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Discussion Starter #1
My diodes test failed and since I have 180k miles I might as well replace the alternator instead of repairing/rebuilding it. Where's the best place I can get a good deal on one?

2003 SVT
 

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293 Posts
rockauto.com has them for pretty good deals other wisw local auto retailer stores can get them also fswerks or centralfloridamotorsports.com has them as well.
 

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Taciturn. Your turn.
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http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1962870&cc=1431898 rockauto says "w/ Zetec", I also see some that say "without Zetec". Sorry if this is a noob question, I just want to make sure I get the right part, but I assume without Zetec means it is not correct for the SVT?
The SVT is a Zetec, so you want to go with that. A good source (Steve @Tasca) says that the SVT alt. is the same part as the standard Zetec.

That being said, the aftermarket and some parts stores sell a SVT specific alternator with a clutch pulley. Interestingly the 04 SVT had a clutch pulley standard, I guess it's better at the higher rpm the SVT sees... IDK. I've been running an Autozone "SVT" alt. for three years now, new not reman.
 

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Different Alts are used across any single year and different models. It is crazy how many different types of Alts are mixed around. Finding the exact or compatible part number at an online store is a challenge and a risk... this includes using rockauto and other websites. Call or visit a Ford dealership, -or- TALK with a Ford parts specialist like Sniper Focus just said -or- maybe put your eyeballs on the one installed.

Also, having an old OEM Alt rebuilt by a qualified shop is usually a better idea than buying a new/rebuilt one from a car part store-> if you have time for a specialty shop to rebuild it. This ain't just my opinion, this has been echoed here at FF many times.

BTW, some of the savvy gear-heads do Alt rebuilds at home. Rebuild kits are available online. Do a web search for it and you can find lots of Alt rebuild info.

Cheers!
 

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I always recommend a local rebuild or new Motorcraft part for alternators. The bummer about the local rebuild is that some people don't have a second vehicle. It might require a day to rebuild. In that case, purchase the cheapest alternator possible, and keep your core to have it rebuilt locally.

Store "rebuilt" alternators fail regularly on this site. The only reasoning we have is that the mass rebuilders that parts companies use, use the cheapest parts possible and replace only what is absolutely necessary. This keeps the bottom line down as low as possible, and it's the best business plan for a big retailer interested in profit. A small rebuilder will not use rebuild parts that cause warranty issues. This would hurt their reputation. They use the best parts that they can purchase. This is the best business model for them, and it helps support your local economy. It will also save you a bunch of money. I had my alternator rebuilt 50k miles ago for $80. This is typical for the reported local rebuilder prices that I've seen on this site. My experience echos the experiences of FFs (although a different vehicle) who swapped 2-3 lifetime warranty units in a year before trying a local rebuilder. Eventually a person gets tired of changing alternators- free or not.

All areas have local rebuilders. You just have to either ask a local shop on the phone, or look in the yellow pages. These businesses typically don't advertise on the internet because most of their business is local independent shops- or farmers whose tractor parts are too expensive and time consuming to purchase new. I found one in Crossville, TN, so I'm sure you can find one in the metropolis of Asheville, NC. (that's where my family is originally from, ever heard of Sams Gap?)
 

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2004 Focus Wagon, Zetec DOHC, Auto
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Good idea to go with rebuilding it yourself or having someone do it for you. I am on my 3rd Autozone rebuilt in only about 20K miles.

The problem with rebuilt alternators is that there is no definition of rebuilt. People often think that rebuilt means the alternator had all the wear items (bearings, brushes, etc.) replaced along with installing new electrical parts such as the regulator and diodes. That is absolutely not what happens with a parts store rebuilt. They only replace the failed items. So, as an example, your "new" rebuilt alternator may have bearings with 150K miles.

By rebuilding the alternator yourself, you get to choose which items you want to replace, and (this is the best part) you can choose high quality replacement parts too.

I would have rebuilt mine if my work schedule had permitted it at the time, but I had to slap a rebuilt in it and go. I am thinking that the next time this Autozone alternator fails that I may rebuild it even though I have a warranty...I'm tired of pulling it and doing an exchange.

There are several rebuild videos on YouTube if you are not familiar with the guts of an alternator.
 

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Last time I bought a diode plate it was like $35 but a while back and you need soldering skills if doing yourself.

The original will have either six or eight diodes, the eight if you find it is better and interchanges with the six.

If lucky diodes may not be bad, only failed the tip connections, good soldering can put one back in action for a few cents. I'd go for new plate if several have failed though, a common thing with overheating.
 
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