Alternator Issues--Please Help!
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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, Alternator Issues--Please Help! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Ok-- So my 85 Deville has just been running great. Idles great, power is great, so I've been driving it ...
  1. #1
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 76 Eldo (54k), 76 Eldo (52k), 78 Eldo (9k), 85 Deville (43k)
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    Alternator Issues--Please Help!

    Ok--

    So my 85 Deville has just been running great. Idles great, power is great, so I've been driving it around quite a bit (about 800 miles last month--a lot for a college student)...well today, I was just pulling in as I got to my apartment when I smelled something similar to a blown fuse and I noticed my lights got dimmer. Uh oh. I popped the hood and noticed smoke coming out of my alternator and immediately knew what was wrong. I then checked the voltage parameter P.1.0 which normally read 13.8-14.0 and noticed it was now reading 11.5. OK, so a definite issue. I then shut the car off.

    I noticed that my "No Charge" light refused to go off after I shut the car off--never happened before (by the way, how is this light tied into the alternator circuit? It wasn't illuminated when the car was running, but only when I shut it off). So, I unplugged the battery.

    In any case, it appears that my original alternator has bit the dust. Good news is it looks easy to replace (even easier than my old 91 CDV with the 4.9 and an A/C hose that used to get in the way a bit). My question is, should I try to rebuild it or just buy another? Are they easy to rebuild without any special tools? If so, what likely goes bad on these? Voltage regulators? The only thing I'm worried about it that my stator wiring is fried given the awful electrical smell.

    I hate Bosch "lifetime" reman alternators...I went through 3 in 2 months (only 1,500 miles total!) with my last car before I sold it, and these weren't all electrical issues! The pulley literally broke off on one. The bearing bit the dust on the other. The original alternator lasted 70k miles.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    peteski is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Alternator Issues--Please Help!

    Items you mentioned wear out or go bad: bearings, voltage reg.,diode arrays or brushes.

    Anything coudl be fried - the regulator, diodes or even the stator or field windings. You would need to crack it open to see what's wrong.

    I would think that you might be better off with a quality rebuilt unit. I know that this is an oxymoron...

    Peteski

  4. #3
    noahsdad's Avatar
    noahsdad is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Alternator Issues--Please Help!

    Mine went 2 years ago in a manner just like you described. The only difference was I had a week or two of slow blinkers and erratic lights to warn me.

    I'd recommend going with an AC/Delco reman. A bit more expensive ($150), but worth every penny. Do the job once.

  5. #4
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 76 Eldo (54k), 76 Eldo (52k), 78 Eldo (9k), 85 Deville (43k)
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    Thread Starter

    Re: Alternator Issues--Please Help!

    Yeah, I wanted a Delco reman...unfortunately, I have one of the first 8,000 cars built in 1985 and I have a 108 amp alternator that was only used for the first 20,000 vehicles according to the FSM, so availability is tough/impossible for a Delco (called several Delco parts dealers).

    I think I'll go with a NAPA reman. I've been impressed by their quality on everything that I've bought from them. Anything can be better than Bosch. At least it's an easy job.

  6. #5
    noahsdad's Avatar
    noahsdad is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): '87 SDV
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    Re: Alternator Issues--Please Help!

    Napa's rebuilts are the only others I would trust.

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