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Re: Alternators -- Miscellaneous Comments

(Some people say I have too much free time on my hands...)

Dave's deal on alternators seems pretty good. Most chain stores want a
little less, but it can be a crap shoot as to who their regional supplier
is, and just because they have a good warranty doesn't mean that it's going
to be reliable. Dave's rebuilder sounds like a winner!

Like Dave, I too fell into an emergency situation with my car and had to
take what I could get. We were in San Diego at a Malibu Grand Prix event a
few years back and I was at least able to nurse my car to a fellow SVO
owner's house -- three of us there working on our cars -- it was a great
site! Anyway, Neil Chirico took me to Kragen to get their lifetime warranty
alternator -- and I opted to pay the measley core charge to keep my
original -- because Neil likes to keep all his original parts -- so now
that's what I do, too. (I think I even have all my original oil, but maybe
that's taking things too far!) 

For the SVO (65 amp) they had a cheap alternator, and a lifetime warranty
alternator for about $55 (this was a few years ago) -- based on what my
friends who used to work at Pep Boys said I opted for the lifetime
warranty. Traded pulleys, and away I went. 

It lasted about 2 years. I then had my original alternator rebuilt at a
local shop that I've known and trusted for generations. They even cleaned
my original case and clear-coated it instead of painting it like I wanted,
so it looked more original. So that's what went on my car this last time. 

I then traded-in the worn-out Kragen unit (it only took me 5 months to find
the receipt!) and bought an extra dual pulley and put it on the spare parts
shelf -- which came in handy late one night when Neil got himself stranded
and I got a 911 page! (Us SVO guys sure stick together!)

Bottom line: Make sure your alternator output is for the SVO at 65+ amps.
Make sure you have the proper casing -- the right style so it at least
looks more original. Make sure they include the dual pulley as not all
rebuilders include it (or at least have them switch it for you as they can
be a bear to do unless you have the right tools). If you go to a small
shop, or a shop/store that has the equipment, have them test the regulator
(the SVO has an external regulator) as well -- a bad alternator can stress
the regulator and vice versa (I think).

And yes, the car will run like crap if your alternator is not putting out
the proper power -- remember that it takes power to run the computer that
controls your car -- never mind the electric fuel pump(s). Tell-tale sign
the alternator is going bad in my '86 -- the blinkers go very slowly and
the electronic radio sound cuts out. And of course, it runs like crap.

Jim Dvorak
'86 Shadow Blue
Mustang SVO...Because there's more to driving than just straight ahead!

Publisher/Editor, THE SVO CHRONICLES
Journal of the Mustang SVO Owners Association of Southern
California/Southwest Region

Mailing Address:
      Mustang SVO Owners Association
      7400 Center Avenue, Suite 109
      Huntington Beach, CA 92647-3039

            E-mail: jim@mustangsvo.org / jdvorak@deltanet.com
            Phone: 714-891-9835
            Fax: 714-891-6715

Plan Now: Fabulous Fords Forever at Knott's Berry Farm! April, 1998!

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