Water crossing vs. alternator

Submitted: Saturday, Dec 27, 2014 at 20:41
ThreadID: 110534 Views:5641 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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G'day guy's 'n' gals,

I had a new alternator installed by an auto sparky a few months ago, which sounded a bit noisy at the start, but came good.

Unfortunately the first water crossing has killed it. I have an 80 series with a volt gauge, which now constantly reads about 9 volts which tells me that its working completely off my main battery. Also, the t-belt, oil, volts, & air filter lights are all staying on. I think these lights all require a charge from the alternator to go out once the engine is started. (correct me if I'm wrong)

I have 2 questions. 1: What is a good brand of alternator I can get that is pretty reliable, and will be able to withstand water crossings, and 2: Will I be able to drive from Bundy to Toowoomba without switching it off, and without running the lights or radio and make it. (so that the mob that did the work can replace the dodgy alternator)

Thanks lads,
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Reply By: Member - Tony F8 - Saturday, Dec 27, 2014 at 21:10

Saturday, Dec 27, 2014 at 21:10
I personally would look at a genuine toyota alternator, I've got a 97 80 series and have done some what I would consider decent water crossings (Nolans Brook about 16 times for example), and not had a problem, was checked out by auto leccy and come up to spec. Bundy to Toowoomba is easily doable if you left early morning, I live in Gladstone and we do Brisvegas in 6 hrs, would like to know what alternator they put in your bus, was it a reco or new unit.
AnswerID: 543424

Follow Up By: Member - ironJosh - Sunday, Dec 28, 2014 at 09:19

Sunday, Dec 28, 2014 at 09:19
I think it was a new non-genuine unit. They said Bosch don't make one and they wanted hundreds for a genuine unit.
FollowupID: 830391

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Dec 27, 2014 at 21:43

Saturday, Dec 27, 2014 at 21:43
Hardly anyone reconditions alternators today, the Chinese alternator suppliers have destroyed the repair business with cheap alternators. eBay is full of them.

These alternators are usually O.K., but they often use a non-genuine plug that needs an adaptor to fit the Toyota plug into it.

You can buy a genuine (usually Denso brand) alternator, but you'll pay a lot more for it.

If the alternator supplied to you was noisy, then it had a fault from the word go, and you should have taken it back.
I doubt whether water alone would have destroyed it. Alternators can resist a fair bit of water.

A reconditoned alternator, repaired "on the cheap" may have had a used bearing reinstalled.
There's a large bearing at the front and a much smaller one at the rear.
Usually the rear bearing fails first, because the front bearing is "overbuilt".
An el-cheapo repairer could have re-used the front bearing, they are expensive.

An alternator should put out around 13.8V-14.3V when in good working order.
If an alternator is only putting out 9 volts, it most likely has a failed voltage regulator.
If it is putting out a voltage of around 11-12 volts and the alternator light is glowing with a dull glow, then it's likely there's a diode failed in the alternator.

You should also check the voltage drop between alternator and battery to check for faulty or dirty connections.
Grab a multimeter and select a voltage check range of around 20V maximum, and with your engine idling, place one of the multimeter test leads on the BAT (B+) terminal on the alternator and the other test lead on the positive terminal (+) of the battery.

There should be a voltage drop of less than 0.02V between these two terminals.
Any more than 0.02V reading shows that there is high resistance in the alternator to battery circuit somewhere, caused by a damaged connection, or a corroded or loose connection.
Always check on the condition of the earth strap that connects the engine to the body and chassis, and make sure it has good, clean, tight connections.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 543427

Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Dec 27, 2014 at 21:45

Saturday, Dec 27, 2014 at 21:45
In answer to question 2. No, you won't make it. Charge the battery overnight so it's fully charged by morning, and you will then make it O.K.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 830386

Reply By: Outnabout.. - Sunday, Dec 28, 2014 at 08:08

Sunday, Dec 28, 2014 at 08:08
Probably nothing dramitacally wrong with your alternator. The 80 series has a common problem of getting dirty/loose connections where the plug goes in. This then gives all the Simpsons you describe like all the warning lights coming on. I used to pull my plug out every service and then apply contact cleaner and a bit of electrical grease to keep everything clean and dry.
AnswerID: 543436

Reply By: River Swaggie - Sunday, Dec 28, 2014 at 20:13

Sunday, Dec 28, 2014 at 20:13
I usually go through at least 150-200 river crossings yearly, that's including coming backover the same ones here and there, some deep and some shallow. I sprayed Lanolin throughout my alternator about 5 years ago now and no issues, reminds me to do it again..
I agree about the Chinese imports. Try and have an original rebuilt if possible. You can buy originals from ebay a lot less than the Manufacturers sell them if you look around.


AnswerID: 543469

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Dec 28, 2014 at 22:22

Sunday, Dec 28, 2014 at 22:22

Haven't used this mob as yet, but might be worth a look if you want a new unit.

Their phone number is 03 57216002, they are at Wangaratta.


Pretty poor attempt to copy and paste their EBay site below. :-)

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AnswerID: 543472

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Dec 29, 2014 at 10:46

Monday, Dec 29, 2014 at 10:46
If you're looking for and prepared to pay for genuine but not at dealer prices, as well as non-genuine, have a look here. They are happy to take phone calls and discuss your needs. Located in Adelaide, free postage.

I'm a satisfied customer.



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AnswerID: 543484

Reply By: Member - ironJosh - Monday, Dec 29, 2014 at 11:26

Monday, Dec 29, 2014 at 11:26
Thanks lad's.

I came to the conclusion that It would be good to get a genuine alternator (even if the problem doesn't lie in the alternator).

I had a look on ebay and picked up a denso unit for pretty cheap.


I hope it's not a chinese knock-off. Only time will tell.

AnswerID: 543487

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Dec 29, 2014 at 18:27

Monday, Dec 29, 2014 at 18:27
That looks genuine!! Lucky and a great price! Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - ironJosh - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 20:32

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 20:32
Unfortunately for me this unit seems to be non-genuine.... since the hole is 6mm out.
FollowupID: 831306

Follow Up By: Slow one - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 22:28

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 22:28
Best to get onto ashdown Ingram and get a good alternator. Have always used them and gear is good. If it says genuine denso it will be.

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