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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #1
So I have reason to believe the bearings in my stock 130A alternator are on their way out; the alternator has been making a strange grinding sound lately, and it vibrates quite a bit if I touch it when the engine is running (no, it's not engine vibrations... the alt vibrates if I spin it by hand with the belt off too). So today I went up to a pull a part and grabbed a 95A alt off a 95. While it seems to work fine and doesn't have the strange grinding sound, it does have a clicking sound (almost sounds like there's an internal component striking the housing or something - not a violent or loud noise though). Not exactly my definition of flawless operation. I don't think it's going to fail on me any time soon, but I'd feel better if it wasn't making any odd noises at all.

So... I was wondering if anybody sells a bearing replacement kit for cheap that I can use to rebuilt my stock 130A alternator. I don't want to have to buy a new alt for $150+ if I can help it... the one I have now works just fine aside from the bearings.
 

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Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #3
Blast, if I'm going to need a press to get the old bearings out/new in, I guess I'm stuck with buying another one then. Thanks for the reply.

(Yes, I'm English :D)
 

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Hammer out the old bearings, use a large bolt and a couple of different sized sockets to pull the new bearing back in.

Socket against the outside face, alternator case, bearing, socket against only the outer race, large washers, and a large bolt thru the middle; tighten to place bearing.

Just don't put any pressure on the inner part of the bearing, only the outer race.

You can get large bolts to size at a Lowe's or Home depot; if it breaks a 3/8" bolt trying to put it in, something is wrong, lol. :)

So far, I've only needed a press for the rear wheel bearings.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, I cracked open the old one and it looks like the slip ring end bearing is right. However I couldn't quite figure out the best way to brace the armature from spinning so I could loosen the nut on the pulley to get the drive end bearing out, which is the one that's giving me trouble... any tips?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Any tips for getting the nut off using conventional hardware? I don't have an impact wrench... but if there really isn't any way that it can be done I suppose I could go buy one. I'd still be ahead of myself buying the tools and bearings than I would be buying a new/used/rebuilt alternator from someone else.
 

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Outside of using an impact, maybe one of those strap wrenches wrapped around the pulley would hold it tight enough. I'm speaking of those 'wrenches' that are merely a strap of thick rubber or rubberized nylon that pass through a handle. The handle jams the two ends of the strap together to hold round or oddly shaped objects.

I've never tried this, but those things can grip pretty well. Maybe that would work outside of the obvious use of an impact. This would obviously be easiest if the alternator were in a vise or better yet still on the motor.

Honestly, unless I were really strapped for cash at the time, I would just buy a new or remanufactured alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm thinking I'm probably just going to end up buying a used/reman. I went up and bought an impact wrench earlier this morning and it didn't work for the alternator, so I just returned it and called it a day.
 

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So you have the alternator case open?

Can you put the armature in a vise; such that the windings or connections don't get damaged, or the armature faces bent? All you have to do is keep it from rotating, it doesn't need to be real tight in the vise.

Another possibility is the strap wrench that was mentioned above; you can wrap it around the armature, if you're careful, and use it to hold it still.

I'd go look for a really good strap wrench that will fit; these shouldn't be too much. Steel, not plastic for the handle, lol. You know how tight that is.
 
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