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  #1  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:17 PM
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Alternator is about to go - part number?

My alternator is whining a lot on my NAS 97. The bearings must be going. I was going to replace it but I don't want a drama project! 1/2 the time I try to get "something better" and end up regretting it.

I just want to replace it with a drop-in alternator. I don't have a winch or other electrically-demanding devices on the truck. Any recommendations for a good drop-in that would match the specs of what is in there from the factory? Brand? Model Number?

I was going to head over to a Napa or Autozone but I thought I'd ask here first.

Thanks,

Hutch
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  #2  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:26 PM
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I have always read good things about the Magneti Marelli's. I have one of their starters and it's awesome so far.

------ Follow up post added March 23rd, 2011 09:26 PM ------

Non-stock specs though
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  #3  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:51 PM
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Mine was singing intermittently, just enough to pique my interest about finding and repairing the source. Then, as I was driving on the Interstate, it suddenly decided to seize. I was just coming to a weigh station, so I zipped in. As I came to a stop, smoke started to billow out of the engine compartment. Bonnet up, and the flames from the burning alternator were licking at the coolant hoses. There were trucks parked all around, but nobody was in sight, so I did my best Big Bad Wolf imitation and blew out the fire. As I was catching my breath, it did, too, and burst into flame again. After several iterations of this exercise, the fire remained out. The serpentine belt was toast (in more ways than one), and the frame of the alternator was broken.

Don't wait.
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  #4  
Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:26 PM
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Hutch, call around and see if you can find someone local who can rebuild it.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 10:34 PM
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You can also check with Will Tillery...a lot of good feedback from the units he sells. I recently bought one and had a couple issues with it but they promptly replaced without any questions
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  #6  
Old March 24th, 2011, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
Hutch, call around and see if you can find someone local who can rebuild it.
x2.

And if you want a cheap upgrade, a 120 amp Bosch from a junkyard VW will fit with a minor trim of the upper mount. If you get a sudden urge to make things less simple...

Edit: If you have a serp belt setup, ignore the VW/Bosch thing.
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  #7  
Old March 24th, 2011, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Karlsson View Post
Mine was singing intermittently, just enough to pique my interest about finding and repairing the source. Then, as I was driving on the Interstate, it suddenly decided to seize. I was just coming to a weigh station, so I zipped in. As I came to a stop, smoke started to billow out of the engine compartment. Bonnet up, and the flames from the burning alternator were licking at the coolant hoses. There were trucks parked all around, but nobody was in sight, so I did my best Big Bad Wolf imitation and blew out the fire. As I was catching my breath, it did, too, and burst into flame again. After several iterations of this exercise, the fire remained out. The serpentine belt was toast (in more ways than one), and the frame of the alternator was broken.

Don't wait.
You just jinxed me big time! I've been driving it this way for a couple months at least . I don't drive it a long distance but it's a daily driver. Crap.

Pardon the ignorance but I think I have the full serp setup, AC, etc. I bought a replacement set of belts from atlantic british a while back - not sure why. So while I'm in there I might as well have the shop put the new belts in.

I'm leaning towards just getting a new one as opposed to rebuilt unless the suggestion to rebuild is because there are fewer compatibility issues (none!) rather than reliability. I'd rather just pay up and be sure.

Does it make sure to call AB, RN and get an aftermarket there or is that just dumb ($$)? My concern is that if I call Autozone or even NAPA that they don't know the truck and will sell me the wrong part. Is that just being overly-concerned?

-h
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  #8  
Old March 24th, 2011, 08:48 AM
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I don't recommend getting one from autozone, as I went through 3 of theirs before finally giving up and buying one from AB. Just call Eric if you go that route. The autozone ones are rebuilds and I had all kinds of electrical issues related to bad diodes I think.

Jeff has been happy with his one from Will Tillery and he's closer and it's probably cheaper too.

I consider a local rebuild by a competent shop a better approach in general though. They simply replace the bearings and if everything else is ok, you have the ultimate in compatibility. It should be cheaper too. But do this before it fails completely if you go this route
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Old March 24th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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I would go OEM. Although, I have replaced a couple using replacements from advance auto, autozone, and napa, and never had an issue with any.

I have not done any research, but I wonder what it would take to convert a stock d90 to fit, say a delco 10si or 12si. They are cheap and probably the most widely used alternator ever. Not sure it would put out the amps though. I converted a generator to an alternator on an old truck and only needed one bracket fabbed to do so. hmmm....
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  #10  
Old March 24th, 2011, 12:10 PM
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Sorry about the jinxing bit, but I thought I should jolt you out of complacency, lest you end up like me doing a Big Bad Wolf imitation by the side of the road. Mine is a 300Tdi, so I wasn't too worried about it lighting off in a big way, but I'm a cheapskate, so I didn't want to sacrifice anything that wasn't already burning.
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  #11  
Old March 24th, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Well to clear things up...if you have a '97 then you have a belt....not belts! If I'm correct on the year then your alternator is the same as any year Disco1 which makes things easier at the parts store. Advance Auto sells new /rebuilt Bosch for a decent price if you need one this weekend without shipping charges. And yes...it's a drop in.
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  #12  
Old March 24th, 2011, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roverchef View Post
Well to clear things up...if you have a '97 then you have a belt....not belts! If I'm correct on the year then your alternator is the same as any year Disco1 which makes things easier at the parts store. Advance Auto sells new /rebuilt Bosch for a decent price if you need one this weekend without shipping charges. And yes...it's a drop in.
You are correct. It's just a big serpentine belt. I don't know what "set" I had bought a while back! It's still sitting in the AB packaging.

I'll make some calls tomorrow and see what I can dig up.

Thanks for the advice,

-h
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  #13  
Old March 25th, 2011, 07:47 AM
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Just to be clear, I have the same serpentine belt setup as you, and same alternator, same as a disco 1, and I went through 3 of those ones from advance auto. Still have the last one somewhere and I'm sure it's still under warranty too, but like I said I eventually broke down and got one from AB. Maybe I was just super unlucky.
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  #14  
Old March 25th, 2011, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
Just to be clear, I have the same serpentine belt setup as you, and same alternator, same as a disco 1, and I went through 3 of those ones from advance auto. Still have the last one somewhere and I'm sure it's still under warranty too, but like I said I eventually broke down and got one from AB. Maybe I was just super unlucky.
Ouch. I probably won't take my chances then. It's a daily driver and not worth saving a hundred buck or so.

Thanks for the advice.

-h
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