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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
91 EGT, 74,000 miles. Ok, when I started the car up the alternator belt snapped, and that was the last thing I needed to rip it out and replace it. The noise I heard sounded like a bad alternator bearing, so I figured it was going bad, and that's also what I was smelling because I sniffed around and the strongest smell came from near the alternator (again, could anything else make a whining/whistling/howling noise and make a burnt smell near the alternator?). The Haynes manual makes it look so easy... pull off a splash guard, remove the top bolt, disconnect the wires, jack up the car, remove the bottom bolt and pull the alternator out the hole created by removing the splash guard... HA HA HA. The top bolt went easy. The wiring was a pain in the ass... it was so hard to push two metal clips in and pull out the plug at the same time with only a few inches of menuvering space. Then, the splash guard. There were 7 or 8 screws to take out, and 2 of the heads snapped off in the process. This gave me more room to work, but it certainly did NOT give me room to pull the alternator out. So, I removed the top bracket completely (allowing for room to push the alternator up and turn it). To get the alternaor loose from the bottom bracket, I had to put a pipe end against the alternator and the other end on the jack, and then jack the pipe up and push the alternator free. When it was free, I saw the only way to get it out would be to move the engine or move the exhaust. This was tough because I just had a really nice new exhaust system put in with stainless pipes, a flex pipe and a nice weld job. I had to unclamp a pressure joint and ruin a gasket. This let the alternator slowly but surely wiggle out. The installation was the reverse process. Every car I've owned needed a new alternator, and every one has gotten more and more challenging.

Here's the real bear though. Now the whining noise that I heard before is louder and more prominent! What the heck could this be? Its higher pitched too, like a whistle. I havent had time to see if the smell has gone away or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess. It was making more of a bearing noise though before, so I think it was a good idea to get it out of the way. Can anyone possibly think of what is making a whistling noise from this area? It is definitely louder by the alternator, so I dont think it can be the water pump or crankcase pulley or anything like that.
 

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Noise problems are sometimes dificulate to locate. I understand your problems on changing the aternator, I agree, mfrs are putting these in places where they are very hard to change. I had a Dodge omni, the alternator was under the A/C compressor, you had to pull all that aside to change the alternator. I never did it my self, I took it to a guy who had rubber hands and some pretty weird looking tools, and lots of experience doing the job. Sometimes its just better that way to have somebody else do the work, that is if they dont mess up your car in the process. On the noise, I wonder if your alternator is under heavy load for some reason, if it is it may make a noise you describe. one thing you can try is have the battery checked for a dead cell or what ever, even try a replacement battery if you can find one to swap to test. Make sure the belt is on correctly, and the alternator lines up with the other pullys. I dont know how hard it would be to do it, but if you can pull the belt off the alternator and run the car, see if the noise is still there with out the alternator running. I never worked on a car of same make and model as yours so I am only making general assumptions. As far as checking the alternator first, changing it totally was the best bet anyway. Hope you find the problem.
Joe
 

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I've noticed this phenomenon as well. It used to be that the alternator was in the easiest to get to spot, and now the A/C compressor is. I'm not sure why, as alternators seem to be a wearing part and/or go bad at a fairly high rate where as I've never replaced an A/C compressor.

I even complained to a few manufacturers about this, telling them to swap the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, the newer the car, the harder it's been to change it's alternator. The simple fact is, though, that I've eventually had to change the alternator in every single car I've ever owned. I could've changed the a/c compressor on them all too, but when those die, I just pull the belt and let 'em rot because I can live without a/c, but it's a pain in the ass to drive a car with no alternator.

The noise went away when I pulled the belt off the alterntor. I will check the load by swapping batteries. I can't imagine that the belt isn't lined up or that it's on the pulley wrong because 2 seperate alternators with 2 seperate belts have made the same noise. Furthermore, it's a wedge belt and pretty hard to not install correctly. I don't see how it could line up wrong because it is a simple layout ant the alternaotr bolts on to a very tight and specific place. I dont think I even have a belt tensioner. I set the tension by tilting the alternator back or forward and then tightening the bolt. I cant see how that mechanism would go bad or make a noise.
 

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KingPudah1979 said:
Yeah, the newer the car, the harder it's been to change it's alternator. The simple fact is, though, that I've eventually had to change the alternator in every single car I've ever owned.
On my 1984 EGT I changed it 7 times!

That's what happens when your not picky about where you buy your parts! The NAPA alternator worked best, as I was idleing at 14 Volts, however the one that lasted the longest was from a junkyard and already had 90,000 miles on it. Some of the Pep Boys / Trak Auto / Advance Auto / Auto Zone alternators lasted anywhere from 30 seconds to a month.
 

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At least with a new alternator you have eliminated one possible source of the noise. May I suggest looking at the power steering pump and the a/c pulley. The a/c is in such a spot that it readily picks up dirt and debris. A relatively simple problem would be the idler pulley. Give'em a try.

Hope that helps :D

Matt 8)
 

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I like the line of thinking of the idler pulley. but check one other thing too - the darn plastic timing cover. Mine would warp out on the the car warmed up when I got the car and I couldn't figure out what was making this annoying noise. Turns out that the water pump pulley was rubbing the plastic and making a goofy noise. If I took the belt off the pulley didn't turn and the noise went away. talk about fun. There is a way to determine if the alternator is indeed making noise the noise. If you happen to have a large collection of old belts, find one that is just long enough to go from the crank pulley to the alternator. put it on (notice you are skipping the water pump.) and see if the noise is still there. If not, then the alternator is not to blame. To check the water pump, I have done the same thing using an old pair of nylons so everything else was out of the loop.
 

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This has nothing to do with the alternater noies, but as far as noises in general are concerned, we all know they are hard to figure out where they are comming from, I know that has all been said befor but when you are looking for a noise always keep checking out the alternatives as to what it could be. I have a dodge 2.5 in a van, I bought the van used, it made a sound like it was crushing rocks when idling, I thought for sure it was some kind of engine bearing or idler bearing, I had it checked out by a couple of people and they gave me their opnion. both said the water pump, so I had the water pump changed at a trusted mechanics shop I go to, after I also asked them what it may be. They all were right, it was the water pump. I heard pumps squiek and make all kinds of different noises, but not like crushing rocks, so I learned from that one. On my 94 Escort, I hear a kind of muffled poping noise at idle and under light acceleration, I cralled under ther car last night with it Jacked up and listned to it run, Heard the noise, but I couldnt pin point anything, but the only thing I can figure out is that its the firing of the cylinders into the exaust system which gives out that noise. I didnt care to rest my ear up against the "catholic converter" to listen close for the noise, it gets a little warm I understand .I only have 26000 miles on the car and havent spent much time with it, so I noitce that little stuff and it bugs me. The car runs fine so I guess I should be happy.
Joe
 
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