3.8 ALTERNATORS DIE ONE AFTER THE OTHER EVERY 2 YEARS - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat

1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-03-2004, 02:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: alt

Originally Posted by willwren
Originally Posted by SSEBONNE4EVA
Its the rectifier bridge that burns out on these alternators from heat.
JC whitney sells a cool pack alt kit that changes the whole rear of the case to a finned type and keeps it cool.
The redesigned ACdelco rectifier holds up better than aftermarket so if you could find
a rebuild shop that uses genuine GM parts it should last.
To clarify this.....it'* the rear bearing design that heats up, and causes the rectifier bridge to run hot. The root fix is to improve the rear bearing and prevent this. The alternators at www.domesticperformance.com have this feature. I'm running my second (first failure was a fluke......manufacturing goof).

The heat failures seem to be worse (more frequent) on the SC models because the alternator location is farther to the rear, in a hotter location. Trapped between the hot nosedrive of the SC, and alot closer to the firewall.
I tried to get one from DP...however the car need this to run and I could not afford to wait any longer.
I realized that DP advertises goods they don't stocks.
200 amps from DP was interesting but they did not have one ready for sold due a shortage from their subtier supplier.

I am considering to give a try with a new option avalable from DELCO http://www.alternatorparts.com
Slightly more expensive than DP but they have it in stock.

Your recommendation about changing the battery/alternator at the same time is quite challenging on the wallet but you might be right considering that I replaced the batteries for the 5th times and 8 alternators so far since 1988 (new or rebuild ones sustained 25 months to the max each times)

The biggest problem in all this horror story is the lack of reliability this alternator design is creating.
Since long time now I learned to pay my CAA - AAA membership every year...avoiding costly towing fees.
Curiously...everytime I had to be towed was due to the dam alternator failure.
I think it is time to solve this ridiculous problem for good.
Otherwise the car is still just great and fun to drive...It is still make turning heads everywhere I go!!!
My friends told me to get rid of this lemon...
well I tell them ..It'* a Bonneville thing...that only owners understand...
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