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Old 25 Apr 2007, 12:38 am
Tim
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Default Replace Brushes or the Alternator Itself

I have a 1991 Honda Accord that still has the original factory
alternator in it (173k miles). The charge light came on and I took it
to an auto electric shop today and he simply said it needed a new
alternator.

How does one know if all one needs is to replace the brushes or if the
alternator really does need to be replaced?

Thanks,

Tim

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Old 25 Apr 2007, 06:17 am
Tegger
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Default Re: Replace Brushes or the Alternator Itself

Tim <timcall@sbcglobal.net> wrote in news:1177479494.644203.141690
@r35g2000prh.googlegroups.com:

> I have a 1991 Honda Accord that still has the original factory
> alternator in it (173k miles). The charge light came on and I took it
> to an auto electric shop today and he simply said it needed a new
> alternator.
>
> How does one know if all one needs is to replace the brushes or if the
> alternator really does need to be replaced?
>



Remove the brush holder from the rear of the alternator (a few screws). See
if the brushes are worn down past their limit. You can buy a new brush
holder from the dealer (~$30), or solder on new ones yourself.

If new brushes doesn't fix the problem, you need the old alternator
remanufactured.


--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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Old 25 Apr 2007, 07:31 am
Michael Pardee
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Default Re: Replace Brushes or the Alternator Itself

"Tim" <timcall@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1177479494.644203.141690@r35g2000prh.googlegr oups.com...
>I have a 1991 Honda Accord that still has the original factory
> alternator in it (173k miles). The charge light came on and I took it
> to an auto electric shop today and he simply said it needed a new
> alternator.
>
> How does one know if all one needs is to replace the brushes or if the
> alternator really does need to be replaced?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Tim
>
>

150-200K miles is about the life expectancy for brushes, and worn brushes
are the most common cause of alternator failure. I'd go in that direction
first. Be sure to disconnect the battery before removing the brush assembly!

Mike



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Old 25 Apr 2007, 08:09 pm
Speedy Pete
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Default Re: Replace Brushes or the Alternator Itself

Tegger wrote:
> Remove the brush holder from the rear of the alternator (a few screws). See
> if the brushes are worn down past their limit. You can buy a new brush
> holder from the dealer (~$30), or solder on new ones yourself.


OR even cheaper from an auto electric supply house. The last time I
bought brushes they were a buck a piece.

Failing that the regulator rectifier can go bad as well but this part is
harder to get and can cost almost as much as a cheap re-built alternator.

-SP

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 26 Apr 2007, 07:42 am
Hachiroku ハチロク
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Default Re: Replace Brushes or the Alternator Itself

On Thu, 26 Apr 2007 01:09:55 +0000, Speedy Pete wrote:

> Tegger wrote:
>> Remove the brush holder from the rear of the alternator (a few screws).
>> See if the brushes are worn down past their limit. You can buy a new
>> brush holder from the dealer (~$30), or solder on new ones yourself.

>
> OR even cheaper from an auto electric supply house. The last time I bought
> brushes they were a buck a piece.
>
> Failing that the regulator rectifier can go bad as well but this part is
> harder to get and can cost almost as much as a cheap re-built alternator.
>
> -SP



Wow. On an old Celica I spent a whopping $38 to rebuild the alternator.
The brushes were ~$1 each, and the regulator was $36. An afternoon with a
screwdriver and a 10mm wrench and I once again had a good working
alternator that lasted the rest of the life of the car (275,000 miles)

Check the bearings, too. The bearings seized on an '85 Corolla I have. I
didn't replace them when I did the brushes as they were still in good
shape, and now I can't get the alternator off the car!

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