Cleaning Alternator

rdm1952

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The alternator on my 71 Mach is very dirty from years of neglect. What is the best thing to clean it with? Also how are most of you doing them, painting them or leaving them as is just cleaned? Thanks for any input.

 

woodsnake

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I have the same problem on my 69 Cougar, the alternator is just gross looking, now that the rebuilt engine is in the bay. I haven't decided if I just want to buy a new one, or try and use carb cleaner, paint thinner, or something else. I think as long as it doesn't get submerged and soaked, almost anything would be OK. Even simple green or some other cleaner, brushed onto the grimy spots....

 

Don C

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I think that anything you find that is strong enough to clean the outside of the alternator has a real potential of damaging the electrical internal components.

You might try something like a brass bristle brush or steel wool. The best way is to remove, disassemble, and media blast and then​ clear coat it. Another way would be to soak it in carburetor cleaner. Or, you can sand it down, polish it, and clear coat it.

 
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There are special sprays for electrical components. That and a wire brush should work. You can actually use simple green and water, just make sure it is really dry before using it. Blow it out with an air compressor if you do this route. If you want to be really cautious rinse it with distilled water and blow it out will compressed air.

This is all done off the car, don't do this while it is connected to the electrical system.

 

Bentworker

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I'd say pull it off and take it apart. You really don't want to contaminate the stator, brushes and bearings.

I've never taken one apart, but I have pulled apart several Delco 10si units that were in a lot of General Motors. Take some photos, pull the case apart, the stator stays with the back half of the case 99% of the time. Remove the stator and diodes, then mask the case well and media blast it. You can probably get a rebuild kit cheap from Rock Auto. The only special tool you should need is a WD40 straw to use as a brush retainer. When you pull the rotor out of the back half the brushes spring out of the holders. Before you put it back together you insert the brushes, then push the plastic straw through the small hole in the back half of the alternator to retain the brushes while assembling. Once you get it together remove the straw and the brushes spring into place

 
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