replacing alternator

Submitted: Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 11:13
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Hi all
I have a 100 series td a with 240000 on the clock and before I set off on another larger trip I would be interested to hear others thoughts on replacing the alternator even though it is working fine I could also bump it up to 140 amps at the same time
Thanks Steve
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Reply By: allein m - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 12:28

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 12:28
I am a big fan of good engine management but when it come to electrical things I leave alone till they die .

Mate had a old Nissan patrol did the same thing , the new a alternator died 8 weeks after putting it in and he was in the middle of no where lucky he kept his old one ,

.
AnswerID: 603592

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 12:47

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 12:47
I,d get it checked , maybe a set of bearings an brushes
put it back on
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 603593

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:39

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:39
Yes, I agree Pete.

Alternators run constantly at several thousand revs and high temperature. Their bearings and lubrication will not last forever. Nor will the brushes. A regular overhaul by a competent person is a good idea but usually ignored in the maintenance schedule.

Much the same can be said for the starter motor also.

Waiting until they fail in the middle of the Great Victorian Desert is maybe not the best idea.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 18:14

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 18:14
Sorry Allan - I know you're an "oldie" like me, who thinks like me - but no-one overhauls alternators any more. You just buy a new one for less cost than the overhaul.

They're all made in China by the tens of millions annually - and for the cost of a new replacement, you couldn't even afford to pay someone to tear one down - let alone buy bearings and brushes, machine the slip ring, check the wiring, the diodes, and the regulator.
And if the regulator need replacement, well that cruels the whole overhaul deal completely.

Starter motors are in the same boat. Not even worth stripping them down, either.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 21:42

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 21:42
.
I guess your'e right Ron. I do such tasks myself and have forgotten the high labour cost if having it done in a workshop.

In point of fact, the last time I set out to maintain my alternator I managed to shear the copper/bronze/whatever stud of the main output connection. It was of complex form and with little time available before trek departure I opted for a new alternator and got the advantage of an increased output rating.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 10:46

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 10:46
Ron

Not all alternators are made in China - not by a long shot.
The best alternators for 100s come from M2K in the USA. Quite expensive but bullet proof. They also make totally sealed units.
http://www.m2kinc.com/detail-tlc-4-2td-390xp-370-41-38-2.html

Cheers
Malcom
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 11:19

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 11:19
Malcolm - Yep, I hear you. I have a distinct preference for American-built stuff, too, and my workshop is full of it - along with all those "obsolete" American tools that measure in those funny measurements.

However, the bottom line is that very few people will pay for American quality and when faced with a huge difference in cost, 99% will plump for the Chinese "will-fit" variety.

The Chinese are very steadily improving the quality of their products - and the Americans aren't helping themselves any, by getting substantial amounts of componentry and parts made in China - then branding the product, "Made in USA"!

I specifically seek out USA-made tools - so I bought an "American Vermont" drill set, in a plastic case.

The packaging featured a prominent Stars & Stripes, and all the blurb about American Vermont being a long-standing American company.

However, I studied all the packaging info in great detail - and right down the bottom corner, in print so fine, you needed a magnifying glass to read it, was - "Drills made in China - PVC case made in USA"!!

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: OBJ - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:13

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:13
The alternator on my 1991 80 series Landcruiser lasted 480,000!!! Some things never last!!! My immediate thoughts are if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I think mechpete might have a good idea however.
OBJ
AnswerID: 603595

Reply By: steved58 - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:34

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:34
Thanks for the replies overhauling alternators is probably a thing from the past they are so cheap now can get one for $230 but how long do they last?And how long do originals last thats what I am looking at
Steve
AnswerID: 603596

Follow Up By: Member - mechpete - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 14:12

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 14:12
you obviously know more about this than the people in the trade
why are you asking , hait to tell ya but reconditioning alternators an Str mtrs
is still alive an well
mechpete
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FollowupID: 873192

Follow Up By: steved58 - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 14:41

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 14:41
No not trying to know more than those in the trade but last time I had an alternator overhauled by very high profile auto sparky shop they locktited the flogged out bearing housings so now buy new or overhaul myself Iam a qualified mechanical fitter and hold a restricted electrical licence just want to get a feel for how long these last in this paticular vehicle
Steve
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Reply By: Dean K3 - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:35

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:35
Get amperage output checked out and have it serviced if anything untowards.

mid july headed off with folks (thats another issue in itself) stopped for awhile in moora went to start engine click, nothing. hear the solenoid clicking away but no activation, 280K on the clock so anything is possible. and volt gauges don't always tell a proper story either
AnswerID: 603597

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 23:52

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 23:52
That most likely is the solenoid contacts in the starter motor. A $20 part that most mechanics will want to put in a complete new starter.
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FollowupID: 873210

Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 00:06

Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 00:06
A common problem with Toyota starters. My Hilux is doing it right now.
It goes well for a month, then clicks and refuses point-blank, to engage the starter.

A quick rap with a small hammer/shifter whilst someone else turns the ignition switch, soon makes it play ball!

I must get a set of solenoid contacts soon, and install them, or I'll get caught in traffic with it, if I accidentally stall it!

Cheers, Ron.
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FollowupID: 873211

Reply By: steved58 - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:56

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 13:56
My initial thoughts were if I replace it with a cheap new one and that failed I would have taken the old one which still works so no problem just some time changing it on the side of the road or am I waisting my money and the old one still has 100000 plus ks left in it
Steve
AnswerID: 603599

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 15:13

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 15:13
I swapped the engine in my ute, which was a 1HZ, with a 1HD-FT because I wanted more power for towing. The ute had around 265,000 k's at the time. The 1HD-FT came from an 80 series with 180,000 k's on the clock. This engine came complete with electrics. I pulled both sets apart and fitted a new brush set and bearings to the alternator from the doner engine (along with some other work) although both alternators would have had another 100,000 k's at least of life in them.
I now carry the older one as a spare. Actually I was going to carry the spare starter as well, but because of the weight, the fact that there other ways to start a non electronic diesel quite easily and the good condition of both I decide not to.
If I was in your situation and concerned about a breakdown I would just buy a new cheap one and carry that as the spare and leave your original in place.
Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: steved58 - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 15:30

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 15:30
Thanks for your reply pop2jocem I may well do that as the chinese cheap alternators may not give a long life However it gives me the oporunity if I change the alternator to up the amperage I Have 4 batteries running from the vehicle maybe I could then pull the old one to bits and service it as spare Just playing with ideas after all if it did fail I could just change batteries and carry on and if really needed wait till my solar charged the batteries and get going again last time my pajero alternator failed diodes blew had to drive 300kms on the battery till I could have it replaced in Darwin But I was wondering what others aproaches to this is
Steve
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 18:09

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 18:09
"But I was wondering what others aproaches to this is"

Steve ,

I have a large battery pack in my Karavan. I have arranged my electrics so I can run the car off the 2nd battery in the car and/or feed forward from the Karavan.

If the situation was bad enough I could strap the genny to the woodrack and run it to charge either battery to keep the show on the road.

Cheers
FrankP

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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 18:29

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 18:29
SteveD58 - I would loosen the generator, and spin it by hand. If the bearings sound rumbley, or there's movement in the rotor shaft, I'd replace it.

However, a lot of original alternators will last more than 400,000kms if they haven't been subject to excessive water splash or immersion, or lots and lots of thick dust.

The original seals on the sealed bearings are good for a long time if they don't have to cope with excessive dust and moisture.
What happens to most alternators when they break down, is that they develop an electrical fault (faulty diodes or faulty regulator, or worn-out brushes), and they stop charging or reduce their output.
I've been caught more than once by faulty diodes, which only show as a dull glow with the charge indicator light. The charging voltage will often drop away and the battery will not get fully charged, and slowly go flat.

It's rare for a bearing in an alternator to fail completely, they normally start squealing when they are starting to fail, and you can usually limp to some civilisation where you can get it fixed.
If you are going far, far away from civilisation, where it will take days and many hundreds of kms to get mechanical assistance, I'd change it out now.

However, in 90% of the cases, mechanical assistance is usually available within a moderate driving distance, and you can usually limp there with a faulty alternator.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 603616

Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 18:38

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 18:38
Steve, I had the brushes and front and rear bearings replaced in the 78 series Troopy at 230,000 km (I'm a fan of preventive maintenance). Cost $120. apart from the diode pack I dont think there is little else that goes wrong with them.As an aside I was at Mt Dare in early July and there was lots of water about. 4 ' late model 4x4 came in all with stuffed alternators due to water ingress. Something to do with the latest 'smart' alternators.

Jeff
AnswerID: 603617

Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 19:22

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 19:22
Jeff, the inbuilt regulator is an additional part of the alternator that can, and does often fail, long before bearings wear out.
A full alternator overhaul should include regulator replacement.

Cheers, Ron.
1
FollowupID: 873203

Reply By: Member - Roachie - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 19:05

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 19:05
When I had my 100 series I replaced the alternator with a 270XP (270 amps output)...see here:

http://www.m2kinc.com/product-1hd-fte-38-41-2.html

If you want a really high output, they also make a 390 amp unit.

These are not cheap, but are US military grade quality (whatever that may happen to mean!!)

Mine was certainly a gem and I'd have 100% faith in it. They are re-buildable.

Roachie
AnswerID: 603618

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 22:43

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 22:43
Wow Roachie, them's some serious amps. Do you know if the upgraded alternator was ever called upon to actually produce anything like it's maximum potential?

If so did the standard wiring harness handle that current, or did you upgrade that as well??

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 08:16

Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 08:16
Pop,

I was keeping 4 batteries charged; the 2 standard ones under the bonnet and 2x 100amp AGMs in the back (via a Redarc DC-DC charger). I didn't have a winch or anything really substantial that would draw a lot of amps. The biggest item was probably the large air compressor (BIG BOSS brand...now known as PX07).

However, I did replace the cables from the alternator to the batteries, including the main earth straps (batteries to body, batteries to engine, batteries to chassis and batteries to each other...just to be sure) with much heavier gauge cables and I added a 300amp maxi-fuse close to the alternator. I can't recall the actual gauge of the cable but it was about the same as more fore-finger. (NOTE: I hate the way there are about 3 or 4 different ways of describing the size of wire cable!!!! Why can't they just settle on one description????????? hahahaha)

Roachie
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FollowupID: 873214

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 11:26

Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 11:26
.
Blimey Roachie, that's not an alternator, that's a WELDER!

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 11:49

Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 11:49
Nice link you posted, however apart from wiring issues.With modern day engines -In my case 1kd fitted to prado it has what is referred to as temperature compensating alternator.starts off giving high voltage 12.7 ish but once start battery is charged allows voltage to drop to approx 12.0 or below volts.

Not good for trying to charge the auxiliary battery and currently leaves the auxiliary flat from running overnight

It makes me wonder if they have made these alternator basic instead of smarts so it gives you a full charging rather than enough to start engine.

shudder at prices though but mil spec standards are bit of kettle of fish remember old series landies had mil spec xyz or whatever it was in short meant no carpet and you could hose inside out with water.

so guessing it refers to immersion in water bit like IP64 rating for electrical components
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FollowupID: 873226

Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 18:37

Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 18:37
"Military grade quality", or "meeting military specifications", is a real catch-all, sales spiel, that doesn't tell you much at all.

The military set a range of specifications for equipment supplied to them. The U.S. have their own military specifications, the British have theirs, and NATO has more.

Each military specification covers a very intensive and comprehensive written and detailed range of requirements to be met.

Here are some of them ....

U.S. - MIL-STD-461, MIL-STD-1275, MIL-STD-810
British - DEF-STAN 61-5, DEF-STAN 59-411

In the case of MIL-STD-461, this specification covers covers the requirements and test limits for the measurement and determination of the electromagnetic interference characteristics (emission and susceptibility) of electronic, electrical, and electromechanical equipment.

In the case of MIL-STD-810, this specification sets up specific test processes to address a broad range of environmental conditions, that include: low pressure for altitude testing; exposure to high and low temperatures plus temperature shock (both operating and in storage); rain (including wind blown and freezing rain); humidity, fungus, salt fog for rust testing; sand and dust exposure; explosive atmosphere; leakage; acceleration; shock and transport shock; gunfire vibration; and random vibration.

As you can see, each military specification is intensive, but many are limited in scope to specific requirements.
MIL-STD-810 is probably the most comprehensive spec, and designed to test the durability of the item.

Note that the test processes in MIL-STD-810 are laboratory test processes that don't necessarily relate to actual use, but are lab processes designed to find the durability of components.
Thus, they take, say, a bearing, and spray it with mud regularly, while they put a set heavy load on it, and spin it at a set speed, for a set period of time.

By doing this, they establish a process that replicates many in-field conditions, whilst setting a standard lab process for durability testing. This standardised test process is then used on different products or brands, to see how they compare.

So, an item may be rated to meet one military spec - or it may be rated to meet multiple military specs. It all depends on the requirements of the end-use.

An alternator used on, say a genset engine, powering electronic or communications equipment, would be required to meet MIL-STD-461 - but not necessarily need to meet the durability standards of MIL-STD-810 - which durability spec would be needed on vehicles at the front line, doing serious off-roading.

The bottom line is - just saying "military grade" or "meets military specs", without quoting a specific military spec number, means very little.
Even if a military spec number is quoted, you would have to figure out if the military spec requirements apply to the style of useage you planned to use it in.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 19:03

Sunday, Aug 21, 2016 at 19:03
Ron,

All I can say mate is that sometimes you can just about smell the quality in a product.....not often....but sometimes.

When I received that package from the USA and opened it up on the kitchen bench, I got that little tingling sensation that only comes from a quality product.
It did not have any of those stupid voltage limiting diodes (or whatever they're called) and she pumped out 14.7v all the time. At idle my 270 amp unit was pumping around 180 amps from memory....it was several years ago, so don't quote me on that.

All I know is that I loved that alternator....it was worth every bit of the almost $1,000- (landed) that I spent on it.

By the way, I bought it after seeing how well a mate's (old Member Lucy with the troop carrier) 390 amp unit went. As far as I know Lucy still has that unit fitted and is still happy with it.
Roachie
1
FollowupID: 873267

Reply By: steved58 - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 20:00

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 20:00
Thanks for all your replies
It seems these alternators can and do get in excess of 400000kms service so I think I may leave it alone and use the money on some other preventative maintenance
A higher amperage output did attract me but my batteries perform ok at the moment so thanks for the replies it has made me decide to leave the original alone
Steve
AnswerID: 603623

Reply By: Paul and Mel - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 21:31

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 21:31
IIRC the most common problem with the HDJ100 alternators was the diodes packing it in but most people had 2 or 3 batteries hanging off it. They still tended to last 3 to 400,000 before needing replacement anyway. I say leave it till it dies.
AnswerID: 603626

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 22:41

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 22:41
Mine was making a hell of a row at 395,000 kms. New Bosch from China was $300 so was advised not to refurb the old one.
I hope the one on the diesel is easier to replace than on the V8 petrol.
AnswerID: 603630

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 23:59

Saturday, Aug 20, 2016 at 23:59
I carried a spare alternator around on my 79series - never needed it so gave it to a friend with a HDJ100 - he needed it (this year) on the first trip he carried it as a spare.
I also take the alternator out at around 150,000k and check the brushes. New set from Toyota used to be around $25.
AnswerID: 603637

Reply By: Malcom M - Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 10:51

Monday, Aug 22, 2016 at 10:51
Have you priced up a new alternator yet?
That might just alter your thinking a bit.

Not hard to service the 'wear' areas and plenty of people carry spare diode packs 'just in case'.

If you want a new replacement then some of the best units come from M2K in the USA.
http://www.m2kinc.com/detail-tlc-4-2td-390xp-370-41-38-2.html
They also do sealed units as well as very high power jobbies.
Lots of info on LCOOL about them.
AnswerID: 603696

Follow Up By: David T6 - Sunday, Sep 04, 2016 at 14:53

Sunday, Sep 04, 2016 at 14:53
Malcolm, what sort of price do these go for? It says environmentally sealed, does this mean no mud gets in. As you know, mud ingress is a major cause of failure to 100 series alternators due to their low mounted position on the FTE.
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FollowupID: 873785

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