Alternator/ Voltage Regulator

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amc49
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:24 pm
Car: '11 Versa
'17 Altima

Re: Alternator/ Voltage Regulator

Postby amc49 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:50 am

Just a few ideas to blow some of the crap posted above out of the water. I used to sell alts OTC around that time period and can firmly attest to some 20% at least of them failing right out of the boxes. Many more failed before one year, I certainly warrantied enough of them. I personally pushed at our store to test 100% of them and starters right out of the box as the QC issues got so bad. You can fail an alt now by running it too long on a battery that needs changing, the battery never 'fills up' under that condition and the alt then dies from overheating trying to overcharge it all day long when it never comes up (see last paragraph). Then, battery left uncharged kills the new alt put on when dopey customer refuses to acknowledge that the new alt will often die again trying to charge a heavily discharged battery even if it is good. The battery being down will NOT make full field on the alt and then the alt appears to not be 'making volts' and then assumed to be bad when nothing is wrong other than the battery needs to be at full charge. The paperwork on every alt on the planet now says that but who is smart enough to read now? NEVER install a new alt without either a KNOWN GOOD or new battery to go with it, AND either one charged to 100% before you start car. Not doing so is just as dumb as changing an electric fuel pump with only one gallon of gas in the tank to immediately burn the new pump up, another stupid mistake I saw so much I cannot count.

Cars used to never have alt fusible links, they are now there for the morons that like to take the battery out of the charging circuit to 'test' the alt for being good. The possible 75-100 volts that results can burn out the entire car on some that do not have active high volt cutouts built into the regulators. I myself use no fuse link at all there, the charging cable is carefully run and fastened down to not have any issues and no problems ever doing it. I prefer it that way, a simple cable has the least resistance of all.

Alts now make a LOT more power than they did back in the '60s and '70s, as a result they get hot enough to torch themselves pretty quick now if you let them get out of shape. They are intended to now put out whopping amounts of amps but only for a SHORT time and then they have to be downloaded to cool off some or the damage begins.


macgiver
Posts: 616
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:21 am

Re: Alternator/ Voltage Regulator

Postby macgiver » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:28 pm

mac ,amc49 - that's about the BEST explanation of Alternator theory & practice , and todays "Revolving Door" situation at the Parts counter !! Most people do not know / realize how much ENERGY the fields needs to get going #1 and in order to CONTINUE to handle "Peaks" , due to a healthy battery AT FULL charge. :gapteeth:

amc49
Posts: 940
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:24 pm
Car: '11 Versa
'17 Altima

Re: Alternator/ Voltage Regulator

Postby amc49 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:02 am

So far I rebuild all my alts, the issue of course getting like everything else, or the 'unitized part'. Them making only the bigger assembly to not supply any more basic parts so you can do work yourself. So they get much bigger parts sales and why you no longer find like wheel cylinder or master cylinder rebuild kits to have to buy the whole thing. Just like with the CVT it's getting incredibly hard for me to find all the parts to properly rebuild say automatic trans now, and other things on the cars. They just want to sell you the $1000 or whatever assemblies wherever they can.

I can rebuild the $200+ Ford alts often for as little as 30 cents for solder and back to running for years, the norm is maybe $40 max to get a HD regulator and back up running again for years until the next time.

FYI, one of the bigger reasons why the OTC alts fail so much is their insistence on using the cheap crap ebay type non-heavy duty regulators. The Chinese ones are garbage and last maybe a month or a year max and nobody uses the better ones which are available. I used to pull apart some of the alt cores that came back quick and none of them (even including top of the line brand new max dollar ones!) use the good regs and why they fry so fast. The way of the world today, they'd rather give the money to the company CEO instead. I myself after trying once or twice to use the cheap ones (one gave up maybe 3 minutes into running the alt, the other lasted a month) went to 100% heavy duty regs ONLY and I pay the price, it makes the alt last whoppingly longer.

A whopping LOT of the trouble today with ALL part quality is due to the so-called 'lifetime' warranty and it has gotten so insidious that the parts companies have begun to mod some of that policy as it costs them hundreds of millions a year. What people do NOT get at all, is that the warranty in fact has ZERO to do with a better quality part, it is actually telling you they are now making such crap quality parts and from China that they can and will give you new ones ALL DAY LONG, and why you now pay $200 for that alternator that really has no more technology than the oldschool ones did and should still sell even now for $50-$75. They make enough profit off the crap parts they can still make money while giving you as many as 3-4 (I saw some people do far more than that!) of them, of course after changing that many you get mad and move on to the next chain to then have them do you the exact same way. Rest assured the warranty has NOTHING to do with a better quality part at all.


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