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SVO: Alternators.... incredibly long
Since people are once again asking about alternators, I've cut and pasted
what I said before and made a new message, below.
First things first.
If your alternator warning lamp flickers, do the following...
Disconnect the walnut-sized connector that is inline with the alternator
Clean it with WD-40
Twist the blades of the male connector so that it will make better contact
If you think this step is too much trouble, I'll show you a polaroid of the
car in the junkyard, that burned down because this connector SUCKS! I
*would* recommend replacing it, but I haven't found anything as good with a
higher ampere rating.
Replace your battery clamps with ones that fit. Not the cheap ones where
the negative clamp is BARELY tight enough, when tightened down all the way.
You're gonna have to search but they're out there. I like the Honda clamp
style. You can get those REALLY tight.
Replace your battery cables, if any corrosion has gotten up under the
insulation. You can see this after you cut off the old clamp.
Replace your starter relay, it's under $10. Get the one made for late
model computer controlled Fords. It has a back EMF suppressing diode built
Clean the top of your battery off with Coca Cola, or equivalent.
Seal the battery terminals to surpress corrosion. You can use vaseline, or
even just spray paint.
Put a voltmeter on your battery and measure the voltage with the car
running. Got to be 13.8 MINIMUM.
If you just replaced all the stuff above, it should be that high. If not,
rev up the motor and see if the voltage goes up. If not, replace
regulator. If so, replace alternator and regulator. If it's over 15 v
replace the regulator.
REGULATOR REPLACEMENT is recommended at the same time as alternator
replacement. If you haven't checked the above stuff, then you're not in a
position to determine whether or not your regulator is bad, so REPLACE IT.
This ain't magic, but it does have to be done. The connector is the only
SVO specific item that your average mechanic might miss.
Here's the stuff I posted before:
I am now a source for high quality SVO replacement alternators!
I took a tour of the plant and saw what goes on, in the alternator rebuild
Arlington Armature has been in business for 50 years.
They are highly respected around here.
Better diode packs are used than the ones that were in my old alternator.
The alternators are AMP/HR rated at final test, and lots of other good work
in to them. It was fun learning about alternators and the rebuild process.
Stock is rated at 55 Amps. I got a select fit one that was 75. This is
only possible when getting your alternator from a rebuilder.
There is some question regarding the stock rating of 55 or reported in
other places as 65 amps.
These units have a sticker on them that show what their actual output was
after the rebuild.
They are tested at 14 V output and the current supplied is written on the
My unit put out 76 AMPS at 14 Volts during the final bench testing.
This sticker tells you what the alternator *in your hand* will do.
I'll ask for 75s for all the alternators ordered from me. It shouldn't be
a problem filling that request, they had several while I was there.
For the alternator to put out more current, than stock, parts are mixed and
matched to create a, "better than new" part.
I can supply these for $80 delivered to you. This should be a reasonable
half step between the generic auto parts store junk, and the new Ford part.
It carries a 1 year warranty. I'm not paying shipping back and forth, on
You must specify the year of your SVO.
I have one of these on my car and I am happy with the higher build quality,
and it's higher cost.
If you put ANY alternator on a car with high resistance wiring anywhere
between the alternator and the battery, you will overwork the alternator
and kill it. THIS IS NOT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY!!!
So be sure your stuff is in top shape. This is what killed my original
alternator and caused me problems with the new one. Once I actually
MAINTAINED a few items and made them serviceable, I've never had a problem
I have a small battery in my car.
My car stereo draws ALOT. It has blown a 60 amp fuse, repeatedly, for you
nay-sayers in the crowd.
I leave my lights on all the time, cuz I'm used to autolamp in the Lincoln.
No problems. If you use up *this* alternator on a properly maintained
car, you better have a fire extinguisher handy, cuz your car is on fire
from all that current draw!
Half of you guys' problems will be fixed, if you do the stuff in the first
part of this msg, without even buying an alternator.
BTW, if you'r really poor, I'll sell you a nationally rebuilt alternator,
with no warranty, for $45 delivered.
Oh, Arlington Armature also has a softcover booklet written for the marine
describes alts, batts, and other electrical stuff. Some marine info, but
it's still got good bare bones info. Written by mechanics, for mechanics,
it says. I know quite a bit about this stuff and it was still an
interesting book, and I learned a few things.
Highly recommended if you have trouble figuring out if your alternator
is bad, or your battery. I'll supply em for $13.50 delivered. I don't
a dime on this, just trying to help you guys out.
As always, send a Postal Money Order, from the Post Office, made out to me,
to the address at the bottom of the TurboTek Toys home page, below, to
If you buy the book above, and Allan's EEC book, from me :), you will be an
expert on the electrics in most any car, and very familiar with Ford's
EEC-IV system. Quite a bargain for $29.50 delivered...
Home Page: http://www.SmartWorx.com/Dcompton
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