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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

Last Friday my battery light came on. After twenty minutes of driving, I was idling with the headlights on an the car died. No electrics, wouldn't restart.

Jumped it the next day, with a ten minute charge and the car was fine for driving home, about five miles.

I don't have any test equipment, but put the odometer into test mode to see the battery voltage. While driving at low revs with the lights on, the voltage would drop below 12v.

My local mechanic says the alternator is shot - only putting out about 4 amps. So that seems to fit with the other symptoms.

So, what to do now. My mechanic (not a ford dealer) seems very wary of third party alternators. The dealer says there is no Motorcraft remanufactured alternator available for our car - 2004 2.3l ZTW wagon with manual transmission. We apparently need part number 1S7Z10346AB which runs around $440, so we're looking at $600 installed.

Are there really no remanufactured motorcraft alternators for my car? We called a dealer and they said the same thing, so I guess that's the case. Are there any decent third party alternators that won't cost $440? I don't see anywhere locally that offers a rebuild service.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks.
 

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try letting it run for a while with no accesories on, drive it around and see if the battery light stays off, mine crapped out about 2 months ago so your better off replacing it, the light came on and the next day i got to my shop and it died out completely, i'd get it done asap
 

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br/o/stang
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C-F-M.com has some alternators available from PA Performance. Ive heard good things and am on about 9 months with my new one from them.

You also may be able to find a good local rebuilder if you ask around or check the yellowpages.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks - the mechanic says he tested the alternator - hence the low amperage report, so I'm pretty sure it's shot.

So I guess I'm really interested in reports of decent alternators that are less expensive than a new ford part, or any source of a remanufactured ford part that doesn't cost me $440.
 

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low miles used one? most wreckers around me offer a 30day to 3 month warranty on the part.

most 3rd parties are rebuilt stockers. thats why they collect a core, they they can rebuild it and sell it.
 

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Check around for a local shop that rebuilds starters & alternators - MUCH cheaper, with MUCH better results than an off-shore reman. part....

Luck!
 

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My alternator had just gone out about a month ago (motorcraft) and I took it to our local rebuilder. He said a total rebuild would be about $200 if stator was still good. I asked if he used non-chinese parts and he laughed. "Where do you get anything else?" he asked. I could get a motorcraft for about 3-400 dollars. I guess the Chinese will eventually own this country at this rate. I could have scrounged around a wrecking yard and bought another used one for 40-50 bucks but those things are HARD to change . I have a 2002 zx5 with automatic. Anyway I hunted for the largest China factory that made auto parts and bought one of theirs for 100 bucks. Sorry but money is a little hard to come by right now and so far so good but I still curse Ford for putting an alternator under and behind the engine.
 

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You can get a rebuilt alternator from either Autozone or Advanced auto for about $150 and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Swapping an alternator is one of the simplest do DIY jobs you can tackle, shouldn't take more than an hour.
 

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Vince your Moderator
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^This.
 

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My local rebuilder charges $45, and comes with a warranty. [dunno]

You should also check the wiring to the alternator plug-in connector. Damage to this wiring is fairly common, and will prevent a good alternator from charging the battery. Make sure to inspect this wiring when you remove the alternator, and trace it back as far as you can. The common issue is that the wires pull apart inside the connector so that you can pull the wires out of the connector, but some people have found damage to the wiring further up the harness.
 

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I got a Motorcraft alternator, reman by Visteon, at my local auto parts store, $140 w/warranty.
 

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Search for a rebuilder to rebuild yours. We have a great one here. Its cheaper than a new one and I have never had any issues with it . We are actually lucky that our alternators CAN be rebuilt. Many cars today don't have rebuildable alternators.
 
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