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Alternator Cleaning

01-05-2002, 06:39 AM
Recently I had the wonderful ( pleasure of having an alternator fail. It seems that the mud and dirt had finally taken its toll on the thing.

I've heard that some lucky individuals have been able to clean theirs and it works fine so I did just that.

First; I sprayed it from the bottom and sides while it was still installed on the truck but that didn't work.

Second; I totally removed it from the truck. This process is fairly easy actually if you lift the front end a bit and turn the wheels to the left to get better access. The ARB helps here also because you have more room to move around in the wheel well.

Third; I took the entire thing apart, core and all. The hardest part here is removing the pulley nut from the front end. I ended up taking it to Pep-Boys where they did it for me with pneumatic tools. They also tested it for me and said that it was bad. Duh?

Forth; I used a small squirt bottle and cleaned every little nook and cranny. The stator faces were covered in dirt and dust.

Fifth; Use a heat gun to dry everything before assembling it all back together. After this I took it back to Pep-Boys for testing. They said it was still bad, but the ďtech (Ē didnít look like she knew how to operate the tester.

After I reinstalled it into the Xterra it worked! Iíve tested the alternator while running all my off-road lights at idle and voltage is steady as a rock. I'd definitely recommend this procedure for anyone with alternator trouble. It canít hurt.

01-05-2002, 09:45 AM
It is good to know that a good cleaning can possibly fix the alternator.

I had the same experience with a Jeep starter. I swamped it and it wouldn't work. After a good cleaning it has worked fine since then. I wouldn't have thought of trying that with the alternator. Nice post!

02-09-2002, 01:50 AM
I tried it once on the X with to no avail. I used to do it all the time on my old Ford stepside and it usually worked (or I installed new bushings).

02-09-2002, 05:43 PM
There was a guy over on A/Cís board who had his stock alternator rebuilt for less $$$ than what a high output alternator costs.

Unfortunately he never sent me the information about the vendor that did it.

An Internet search turned up quite a few vendors who do this.
Intrigued me since they appear to charge only $26.00 for a rebuild.
Iím thinking about you people who have already toasted an alternator and replaced it. Perhaps you have the Ďdeadí one hanging around (if it hasnít been turned back for core) that you might be able to get re-wound for higher amperage.

Anyway Iím stuck in the office today, so it was a good way to kill a few more minutes of time.

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