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Old 03-07-2012, 05:49 PM
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Alternator compatibility.....

The original factory alternator in my 3.0L `88 is finally on its way out, not bad for 24 years old with 138k miles......

Anywho, this Aerostar is strictly a work horse and winter beater. I am wringing every last bit of life out of this Aero and it could be scraped at any time if a major part fails (engine, trans, rear end, etc). In a nutshell I am trying to avoid putting any money into this van unless absolutely necessary. With that said I have many good used alternators from Fords of the same era and would like to put one to use. I'm looking for information regarding alternator compatibility.....

Any information is much appreciated!!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:15 PM
xlt4wd90 xlt4wd90 is online now
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I'd start by comparing original with the ones you have to see which ones will fit. Then figure out the wiring, if they're not the same.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:15 AM
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Aerostar Alternator

any used alternator will have issues, one issue is age. you can get a reman at places like your local friendly auto parts store for whatever it costs and usually with a warranty which you don't get with used parts. 4 years ago I got a reman from Autozone and it is still going strong, and I had no issues with fitting it.
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1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:16 AM
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i'd get a reman. from autozone or somewhere. alot easier to only have to do the job once knowing you've got the right part.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:15 AM
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my first Aerostar was a 1986 (first year, brand new). Kept it until 1999 when my girlfriend wrecked it. The alternator was a piece of cake to replace.

I traded the wrecked '86 for a used 1992 and the alternator is a pain to replace, takes a lot longer to fit (at least the first time you do it).

not sure but replacing the alt in a 1988 might be easier.
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1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:42 PM
429CJ-3X2 429CJ-3X2 is offline
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Most of the auto parts stores have a compatibility list on their websites. Look up the part you need and you should find a link to compatible vehicles.

I had to change the alternator in our '93, 3.0, a while back. It LOOKED impossible, but turned out to be a piece of cake.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:21 AM
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If you can, opt for the 3g alternators. They are larger and more powerful, and resolve fire hazard and undercharged battery issues. You just have to find on that looks like it has the right bolt pattern, and it should fit. Excellent upgrade for not much more than a stock rebuild.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:26 PM
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I searched online as best I could and have a grasp on what is what regarding alternators during this era but still need to know the factory alternator's amperage rating. My Aerostar is an EB edition with front/rear heat-a/c, rear wiper/defrogger, and premium stereo. The options for alternators available during this era are 60, 75, and 80amp. My edumacated guess is the factory alternator in my van can't be the 60amp but rather the 75 or 80amp. HOW DO I KNOW FOR SURE? -and- Can I run an 80amp (assuming 75 is factory) withOUT causing issues of any kind?


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Originally Posted by 429CJ-3X2 View Post
Most of the auto parts stores have a compatibility list on their websites. Look up the part you need and you should find a link to compatible vehicles.
Do you have a link? I do not know of any programs like this available to the public. The closest thing I know of is searching on Car-part.com and looking at the vehicles listed on the results page.....



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If you can, opt for the 3g alternators.
I never heard of '3g' alternators, only phones.....
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:58 AM
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remove your alternator, and take it with you to any AutoZone for testing, id, and matching. Their 'Duralast' remaned parts are of decent price and quality and you can choose the warranty term (1 year or forever) that you want.

tip: make a printer copy of the receipt on the same day that you purchase any part, the ink on the thermal paper used by most stores nowadays starts to dissapear on the same day the receipt was issued so that in 6 months or so, the receipt is almost illegible.
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1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:11 AM
429CJ-3X2 429CJ-3X2 is offline
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I know O'Reilly Auto Parts (oreillyauto.com) has a compatibility link as do others. In another thread, someone said Rock Auto does, too. On the O'Reilly site find the list of alternators for your vehicle. Click on one of the actual alternators shown to see the details. Under the detail description, there is a tab that says "compatibility". Click on that. In this case, it will show "Ford 40 vehicles". Click on that to see the list. Looks like the same alternator fits "86-91 Aerostars and "90-91 F Series trucks with a V-8.

I don't know how to tell which amp rating an alternator is by looking, unless it's on a tag maybe. Sorry.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:25 AM
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the problem with ordering such a part online is that you cannot see and compare the part being purchased, and then you have to add the shipping cost to the price which will be horrendous for sure. There is also the possibility of a bad part being delivered, and you will only find out after installing it. Just imagine having to re-remove a new part to re-ship it back to the vendor, no way Jose, too much risk and the time wasted and the vehicle disabled, ad infinitum...with parts like a new or remaned alternator, I prefer to deal locally.
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1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:52 AM
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Look, you are dealing with a bad alternator. Part of the problem is whether you go with the 60, 75, or 80 amp unit, the alternator will not produce adequate power at idle to meet anything beyond basic electrical needs. This means the alternator is constantly being stressed out. The alternator overheats, which increases the strain on the voltage regulator, the bearings, the windings, and its inadequate output causes strain on the battery too.

There is a sticky, linked a long time about a real upgrade, one that is a lot less likely to leave you jump starting the van on a cold December morning because your battery went dead because the factory alternator did not fully charge it and it froze. But since we are on the subject, here you go.

Fuel Injection Technical Library » 3G Install Tech

RJM Injection Tech — Alternators

The real differences between most of these alternators is which mount type they use. Once you identify your mount type, the rest is quite simple. You will also need to swap your original pulley onto the new alternator. My 4.0L Aerostars use the side mount type. To be honest, I would take one of the 160 amp models, because it means your alternator is actually producing more than your stock alternators peak output at just idle. In addition, as the article above linked points out, it also reduces the fire hazard the older 2g alternators had.

To really do a 3g alternator right, you need to also run a replacement charging wire from the hot terminal on the alternator to the battery + terminal. The stock one is not very heavy duty, and you could potentially burn out its fusible link under a heavy load situation, such as a low battery. This same company does sell an upgrade kit, or you can build your own using some battery cable. If you build your own, make sure you get a good large inline fuse to match it. The kind used in high end stereo amplifiers will work fine so long as the amperage rating is high enough. I can't recall the fuse rating, but the kit that RJM sells comes with the fuse holder and two fuses.

RJM Injection Tech — Alternator Charge Cable Kit

You can use the stock harness, but just keep in mind that because the output is so much higher than original, there is always the possibility that it could burn that fusible link, and you wouldn't realize anything was wrong until the battery light comes on.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/72...lder-aero.html

If you don't upgrade to a 3g alternator, at least run the highest output 2g you can.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:52 PM
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I gave up on locating a good used alternator and bought new at Advance today. My discount got me an 80amp with lifetime warranty for $80 with tax, very noice! While driving the van from its storage lot to my house the alternator ceremoniously completely bit the dust, hard. I was headed up a slight incline and the engine was missing like crazy, to where I was losing speed. Almost instantly there was a distinct wretched smell coming from under the hood, yep, the alternator was literally 'smokeding'. I shut off the engine, pulled over, and to be extra safe doused the still smoking alternator with a half-gallon of windshield fluid. Thankfully I was 5 miles in to the 8 mile trip home and my buddy pulled me home with a tow strap......

After the near meltdown of my entire van I was a bit edgy knowing how bad the situation could have easily been. However, a short hour later I became ecstatic after starting the engine with the new alternator. For the last 6 or so months I figured the van in general was getting 'old' and simply worn out, WRONG! The slight miss at idle is all but gone, the engine revs faster /harder, the acceleration from a dead stop is what I remember many years ago, and I’m assuming the completely random overnight battery drains will probably be no more too. I’m thinking the old alternator was starting to fail 6 months ago with the past month or so being very noticeable. Needless to say my van is now a completely different animal, an animal I thought was never to be again, WOOT!!!


Thanks for all the info and advice everybody!
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:40 AM
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celebrations in order

we told ya!



now, what I would do is: pack the burnt alternator, wrap it in birthday paper, research the birthday of the CEO of Ford, and send it to him on his birthday. In fact, we should all send the CEO of Ford ALL out failed parts during his birthday, every year.
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1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:17 AM
Kruse Kruse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Car Guy View Post
I gave up on locating a good used alternator and bought new at Advance today. My discount got me an 80amp with lifetime warranty for $80 with tax, very noice!
There is a big Catch 22 on any route that you want to take to fix an alternator or starter. A lot of people say find a veteran rebuilder and have him do it. (Yea, yours was burnt, so in your case, it doesn't count) The problem the rebuilders now face is that all the replacement parts, unlike 30 years ago, are mostly made offshore. So the rebuilder will be putting in sub-standard third-world parts. Buying a "rebuilt" or "remanufactured" part is a roll of the dice because most of the companies build everything on a cost basis. If you buy a 100% new part, most likely it will be made in China. On your Aerostar, I would be surprised if the Ford factory still remanufactured anything for an Aerostar and if they did, most likely it would be made offshore also.
I don't mean to say that you did the wrong thing here, because you obviously got your Aerostar to charge the battery and make it run good again. I'm just saying that you have to pick your parts carefully.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:17 AM
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