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Old 07-24-2005, 08:01   #1 (permalink)
paulmbedard@earthlink.net
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Focus alternator - HELP!

Garage just charged me a lot for a timing belt (2nd), new
radiator,warped head, gasket, etc.
I drove in a ditch to avoid a raccoon, and put a hole in the radiator.
The car is fine now ('cept for the body :+), and no engine lights come
on. NO noises from engine.
It's a 2000 Focus which I HAVE to keep. My wife is a teacher, and
commutes 50 miles a day w/2 kids (Atlanta area)...
on leaving the shop, the owner remarked that it needs an alternator. It
could go today, tomorrow, etc.
Like all good shops, he charges (!), and that's okay, but this seems
like a simple job. He won't let me walk in w/parts, and I aint payin'
$180 for a Pep Boys replacement, even if he agreed to use it. His would
be fine, but probably be $400 parts alone.
Plenty of other shops around, so my plan is to get a salvage one ($80)
plus belt, and let them do it.
Okay, fine, but how difficult is this?
I know it's not as easy as it would be for my '82 Ford pickup.
No dash lights come on.
No noise from engine area.
Now, I'm thinking "leave it alone", but again -
any data, procedures, input appreciated...
btw-DUMPING this car in February and never a Focus again.
The "anti-theft" key and whole repeated experience of having the
ignition and/or shifter lock up makes me crazy.
and the mileage is NOT that good. I'd personally rather have an old
Geo, but happy w/my Honda 650. It gets over 60 mpg, and costs $66 a
YEAR !!!!! total for insurance.
Sorry for the long rant, thanks again for any do-it-yourself-if-have-to
ideas... :+) Paul

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Old 07-24-2005, 08:01   #2 (permalink)
Bob Urz
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Re: Focus alternator - HELP!



paulmbedard@earthlink.net wrote:

> Garage just charged me a lot for a timing belt (2nd), new
> radiator,warped head, gasket, etc.
> I drove in a ditch to avoid a raccoon, and put a hole in the radiator.
> The car is fine now ('cept for the body :+), and no engine lights come
> on. NO noises from engine.
> It's a 2000 Focus which I HAVE to keep. My wife is a teacher, and
> commutes 50 miles a day w/2 kids (Atlanta area)...
> on leaving the shop, the owner remarked that it needs an alternator. It
> could go today, tomorrow, etc.
> Like all good shops, he charges (!), and that's okay, but this seems
> like a simple job. He won't let me walk in w/parts, and I aint payin'
> $180 for a Pep Boys replacement, even if he agreed to use it. His would
> be fine, but probably be $400 parts alone.
> Plenty of other shops around, so my plan is to get a salvage one ($80)
> plus belt, and let them do it.
> Okay, fine, but how difficult is this?
> I know it's not as easy as it would be for my '82 Ford pickup.
> No dash lights come on.
> No noise from engine area.
> Now, I'm thinking "leave it alone", but again -
> any data, procedures, input appreciated...
> btw-DUMPING this car in February and never a Focus again.
> The "anti-theft" key and whole repeated experience of having the
> ignition and/or shifter lock up makes me crazy.
> and the mileage is NOT that good. I'd personally rather have an old
> Geo, but happy w/my Honda 650. It gets over 60 mpg, and costs $66 a
> YEAR !!!!! total for insurance.
> Sorry for the long rant, thanks again for any do-it-yourself-if-have-to
> ideas... :+) Paul
>

Curious, do you put a lot of miles on it? A timing belt should be good
for at least 50/60K miles.

Why did your mechanic tell you your alternator was going to fail?
Unless its making noses or the output was low, i am curious to why
he would tell you that. He did not tell you why?

Next time, hit the raccoon.....

Bob

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Old 07-24-2005, 12:01   #3 (permalink)
Ashton Crusher
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Re: Focus alternator - HELP!

On 24 Jul 2005 06:53:14 -0700, paulmbedard@earthlink.net wrote:

>Garage just charged me a lot for a timing belt (2nd), new
>radiator,warped head, gasket, etc.
>I drove in a ditch to avoid a raccoon, and put a hole in the radiator.
>The car is fine now ('cept for the body :+), and no engine lights come
>on. NO noises from engine.
>It's a 2000 Focus which I HAVE to keep. My wife is a teacher, and
>commutes 50 miles a day w/2 kids (Atlanta area)...
>on leaving the shop, the owner remarked that it needs an alternator. It
>could go today, tomorrow, etc.
>Like all good shops, he charges (!), and that's okay, but this seems
>like a simple job. He won't let me walk in w/parts, and I aint payin'
>$180 for a Pep Boys replacement, even if he agreed to use it. His would
>be fine, but probably be $400 parts alone.
>Plenty of other shops around, so my plan is to get a salvage one ($80)
>plus belt, and let them do it.


If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Esp if you are planning on selling
it in 6 months. The worst that can happen is the alt will go out and
the light will come on. If you have a good battery you can drive many
miles with the light on, probably 50 to 100 miles if you turn off all
the accessories, lights, and AC. And for the cost of the alt you are
thinking of buying you could buy a good "throw in the trunk" emergency
battery-jumper which would let you start the car if the battery is too
low to start it - once it's started you will probably have enough
battery to get home if it's within 10 to 20 miles.


>Okay, fine, but how difficult is this?
>I know it's not as easy as it would be for my '82 Ford pickup.
>No dash lights come on.
>No noise from engine area.
>Now, I'm thinking "leave it alone", but again -
>any data, procedures, input appreciated...
>btw-DUMPING this car in February and never a Focus again.
>The "anti-theft" key and whole repeated experience of having the
>ignition and/or shifter lock up makes me crazy.
>and the mileage is NOT that good. I'd personally rather have an old
>Geo, but happy w/my Honda 650. It gets over 60 mpg, and costs $66 a
>YEAR !!!!! total for insurance.
>Sorry for the long rant, thanks again for any do-it-yourself-if-have-to
>ideas... :+) Paul


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Old 07-24-2005, 18:03   #4 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Re: Focus alternator - HELP!

paulmbedard@earthlink.net wrote

> It's a 2000 Focus which I HAVE to keep. My wife is a teacher, and
> commutes 50 miles a day w/2 kids (Atlanta area)...
> on leaving the shop, the owner remarked that it needs an alternator. It
> could go today, tomorrow, etc.


Doesnt surprise me.. after all you probably told him what happened... and
he is judging you for that.

FIRST!

YOu would endanger your life for a vermin animal?

NEVER EVER EVER swerve to avoid any animal smaller than a deer. And
dodging a deer is useless they are totally unpredictable and quick.

Put the brakes on and stop straight! If you end up hitting it, too bad!
It's called "Darwin in action"!
AND make sure your wife and kids get that in their heads, too.

I dont blame you for the instant reaction... my first wreck involved
dodging a dog. NEVER again. It's only if you do that that twice that
you're an idgit!


SECOND: I doubt very much that guy ran a load test or anything else on
that alternator, he looked at your mileage and saw it was about 140k or a
little more.

And he knows the brushes in the alternator usually go at about that time,
depending.

So call around and see if NAPA or other parts jobber stores have the
replacement brushes for your car's alternator.

It's an easy enough job to replace them, using common torx drivers,
available almost anywhere

Or just ask the guy how much he wants to just do that and check the rear
alternator bearing lube while he's at it.

I'm not familiar with that specific layout but anyone that's ever done it
before should be able to remove the alt, check bearings, replace brushes
and reinstall within an hour.

Google the group and search my name and Alternator in the subject line.

Or just look down the posts, I'll post it again.. been a while.
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Old 07-24-2005, 22:01   #5 (permalink)
paulmbedard@earthlink.net
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Re: Focus alternator - HELP!

Hey - thanks to all of you. Saved me lots of $.
He replaced the timing belt and never asked (144k on odometer) if it
had been done. It was @90k...
NO NOISE from motor, and no warning lights on...

if he ever heard my '82 F-100 pickup!!
It screeches when started, and then runs beautifully until the next
day. I tried belt dressing, pbblaster, 3IN1, etc., but it always
screeches for 4-5 minutes.
The belt is tight, and my warning lights DON'T EVEN WORK!
AGAIN - THANK YOU ALL! :+) paul
p.s. the raccoon was okay, but saw one the next day, same place, kinda
stiff.
It was involuntary, and I just meant to swerve; ran off the road @45
mph onto about a foot of wet grass...
over-corrected, and oh well

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Old 07-25-2005, 07:01   #6 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Re: Focus alternator - HELP!

"paulmbedard@earthlink.net"
> p.s. the raccoon was okay, but saw one the next day, same place, kinda
> stiff.
> It was involuntary, and I just meant to swerve; ran off the road @45
> mph onto about a foot of wet grass...
> over-corrected, and oh well
>
>


Evidently he thought he could ape that squirrel in the insurance
commercial. You know.. like "Jackass"

But now you know.. good training is 'visualization' use brain imagery
about what to do over and over.

Now for a second hint. if you are posting anywhere. modify your name and
id so it cant be copy/pasted into a "TO:" list by spamming program
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