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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 09-17-2006, 09:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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new alternator - battery/brake light on! battery boiling!

Well - I just got a 94 pickup.. anyways a week after I got it I noticed the brake light and battery lights flickering - and from doing a little searching I figured it was a problem with the alternator. anyways shortly after that, it died - so I went and got a new alternator and installed it. As soon as I installed it, everything looked good - the volt meter was back up (it was reading low before) and the battery and brake lights went off.

Well - about a week after that, the brake and battery lights started flickering again, and I noticed while driving, the voltmeter would drop - and at the same time if i had the headlights on i could see them get dimmer.. this would alternate back and forth as i drove...

Well now its changed again! When I am idling, the voltmeter seems to be at a proper level - but as soon as I start driving, it basically maxes out all the way to the top - and the brake and battery lights come on all the way (they dont flicker now). I then popped the hood and noticed my battery was making bubbling/boiling noises, and one of the water caps had blown off. I found it, and put it back on - and after driving some more I noticed it was pushed up again like there is too much pressure. Is it being overcharged now? The alternator is less than 2 weeks old.. i'm not sure what is going on! any tips would be greatly appreciated
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The battery cell lids are being popped off because when one overcharges a battery, tons of hydrogen gas is evolved. (also the last 15% of a charging cycle make batterys evolve Hydrogen gas, but at a slower rate...no popping of lids)

Honestly it sounds like your voltage regulator took a crap on ya in the alternator and now its charging to some ungodly high level. Pull the alt and alt belt, drive to the store and have em give you a new alt for free. Most parts stores have a good warrenty. Install new alt and alt belt in the store parkinglot. Drive ot publix buy 12 pack of Guiness, go home and drink all 12!
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Old 09-17-2006, 09:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i had this happen to me with a brand new napa alternator about 4 years ago. alternator was only 2 weeks old and crapped out. napa replaced it for free even though i was 5hours from the store i bought it at without a reciept.
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Stop buying that reman Napa crap.

Get a new one from the dealer, or buy a used one.

I used to work at schucks, and we had at least 5-10 warranties a DAY on that junk.

You may have to buy a new battery too, depending on if the alt did any damage or not. Have that tested before you get it all back together. Also, if it is still under warranty and you get another one, have them test it BEFORE you leave the store, to make sure.
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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BTW they are NOT "Brand new" They are rebuilt, often times reusing many of the "wear" parts. Hence why they put such a good warranty on them. Becuase they KNOW they will fail often.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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toyota will want an ungodly amount of money for them....i went to pep boys and got a new one for 145. No issues for the time I used it....
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah places like AutoZone or O'Reilly's offers various "levels" of alternators, starters, etc. You can buy the remanufactured ones for about 2/3 the price of new ones.

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Old 09-18-2006, 06:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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toyota will want an ungodly amount of money for them....i went to pep boys and got a new one for 145. No issues for the time I used it....
Its not NEW!! Its rebuilt!!

Think about this tho: When the car was new, the new alternator or starter lasted 100k+ miles, and many many years. The "new" alternator you are putting in from napa lasts 1/2 that long if you are SUPER lucky. To me, the price is worth the hassle and constant work of putting it in and pulling it out all the time. My time is worth something to me, so it just doesn't make sense to put something in that I know will fail over and over.

And if you dont want a "new" one, get a used factory one from a recycling yard! I know they can be had with low miles, and i have also seen them last well into the 100K plus range.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Its not NEW!! Its rebuilt!!
Damn - I think those are the exact words that were on the box for the one I just got! No wonder they offer a lifetime warranty and roadside assistance for when you break down with it! Ok - well I will go and get it replaced then... and see if I need a new battery. Maybe they will let me exchange it for something else...

I believe it's an Autolite - anyone have experience with this brand?
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i think your big box stores like the zone offer one or two grades of reman alternators. i always get the professional grade at napa because they tell me that it is the grade of remans all of there career customers (garages) use. i also make sure they have 100% new parts and get a detailed list of what parts are new. i think that is better than alot of the mass quanity parts houses. but i will say if the vehicle is still in really good shape or i am keeping it awhile i will use a brand new alt.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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check your voltage reg.....and get the store to at least replace the alternator.
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Old 09-18-2006, 04:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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deathcougar is right. get away from the aftermarket crap and get one from the dealer, you will be happeir in the long run. do it right the first time and forget about it.or keep doing it over and over again.
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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or get your old one back and put some brushes in it
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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or get your old one back and put some brushes in it
EXACTLY!
$5.00 for a brush assembly, pop off the case, take the two screws out, pop it all back and your good to go.

The Battery/Brake light combo is your indicator that the brushes are worn or wearing out. One brush (actually a small, square metal rod sitting on springs) will wear quicker than the other. Go over a small bump, or give it a good, sharp, rap and it will get you TO the parts store. Maybe not home...
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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EXACTLY!
$5.00 for a brush assembly, pop off the case, take the two screws out, pop it all back and your good to go.

The Battery/Brake light combo is your indicator that the brushes are worn or wearing out. One brush (actually a small, square metal rod sitting on springs) will wear quicker than the other. Go over a small bump, or give it a good, sharp, rap and it will get you TO the parts store. Maybe not home...

my HO 190amp unit died earlier and had the same symptomology described here....but do you have a picture of the brushes, where i can get them, etc?
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:46 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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check your voltage reg.....and get the store to at least replace the alternator.
Internally regulated. Good luck finding one of those in stock anywhere.

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I believe it's an Autolite - anyone have experience with this brand?
thats schucks brand. Junk junk junk. And i would know...I used to work for Schucks. Like I said...5-10 per day in warranties.


And you COULD jsut replace the brushes....but you are doing exactly what the aftermarket rebuilders are doing. And you will have the EXACT same problems.

But hey, if you like taking that Alternator out every 6 months, be my guest.
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
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my HO 190amp unit died earlier and had the same symptomology described here....but do you have a picture of the brushes, where i can get them, etc?
here you go.http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/mainte...nator_brushes/
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:17 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Internally regulated. Good luck finding one of those in stock anywhere.



thats schucks brand. Junk junk junk. And i would know...I used to work for Schucks. Like I said...5-10 per day in warranties.


And you COULD jsut replace the brushes....but you are doing exactly what the aftermarket rebuilders are doing. And you will have the EXACT same problems.

But hey, if you like taking that Alternator out every 6 months, be my guest.
I have replaced brushes on a ton of them and never had problems. aftermarket companys do more than just replace the brushes. they replace the regulator, diodes even if the old ones are good, they may also rewrap the stater or put a new one in.
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Old 09-19-2006, 12:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Just something else t check.
A friends 95 was over charging. 95 Toyota p/u 22re. We put in a new alt. was all good for about a week then started over charging again. I found a corroded/broken wire in the harness where it lays on top of the frame on the driver side. It was inside a hard plastic housing. Just follow the wires from the back of the alt.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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my HO 190amp unit died earlier and had the same symptomology described here....but do you have a picture of the brushes, where i can get them, etc?
I don't know where you'd get the HO brushes, they may even be the same ones. But I got mine from a guy who rebuilds alts. I actually paid $10 for mine, because he did the soldering for me. I was at work and needed them right now, so I could just pop them in and drive home.
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