Landcriser 100 series alternator failure

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 22:47
ThreadID: 92029 Views:19228 Replies:7 FollowUps:19
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I have a 2006 100 series Sahara Landcruiser with 90k that I Use to tow the caravan. Last Saturday the battery warning light came on but the battery charge instrument stayed within the range indicated in the manual (the manual also warned to take the car into Toyota service immediately). As it was the weekend and the warning light was not fully bright I drove the Cruiser for another 50kms approx over the weekend; on the Monday I rang Toyota and was able to get in within the hour! However on the way there (approx 6kms) the all warning lights, ABS, fuel etc came on one after the other and shortly after faded away, then the engine seemed to miss a couple of times. 50 metres from Service entrance the power steering failed and the engine cut out. Toyota did a preliminary diagnostic and found the alternator had packed up and needed replacing and also possibly the battery which was only 6 months old was also drained and probably would need replacing; the estimate for the alternator is in the order of $850 and the battery about $250 + labour. The car will be ready in about 3 days, after the alternator arrives from Sydney and is installed.
The lesson here is to heed the instructions in the User Manual, as in my case the 50kms I travelled after the warning light came on has probably meant the battery was flattened excessively and will probably not hold further charging, according to Toyota. SO BE WARNED!
(The Cruiser went in yesterday, Monday, and I expect to get it back Thursday with a full report of the damage and a fair gouge out of the hip pocket.)
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Reply By: Dust-Devil - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 00:22

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 00:22
Charles

In 2005 I bought a new JEEP CRD Cherokee which within the warranty period developed a noise (bearing) in the alternator.

JEEP without a peep replaced the Alternator and serpentine belt within an hour whilst I waited.

Now get this. The warranted cost of the Alternator was AUD$1350.00 and the belt AUD$65.00. I didn't pay anything for all of the above, however the bureaucratic documentation of Chrysler USA at that time meant that the whole episode was 'booked on paper' as the real thing.

Talking to the tech afterwards I mentioned that if it had happened out of warranty I would have pulled it off myself (3 x 5 minute bolts) taken it to the Autolec I have used for the past 25 years, and used the same belt.

Now this is the punchline - the Techo said, thats exactly what he would have done.

I just purchased a spare Denso Rectifier/Diode Kit for a 400amp alternator on my 75 Series, and it cost the enormous amount of US$65.00. Other than the bearings, this is the other piece of gear that usually 'goes' in an alternator.

It will be interesting to see what TOYOTA detail their costings as.

DD

AnswerID: 478381

Follow Up By: Mr Pointyhead - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 08:25

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 08:25
Hi
What is the 400 Amp alternator you are using ?
Where was it sourced from ?

Thanks

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Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 09:03

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 09:03
Mr P-H

It's a custom made, 'plug & Play' for the 1HZ from here:

1HZ Alternator

DD
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:03

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:03
Very impressive DD.

What do you use it for? Welding gas pipelines? A 6,000W stereo? Maybe to support a winch?

That was a good site reference. I am surprised that the existing belt (The instructions don't call for an upgrade) is capable of transmitting the 6kW.

What was the price of the 400A. I recently bought a 110A new alternator (my stereo is piddling, lol ) for the 1HZ for $300 and thought that was pretty good. After seeing the OEM prices above, i'm convinced of it!

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Mr Pointyhead - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 11:24

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 11:24
Hi

I have heard of the m2k alternators before. My interest in a high output one is to support an electric winch (Warn XP9.5). But so far I have baulked at the price, from memory around $1300 AUD delivered when I asked a while back.

How easy was it to install and setup on your 1HZ and how well does it work in practice ?

Thanks

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Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:29

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:29
Dudes.

After many years of involvement with EX-Oz I now do not comment on the Why-fors, How-fors and Where-fors of how I go about my business re my 4WD's, as it attracts the Forum Ooooh-Oooooh! brigade faster than Blow Flies to a Red Hot 'Barkers egg' on the front lawn.

However I don't mind passing on what it is that I have and where I got it from.

I have had my 1997 75series Troopy since 2000 and know the engine bay inside out and back to front. Therefore for me the fitting was straight forward and very simple. The accompanying instructions were good, easy to follow and advised to install new drive belts.

I went down to Toyota Spare Parts and they supplied a matched pair in their own sealed bag straight out of their stock supplies for about $40.00 I think from memory.

It performs as stated.

DD

It was a tad more than the after market $400 one.
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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 00:36

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 00:36
If you were driving the vehicle and the voltage was getting to the critical low point and it then stopped you will definitely NOT need a battery replacement unless Toyota didn't charge it and left it flat. If they left it flat, then they have caused the failure of the battery not your alternator.
If it happened like you said then the battery wasn't real flat and would be quite OK when recharged.
A battery flattened like this will immediately recover if charged and I would be prepared to use it again no worries. Was the battery near new? If near new even more reason to reuse it.
Make sure you get the old battery, it's yours remember, if they pressure you into buying a new one unnecessarily. You can use it as a dual battery or in a caravan or something.
Don't give it to them whatever you do, give it to a deserving member of the 4wd community. They will appreciate it.
The Toyota dealer will definitely recharge it and put it into one of their used vehicles at your expense. No, can't believe that! That would never happen would it.

Because of what you said happened, it will either be the regulator/brushes or the diode pack in the alternator neither of these requires the purchase of a new alternator. My bet is brushes first, about $8 then regulator $60+ plus fitting/labour.

An auto elec can repair it quite quickly and at about 1/3 to 1/2 of the price. and would recharge your battery for nothing.
Make sure you get the old alt and have it repaired as a spare.
After all you do own it.
If you can't fit it when needed later someone else is then able to help you or you may need to sell it to some one else down the track.

If you want to help your alternator supply it with air via an old vacuum cleaner hose catching cool air from beside the radiator and feed the exit air into the back of the alternator, Couple of small brackets required. This will assist cooling of the alternator and prolong its life particularly if the fault was a heat failure of the regulator.
All the best

Ross M A grade Automotive engineer
AnswerID: 478382

Follow Up By: Member - nick b - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 07:40

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 07:40
I agree with with replies , no need to replace alternator just need repair , I don't know how many battery's I have flattened over year .......
don't know about the new type of battery's ,but as said would't be dead flat ...

dealer ships just love people like Charles ......

Cheers Nick b
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 08:59

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 08:59
Charles - my ghast will be truly flabbered if your $ account is as low as the figures you mention - prepare for a shock !
AnswerID: 478392

Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 09:05

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 09:05
Darian

Could you elucidate further on your thoughts please.
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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 13:46

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 13:46
When I had my last new 4WD (several years back) , my relationship with the major dealer's service department was so sour that I started servicing it at home myself, long before the warranty had expired. Their actions could be truly described as commonly dishonest and on one occasion, fraudulent. My observations here and on other forums suggests that many mainstream dealers leave many clients seriously aggrieved, often. Common complaints include: work actually charged for is found not to have been done, parts are renewed unnecessarily, part costs are grossly exaggerated and the final bill always exceeds the quote (often by an alarming margin). As I result, I now place my faith in a local small auto business, for work that is too hard for me. Call me totally cynical on this issue ? Yes....... but I still hope you have a happy outcome :-o). Will check your follow up report.
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Reply By: Athol W - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 09:26

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 09:26
Hi Charles3
I have personally experienced similar symptoms to you with my 100 series TD in October 2010, and the diagonises was that the alternator rectifier and stator had failed. I obtained a brand new after market alternator from a local auto elec for $395.00, athte same time I obtained a price from Repco for about the $450.00 mark. Do not pay Toyota prices if you can get similar parts emswhere. Remember that Toyota DO NOT build their own electrical parts, but they purchase from outside suppliers (who may also be making the replacement parts under a different brand name).

As far as the battery is concerned it is most unlikely that it has suffered any major damage and with a recharge would provide satisfactory service for the remainder of its expected life, as long as it is recharged promptly. Unless you have changed the original configuration of the battery system in your vehicle there should be 2 batteries fitted in parallel.

Hope this helps

Athol W. "a" grade motor mechanic (retired)
AnswerID: 478397

Follow Up By: Charles3 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:20

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 12:20
To all,
Thanks for the advice - just an update: I did not have much choice in this instance other than to go to Toyota service for several reasons which I will not bore you with. However the advice I got from Toyota was that this alternator was a sealed unit in part and not able to be repaired (I specifically asked the service desk minion about this and was told "no go"). I have asked Toyota to put the battery on charge while they are waiting for the new alternator to arrive and be installed, and they will do this (thanks for the advice to keep the old battery if they say it failed and also to keep the old alternator, I will do this).
I take the point about exploring altenatives other than just going in to Toyota/service dealer, however when time and breakdown circumstances conspire then one has to bite the bullet and head for the nearest port.
I expect to get the landcruiser back tomorrow together with the bill and report: I will update you on the outcome. Cheers
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 15:31

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 15:31
I could go on for hours about dishonest dealers. I will make this short.

The main rule is never trust a dealers opinion or diagnosis or recommended course of action.
When you go to a doctor for medical advice then usually they are far more accurate in diagnosis than a car dealer.
Always get a second opinion with your car.

Although it is possible they may be correct, it is most often found they wish to access the contents of your wallet and this is the primary goal for them.

If you happen to have them repair your vehicle then it is tradition you will pay far more than the normal rate and also pay for many things which may not even be done. These are the little extras they insist are needed.

Unfortunately you have to deal with the desk jockey at a dealers and often they don't know, and won't admit they don't know but are highly trained in deception and $ extraction procedures. They are exceptionally good at sussing you out to see where to pitch their attack for the maximum $ return to be had before you get suspicious.
Welcome to modern horse trading.
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Follow Up By: Steve D1 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 16:10

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 16:10
1st up, toyota electrical items are mead by Denso ( owned by Toyota ) but available everywhere..

second, parts for alternators are available.

landcruiser alternator




3rd it's just that Toyota Techs are parts fitters, not mechanics

most of them wouldn't know what brushes are..

Steve


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Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 17:00

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 17:00
In the middle of holidays, I have had cause to go, at short notice, to 2 Toyota dealers, one in Sale and the other in Wodonga.

In both cases, they dealt with the issue promptly (fitting my LC in on the same day between scheduled work), at a reasonable cost and offering some advice about a couple of things they noticed that I should get attended to in the medium future (and they were right)

I find it is worthwhile not to tar everyone with the same brush :-)

Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 17:01

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 17:01
Steve, are you promoting or deriding the site you linked (ToyoDIY.com)

The alternator was $982 !!!!!!!!! $982 ?????? Is this place owned by Toyota?

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Steve D1 - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 18:08

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 18:08
Allan..

The point was not to show pricing, that sites pricing is not accurate. The point was to show individual parts available, and that complete new alternator is not at all nessescary

Steve
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 18:26

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 18:26
I see, Steve.

And yes, a new alternator can be .....scary! LOL Sorry.

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:27

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:27
There is a lesson here.

Like other motion parts, alternators do not last forever and need regular service. But are rarely included in the routine maintenance schedule.

If you are touring to remote places a failed alternator can really wreck both your holiday and your wallet. Yet simple maintenance can avoid that. At maybe 50,000k the alternator should be removed and serviced by an auto electrician. Probably replace bearings, brushes and the belt as they cost little.

Diodes are another matter. They can last forever or fail soon after new. No point in replacing them or the regulator.

It is cheap insurance, as one day it WILL fail.



Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 16:40

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 16:40
Most likely cause of failure is worn brushes - I replaced a set on an identical alternator last week - cost $35 for the brushes from Toyota and 1 hour labour. I've had an internal regulator fail before and that would probably be a $200 item now.

I hate the way nobody repairs alternators any more.

BTW, Toyota also stock "factory remanufactured" alternators at about half new price.

Cheers
phil
AnswerID: 478418

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 16:59

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 16:59
I would have found a local auto electrician, he would charge the battery, it will be fine if only 6 months old... and he maybe would repair the alternator if it is repairable for a total cost of around $250..... Thats what i would expect. Dont be screwed by the Toyota guys.... Always remember, the local dealer is not on your side.. MIchael


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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 17:03

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 17:03
Charles !! You said BE WARNED!! You should have posted here first and we could have warned you.. Lucky you have money to burn.. Its not what i would have done, believe me.. I just hope you have learnt something.... Michael


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Follow Up By: jrzoo - Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 09:21

Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 09:21
Michael

A bit harsh on old Charles. He has stated circumstances have conspired to force him into the dealers (stealers???) evil clutches. I am sure he is aware he is paying a premium for this unfortunate business and has accepted the advice he has been given (and given and given).

I think his warning was not about Honest Tojo's dealer network likeable attributes but what was actually written in the manual when a warning light appears!!!

I may be incorrect here.

Good luck Charles - hope the $ damage is limited.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Charles3 - Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 13:19

Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 13:19
Thanks for all the advice guys; here is the outcome re Toyota and the alternator saga:
- The alternator was replaced with a new Toyota branded alternator which came with a 12 month/20,000klm waranty and cost $990 (incl labor $150).
- The battery is charged, holding charge, and is OK.
- The u/s alternator is with an auto electrician for a quote to repair (I expect this to be in the order of $200, but am prepared to be disapointed) and I will keep it as a spare.

I spoke to the Service Manager in regard to his service desk minion's negative comments at the time of check-in, and subsequently, and was thanked by him for bringing it to his notice. The new alternator was installed and the car ready a day early on Wednesday - the Manager sent his car out to pick me up, as a small token of his appreciation for the feedback.

Thank you to those who provided the positive input; as observed succinctly by jrzoo, my intention in starting this thread was simply to give some info to others. I have owned cars for the better part of 50 years and have probably achieved a fairly extensive understanding of the chicanery intrinsic to the motor trade but, as some of you picked up, when circumstances have one by the short and curlies, one does the best one can - this usually comes at some cost in order to overcome the inconvenience in the most expeditious way.
Happy and safe motoring. Charles3
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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 22:08

Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 22:08
That looks like a fair outcome Charles, given the circumstances - I know it is wrong of me to tar all dealers with the same black sticky brush, seeing I don't know them all - lesson learned here (but its hard to forget the bitter past :-o).
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