Alternator Disassembly Question

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  • Alternator Disassembly Question

    Having the parts count come out even always gives me a sense of reassurance when doing a mechanical job, so here's the question: when disassembling my old alternator, everything went fine until it came time to "Remove the spring washer from the rear housing".

    I found no evidence of a spring washer in my alternator.

    Is this an manual error, or a manufacturing change since the manual was created? The online parts fiches don't show a spring washer for either the original or higher capacity alternators.

    Just for the record, at 57,000 miles the engine started howling, and after poking around I decided the alternator rear bearing was singing the song of its people. When I pulled the alternator, sure enough, the rotor was hard to turn, and after taking it apart the front bearing spins freely and the rear bearing doesn't turn all all.

    Since the alternator was putting out good power and the brushes and slip rings have plenty of wear left in them, my plan is to replace the bearings, clean it out as much as I can, reassemble and put it on the shelf.

    That missing spring washer is the only thing between me and the feeling of a job well done.

    Is anyone familiar with this?



    hansong


  • #2
    hansong--I rebuilt a few of these 1800 Alternators. Forget what the manual says about the spring washer because it didn't exist in the three I took apart/rebuilt, and not in the one I'm waiting on a regulator for on the bench right now.


    RS

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    • #3
      If your old one didn't have it, then there was probably just a change in manufacturing processes or suppliers between the time the parts fische was published and your alternator was built. Those kind of things happen quite a bit.

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      • #4
        It's probably just another error in the shop manual, but I was hoping someone would come up an interesting explanation. A spring washer wouldn't serve any obvious purpose as they describe it, but I'm always eager to learn.



        hansong

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        • #5
          I seem to recall seeing a wave washer used in some older applications, but I don't recall what the reason for it. I have not seen one used in some time.

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          • #6
            While we're on the subject of alternator repair, I have another question.

            In all the years of reading about people's alternator problems I can't remember ever seeing a mention of a bad front bearing; it always seems to be the rear bearing that's failed, as mine did. Has anyone heard of a front bearing failing?

            I'm planning to replace both as long as I have it apart, of course.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by hansong View Post
              While we're on the subject of alternator repair, I have another question.

              In all the years of reading about people's alternator problems I can't remember ever seeing a mention of a bad front bearing; it always seems to be the rear bearing that's failed, as mine did. Has anyone heard of a front bearing failing?

              I'm planning to replace both as long as I have it apart, of course.
              I have replaced two that the front bearings were shot as well.
              """""""Darksider #10 It's been said by many people, that I am still only 16 years old inside my head!! LOL!!
              I have never thrown a leg over any make or model of motorcycle and had nothing but a good time!!"""""""

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              • #8
                The front bearing is noticeably larger than the rear smaller one. could be why the fronts I have seen were still fine.(Less rotations to each other)

                But as with any bearing you never know how long they will last or when then will decide enough is enough.
                "That's how they roll"

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                • #9
                  Front bearings will fail more often in applications where the alternator is belt driven. More so on older vehicles without spring loaded tensioners where people have a tendency to over tighten belts.
                  That is why the larger front bearing was originally used. Gear driven alternators eliminate that load, but still fail occasionally.

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