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Old 09-15-2010, 07:39 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,758
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Nothing wrong with NAPA alternator. Infact, I called a few rebuilders in the US to get the detail (these rebuilders rebuild the Alternator and ship them to Pepboys, NAPA etc. etc.).

A proper rebuilding process involved. The issues for each item are in italicized letter:

1. New front bearing
- Some places put in new bearing but in 99% of the time, you get Chinese bearing instead of brand name like Koyo, SKF, F.A.G.
- Some check it, if no play, then they simple re-grease it and re-use it: not recommended.


2. New rear bearing
- Some places put in new bearing but in 99% of the time, you get Chinese bearing instead of brand name like Koyo, SKF, F.A.G.
- Some check it, if no play, then they simple re-grease it and re-use it: not recommended.


3. New brushes
- This is a must because at 140-150K when the alternator fails, the brushes are worn down.
So virtually all rebuilders install new brushes.


4. New Voltage Regulator (a.k.a = "Rectifier")
- Here is the kicker: if checked OK, most simply re-use it but read on.... Although this is a solid-state device (no moving part), it is rated at let's say 2 million cycles of alternator revolutions, then the solid state device just fails any time after that.
- The reason most rebuilders re-use the Voltage Regulator is cost (a good Voltage Regulator costs some $50-60/each).
- This is also the reason why many people run to Autozone, get a rebuilt Bosch Alternator, only to find out 1 month later the Voltage Regulator failed! Some in this forum have gone through 3 Alternators in a 6-month span. What a waste of time and effort!!!

So unless you know exactly how a rebuilt Alternator was performed, rebuild the Alternator yourself for $60.


Sadly, the day of good craftsmanship and quality work is over, many people simply go for a quick buck, but you the owners pay for this poor practice.

Last edited by cn90; 09-15-2010 at 07:41 AM.
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