Saturday, December 7, 2013

Alternator Reassembly

I got the alternator mostly reassembled today.  With temps still in the single-digits or teens (Fahrenheit), it was nice to have an indoor project.

I had intended to replace the drive-side bearing, but I couldn't press the rotor free of its housing to replace the bearing, so I left well enough alone.  I'll be satisfied to replace the rectifier (a.k.a. diode pack), voltage regulator, and brushes.  Here's the entire top of the reassembled alternator, with the new voltage regulator on the left, the new brushes on top of the slip ring cover in the center, and the rectifier at right.
Everything went back into the alternator in pretty obvious ways.  I didn't even need to consult my photos of the alternator taken during disassembly.  (The one exception was making sure I got the wire connections right on the slip ring cover, for which I drew myself a picture.)  Everything else fit together like a puzzle.  Even the stator leads engage the rectifier diode leads in obvious ways.
Rectifier installation involves soldering the leads from the three stator coils onto the diode leads on the rectifier.  Certainly the trickiest and most skilled step of the whole process - but just a couple of fairly large solder joints, after all.  I am not particularly skilled with a soldering iron, but I'm capable of this, at least.
And like that, the alternator is (theoretically) reassembled.  I'll wire-brush and paint the alternator fan and pulley before reassembling everything, because they're a bit rough-looking.  And then we'll hook everything together and see if the smoke stays in the darned thing this time.  I have high hopes....

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