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alternator disassembly & cleaning


DR1665
Kill him in the face with Wilson Phillips


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973097 posted 02/27/11 10:41 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
What's the best way to clean a working, OEM alternator?

A quick search returned bupkis, and I'm thinking this is not the sort of thing you hit with the pressure washer or a solvent bath.

Anyone ever disassemble an alty and put it back together again with good results? Any tips, tricks, or pictures?

Thanks.



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AnotherNewb
flutterdumper


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973105 posted 02/27/11 11:04 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Pulling one apart isn't the hard part, putting one back together is a different story. The hard part is getting the brushes back over the armature. Usually there are small holes you can fit a paper clip into that will hold the brushes in place until you get the housing back together. Just be sure not to soak the regulator and i prefer to use a silicone or teflon based dry lube on the bushings.



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14u2nV
Resident Pedobear


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973116 posted 02/28/11 12:10 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I've always just sprayed them with carb cleaner or Super Clean, then power washed. I've never had an issue doing this, plus you don't have to take it apart.



~Kenneth Brian
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AnotherNewb
flutterdumper


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973164 posted 02/28/11 08:38 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I try not to use brake clean on anything plastic. I totally screwed a welded up cleaning the wire drive wheels with brakeclean and watched the plastic they were attached to crumble to dust. I know its one kind of plastic in perticular, but I don't know which kind.



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89Mirageman
Senior Member


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973186 posted 02/28/11 11:09 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I did this on my engine that I put together for my colt. I detailed the entire engine and didn't want to put that crusty alternator back on there but also didn't want to buy a new one when there was nothing wrong with the one that I had.

I removed the large nut on the pulley with my air gun. Then I removed the three long bolts holding it together. The manual says that you have to unsolder some of the large wires holding the voltage regulator on but I didn't. I just carefully masked them once it was apart. I ended up cleaning mine with a few rags and some carb/choke cleaner. I also wirebrushed what I could get to easily with the wirebrush on my bench grinder. Gave it a new coat of paint using Duplicolor's metallic silver wheel paint and painted the center section black instead of the oem green color (didn't have any green paint laying around). I even painted the long bolts, the pulley, nut and washer with some gold paint that I picked up. It wasn't as shiny as a new zinc plated pulley but it looked much better than it did, plus you barely see it once its in the bay with the belt on. I actually painted the pulley and then put it on and tightened it up and then I masked off the alternator and painted the nut and washer afterwards so that I wouldn't scratch it tightening it back down. I used two tiny allen wrenches to hold the brushes in place like someone else mentioned. Here is a thread that I posted a while back with some pics of the alternator.

click



92 Plymouth Colt hatch 53k miles
94 Eagle Summit DL coupe
98 Mitsubishi Mirage DE sedan 73k miles

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DR1665
Kill him in the face with Wilson Phillips


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973195 posted 02/28/11 11:58 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Thanks for the solid tips, gents.

I've dealt with brushes before, spring-loaded little bastards, but good tip on the small allen or paperclip to keep 'em in place. If that's the hardest part about taking one apart (rather, putting one back together), I think I'll be able to handle it. I'm not looking to clean things up on the order of Mirageman's Colt (spectacular, by the way), but a clean engine bay makes it easier to spot when something's wrong during competition, imo.

Thanks, gents. When I take the alty apart, I'll share some pics in this thread.



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FlyingEagle
Doesn't Match Anything


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973350 posted 02/28/11 09:05 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
It has been my experience with most alternators, especially Mitsubishi models, that you have to use a rather large solder gun to unsolder the contacts inside the regulator when disassembling the unit.
I have personally tried to solder the contacts back into an old Delphi unit we disassembled at college, but even a 100+ watt gun would not provide enough juice to melt the solder/heat the wire properly.
I say this may be tricky, but it has been a while since I pulled a Mitsu unit apart.

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iceman69510
Turn Right Racing
855/2000
828/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973378 posted 02/28/11 11:31 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
My alternator for 828 was completely coated with oil and grime when I got the car. I cleaned it without disassembling it. Used brake cleaner probably, but you could also use electrical cleaner. I tried not to get too much inside, and I also used a toothbrush and rags sprayed with the solvent to scrub and wipe.

Turned out ok, and still worked fine.



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DR1665
Kill him in the face with Wilson Phillips


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973510 posted 03/01/11 02:05 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Thanks and thanks, gents!



Brian, Gearbox Magazine guy | 89 Pajero, | Gearheads United. | feedback

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GVR-4
Creative Name Huh?
77/1000


Galant VR-4 org Post #: 973542 posted 03/01/11 04:23 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post   
I bought the OEM voltage regulator, brushes and bearings and rebuilt mine. To clean it well I agree completely that disassembling it is not necessary. But if you're in there I would recommend replacing the brushes at least. It's been a while so I can't remember at what point a de-soldering is required to disassemble the thing. You will have to use a hammer to get the shaft out of the back half where the brushes are, but (as mentioned) there is a hole in the back to put a small allen key or maybe a paper clip in to hold the spring loaded brushes back while you insert the shaft. I used some electrolytic grease to make assembly easier.



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