Alternator or brushes

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D366Y
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Alternator or brushes

Post by D366Y »

I write this as a desperate man.
Sat by the side of the road in a residential area and no power.

Brand new battery, definitely works as it worked on the other car, however my lights were slowly getting dimmer and dimmer until the innevitable happened.

The plan is to leave the car here for the night, charge the battery overnight once I have been rescued (a mere 3miles from my destination) and then drive it home as fast as I can and leave it on the driveway until I can fix it.

However, where can I buy new alternator brushes and is it a job easy enough to do or shall I just buy a whole new alternator and if so where can I get one of them from?

Cheers
Danny
Last edited by D366Y on Sat Nov 12, 2022 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternator or bushes

Post by Mr B »

Hi Danny,

I have had good results when just renewing the bushes on alternators, the bushes are quite cheap on Ebay and it's always worth a punt especially if money is a bit on the slim side, I have renewed bushes on the Bosch, Femsa and Lucas alternators and it's literally a couple of screws to remove the old housing which contains the bushes and then fit the replacement - it may vary between different brands.

If you do go down the route of a new complete alternator I suggest you get the unit from a local car spares shop and not online as if the unit is defective it's a simple drive down the road and not all the trouble of sending it back through the post and the time that all takes.

Wayne
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D366Y
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Car(s): 1986 Laser 1.6, daily runaround project
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1980 3.0S, crash damage resto
1993 Fiesta 1.1

Currently full up and no more space but I still want a 2.8...
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Alternator or bushes

Post by D366Y »

Great stuff thank you Wayne, will give it a butchers today and see what I can see

Cheers
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Re: Alternator or bushes

Post by Peter-S »

D366Y wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 8:21 am Great stuff thank you Wayne, will give it a butchers today and see what I can see

Cheers
Dan, do check that the wiring connector hasn't dropped out the back of the alternator.
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D366Y
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Car(s): 1986 Laser 1.6, daily runaround project
1981 GL Auto 2.0, Barn-Find-Resto, now also a runaround project
1980 3.0S, crash damage resto
1993 Fiesta 1.1

Currently full up and no more space but I still want a 2.8...
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Alternator or bushes

Post by D366Y »

Just checked and the alternator is still the original Ford part judging by the big old stamp on it!
Were they Bosch or Lucas and standard or does it not make a difference when buying new brushes?

Thanks
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D366Y
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Car(s): 1986 Laser 1.6, daily runaround project
1981 GL Auto 2.0, Barn-Find-Resto, now also a runaround project
1980 3.0S, crash damage resto
1993 Fiesta 1.1

Currently full up and no more space but I still want a 2.8...
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Alternator or bushes

Post by D366Y »

Peter-S wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 12:17 pm
D366Y wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 8:21 am Great stuff thank you Wayne, will give it a butchers today and see what I can see

Cheers
Dan, do check that the wiring connector hasn't dropped out the back of the alternator.
Unfortunately I know it's not this, because I thought that may have been the issue a few weeks ago and cable tied the connection in place so it couldnt get loose
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Re: Alternator or bushes

Post by Mr B »

D366Y wrote: Sat Nov 12, 2022 12:17 pm Just checked and the alternator is still the original Ford part judging by the big old stamp on it!
Were they Bosch or Lucas and standard or does it not make a difference when buying new brushes?

Thanks
Hi Danny, any chance of putting a picture up of it?
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by Mc Tool »

Pull the end off it ( the alt) and check soldered joints for dry joints . Long shot but I have seen it before.
Might I suggest that if you have the nouse to replace the brushes ( not bushes 😁) you also replace the bearings and the rec/reg , and clean up the commutator .........otherwise do yourself a favour and just get a new alt or you will spend the next 6 months gettin real good at "fixin" it 😆
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by SCP440 »

Personally when something like this fails I prefer just to replace it, yes it is more expensive but as above once you start you will be replacing it all piecemeal over the next few months anyway and a shiny new one will come with a warranty for hopefully 24 months.
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by Bug »

SCP440 wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 12:42 pm Personally when something like this fails I prefer just to replace it, yes it is more expensive but as above once you start you will be replacing it all piecemeal over the next few months anyway and a shiny new one will come with a warranty for hopefully 24 months.
But the best way to learn is to then take the old one apart and see how you could have fixed it yourself.
Maybe refurb it and keep it as a spare.
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1980 3.0S, crash damage resto
1993 Fiesta 1.1

Currently full up and no more space but I still want a 2.8...
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by D366Y »

Cheers guys, my grand plan didn't exactly plan out and I ran out of juice about halfway home - luckily only ten minutes from my olds though so got them to drop me a new battery and limped it back to theirs rather than risk the rest of the drive home

Anyway, got to theirs, took it off and got a lift home and have just taken it apart with the photos below.

Looks like a Femsa according to the Haynes...

I would like to keep it if I can but I think you're right - if I'm going to change parts of it I might as well change everything rather than repeatedly taking it apart every week, especially since one of the screws snapped it's head already 😂
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by Mr B »

SCP440 wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 12:42 pm Personally when something like this fails I prefer just to replace it, yes it is more expensive but as above once you start you will be replacing it all piecemeal over the next few months anyway and a shiny new one will come with a warranty for hopefully 24 months.
I respectfully disagree with this, after replacing the brushes all the alternators have gone on to provide many thousands of miles without any issues, such a waste to chuck a whole unit in the bin without even attempting a repair plus, as Bug quite rightly pointed out, you get the chance to pull it apart and learn about it which can only be a good thing in my book.
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by Mc Tool »

Yeah , its hard to know how to reply . On one hand there are the old skilled peeps who will have it to bits on the bench in under 5 mins and think nothing of flickin a set of brushes at it and if the bearings crap out in 6 months....who gives one , 20 min job .
And, in the blue corner there are the not so mechanicly adept who find changing the brushes a bit of a mission ,and to suffer subsequent failure of the rest of it ,one component at a time is demoralising at best ..........you guys ( and you know who your are 😁) need to just save yourself some agony and buy a new or recon alt , and call the successful removal and fitting of the new one a job well done . If ya want to feel real smug give the fan belt the once over too😁
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D366Y
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1980 3.0S, crash damage resto
1993 Fiesta 1.1

Currently full up and no more space but I still want a 2.8...
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by D366Y »

Google has given me one answer on this already but just want to check you guys agree...

The current alternator is rated for 35 amps. The only replavemts I can find are like 60+ amps.
Will I be frying my wiring by adding it or is there no risk?

I understand that the alternator will only work at the level required and won't constantly be running at 60amps, but I don't want to cause myself any more issues!

Cheers
Danny
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by pbar »

Yes Danny, I'm pretty sure you can fit a more powerful alternator, just like you can fit a larger battery. As you have said, the system will only take what it needs.
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Currently full up and no more space but I still want a 2.8...
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by D366Y »

Thanks Paul, took a punt and ordered a new one and will get the parts to repair the old one so that hopefully I can keep it!

Cheers all
Danny
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by Mr B »

Mc Tool wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 9:29 am Yeah , its hard to know how to reply . On one hand there are the old skilled peeps who will have it to bits on the bench in under 5 mins and think nothing of flickin a set of brushes at it and if the bearings crap out in 6 months....who gives one , 20 min job .
And, in the blue corner there are the not so mechanicly adept who find changing the brushes a bit of a mission ,and to suffer subsequent failure of the rest of it ,one component at a time is demoralising at best ..........you guys ( and you know who your are 😁) need to just save yourself some agony and buy a new or recon alt , and call the successful removal and fitting of the new one a job well done . If ya want to feel real smug give the fan belt the once over too😁

Hi MC,

I get where your coming from but with so many online guides/YouTube vids around now the days of having to rely on the sometimes vague Haynes manual are long gone, personally I enjoy the feeling of successfully repairing something and watching it work again especially in today's throw away society.
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by pbar »

D366Y wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 8:58 pm Thanks Paul, took a punt and ordered a new one and will get the parts to repair the old one so that hopefully I can keep it!

Cheers all
Danny

I think you're doing the right thing, a nice shiny new one to solve the issue and give total reliability, especially as you drive the car frequently, and hopefully fixing the old one to live on as a spare. Makes complete sense.
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by SCP440 »

Mr B wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 1:06 am
SCP440 wrote: Sun Nov 13, 2022 12:42 pm Personally when something like this fails I prefer just to replace it, yes it is more expensive but as above once you start you will be replacing it all piecemeal over the next few months anyway and a shiny new one will come with a warranty for hopefully 24 months.
I respectfully disagree with this, after replacing the brushes all the alternators have gone on to provide many thousands of miles without any issues, such a waste to chuck a whole unit in the bin without even attempting a repair plus, as Bug quite rightly pointed out, you get the chance to pull it apart and learn about it which can only be a good thing in my book.
This is an interesting argument and I do agree a new set of brushes could see it do many more miles but as has been said if the brushes are worn the bearings and the regulator pobably wont be long for this wourld either. When you add up the cost of all these parts and the time it takes against the cost of a nice new shiny one with a warranty is it realy worth it? I as much as many love stripping parts and fixing them but sometimes it just makes more sense to replace especially on such a critical part. How far can you drive with just the battery if it was fully charged? On a motorway run probably a long way but on stop start traffic and/or at night probably not as far as you might think.
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Re: Alternator or brushes

Post by Mc Tool »

Mr B wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 9:49 pm
Mc Tool wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 9:29 am Yeah , its hard to know how to reply . On one hand there are the old skilled peeps who will have it to bits on the bench in under 5 mins and think nothing of flickin a set of brushes at it and if the bearings crap out in 6 months....who gives one , 20 min job .
And, in the blue corner there are the not so mechanicly adept who find changing the brushes a bit of a mission ,and to suffer subsequent failure of the rest of it ,one component at a time is demoralising at best ..........you guys ( and you know who your are 😁) need to just save yourself some agony and buy a new or recon alt , and call the successful removal and fitting of the new one a job well done . If ya want to feel real smug give the fan belt the once over too😁

Hi MC,

I get where your coming from but with so many online guides/YouTube vids around now the days of having to rely on the sometimes vague Haynes manual are long gone, personally I enjoy the feeling of successfully repairing something and watching it work again especially in today's throw away society.
:doh: I keep forgetting about you tube.....untill I wanna know something 😁 then its just about 1st place I look .
I like fixin stuff too ( poverty an all that 😆) .
Part of the pleasure in doing my own repairs is lookin at all the nobby dumdarses payin heaps to get their posh (european) shit boxes serviced ,ha ha ha ha #uck them 😆. So funny ....my Dad moaning about how his M class cost heaps to service , and how far out of warranty it went before the self leveling and air bags crapped out ( you'd only need a tape measure😂 )......One brothers AudiA6..,same deal , back air suspension , cost him thousands and I know the parts could be got of ebay for $600 (I looked it up 😁)other brothers carbs fell off his Abarth....had to get it towed . heh heh heh . Yeeeeeep being mechanically clever sure is better than being normal 😁😆😆
Sometimes I talk to myself ... and we both have a good laugh
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