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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA
Posts: 12
Valeo Alternator Break-down

Hi guys

There's a couple inches of snow on the ground this morning so this is the perfect time to get to the bottom of my busted alternator.

This Valeo alternator was sourced by Henry Schmidt at Supertek as part of my engine rebuild a few years ago-- sticker on the alternator says Eagle Auto Electric, which apparently is a parts shop in LA. Other than their horrible reviews on Yelp, I know nothing about them.

Alternator died last week, < 2000 miles on the new motor. To Henry's credit, the 3.2L MFI motor he built off an SC case works wonderfully, even up here at 8000 feet. However, I worry about the longevity of the thing, since just about every electronic part he included in the rebuild has died (refurbished CD box died at 800 miles, alternator now dead at 1800 miles), and so I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, all the while enjoying this beast to be sure.

As an aside the MFI belt sprocket on the driver's side cam shaft also sheared off at about 1000 miles. Definitely learned a few new contortionist poses trying to extract the sheared off bolt out of the cam shaft with the motor in the car... To his credit Henry did comp me a new belt, sprocket and tinware.

Anyway I digress (can you sense the frustration?)-- the alternator. I've never taken apart a broken valeo alternator, so I don't know if this is a typical mode of failure or not, but I thought some people here might find it interesting.

One of the wires connecting the central copper rings on the rotor assembly had completely come off (it fell out of the alternator when I got it over to the bench). If you look at the photos, the wire ripped right through the copper ring and then sheared free at the other end. Not surprisingly the brush that articulates with that copper ring was also broken, the brush spring was nowhere to be found and the solder joint connecting brush to the regulator was also broken-- the lower brush wasn't really connected to anything but was still in the regulator housing).

At this point this doesn't seem like something that could be fixed with good reliability, so I'm just going to get a new (to me) alternator from our host. Based on my research in the forums, it seems like these Valeo's are the way to go, despite my bad luck with this one.

Does anyone have any new or different thoughts? Maybe this was a one-off problem, or maybe the loose wire was overlooked when it was rebuild? Or is this a known problem with these and I should get a Bosch instead?

As always, I'm thankful for the wisdom of the fellow Pelicanites.








Old 09-29-2019, 12:26 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:53 PM
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914-6Werkshop
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Wilmington, DE
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A lot of these parts are 30-40 years old. Get yours rebuilt or buy a new one and keep driving. These cars break down faster from inactivity than from driving.
Old 09-29-2019, 01:51 PM
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I put a new Valeo alt. on my car around 5-6 years ago (15-18K miles) .........no troubles with it so far.
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Old 09-29-2019, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crallt View Post
I hear you. Incidentally I bought one for the daily driver from another SoCal alternator reman (seems to be a lot of them) shop with the same shiny exterior paint as yours but the insides were all trashed including black dirt or soot on the builtin fan if you can believe that. Needless to say, that item has been returned.
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:29 PM
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