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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting a squeaking sound from the alternator/belt area--sprayed on some belt desqueaker and the noise persists, this is likely an indication of the alternator bearings going out. I'm in an extremely tight spot financially right now ($3 in the bank, 1/8th tank of gas, 1/4th inches of brake pads, a pizza delivery job, and 1K+ bills) and am wondering if this alternator is a type that it's possible to get rebuilt instead of replaced and about how much this would run...
 

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140 Posts
My experience is that it's cheaper and easier to just get a used one from an autowrecker. Usually 30 - 90 day warranty replacement. I've only had to return one out of about a dozen or so I've bought this way over the years.

As a temporary fix you might try removing the belt and turning the alternator by hand to make sure that's it. See if it squeaks or wobbles or feels rough as you spin it. Try spraying lubricant directly at the bearing in behind the pulley and even through the vent holes in the front of the alternator - not too much, just a thin spray accurately pointed. This may extend it's life till you can afford to replace it.

BTW I've never actually just replaced the alternator bearing but I assume that's an option too with the proper puller, etc.
 

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How is your belt tension? Belt dressing won't do anything if the belt not tight enough.

Keep in mind that adjuster can be rusted (I wound up replacing the adjuster bolt on mine after finding out), so heat it with a propane torch first.

If it IS the bearing, it's possible to pull it apart and replace the bearing really cheap (I'm talking around 5-20 bucks).
 

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TIEyota fighter ace
AE101, TE72
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1,943 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The timing belt just got changed about 7-8K miles ago. At one point it was making a horrid squealing sound due to excessive looseness, and the shop that did the belt/pump took care of it. This is a different sort of sound and the belt still seems tight. How would I find out if it's the bearing, assuming zero mechanical ability to take off the belt?
 

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Get a mechanic's stethoscope or even a 2 ft long piece of plastic garden hose and listen very carefully to see exactly where the noise is coming from. Watch your fingers!
 

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4AFESPEED
93 Geo Prizm
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269 Posts
if you have a 1.6, i have an alternator with 3k miles on it ill sell to you for a fair price if needed!
 

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Premium Member
94 Corolla, 89 240sx
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40 Posts
Here are some ideas to narrow it down.

Check the fluid on the power steering pump to see if thats not whats causing the noise. Does the noise change when you turn the wheels.

Turn the A/C on and off and listen if the noise changes, it my be the compressor clutch.

Turning electrical loads (lights, fans, defrost) on or off will increase the load on the alternator and may also effect the noise.

If you dont have a stethoscope, use a long screwdriver. Place the metal tip on the suspect part and the plastic handle to your ear. It will transmit the sound thru the screwdriver. Use it on the front and back side of the alternator to see if its a bearing.

Finally, try spraying a lubricant like silicone spray, or PB Blaster on the bearings of the alternator. Spray a small areas at a time untill you hear a change in the noise.

Hope this helps.
 
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