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Old 04-09-2015, 07:39 PM   #1
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Exclamation I think my Alternator is Frozen

We've been parked for nearly 4 months and planing to leave in 4 days. In the last few days we started our packing up and that includes some preflight checks of all systems.

A couple days ago I did an engine start and that went fine but I noticed that my batter level was constant at 12.5V and I said HMMMM to myself but a phone call distracted me and I forgot to do some more investigating.

Today I opened the engine hood to check levels and found my serpentine belt broken. OK...that was odd but then I remembered the 12.5V thing. I tried to turn the alternator pulley buy hand and it wouldn't budge. Looking at where the belt snapped you could see it was worn in a small area that would have been near the engine pulley. That made me think that the alternator is frozen and had a tighter grip on the belt forcing it to wear away some place else.

Am I correct that I should be able to turn the alternator by hand?
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:42 PM   #2
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Yes, the alternator should spin freely. Time to replace it or have it rebuilt.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:44 PM   #3
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Yes the altermator should spin freely by hand without the belt.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:58 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I have an ESW so I hope they cover a new one.

I've contacted Spartan to see if they stock these or if they can provide information on appropriate replacement models. I'm researching the local shops in the RGV so I can call first thing in the AM.

The good news, I guess, is that with the BIRD charging system I should be able to keep the chassis batteries charged via the generator when I relocate the coach to the service site unless they can dispatch a mobile tech to do the work.

This is one of those jobs I am SOOOOOO glad I have a side radiator. I don't think I would have even seen it and not having to remove the radiator or crawl through the bedroom to work on it is great. Also, the belt didn't damage anything else when it snapped.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:10 PM   #5
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You need to check that you can run you engine without a belt, other things are driving off if it besides the alternator, water pump is one of them.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
You need to check that you can run you engine without a belt, other things are driving off if it besides the alternator, water pump is one of them.
I don't know the answer to that and sadly didn't even think of it!

THANKS!
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:26 PM   #7
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YES, if your water pump is run off that belt and you try and drive it to a service location you will make it, hooked to a tow truck!!!
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 89sandman View Post
YES, if your water pump is run off that belt and you try and drive it to a service location you will make it, hooked to a tow truck!!!
OH GREAT...just make me feel stupider!

LOL
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:14 PM   #9
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Try spinning the alternator backwards, it doesn't take much FOD to jamb it sometimes. If it is that turning that way will usually release it.

Been there done that.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:04 PM   #10
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The alternator should turn by hand and you will need a belt to run the water pump.

Don't bother with Spartin, find a starter/alternator rebuild shop and have them service the alternator you have. Guaranteed, it will be cheaper and better than getting one from Spartin
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf2u View Post
Try spinning the alternator backwards, it doesn't take much FOD to jamb it sometimes. If it is that turning that way will usually release it.

Been there done that.
Tried that...NOPE...seized up pretty tight. THANKS!
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
The alternator should turn by hand and you will need a belt to run the water pump.

Don't bother with Spartin, find a starter/alternator rebuild shop and have them service the alternator you have. Guaranteed, it will be cheaper and better than getting one from Spartin
My ESW will cover this. It will cost $200 no matter the source.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:49 AM   #13
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Props go to Holt Cat in Edinburg, TX. They answered my email last night at 9 PM, sent out a tech by 8 AM today and removed the seized alternator. Spartan now has a 170 amp replacement for the older 160 amp version and we expect it by Monday morning. Holt couldn't locate a replacement locally and I don't want it rebuilt.

The ESW is on board and it should cost me around $260. $200 for the deductible and $20 extra for 3 hours labor. That covers the local rate of $120/hour which exceeds my policies $100 hourly limit. If I bought the alternator myself it would have been around $570 but, of course, Holt will get it for a higher price for their cut but that is not of any concern to me.

One thing they recommended is a monthly engine start to keep the alternator bearings in good shape. The shop manager says he sees a lot of this happening with the Winter Texans in particular. I think I will adopt that practice when I do my monthly generator exercise.
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Old 04-10-2015, 01:29 PM   #14
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Good Diagnosis method,, Good conclusion.. New (or re-man)alternator indicated.
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