Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:20
ThreadID: 87666 Views:1855 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Double trouble with alternators. Less than 2 years ago our 100 series LC alternator gave up the ghost. After 11 years and almost 1/4 million klms all over the country was not bad for the original factory fitted unit we thought. River crossings and endless dust almost a daily affair.
Then we had a heavy duty 110amp Nippon Denso replacement fitted. This lasted 23 months and only 27000 klms! Dash lights all lit up then the battery ran flat. One would have thought this should be covered under warranty, but no, only 12 months warranty!!! Auto electrician said the main rotor had gone as faulty, very unusual! Unreal, 27000 klms only out of a new alternator!! So we coughed up another $600+ less than 2 years again.
Has anyone else had such a lousy run with a similar alternator?
We have a dual battery with an ARB fitted "Super Power 1314" isolator ( they are being recalled - later models than ours apparently)
Could battery isolators burnout alternators?
Any feedback appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 11:21

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 11:21
Your lucky, I am on my 4th..or is it 5th Alternator on my 105 series Cruiser, in 150,000km.

They just don't like being mounted low, and in the dust, moisture, water and crud.

Have a look at their position, they even cop a wet hiding from the fan drawing water thru the radiator from rain and road mist
AnswerID: 460396

Reply By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:04

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:04

actually it's not the isolation switch itself, but the high charging current through the auxiliary batteries which can wear out the alternator quickly.
Batteries can get extremely hungry for current once discharged below 70 to 50% SOC.
Starter batteries never get discharged this low, so the alternator isn't really designed to cough up that much current again and again under adverse conditions. So depending on the amount of current limiting protection circuitry built into their regulators (which needs to take into account the temperature of the diode plate), plus overall build quality (size and material of sliprings, carbon brushes etc), your mileage may vary.

cheers, Peter
AnswerID: 460398

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:13

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:13
hi peter
reeta and joe stated that the alternator they replaced the oem with was a heavy duty 110amp alternator and it failed after only 27000km's
so are you saying that the so called h/duty alts arent worth a pinch???
just curious
cheers barry
FollowupID: 734077

Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 13:19

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 13:19
Hi Barry,

in the aftermarket environment the term h/duty frequently is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
It's certainly not he language of the engineers who design these things.

So unless the so called h/d unit has a larger diode plate, more efficient cooling fan, bigger sliprings and brushes, and integral temperature sensing to protect itself, it shouldn't be called h/d.

Because it can be extremely hard to find out whether or not a replacement scores high in all these, you should rely on external current limitation if you want to ensure a longer life of the unit.
Measuring the actual current coming out of the alternator, and then the current through your aux battery is a good starting point if you want to get a handle on these things.
Then, you could look into an externally mounted regulator which offers ways to manually control the output voltage/current.

So, instead of just forking out big for a h/d unit, it's definitely more sensible to invest in a unit offering external regulation.

cheers, Peter
FollowupID: 734089

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 15:30

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 15:30
hi peter
your full explanation is appreciated and im much wiser now and i sure a lot of others are too
i had a feeling h/d after market was/is a take in lots of instances
thanks for taking the time
cheers barry
FollowupID: 734174

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:31

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:31
Factory alternators on LandCruisers last a lot longer than aftermarket replacements. Most common thing to go is simply worn brushes - I replace mine after 150,000k to keep it sweet.

Your Toyota dealer now stocks factory reconditioned alternators for about half new price (prob about $300+ for yours). I think this is a better option than a new aftermarket replacement.
AnswerID: 460402

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:49

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:49
hi phil g
yes i would do same as you
i 'm wondering why reeta and joe went for an after market replacement when they got 11 yrs and 1/4 million k's out of the original alternator ???????
FollowupID: 734085

Follow Up By: Member - Reetta & Joe (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 13:49

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 13:49
The first time there was not much choice as I did not know what the problem was and went to a large auto electrical company, they said it was the alternator and suggested the Nippon. This time we were towed to the same company as were sure it would be a warranty job, not so.
FollowupID: 734092

Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 16:56

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 16:56
We can source one alternator for $200 and another looking the same for $450, both are meant to be identical, the one for $200 the wholesaler said was the same if not better then the oppositions $450 one but they can do them cheaper because blah blah blah.

The $200 one comes with a 12 month warranty and the $450 comes with a 3 year warranty.

Have a guess what one uses cheaper parts?

There are so many manufactures and re manufactures of alternators overseas it's hard to tell what's good and what's bad unless your in the industry.

When they rate amps there can be so much of a variance between manufactures one rated at 110 amps may only do 80 amps and another rated at 80 amps may do 100 amps output.

Some auto elecs will sell you the cheapest alternator they can find thinking if they don't they will loose the sale and this is true as most customers would not care or understand the differences in why one is more expensive then the other...... hell it's only an alternator.

We hear it day in and day out....

Customer: How much for a XXXXXX?
Us: We can do that for $795 fitted.
Customer: Na your to expensive Joe Shonks down the road said he will do it for $495 fitted.
Us: Do you know what brand he is using?
Customer: Wouldn't have a clue but anyway I don't want to spend that much...yeah thanks.

A customer lost until the cheap XXXXXX fails, the guy he bought it from is no longer around or he's washed his hands of it and he comes to us for advice.

Thank god most places put sold and service stickers on stuff they sell so we know where it can from.
AnswerID: 460423

Reply By: Paul and Mel - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 19:33

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 19:33
I'm prolly going to mozz myself but mine has done 90k, been dunked in slop and water many,many times and has 3 batterys to charge and still have had no dramas in 8.5 years. yes i will pull it @100k and replace the brushes if it makes it that far. try and get a remanufactured OEM alt instaed of aftermarket.
AnswerID: 460440

Reply By: Member - Reetta & Joe (NSW) - Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 09:49

Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 09:49
Thanks everyone for your output, it has been much appreciated. I wish I had known then what I know now!
Our starter motor has not been touched since new (now 280000klm). What do you suggest?
AnswerID: 460580

Follow Up By: SCUBADOO - Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 10:28

Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 10:28
Definitely replace it with a "heavy duty" downgrade! I can sell you one.
It will start much fasterererererererer. (-:
You might just have to replace the new $5000 starter at 281000Km.
FollowupID: 734278

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