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Discussion Starter #1
Battery and Alternator. They are a pair that makes your ride work.

There are 2 key performance that the battery needs.
  1. CCA, (cold cranking amps) counts when starting in cold weather. How much power is left as the battery ages can be measured, but for simple folks, it cranks slow rather than briskly with a full charge, you are out of power. Battery life is shortened by heat, over charge, under charge, vibration and deep discharge..
  2. Reserve capacity. This is how long your battery produces power when run partly down. Leave the lights on, radio on, sitting in traffic sitting still with the load on. Chart picture added and note, after 3 years the reserve is down to less than 1/6<sup>th</sup> of new. Not uncommon that a vehicle idling with lights on and climate blower working can run the battery down. Battery reserve will decide how long you last. Alt quits and then reserve capacity determines how long you can drive till you are terminal.
Alternator life. Clearly this is a wear item and they wear out or just quit. Look up on Rock Auto example, G-4 DOHC and there are 11 Alt’s available. If Alt’s were durable there would not be that market. Slip rings wear out, brushes wear out, regulators fail.
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My 1991 and 93 Taurus Vulcans had 250k miles on each and the alternator never failed on either. Not the same on my 2001s and 2006 Vulcans. Two of the three failed at around 150k miles. Both of those the brushes and slip rings were the failure points, more specifically the slip rings kill the alternator while brushes could have made 200k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My '02 Lin Cont Alt failed well over 4 hours from home, made 40 minutes on the battery to an exit with a motel so I could stop and call AAA. 47K on the clock. Cost $530 for Alt and well over $100 in motel. Same Alt as DOHC, but not PCM managed. Alt regulator failed 30K miles later. At home so I replaced the regulator and traded the car. A good battery got my Lin to the motel. Weak reserve and I would be beside the road in very hot July day.
My father used to carry a spare Alt in his ~72 Ford dual pickup with diesel. Repeat fail towing a trailer.
As a compare, in hard to replace Alt, I will guess I could change the Alt on my Buick Lucerne in 15 minutes with simple tools. Change the belt in 5 minutes. My Lin cont. 2 hours minimum for the belt, same for Alt. Buick has the Bat under the back seat for minimum heat, vibration and such. And, by the book, if the car is idling and the battery is getting low, it will up the idle to keep the battery charging.
The Lin Cont idling with the A/C working hard/blower on high speed, looses volts as the Alt can not keep up. If the lights were on maybe 15 minutes to dead.


I replaced alt on both my '03 Bulls at ~125K-135K as preventive. DOHC very hard to do. So I got it done when I had time and patience. NEW not rebuild. Seen enough of botched rebuild at the JY. My '03 wagon was over charging = ~15.3V and may explain burned out bulbs. Instrument cluster bulbs all burned out and console bulbs.


So much for my experience.


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My experience has found the failure rate in Vulcan Alts to be higher. Replaced every one of them with the exception of our Ranger which is still original and closing in on 400K
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My experience has found the failure rate in Vulcan Alts to be higher. Replaced every one of them with the exception of our Ranger which is still original and closing in on 400K
Some life issues will likely be related to how hard they have to charge. Hot climates require lots of amps for the blower, fan radiator, and clutch. And that in hot ambient air. Trailer tow adds to that. The day my Lin failed was over 100F and the A/C was running flat out. Where the Alt is located matters. The Lin nested on top between the cylinders.
Old school Alt's had diodes fail but that is mostly a thing of the past.


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Drove my 'o6 500 to 215K before I sold it, never replaced the alternator but did lots of batteries.
 
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