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Discussion Starter #1
Wesley Snipes really let me down today. Yesterday I got him registered and all that remained to get him legally on the road was a state inspection. SHOZ123 sent me the tune files I needed to program the PCM and clear the SES light. Programmed the car, let it idle for about 10 minutes, went for a spin.... and about 5 miles from the house, after a couple WOT blasts, the battery light came on. I made it home, tested voltage, and it's not charging. Checked all connections. The alternator casing was quite warm. I guess it didn't like 7000rpm.

:angryfire: :angryfire: :angryfire:


So, while I had the hood up, I started working on the Big 3. Installed a heavy duty headlight harness too.
 

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You probably have about 5 laying around don't you?
Or are you gonna buy another cam failed SHO

Mike
:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You probably have about 5 laying around don't you?
Or are you gonna buy another cam failed SHO

Mike
:dunno:
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I've gotta get at least one working before I buy a 3rd :p The '96 SHO had a new alternator installed just before the cam failed. My luck, it will fail immediately after fixing the head.

Today's trouble is one of the days you wish you could crawl back into bed, wake up, and magically start the day over. I was really stoked when I received Paul's tune files. I got to hear the sound of a Yamaha V8 at 7000rpm only twice. I wouldn't be so pissed if replacing the alternator was as easy as it is on an old Chevy...
 

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Let me know if you need some help

Mike
:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I purchased a reman'd unit from Rock Auto tonight. I don't feel like waiting for the seller of the first alternator to get back to me. Saw an interesting tech tip sheet, Top 10 Alternator Problems and Solutions

Number 4 on the list is missing ground strap. I wonder if the puny ground strap from the firewall to the back of the engine is part of the problem. I guess I should have completed the Big 3 first. :glare:
 

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I noticed the ground strap on mine was looking like it was almost going to bust.. :dunno: Engine has good grounding though.. Probably change that one of these days.
 

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There's been some discussion lately on the V8 list about why the alternators fail so often on these cars. Paul believes (and I agree) that the heat from the exhaust manifold drys out the rear bearing. If you look at the back of the alternator, you'll see that everything is soldered in - it seems that many rebuilders don't want to replace the back bearing because of the pain it is to resolder everything. I've had freshly rebuilt alternators with bad rear bearings.

You can get some aluminized reflective barrier and put that in between the alternator and exhaust manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I inspected the ground strap today. It's a bit rusty at the firewall. I'm going to remove it completely and improve the ground wires. I would think the ground wire at the starter is sufficient enough to not cause this problem, but a couple more can't hurt.

I like the reflective barrier idea. I'll see what I can dig up and make sure the next alternator doesn't fail so quickly.

Rock Auto called me this morning to let me know they can not order my alternator... out of stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I got the old (brand new!) alternator out... still waiting for the replacement to arrive. Delayed in shipping (thank you x-mas!) Anyway, it is a PITA to remove, but with Paul's instructions it was fairly straight forward.

Disconnect battery

Pull the passenger side cowling off and remove the top bolt for the alternator.

Take off tire, sway bar link and loosen strut.

Take off the hard brake line bracket at that holds the brake line to the fender.

Support the car at the back rails behind the subframe. Lower the subframe on the pass side about 3". I usually take the bolts out then thread them back in 3 turns.

Then take off the 10mm bolt that holds the cable on, take off the field power plug and remove the other two mounting bolts. [/b]
Continued thanks to Paul for the knowledge he's imparted upon me.

I disconnected the sway bar link at the sway bar (bottom end). Disconnected the tie rod end from the knuckle. Lowered the two subframe bushing bolts on the right side about 2" (the front bolt and nut are visible through a small hole in the frame, I loosened the bolt until the threads were no longer visible, contained within the nut). Once it's unbolted, it required some Rubix Cube / Tetris like rotating until I found the perfect position for it to slide out.

I hauled the alternator across the street to O'Reilly's Auto Parts and had it tested. Failed 6 times. I still have trouble accepting a NEW alternator died after about 80 miles. :angry: The mechanic's book time list this job at 2.5 hours... that's $200 in labor around here!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I don't think it should take 2.5 hours for someone familiar with the car. It took me about 45 minutes to get the old one out, kinda fumbling my way through it and looking at other stuff at the same time.

I ran a second Alt - Bat (+) wire (used from a wrecked Vulcan Wagon). I did the same thing on my '99 a few years ago. Works great because the wire is already cut to length and has the correct terminals already attached. I'll improve the wire from the battery to the mega fuse as well.

I took the hood off for mods :ph34r: pics to come.
 

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There are a couple things worse to deal with on the V8 SHO. One is the ABS pump. Two is the alternator bracket on the back if you need to take the head off. The thing is held on by about 7 difficult to get to long bolts. And the stupid bracket is cast iron and weights ~8 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah, I'm going to need a pic of that where it's not a black hood against a black background at night without a flash..... ;)
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lol... dimly lit workshop at night, cell phone "flash", auto focus wouldn't work because the hood is dulled from sanding. A couple of the cowl louvers aren't lined up that well, but I really don't care. The idea is to extract heat from the rear bank. I'm gonna paint is satin black for now (Rustoleum FTW!). The car might get a new gloss black paint job next year. The hood had some visible overspray from what appears to be a left front fender repair. Also, the hood skeleton has a rust hole about 3" in diameter... junk AFAIC... and an excuse to stamp louvers :D


That alternator / engine mount bracket would be a pain to remove in car. It's almost a pain to install out of car.
 

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I still say you guys should wrap the rear exhaust manifold and see if that cuts down the problems back there.

Mike
B)
 

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Removing the SAI and EGR systems does quite a bit to reduce heat around the rear bank by improving airflow tremendously. It's also common to remove the weatherstripping on the back of the hood to allow for airflow.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I got the new one installed this afternoon. So far it's working like it's supposed to. Funny thing is, the replacement looks like a rebuilt while the first one looks brand new... whatever... I don't give a hoot as long as the bastard works. I ran the car through the paces with several WOT blasts down the backroads.... no problems yet.

The car is gonna stay like this until I get the hood finished and verify the replacement ALT is working (at least another 100 miles).
 
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