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Old 12-03-2015, 06:09 PM   #1
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Alternator Replacement

On my trip home from Line Pine, CA. this past Sunday, I lost my alternator. With 175 miles from home and 100 free miles with AAA, I had it towed to the tow yard in Barstow since the driver told me they work on Cummins. (Option B was to have it towed to my house for $450 and then still have to deal with it) They are expecting the new "Motorhome" alternator (as opposed to a "Truck" alternator this afternoon. So my question is they just quoted me $815 for the job, $450 for the unit and 3-1/2 hours labor! I feel this is on the high side! Any input?
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:23 PM   #2
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FWIW Why didn't you start the genset to feed the chassis from the converter and drive home?
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:42 PM   #3
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Just paid $795 for new alternator and serpentine belt at local RV dealer
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
FWIW Why didn't you start the genset to feed the chassis from the converter and drive home?
Couldn't start the genset Both banks were down to 9-10 volts by the time I was able to pull over to the side. I will be replacing my jumper cables I took out of the coach a week earlier
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:47 PM   #5
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Just paid $895 for new alternator and serpentine belt at local RV dealer
Well, since they have me by the huevos rancheros, I guess $815 isn't total roadside robbery
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:48 PM   #6
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Well, since they have me by the huevos rancheros, I guess $815 isn't total roadside robbery
I typed wrong, it was $795
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:27 PM   #7
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At least get the old one from them. They can be rebuilt for half the cost of new.

Humm, motorhome alternator ?
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:38 PM   #8
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A jump to get the generator running probably would have been much cheaper then the tow.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:42 PM   #9
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the labor should be 1.5 -3 hours

The alternator cost is $225-$400 at the most
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:44 PM   #10
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Thats no to far off our local prices on the east coast. Going shop labor rate for diesel tech here are $95 to $115. your estimate of 450 @3.5hrs works out to $128 which may well be the norm for CA. An alternator is and alternator, not sure their reference to a "motorhome" alternator unless your referring to price. We recently purchased a 270 amp diesel alternator for our fleet price of $438. I think your decision to tow was a sound one. I assume your coach is a DP with either a CAT/Cummins, my questions would be access to the alternator-under the bed, or multiple access panel that have to be removed. The thing is with any shop that works on motorhomes, remember they are working in your bedroom and extra care/prep needs to be done to preserve the interior. and most likely you are paying retail for the part. If you are willing to take on the work yourself you could pay the shop to charge the batteries for 24 hrs and then drive it the remainder of the way home to do the work yourself, save you the labor cost and give you time to price shop for a new/rebuilt alternator.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:44 PM   #11
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I would call that a fair price. Their knuckles and not yours.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:10 PM   #12
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Duo-Vac Alternator ?

We lost an alternator on our 2006 Itasca DP and it required a special alternator. Special only in the way it was internally wired. The unit didn't cost any more than regular, but because of the requirement of two different battery banks to supply (house and chassis) a traditional alternator will not function properly.
I watched an specialist disassemble the unit and explained the wiring difference, however, it seems my senior level could not quite get it.
May be some one with knowledge could give a simple primer.......Bob
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:33 PM   #13
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I just did this replacement recently. I upgraded to a 200 amp for around 300.00. I did the work myself. If you are remotely mechanically inclined, this job is not hard. I pulled the old one in 45 mins and installed the new one in 30 mins.

The hardest part was getting the old pulley off which the counter guy at O'reily auto helped me with a puller.

I was on the road also when mine stopped charging. I took advice from this site, jumpered the chassis to the house batteries and started the generator. It worked great
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:35 PM   #14
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The only time I could see modifying an alternator, is to bring out a voltage sense wire, when using a diode based battery isolator.

Diodes block battery feedback to the internal regulator, so the sense wire goes on the battery side of the isolator.

Big Boys, BIRDs and IRDs used in newer MHs don't use diodes so feedback is always there from the chassis battery. The solenoid simply adds the house batteries to the chassis bank.
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