alternator question

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by sue currin, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. sue currin

    sue currin Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if I could rebuild an alternator in a Honda CRX 1989 with a brush kit, If so where would I go about geting the kit. Thank you all
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    sue,
    If the alternator is not working just go ahead and take it apart and examine the brushes. Since there are other items in there that could cause failure you may be better to exchange the alternator. I have built a number of alternators mostly on domestic vehicles and typically I find the diode trio and/or the voltage regulator to be the culprit. There are 2 alternator/starter rebuild shops in my area and I obtain parts from them. Brushes, regulator and diode trio for a Motocraft alternator were $23 just recently. The exchange price for the same alternator was $58.
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Be aware that most alternator brushes feature a 'wear line', an indentation across the brush that is where the wear limit is reached; any more wear is not recommended. Each 1/8th of an inch is about 15,000 miles in useage. Once the wear line is reached replacement is recommended.

    Any standard supply house should be able to supply you with the parts needed.
     
  4. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    I have had much success replacing brushes on alternators and having them work for a long time afterwards. On some cars, the brushes contain the voltage regulator and the whole unit is easy to replace. A test to see if an alternator has stopped producing electricity due to worn out brushes is to give the alternator a sound thump with the butt of the wooden handle of a heavy hammer. the brushes, although worn out, will rattle and produce electricity, even if for a short while. Start the car, turn on the lights and thump the alternator. If the lights get brighter or the alternator light on the dash board turns off, replacing the brushes will likely fix the problem. Pushing on the brushes with the eraser on the end of a pencil (if they're accessible) will accomplish the same thing.
    Read the repair manual to see how difficult it is to replace the brushes and/or remove the alternator. (Some brushes when they're part of the voltage regulator) can be replaced without even removing the alternator from the car.
    In the case of my ex-Honda Accord, I HAD TO REMOVE THE FRONTAXLE to get the alternator out to replace the brushes. The brushes were $3.00 and it took me about 3 or so hours to remove and then replace the axle.
    An alternator or starter repair shop will typically be able to get you the parts you need for really cheap. It would be best to bring the alternator with you when you go and ask the folks for their opinions. In my experience, those people typically know exactly what they're talking about.
     
  5. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Another way to check an alternator is to dangle a long screw driver vertically near the center of the running unit, there will be a magnetic field there both the front and back. The rear field will be weaker but still feelable, of course avoid the moving belts while doing this.
     
  6. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know of no rebuild kit for those alternators (used to have a CRX myself). Usually it's not the brushes, but a diode in the rectifier that causes the failure in those units.

    You can source the pieces individually from an electrical shop. The cost won't be much different than having it rebuilt by them.