Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » December 21st 2015, 9:16pm

I had to replace the alternator on my Astro.
1. Got a rebuilt from Autozone, put it on and the headlights flicker, the voltmeter flickers, it has to have a bad diode.
2. Got a replacement rebuild, it doesn't work at all.
3. Got another replacement rebuild, yay it works!
4. Kinda. Every so often this alternator goes up to ~20 volts. I shut the van off start it, shut it off, start it... after a dozen or so iterations it's back to normal.
5. But it's intermittent, most of the time it's okay, just that occasionally it goes into 'let's fry the electronics' mode.
To my way of thinking about the only thing that could cause this is a bad regulator, in other words I need a new alternator. Is there anything else that could cause this?
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby RECox286 » December 21st 2015, 9:57pm

You will find that Delco alternators have a built-in regulator. Quit fooling with aftermarket rebuilds from the "discount" stores and

find a real automotive electric shop that does their own rebuilds, OR, look for a real, new, not fooled with, unit. I always delt with an

independant (once found not dismissed) who always wasn't the cheapest, but always supplied the best in services and hardware.

I suggest you do the same.

Uncle Bob
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby Zebediah III » December 22nd 2015, 12:01am

Voltage above 15.5 is where the ECM gets damaged.
Big mega chain Chairman Mao parts stores have big
discounts and sell junk. You will get plenty of parts-changing
practice. I feel your pain. Good parts are getting hard to
find. I have had good luck with new made in Mexico alternators.
Napa has them. Car Quest did have them, but they were bought
by Chariman Mao Discount People's Republic Auto Parts. Napa
will be gone in a couple years. If you buy online ask lots of
questions like "country of manufacture". If they won't answer,
don't buy anything from them. Your vehicle, and peace of mind
is only *** good as the parts you put on it, and THAT is the
dilema anymore.
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby timothy47130 » December 22nd 2015, 12:57am

Welcome to my world. Nothing is ever easy when I work on a vehicle. The simple fixes always end up taking 2x longer. And for some reason the difficult fixes always seem to go faster than they should. :confused:

Back on a serious note. Have you checked all your grounds? A bad ground wire connection will cause all kinds of crazy crap to happen. It might be worth a look.

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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » December 22nd 2015, 2:50am

My van is pretty clean, no rust (it's an El Paso vehicle), very little dirt, and I do all of my own maintenance, so I can vouch for most of it. But I will double check it. I went ahead and ordered a new ACDelco alternator from Amazon, $187, and my local AutoZone said they would take their rebuilt alternator back and give me a refund.
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby AstroWill » December 22nd 2015, 3:03am

andrew678122 wrote:no rust (it's an El Paso vehicle), very little dirt


Little dirt, ELP is one giant dust ball. You only drive it in tunnels down there or what? LOL Buy your filters cheap on RA in bulk :)

I put ~80,000miles on my last Autozone rebuilt alternator so I can't say anything bad about them, and it's still going. But 3 'bad' in a row would have me worried, or it's something else...

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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » December 22nd 2015, 3:43am

Yeah it is very dusty, but the wind blows it away. And it sandblasts the cars, cleans off dirt, paint, and the top layer of metal...

Re the alternators, the failure mode was different in each...
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby Mmusicman » December 22nd 2015, 4:09am

The last alternator I bought (from Pepboys) I had to special order, and when it arrived it wouldn't even spin (new in box). The 2nd unit was fine. Labor to change only took 5 minutes, but several drives back and forth cost me about an hour.
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » December 25th 2015, 8:31pm

I got my new alternator, but it's a little different from the one I took off. It's a bit bigger in diameter, pulley is slightly smaller, etc. I put it on knowing that it was a little different, I didn't realize how different until I went to put the belt on. It was a bear getting it on, and the spring loaded tensioner is just about at the limit of it's travel. I think the alternator they gave me is the 145 amp instead of the original 105 amp. The connector comes out the side instead of the back (actually better).

Anyone know what serpentine belt I need? I'd think a belt an inch longer would do but I'm not sure...
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby AstroWill » December 25th 2015, 8:41pm

You can measure it yourself, but an inch EDIT: LONGER should help a lot. You definitely don't want it too tight.

BTW, they have a white 3rd gen over at LKQ if you need any 3rd gen specific stuff.
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » December 25th 2015, 9:46pm

AstroWill wrote:You can measure it yourself, but an inch shorter should help a lot. You definitely don't want it too tight.

BTW, they have a white 3rd gen over at LKQ if you need any 3rd gen specific stuff.

LKQ???
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby Corsemoto » December 25th 2015, 10:09pm

The 2005 Astro alternator is slightly different from previous years. The alternator with the connector at the back was probably correct for your 2005, previous years had the side connector but they are both AD230 alternators so not sure what, if any difference other than housing/connector location. They are 4-pin on the alternator but two-pin plugs.

The AD244 would be bolt-in higher output 145 amp alternator and usually has larger pulley. There are some threads here that use that alternator and mention different belts that work.

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=14522&hilit=belt+length
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby AstroWill » December 25th 2015, 11:51pm

andrew678122 wrote:
AstroWill wrote:BTW, they have a white 3rd gen over at LKQ if you need any 3rd gen specific stuff.

LKQ???

Guess you don't visit your local junk yards. They are having a 40% off sale the 1st to the 3rd.

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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby Mmusicman » December 25th 2015, 11:57pm

andrew678122 wrote:Anyone know what serpentine belt I need? I'd think a belt an inch longer would do but I'm not sure...

Part numbers typically correlate to the length. Should be easy to go up one size.

Dayco for my 2000 is: 5060870 (87.0" belt)
Dayco... 1/2" longer: 5060875 (87.5" belt)
Dayco... 1" longer is: 5060880, (88.0" belt)

See the pattern. This is just an example... but most belts follow similar part numbering schemes.
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » December 26th 2015, 12:20am

AstroWill wrote:
andrew678122 wrote:
AstroWill wrote:BTW, they have a white 3rd gen over at LKQ if you need any 3rd gen specific stuff.

LKQ???

Guess you don't visit your local junk yards. They are having a 40% off sale the 1st to the 3rd.

My local Junque Yarde is on Montana, and it has been a few months, maybe 6 even. The last time I went through there I looked at every Astro/Safari they had and pulled off everything I could think of...
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby AstroWill » December 26th 2015, 12:24am

andrew678122 wrote:
AstroWill wrote:Guess you don't visit your local junk yards. They are having a 40% off sale the 1st to the 3rd.

My local Junque Yarde is on Montana, and it has been a few months, maybe 6 even. The last time I went through there I looked at every Astro/Safari they had and pulled off everything I could think of...


LKQ is on Montana, 13200 Montana Avenue El Paso, Texas 79938

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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » December 26th 2015, 12:43am

AstroWill wrote:
andrew678122 wrote:
AstroWill wrote:Guess you don't visit your local junk yards. They are having a 40% off sale the 1st to the 3rd.

My local Junque Yarde is on Montana, and it has been a few months, maybe 6 even. The last time I went through there I looked at every Astro/Safari they had and pulled off everything I could think of...


LKQ is on Montana, 13200 Montana Avenue El Paso, Texas 79938

Maybe that's what I need to do, go to some more junkyards and see if I can find a Tiger there and rip out all the good bits...
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby Mmusicman » December 26th 2015, 12:43am

andrew678122 wrote:LKQ???

Got them here all over Florida too.
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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby AstroWill » December 26th 2015, 1:27am

andrew678122 wrote:LKQ is on Montana, 13200 Montana Avenue El Paso, Texas 79938

Maybe that's what I need to do, go to some more junkyards and see if I can find a Tiger there and rip out all the good bits...[/quote]

As a proud owner of a Tiger, and a frequent visitor of junk yards, I can pretty much guarantee that you are more likely to get struck by lightning in a cave then to find a Tiger in the JY there. They do have a couple of RVs that you can look at, pretty tore up though.

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Re: Replace the alternator, it should be such a simple job

Postby andrew678122 [OP] » December 26th 2015, 5:19am

I usually go to Pull-a-part but I'll give LKQ a shot. I would love to find a pop-top I could re-purpose... I'll wear my rubber boots...

My son said he'd give me a lift to AutoZone tomorrow am so I'll get a belt and be back on the road...
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