Alternator breaking

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Thomas Mihalyi, Jan 14, 2020.

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  1. Thomas Mihalyi

    Thomas Mihalyi Member

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    I have a 1977 camaro type LT but for some reason my alternator keeps breaking and stop working I’ve gone through 3 within the past year and I’ve had them work when the car is cold then stop when the car is warm, randomly start smoking or just stop working one day why is this happening and is it common for these cars
     
  2. BonzoHansen

    BonzoHansen Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Where are you getting your alternators from?

    How's your wiring?
     
  3. Thomas Mihalyi

    Thomas Mihalyi Member

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    I’m getting them from advanced auto parts they are Delco remi
     
  4. Thomas Mihalyi

    Thomas Mihalyi Member

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    My wiring isn’t amazing but the first 3 months or so of having the alternator it works perfect then randomly it will give power or not and today it completely stopped getting power
     
  5. Thomas Mihalyi

    Thomas Mihalyi Member

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    I felt like it was just getting really hot in my engine bay so it would over heat cause the one I had before would work til after 10 minutes of running and then stop working and not give any amps but when cold it gave the correct amount of amps
     
  6. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    The alternator should cool itself properly in the underhood environment unless it is overloaded. Do you have any extra added electrical loads that might overload the alternator? A shop should be able to ckeck the current draw on the alternator when the engine is running. That might shed some light on the failures.
     
  7. ls777z

    ls777z Veteran Member

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    How much tension are you putting on the belt?
     
  8. Thomas Mihalyi

    Thomas Mihalyi Member

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    I have a 300 watt amp and my windows from my battery that’s it
     
  9. jeff swisher

    jeff swisher Veteran Member

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    Aftermarket or rebuilt alternators from local parts stores are a thorn in my hind end.
    My son had a 1980's celica Alternator went out. got one from Oreilly stated tested on the box and lifetime warranty.
    Made it around the block and it failed.
    Got another one. it also failed in less than 2 miles.
    I went with him to another Oreilly that had 3 more of those in stock as the store near us was out.

    I had the guy behind the counter put the new alternator on the machine and test it.
    Tested good..I said make 3 good test pulls on it just to amuse me.
    Next pull it died.
    Got another one and it died on pull #3.
    Got his last alternator and it also died during a pull.
    Got our money back and went searching for another brand.. seems Napa and Autozone only had that brand.

    SUCKS!
    I have old Factory GM alternators laying around for my use and stick them on everything.
    You need to learn how to rebuild them or at least take them apart and check stuff with your multi meter to see what failed and replace that failed part.

    You may not be into rebuilding your own alternators though.

    Something odd on your end is under hood heat is changing the output. Never had this issue.
    Are you running different pulley set up like reverse cooling and turning the cooling fan the wrong way?

    I have seen it when stuff laying around gets put on a build.
    One guy had the fan pushing instead of pulling air through the radiator.
     
  10. grzewnicki

    grzewnicki Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I bought my alternator from this guy (see link below). Been building alternators for 30 years. Whatever you do do not be tempted to go with a one wire alternator, the original GM charging circuit is awesome and works just the way it should, sensing load on electrical system and supplying power that is needed. I'm not 100% sure the alternator is your problem, I'd like to know what is failing in them before I go throwing another one at it. You said your wiring isn't amazing. I'm wondering about that. The wiring is pretty simple, the big red alt output wire is tapped into a wire that goes to starter terminal, that is where the battery gets recharged from, then that wire feeds the fuse box, another wire is tapped at same junction point and feed a/c system then the small red wire that goes to the 2 wire terminal block on the alternator is tapped into that junction and senses the needs of the system and tells the alt how much power is being drawn. The Brown wire on the 2 wire connector goes to your idiot light. I'm just wondering if it is a wiring problem.

    https://www.ebay.com/usr/billh6800?_trksid=p2053788.m1543.l2754
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020

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