with the lights and AC on. When I checked it I just had the engine running.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Niagara NY
    Posts
    2,535
    I also had the same probs with AZ alternators. I finally got one at Checker (could be Shucks or Kragen depending on where you're at) it is made by Autolite. I think it may have been a few bucks more than AZ but Checker will price match plus 5% so you can't go wrong. I haven't had any probs with this one. knock on wood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana USA
    Posts
    236
    I ordered one from Advance Auto Parts today and it will be in by 10:30 in the morning. Advance is the same company as Parts America, Schucks, Kragen, or Checker depending on where you arein the country.

    It's their P/N 14498, which appears to be a Delco/Remy alternator.

    It's 110 AMP, and the cost was $128.88 and I'll have it tomorrow.

    I am slightly worried at this point, though. I did some looking around motorcraft.com and it appears the factory alternator, GL-477RM, is 130 AMP.

    I'm going to make a couple calls in the morning and see if I can buy a reman Motorcraft for any reasonable price. I think I already know the answer to this, but I guess it's worth checking.

    Am I correct for worrying about the 20 amps?

    It's really weird, nobody stocked this alternator, but the OEM alternator was used on a LOT of T-Birds and Mustangs as well as the Cougar XR7 from 94-97. Seems to be a pretty common Ford application, V6 T-Birds, V6 Mustangs, and Cobras and GTs!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lakeville, MN
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    13,517
    The stock alternator is a 110amp Mitsubishi alternator. They are not common and are expensive to repair. Their regulator circuit is heat sensitive and if your battery dies causing the alt to have to charge all the time it'll fry itself.

    Make sure your bat is fully charged before running with the new alt.

    Note you can get that unit rebuilt at a place that rebuilts electric motors and stuff for likely under $125.

    i got mine rebuilt on my 93 for $100.

    The nice thing about having a shop rebuild it is that i had more faith in what work was being done. i got to talk to the guy who did the work and had a good feel for the job that was done.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    5,641
    Quote Originally Posted by J57ltr
    I think the biggest problem is that they can't load test an alternator at the store. One time in my moms car my dad was in Peru and her battery died. I charged the battery and ran the alt. down to Autozone they checked it and said it was fine. Being a jid at the time I didn't know any better, so I took it home and reinstalled it. 3 days later same thing happens. My dad called and I told him what was going on.
    Sounds like my aggravating story.. I had 3 of them do that until I got a good one.. They would charge OK for a few minutes of use, then drop out as they warmed up, then kick in again for a while and drop out. The most annoying thing is that you take them in for a replacement and they test just fine Of course.. they had cooled down and Azone had no machine that really tested the alt at a number of speeds with a load.. its a minor load at one speed.. So you bolt it in and run out of electrical power as the battery is drained leaving you stranded on the side of the road.. very annoying.

    Keep a cell phone handy or just buy a new alt from somewhere else besides autozone.. BTW, the name brand was get this... Duralast.. HA! I've had good Duaralast batteries that really held up like they were supposed to, but poor duralast alternators.

  8. #8
    Joisey Jim Guest
    You don't have to remove the tensioner or upper I/C tube on the '94/95; just the coil pack has to come off and there is an additional bracket to be released at the back of the alternator. Bit of a pain, but on the SC scale of difficulty it's only about a 2. The alternator instructions should also remind you that the battery needs to be Fully charged when you connect it up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana USA
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    236
    Well, the alternator is out

    The one from advanced that was supposed to be a delco remy isn't. It's some off brand alternator.

    A local shop quoted me $65 to rebuild the stocker, but he hasn't seen it yet. I'll take it in tomorrow morning.

    I had to pull both bolts, remove the coil pack to get to the backside bolt, and then unbolt the tube at the IC and undo the 4 bolts where it goes into the top of the SC. It looked easier to do it that way than try to chase down whatever kind of weird wrench it takes to undo the large round fastener where the tube from the IC goes into the top of the SC, if that makes sense.

    It looked like it was more work all the way around to remove the bracket the alternator and power steering pump go through than it was to remove the tube. Removing the tensioner alone didn't give me enough wiggle room to get the alternator out.

    Do I need to seal the top of the SC with anything when I bolt the top back on? How about the tube to intercooler area? It looks like both are milled, so I'm hoping it'll seal back up when I bolt it down.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana USA
    Posts
    236
    also, Dan Newman from fordpartshq.com quoted me $129.95 for an OEM alternator, F3SZ-10346-A

    Within a buck of an aftermarket. If mine can't be fixed, I'll buy the Motorcraft alternator from Dan.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    595
    John,

    Nice to see you around here again. I still haven't been to any other gatherings around Indy since I met you (probably a couple of years ago). When I was buying other parts from Ford, I checked on a new one from Ford....170.00. I run an amplifier capable (notice I said "capable") of producing up to 80 amps of draw on the alternator. Probably at bass peaks. I got this installed somewhere in the neighborhood of 1998. (Knocks on wood) I am still running the factory alternator. One factor of why it's probably still running is that I don't want to rattle any fillings, like was mentioned before. So, my advice is to buy the one from Ford. My .02.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lakeville, MN
    Posts
    13,517
    Pickup some Permatex Ultra Copper RTV Gasket Maker. Put it on thin on the IC top and you can also use it to seal the tube with a thin coat if you don't have any of www.texasthunderbirds.com reusable tube gaskets.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana USA
    Posts
    236
    when you say IC top, do you mean the flange on the top of the intercooler where the tube connects, or on the top of the supercharger (the cover with 3.8 on it)?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    5,641
    Quote Originally Posted by johnwartjr
    when you say IC top, do you mean the flange on the top of the intercooler where the tube connects, or on the top of the supercharger (the cover with 3.8 on it)?
    He meant the SC top instead of the IC top. It has the raised 3.8 letters on it.
    Last edited by TbirdSCFan; 07-25-2005 at 11:22 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana USA
    Posts
    236
    Quote Originally Posted by TbirdSCFan
    He meant the SC top instead of the IC top. It has the raised 3.8 letters on it.
    That's what I thought, but I wanted to be sure.

    Thanks!

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