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Old 12-15-2005, 09:07 PM
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94 Thunderbird needs altenator

My thunderbirds altenator went out today and I was wondering how difficult it is to rebuild one and if its cheaper than buying a remanufactured one ($140) also is there a way to know if its not able to be rebuilt. I am positive that it is the altenator the cars battery gauge says it has charge (sits in the middle like always) but at the same time it likes to click w/ my blinker haha. I bought the car for $750 I know it has problems but has always ran and I have had it since February. It also has a oil leak and needs a fuel injector just dont know which one is bad ><. Here are the specs on the car
1994 Thunderbird LX
4.6L V8
I don't know what else you will need so ask if u wanna know.

Thanks

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Old 12-15-2005, 09:50 PM
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Doc here,

First off, get your Alternator TESTED at the autoparts store..there may be NOTHING wrong with it at all.

If it fails, a rebuild is a simple task, and takes about an hour after you have it off the car.

Get a Rebuild kit (Not sure on Fords, but GM's run between $15 and $30 bucks) This should have, Diode pack, regulator diodes (provided it's internally regulated) Brush set springs and holders, Bearings or Bush replacements.

Take the alternator to the car wash or pressure wash it with a few cans of gunk until totally clean, then compressed air dry.

Halve the Alternator by the four outer screws, and withdraw the rear endbell. This should expose the internals of the alternator. On the rear Endbell you will find the brush holders, Brushes and spring followers..Replace these.

Look at the area just behind the brushes on the endbell, you will see a hole on each, take a paperclip and push the brushes up while inserting the clip..this will hold the brushes up while you reassemble the Unit later.

Next locate the diode pack and regulator diodes, replace these. Remove the stator / Rotator and on the brush pickups using a fine Emory cloth, burnish these shiny clean with no pits.

Next, replace the Bushings/bearings..If you have a bearing, using a sharp small punch, dimple the race 1/3 of the way around, this will prevent the bearing from ever spinning in the race. Do not do this on a bushing type.

Inspect the windings for worn Glypt insulating paint, or solder splatter at the winding connections, repair as required, if required. (these hardly ever give you grief)

Lastly reassemble in reverse order, and pull the paper clips from the brush holders and reinstall on the car. Test run it and see how it performs. You should have a BETTER unit that you can buy rebuilt today, that will last for years, cheaper..(about $30 bucks)


THESE ARE GM, FORD MAY DIFFERER SLIGHTLY IF AT ALL...

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Old 12-16-2005, 12:38 AM
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I was told I would need a torque wrench and some other things to get the alternator off is that true? My fiance has off tomorrow so we could work w/ it then. All I have is $30 >< which was suppose to buy my kids christmas gifts but now has to go to the car :-( oh well.
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyxa
I was told I would need a torque wrench and some other things to get the alternator off is that true? My fiance has off tomorrow so we could work w/ it then. All I have is $30 >< which was suppose to buy my kids christmas gifts but now has to go to the car :-( oh well.

Doc here,

Standard hand tools and a Vise will work fine. Nothing special.

GO TO THE auto parts store FIRST and get it tested! It's FREE and you May not need the Alternator at all, It could just as well be bad grounding issues.

It Could be a fuse link or maxi fuse on the alternator power that has opened too..They should be able to spot that..

May Save you some money.

If it does turn out to be grounding,

Run a properly gauged Ground cable from the battery to any handy bolt at or near the starter, From that same bolt get a Battery cable (about $6 bucks) at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it there and to the Frame.

Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals and run that from your bolt on the block to the Firewall, and another to the Alternator bracket or mount bolt.

Next get some Wire Braid, (Radio Shack) and install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fenderwells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body.( you can do this later when you can better afford it)

At each point the wire is grounded, Burnish ALL the paint and grease off to bare metal. Use a proper star-washer and lock. Use sheetmetal or Tech screws where no screws are available.

It sounds like a lot of work, but after you assemble all the parts, it's only a few hours to do..It costs you next to nothing...and you'll end up with a system that will work reliably for many years to come..and can eliminate that from your troubleshooting list.

Another Issue is unless you have some high draw items that you must run all the time..a Full charge battery SHOULD last you a week or two on a bad Charging system just start stop only, provided you can home charge it..just carry cables, until you can better afford it..Not a recommendation, but IT IS Christmas...

If I had a Kit for a Ford, I'd FED EX it to you overnight...in the spirt..But I don't and wouldn't know which one to look for (Not A FORD guy at all..GM mostly, and Corvette Specfically....MAYBE someone else here could help!)

.................................................. ..........................................................
..................................................


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Old 12-16-2005, 07:56 AM
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thanks we will see what we can find out. I LOVE corvettes but 2 seats and 2 kids...hmmmm don't work out too well :-) lol. One of these years tho. thanks a lot for all the help and Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-16-2005, 03:10 PM
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Well I FINALLY got it off and found one for $65 which sucks cuz its from a salvage yard but I can't afford to attempt to rebuild mine and then it not work. Maybe this one will work long enough to where I can pay for another one or have mine rebuilt we'll see. Now it will be my luck to get this other one on and tension be off real bad or something so we'll have to hope for the best huh lol.
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:01 PM
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welll guess what! it wasnt the alternator. I went to autozone and they tested my battery and my alternator. Said both were fine, battery was just had a lil low charge so they charged it for me. So they said it was probably the starter, I went to the salvage yard where i was getting the alternator and got a starter for $45 (autozone wanted 94.99 +$40 core fee ><) And now I'm being told that if its the starter it can't be jumped to get started but the salvage yard ppl said that it sounds like the cylinoid on the starter. Guess we'll see when I change them out huh ><
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Old 12-17-2005, 07:36 PM
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Doc here,

Remove and clean BOTH battery cables and posts, Inspect the cables for corrosion under the insulation If any found, replace the cables.

Inspect any secondary wires coming off the positive post, for loose and corroded conditions, repair and replace as required.

AGAIN 99.99% of the time failure of the car to start and charge is almost always related to a faulty grounding system. BE SURE you set yours up this way:

Run a properly gauged Ground cable from the battery to any handy bolt at or near the starter, From that same bolt get a Battery cable at the parts store, that has two 3/8 ring terminals on each end and attach it there and to the Frame.

Next get some 10 gauge wire and ring terminals and run that from your bolt on the block to the Firewall, and another to the Alternator bracket or mount bolt.

Next get some Wire Braid, (Radio Shack) and install braid from the radiator support to the frame, Fenderwells to frame , hood to firewall, Doors to door posts, gas flap to body, tailgate / Trunk to body.

At each point the wire is grounded, Burnish ALL the paint and grease off to bare metal. Use a proper star-washer and lock. Use sheetmetal or Tech screws where no screws are available.

It sounds like a lot of work, but after you assemble all the parts, it's only a few hours to do..and you'll end up with a system that will work reliably for many years to come..and can eliminate that from your troubleshooting list.

If the Battery LOAD tests good, and the Starter will jump and crank, then the battery , Starter, and solenoid can usually be ruled out...since they work direct...the only thing that can exist is the wires and connections between them....

Doc

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Old 12-18-2005, 10:19 AM
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I had a 1996 Crown Vic w/4.6L and the terminals get corroded easily for the solenoid/starter. They got so bad the car wouldn't start. I cleaned them with a wire brush & fine sandpaper, then it started right up...for another 2 months before the started died. A friend of mine has a 2001 F-150 with the 4.6L and he's had the same starting problem. He cleaned the terminals off and it's been fine since(over 4 months). Usually a cleaning is enough to make them last. Our Cougar, 4.6L too, is starting to take a half second or so to kick over after turning the ignition and it's got me worried, although it only does it when it's cold in the morning. I'm going to have to get under it and clean the terminals when I change the oil next time.

So I'm with doc, clean all the connections at the solenoid, & check all your grounds. Usually a problem that makes the voltage gauge sag is actually a grounding problem.
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyxa
welll guess what! it wasnt the alternator. I went to autozone and they tested my battery and my alternator. Said both were fine, battery was just had a lil low charge so they charged it for me. So they said it was probably the starter, I went to the salvage yard where i was getting the alternator and got a starter for $45 (autozone wanted 94.99 +$40 core fee ><) And now I'm being told that if its the starter it can't be jumped to get started but the salvage yard ppl said that it sounds like the cylinoid on the starter. Guess we'll see when I change them out huh ><
Sorry to be negative here BUT...
I just don't understand the "paying 1/2 price for something that may be 3/4 worn out" philosophy.

BTW ... $94.99 would be the "net" cost... not $140.
Yes, you have to pay the $40 core DEPOSIT up front, but they refund that when you take the old starter back.

Also, you seem to have ignored Doc's advice about having the alternator CHECKED first, which has caused you (I'm sure) to spend way more buying both USED components than just the one (REMAN) that you really need.

Did you have them test your OLD starter?

I'm not picking on you specifically ... it just seems that there are a LOT of people that just keep "throwing parts at it until it runs" when it comes to electrical problems.
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Old 12-18-2005, 12:34 PM
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i would have had the starter checked but guess what i dont have a ride to get it done. So thats out of the question. If this doesnt work then ill figure something else out. And I would love to be able to buy a part from autozone over a salvage yard but i have no way of doing that, all i had was $70 to work with. Also before it died there was no warning, and I havent ignored anyones reply.

Last edited by Alyxa; 12-18-2005 at 12:43 PM.
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