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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, I fixed my own alternator this morning...

After I left my house to go get coffee from the
local WaWa, I had the battery symbol idiot light
come on, really a erratic flashing, it seemed to
be effected by the rpm range some too, and at
some points, it would be steady on...

I looked at the voltmeter, and it was still in the
charging range, but at the bat' light illuminated,
the needle would dive just a tad... I pulled over
and checked the bat' terminals and they were
clean and tight, I also checked the stock bat'
sight window, and it was blue, which means it was
ok too...

Now, I pulled ok the glove box manual for yucks,
and the only thing they wrote under this light was
to contact toyota right away... This was a little
worrisome to say the least.. I am thinking that
this could end up costing some bucks... My thoughts
based on the the symptoms are that the alternator
has gone bad in some way or the regulator was
not distributing the power correctly...

I opened the hood and decided to do a small test
to make sure my guess was right, so I took a can
of brake cleaner, and sprayed though the openings
in the alternator to see if it had any effect, and it
did, the light went out in the dash, but soon came
back on after 10 minutes, but it proved my theory...

Now being that I have used my FJ for offroading, I
knew this wold not be covered by warranty due to
the flash muddy water storms my FJ has seen,
even if it was not related... :D... I did check on the
price for a new alternator just for yucks, $478.05, a
tad bit pricey, But I don't want to just toss that cash
out just yet, so I figured I would pull the alternator
out and disect it a little, so below is the outcome...

First you need to remove the Alternator from the FJ...
To do this, you need to remove the battery wires from
the battery using a 10mm socket or wrench, then use
the same for removing the battery hold downs, and
then remove the battery itself along with the plastic
tray... This needs to be done in order lift the alt' up
through the opening...



Next, remove the two of the push pins holing part
of the rubber flap in the wheel well, one pin in the
shock tower, and one in the frame rail, so you can
access a few of the wire harness bracket bolts...
Then using a 10mm socket to remove the two bolts
from the side of the alt' and one at the side of the
battery mount base, which will allow movement in
the harness necessary for the alt' to have enough
room to get through...



You will also need to remove the wire connections
from the alt', one is a 4 wire connector, which you
need to squeze the tab with your finger to release it
and then unplug it... The second on has a grey round
cover which snaps on, which can be removed by
placing a small flat tip screw driver in one of the slots
and pry slighty to release it, then use a 10mm socket
to remove the nut holding the wire on... You can see
the connection point here below...






Next, using a 10mm socket, remove the engine top
cover so you have room to get release to tensioner
for the serp' belt...



Next, you will need to use a 14mm socket to release
the tensioner for the serp' belt and remove the belt
from the alt' pully... In the pict' below, you can see
the belt stuffed forward near the fan area so you have
room to work... Now use the 14mm socket and remove
the two bolts that hold the alt' in place, these are
both accessed from the front of the alt area, one
towards the bottom and one on top, again, you can
see the two hole locations in the photo below...




Once the bolts are remove, you will need to move
the alt' up and down and wiggle it in and out to get
it free, and maybe use a pry bar between the engine
and the alt, to pry outward a tad... Once it's free,
you can maneuver it upward and out...





MORE IN NEXT POST !...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
THE DISECTION !...

Now, stand the Alt' on it's pully, and remove the three
8mm nuts that retain the black plastic cover from the
back of the Alt', then lift it off...




Now you can see where the brush pack location is
in the middle and the sealed electronic module on
the right, both are brown in color...



Now you will need to remove the brush pack using
a phillip tip screw driver to remove the two small
screws that hold it in place...



Once I took off the brush pack, I knew what the
exact problem was with the altenator... The brushes
are spring loaded to keep them riding against the
shaft, so the current can be transfered from the
shaft to the module...

Here is the brush pack, and notice the brushes are
sticking all the way in the pack housing... When they
are stuck in this position, they cannot make proper
contact with the shaft, so that is the reason I had
the bat' light on in the dash...



Now this is the way they should look, notice how
far the spings outward when they slide freely in
the pack housing...



Notice the fogged plastic cover, this had to be
removed to access the brushes... I did this by
pushing in on the fogged plastic to release it,
and pulling it off with my finger in the center...





I then used some spray brake cleaner to loosen
them up, and then using a small wire to use as a
hook to pull them out... You can see here, where I
put the wire into the hole and pulled outward...
Just be careful not to damage the wires at the
back of the brushes...



Once they were outward, I then sprayed more
cleaner in them to clean out the dirt that was
the cause of this problem... I them coated them
with a thin coat of tune-up grease, and pushing
then in some to lube everything up so they would
spring out on there own...



I then sprayed the entire alt' with brake clean and
used an air compressor to clean it out and clean it
up as much as possible...

After that, I cleaned up the shaft and put a real thin
coat of tune-up grease on the two connection areas
where the brushes make contact...

Although, after the fact, I must say, It is not really
recommend to put this on the armature as it will
allow dirt and such to build up and stick to it...



Now with the brush pack freed up, press the fogged
plastic piece back onto the brush pack... You will then
need to use the wire again, this time straight, to hold
the brushes in while you slide the pack over the shaft...

This is accomplished by sliding it through the hole shown
here...



Now hold the brushes in, and slide the wire up through
the hole till it is through the hole at the other end...



Now place the brush pack back over the shaft, and
put the two screws back in...



Then pull the wire out, which will release the brushes...



Now reinstall the back plastic cover with the three
8mm nuts, and put the alt' back into the truck,
put the serp' belt back on, the wire connection,
the flap, battery, and engine cover...

DONE, Started it up, drove around for a bit, no
light on and the voltmeter shows a steady charge...

I hope this helps someone out... I will be ordering
a new brush pack setup to keep with me at all
times !...

[EDIT]

OK, Just got back from Toyota, and found the part
number for the brush pack and ordered it, so I will
pick it up next week (more then)...

PN: 27370-31220

Now I checked out TRDSparks, and looked for the
same number, and it came back as this note...

Supersession Information - Part number 2737031220
was superseded by part number 273700P020.

Under that part number, they list a hole sortment of
toyotas, with the option to buy it for each vehicle...

I paid $17.25 at my dealer, but TRDSparks listed it as
$14.95... Not a big savings, but if you are ording some
other items, it is worth getting there...

I also checked for the adjoining module, but they
did not list it at toyota or TRDSparks, but I do have
a part number from the part itself, although, I am
unsure just yet where to get the part if needed... I
will send an email to DENSO (mfgr) and check with
them on it... But in most cases your issue is going to
be the brush pack, So it's not bad item to keep in
the Road/Trail Trip Box... :bigthumb:...

Alternator Part No's...


Module Part No's...
 

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Great description and photo documentation Bandi, Thanks.

It is amazing to me that so many of the components on the FJ are really not all that weather/water/grunge resistant.

Now is a good time to replace those 4 pulleys with the NAPA sealed bearing units.

Also, as you already know, electronics or electrical parts cleaner is preferred over brake cleaner when working on electrical components.

DEWFPO
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Great description and photo documentation Bandi, Thanks.

It is amazing to me that so many of the components on the FJ are really not all that weather/water/grunge resistant.

Now is a good time to replace those 4 pulleys with the NAPA sealed bearing units.

Also, as you already know, electronics or electrical parts cleaner is preferred over brake cleaner when working on electrical components.

DEWFPO
Thank You... I finished the Disection post, but I
need to clean up the grammer some... :D...

YES, Elec' Cleaner... I used what I had at the time,
but you are most right... ;)...

I will say, that compared to older Alt's this one is
the simplest to fix, and that is a BIG plus when
this happens on the road...

If this helps one person from not having to dump
hundreds on a new Alternator, I will be HAPPY !...

And who knows, maybe I will get this stickied !...
 

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Nice post! Can you post up the part/purchasing information when you locate a new set of brushes? I'm glad it worked out for you, alternators used to be a major pain in the butt on my '90 Chevy, had to rebuild or replace one every six months for a few years.
 

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Bandi, do you think that this is a common problem affecting alternators in general? I've replaced a few in my lifetime and I know I've never driven through deep water except for the occasional highway puddle.

Being that your FJ is one of the earlier ones, could this have been caused by normal wear and tear and not just because you drove the FJ through deep water?

BTW, that was a nice write up! :cheers:

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nice post! Can you post up the part/purchasing information when you locate a new set of brushes? I'm glad it worked out for you, alternators used to be a major pain in the butt on my '90 Chevy, had to rebuild or replace one every six months for a few years.
I will add the info as soon as I get it, I need to
make a few calls after I look up some more info
on it...

I had a few full sized fords that seemed to be
on the six month plan, but agian, I used to play
a little with them...



Thank you so much. Great write up.
Thanks MUCH... Only took me 3 hours to write
it up, and prolly' only two hours to do the actually
repair... LOL...

NICE JOB Bandi... (brushes will get you every time:))
YESSSssssss !... Almost any problem I had with
my alt's in the past, was due to the brushes...

Bandi, do you think that this is a common problem affecting alternators in general? I've replaced a few in my lifetime and I know I've never driven through deep water except for the occasional highway puddle.

Being that your FJ is one of the earlier ones, could this have been caused by normal wear and tear and not just because you drove the FJ through deep water?

BTW, that was a nice write up! :cheers:

Mike
Yes Mike, it is a common occurrence, it's just that
most people have no idea about them, so they end
up having the hole thing replaced... Now shops will
have to replace the hole thing most times since
they have to guarantee the repair...

Normal dirty puddles on the roads could do this too,
I am not saying this is the cause of all alt' problems,
but it's a good thing to check unless you want to
drop the cash for a new one...

As far as mine... I KNOW I did the damage this time,
no doubt...

THANKS MUCH !...
 

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Great post, Leroy. I had to do the same thing about a year ago, with the exception that I took the two halves of the alternator apart and cleaned EVERY little bit. The entire thing was packed with mud and what looked like straw from when I stuffed my nose in a DEEP mud hole and it sat there until I got a yank out. The battery light came on and eventually the battery died right near my home after a two hour drive to get there. I also used brake cleaner. I have not had an issue to this day. It sure was nice after I got it all back together to see that ithe alternator was charging the battery again :)

Great write up and photos!!

Edit: I have to say, that unlike you, I felt as if I was learning to play the violin in public, as I had no idea what I was doing. A few members on the forum (Dewfpo, 1911, TCao, Matt07FJ) held my hand along the way. This post would have been an immense help to me then, and will be to others in the future.
 

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Great write-up Leroy. I'm sure it will help a few puddle swimmers out there. I've done this a few times myself. I don't think I would have put the dielectric on the armature/brushes though, as it could cause brush wear debris and dirt to gum up the brush assy.
 

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Awesome write-up! I'm sure that I will use this information in the future - you won't find detailed info like this in a Chilton or Clymers repair manual! :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great write-up Bandi; I'm going to ask LC Steve to put it in the Tech section.
I was not sure where to place this, so it went here...
I still need to go through and edit some of this to
be a tad more clear, as I was real tired when I did
it last night and could hardley keep my eyes open,
I am just glad JLam is not here to read it...

Great post, Leroy. I had to do the same thing about a year ago, with the exception that I took the two halves of the alternator apart and cleaned EVERY little bit. The entire thing was packed with mud and what looked like straw from when I stuffed my nose in a DEEP mud hole and it sat there until I got a yank out. The battery light came on and eventually the battery died right near my home after a two hour drive to get there. I also used brake cleaner. I have not had an issue to this day. It sure was nice after I got it all back together to see that ithe alternator was charging the battery again :)

Great write up and photos!!

Edit: I have to say, that unlike you, I felt as if I was learning to play the violin in public, as I had no idea what I was doing. A few members on the forum (Dewfpo, 1911, TCao, Matt07FJ) held my hand along the way. This post would have been an immense help to me then, and will be to others in the future.
Thanks Dragooo'...

If mine were a bit more muddy, I hose it out and/or
would have pulled rest apart and did the full job...
Would be nice to add that part to the reference
above...

I do love having the voltmeter gauge that the FJ's
have, along with the Bat' idiot light, It made a big
difference in the diagnosis of the problem, so I am
impressed by the design Toyota did on this ONE !...

Great write-up Leroy. I'm sure it will help a few puddle swimmers out there. I've done this a few times myself. I don't think I would have put the dielectric on the armature/brushes though, as it could cause brush wear debris and dirt to gum up the brush assy.
You are right, I should not have added on the to
the armature itself, but If it does stop working
again, I should be able to correct this... I will edit
the info above as not to steer people in the wrong
direction... ;)..

Awesome write-up! I'm sure that I will use this information in the future - you won't find detailed info like this in a Chilton or Clymers repair manual! :bigthumb:
Heck' no, chiltons left that part out i believe... I
do however have a CD with repair info for the FJ
that showed the tear down of the Alt'... :D...

Thanks Much...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Steve !... I prolly should have Jlam'd it
a little more... :rofl:...

Well, if I do edit anything, or find some part no's
and places to get them, I will let you know...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's alot of cash'... It would have been a
quick job if it were not for me trying to snap
pictures of each of steps... LOLOL... :rofl:...
 
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