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Old 11-12-2005, 12:11 AM   #1
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My alternator'* dying, and I wanted to get some opinions on how to go about fixing it. I'm a very mechanically inclined and durable little lady, and I've read some past threads on changing an alternator, and I think it'* well within my ability.

My two limitations are cash and whether or not I can get the belt back on the tensioner. Is it more of a leverage thing or brute strength? If it'* a matter of stubborness and will, I have plenty of that. I just don't want to end up with the belt off and have my car dead in the driveway, since she'* my baby and I hate taking the bus.

Do they sell alternator rebuild kits at Autozone? If I don't have to cough up the cash to buy a new one, I'd be thrilled with that. I just replaced the battery too, and I'm tapped out for money for a while.

Thanks for this website and all the great advice about my car'* little character flaws. This place has helped me milk many more years out of my little beast.
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Old 11-12-2005, 01:31 AM   #2
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they make rebulid kits but i would recommend a 140amp AC Delco from Advance..its has a lifetime warrenty ...i believe there are 2-3 bolts that hold the alt on and 2 connectors

the tensioner is not all that hard as long as you have a good sized breaker bar....remember the tensioner is a lefthand thread...
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Old 11-12-2005, 04:15 PM   #3
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If money is a concearn, a 105 AMP will do you fine. Since your an SE, have fewer electronic options, a 105 will be most likely the most cost effective, however if you can afford a 140, go for that.
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:38 AM   #4
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Look around for a alternator/starter rebuilding shop. I have one close by and they don't charge much to put new bearings and brushes in.

On removal and installation, it sounds like you have the attitude to get it done.
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:54 AM   #5
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Meech, the best rebuilds are from NAPA. Stay away from Autozone alternators.

And what city are you in? I'll replace your Alt for you if you're not too far. No problem whatsoever. It'll take less than 10 minutes. Alas, I no longer have a spare. I gave it to my boss (sucking up).
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:01 AM   #6
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Thanks for the offer Will... I live 20 miles west of Portland, just past Beaverton. Traffic'* always lousy getting out here though.

There'* an alternator shop 2 blocks down that I never noticed. I may price out having this one rebuilt. I got paid today, so depending on how the budget comes out, I may pick one up at Napa this weekend instead if the price difference isn't that much. I may just go for the 105 amp, not the 140, only because of budget, but I will get the AC Delco.

Thanks for all your help. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:00 AM   #7
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Let us know how you make out. Always good for the women of the site by telling us that swapped out your alternator.

Good luck..
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meechv
Thanks for the offer Will... I live 20 miles west of Portland, just past Beaverton. Traffic'* always lousy getting out here though.

There'* an alternator shop 2 blocks down that I never noticed. I may price out having this one rebuilt. I got paid today, so depending on how the budget comes out, I may pick one up at Napa this weekend instead if the price difference isn't that much. I may just go for the 105 amp, not the 140, only because of budget, but I will get the AC Delco.

Thanks for all your help. I'll let you know how it goes.
Meech, let us know. I've had alternators rebuilt before with good results. Just keep in mind (budget permitting of course) that if your battery is 2 years old or older, it'* best to change it at the same time so it doesn't stress the new alternator.

If you get in a pinch, I'm not above driving up there this weekend. It takes me about 18 minutes in my SSEi to get from Albany to Portland.

Changing an alternator is really a breeze. Very simple and straightforward on these cars. You do need a bit 'O upper body strength to deal with the belt though.
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:21 PM   #9
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Thanks for the offer again, Will. If my car could go from Albany to Portland in 18 minutes, I'd be dead. It'* probably best I have an SE, I can't resist the temptation.

I just replaced the battery last month, which is the motivation for doing the alternator as well. It'* pretty old, and I'd rather change it before it dies.

I checked out Napa, and if I buy one, is new or rebuilt any better? I'm not sure if this one should be rebuilt or changed out. I broke a plastic fitting on the side of my water pump back in August, and it sprayed antifreeze all over the alternator while I limped the car home. Now, the exposed copper wires are corroding.

Also, what sort of breaker bar do I need to get the belt off? Would an extra long socket handle work?
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Old 11-17-2005, 04:45 PM   #10
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I use an 18inch ratchet. If necessary you can always find something around to use as an extension to the handle.
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