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Red face Voltage Regulator

Hey Guys, My car's electricity flickers once or twice per second when at idle, so it seems like I need a new regulator.

First, how can I tell if I also need a new alternator? and Second, the best price i found for a new regulator is $51 from pap-parts ... does anyone know if I can get it for cheaper?

Thanks

------------------
Lock Stock '84 944 and two smokin' tires ...

Old 06-04-2001, 08:26 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ehab:
Hi Ehab hey before you spring for the big bux try removing the voltage regulator otherwise called the brush holder from the rear of the alternator and check your brushes if they are worn then you might have found the problem NAPA has new brushes for 6 bux they are made by Echlin pn# E455 you will need to do some soldering to replace the brushes ......it takes about 1 hr to replace em if you have a soldering iron, remember to disconnect the battery B4 you remove the brush holder......Stan
Old 06-04-2001, 09:50 PM
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Thanks Stan, so the voltage regulator is a circuit that also holds the brushes? I will look into it tomorrow.

How should the brushes look like?
E
Old 06-04-2001, 09:59 PM
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here is a little trick i picked up racing electric r/c cars. go to you local r/c hobby store and pick up a bottle of trinity power comm drops and trinity buggy blast or similar products. when you take out the voltage regulator put a few drops on the ends of each of the brushes. let the drops soak in for a bit. next, its a bit tricky, roll some fine sandpaper like a shape of a pencil long enough to reach down the channel for the brushes on the alternator. spin the alternator by hand while pushing in the sandpaper. what you are doung is polishing the alternator commutator. do it untill you see the commutator polished. next with the buggy blast spray down into the channel to clean out any debris. let it dry for about 10 min. take the voltage regulator and put a few more drops on each of the brush ends and reinstall it into the alternator. it works. it will boost up significantly the amperage and slightly the voltage. downside, it lasts for only about 3 months then you have to do it again. i did it to my 944 a few months ago. try it
Old 06-04-2001, 10:06 PM
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Well if I can completely replace the brushes with new ones, I would probably get a longer-term result. And being an engineer myself, I have all the tools to solder the brushes back on. If all fails, I guess I can always go for a new regulator.

Asidrave, did you remove the air box to get to the regulator, or did you go under the car?

E
Old 06-04-2001, 10:36 PM
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Stan, I searched the NAPA website for the part number E455, but there was nothing found!!! Could you double check for me please.

Also, have any of you replaced your alternator, there are many brands to replace the original bosch, the duralast costs around 200 brand new, whereas the bosch is $350 remanufactured!!! How do you know when you need a new Alternator?

Old 06-04-2001, 10:42 PM
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i removed the alternator from underneath the car
Old 06-04-2001, 11:53 PM
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Okay, so I call the guys at Pap-parts, and the guy I talked to tried to convince me that my problem is most probably in the alternator armature or drive-mechanism, which implies the need for a new alternator ...

When you guys replaced the regulators/brushes, what were the symptoms, and did they go away?

Thank you.
Old 06-05-2001, 07:11 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ehab:
Hi Ehab the part you will be looking for is part # E455 made by Echlin now it might not be in a common file I had the parts man look it up in his elex book otherwise we would not have found it anyway the most common problem of the alternator is the brushes wearing down once they wear down enough then they will not make good contact with the armature and thus cause and intermittant power supply, B4 you pop for a new alternator try to do the brush thing first.
I am betting that the parts man want you buy a new unit but the alt in the car is a robust unit and if you do a lil detective work you will save yourself a lot of cash, also if the diodes are suspect then take the alt to a repair shop they will check your diodes and probably want to sell you new brush holder/voltage regulator.

Now there are a few more tests you can perform on the alternator one to check for continuity in the armature I believe this is explained in the Haynes manual, also the possibility that you might have a burned out diode the diodes are split in other words there might be 6 or 8 diodes half for positve and half for negative they will only let electricity flow in one direction and to test them easily put a charge meter on the battery with the engine running and see what kind of charge your getting if it is around 12.6 to 13.2 then it indicates a charge but not enought this means that atleast one of the diodes is cooked a healthy charge is indicated by 13.4 to 14.7, remember that the alternator must put out more than the battery to charge it, now if you find out that you have a low charge state then to find out the culprit disassembly of the alt is required.
Now a few things to keep in mind it is a good Idea to disconnect the battery when you charge it as a hi power charger will cook a diode in a second, next also a good idea not to give someone a jump from your car this can possibly short or spike the DME or the alt and finally keep the battery posts clean and dry I cover my battery with an old coolant jug just cut out one side and put it on top of the battery this will keep rain and car washes off the top the battery.....Stan
Old 06-05-2001, 08:09 AM
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Stan, I took out the brushes from the alternator, and they look like they could be worn, but I'm not sure, the inner one is about 1cm long, and the outer one is a little shorter ... are they usually longer????

I sanded both tips and the other contact points and put everything back together and the car works like before.

I also called the guy at NAPA and he said he does not carry alternator brushes at all!!!!

Thanks for the help.
Old 06-05-2001, 01:27 PM
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When my alternator died, my symptoms were no charging, thus the car eventually died. When I discovered it was the VR, I looked at pepboys and napa and the likes. Cheapest price was about $60. There were cheaper ones, but no one had them. I finally went to an independant starter and alternator place (New Mexico Starters and Alternators). The guy had the part in stock and it cost me a whopping $12. Since it came with new brushes already inside it, I thought I had done pretty good. Turns out, the part is a very common bosch regulator.

Good luck and go independant.

Dave
Old 06-05-2001, 02:23 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Dave951:
Thats sounds like a great price Dave, anyhow for Ehab you need to go to the main NAPA store in town and have him look up in his parts book to find the part the # I gave is correct the brushes will stick out atleast half an inch when new, if your calling the NAPA store then they will not be found in the puter, he has to look them up in the Echlin book, now if there is not a main Napa ( this is the one that all the other NAPA stores get their parts from) where you live, and the guy is not willing to help I dont know what else to say but take the brush holder to another parts store or go to a rebuilder of starters and alternators they will have the brushes, or maybe Dave951 can assist you by the way I taped the flap with the part #of the brushes to my Haynes manual so i know the # I am sending you is correct.....and i know NAPA has them ...did you get the guy to put this # into his system ?,by the way NAPA has changed suppliers so I think the new name is standard parts but the part I got is made by Echlin..........Stan
Old 06-05-2001, 02:37 PM
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Ehab, I would be happy to get one for you from this place. All I would need is the Bosch part number on your VR.

Dave
Old 06-05-2001, 02:48 PM
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Thanks Dave, unfortunately, I didn't get the part number when I took it out ... is it really necessary? I have an early 84 944, and I know that the alternator is 90 amp ...

I live in boston, do you think I can have similar luck if I look around here?

Otherwise, I would really love to get the part through you, even if it means taking out my old one again to get the part number.

Old 06-05-2001, 03:10 PM
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This voltage regulator is a common Bosch part, and there are several quality aftermarkets available as well....Once you get it out, call some alternator shops in your area...I found one for $20 in stock at a diesel shop that rebuilds alternators...Most parts houses want $55 and up for the same thing...I replaced the one on my 951....what a PAIN!!!!!....good luck...Cus
Old 06-06-2001, 08:04 PM
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Cus, this was my exact experience, except most of my quotes were more like $80. I ended up getting the part for my 951 for just over $13 from the place I mentioned. Stuff like this cracks me up. It reminds me of hearing about people buying the infamous cheesehead CV bolts at $2 a piece?!? I do an entire axle for $2(12 bolts). Having the internet sure helps in the search for good prices, but sometimes nothing beats a little shop.

Dave

Old 06-06-2001, 10:41 PM
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