Originally Posted by tmittelstaedt
Be careful with NAPA. In an effort to compete they are being dragged the way of Carquest, OReilly, Autozone and the rest of them.
NAPA does try to get better rebuilders to do their stuff, but they are constantly being compared to the cheaper chain stores and they cannot do the same as direct to a local rebuilder can.
When you go to a local auto electrical rebuilder with your part (or your mechanic does) there is only 1 person taking a cut of the transaction. When you go to NAPA there's another pair of hands involved. Plus, a local rebuilder isn't going to spend the labor glass-beading the casing to clean it up and make it look all pretty for retail-sale. Instead the money you pay to a local rebuilder is all going into required labor and parts.
And NAPA also sells the same garbage grade parts like the infamous Anchor Zetec passenger engine mount with a reputation of failing in 6 months that Autozone does. The only difference is they only warranty those for a year, Autozone lifetime warrantys them.
I am not 100 percent sure my Mechanic uses NAPA. I was speculating, and he has been fixing my car for many years.
He is also very reputable, so I am sure he is careful not to put cheap low end parts since his name is on the repair bill.
So wherever the parts come from, I have yet to go back because it failed. ;-) I agree though, that the OP go to an electrical shop and have the alternator rebuilt, if it is their intention is to fix it themselves.
I sometimes laugh when people say, stay away from the dealership. If you don't have a Mechanic you can trust. Then one advantage to the dealership, is their expertise is Ford's.
Your trade off is higher premiums. But find a dealership with a reputable service department, and that is peace of mind in itself.