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Old 11-16-2012, 10:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
DAS
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Default Alternator rant

Not looking for advise, so much as venting.
OK. 2002 LL Bean wagon with the H6 engine. 196,000 miles and the original alternator. Thinking the alternator can't last much longer I called a local auto electric shop and asked them what to do. They said they would replace the bearings and brushes for $50.00 and then it would be trouble free for a long time. It would take a couple of hours, as they stock the parts. Ok. That was two weeks ago. I brought them the alternator, then they called me and said it would be a coupe of days, because they had to order parts. I picked it up last Friday, and it was $80. ($50 and a couple of hours was the quote, $80 and four days was what happened).
Saturday morning, put it in, and it did not work. Took it it out and brought it back Monday morning. They told me they would have to order parts and call me. Wednesday I got a call stating they could not fix it (mind you it was working fine when I first brought it to them).
They said they could sell me a new one (not rebuilt) for their cost, $140. What choice do I have at this point?
Today I pick it up and bring it home. It is new, but not an OEM. Some off brand from Dubi of all places. I brought it home, started to install it, and it does not fit! The pully is about 1/4 too far back, and the + stud is wrong. Ugh!
What do I do now? I don't even have a core to go to the auto parts store with. I'm tempted to dispute the charges with my credit card company and give the thing they sold me to the auto parts store for a core. Any advise on reman alternators? Advance auto, Napa or Autozone?
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh boy, I'm glad I'm not the first one to start a rant! But I'll gladly jump on board.

I have purchased three alternators from places like Advanced Auto Parts and Autozone over the years, with no problems until the last one I bought at Autozone. My OEM Subaru alternator had 158K miles on it and was making that "I'm whining because I am about do die" noise along with poor power output as tested with my multimeter. So I grabbed my 12 mm socket wrench and went to Autozone where the youngster there sold me a new, not rebuilt alternator based on the specs for my 2000 OBW with auto trans. It fit "OK" so I swapped my old for the new, avoiding the core charge.

A month later the alternator starts to make a bad bearing noise, so I grab my 12 mm socket and head back to Autozone. The guy comes out and confirms it sounds bad and I can swap it for a new one. While I pop it off he looks up the new one on the computer and pulls it off the shelf. Worried that I would get stuck with a re-manufactured unit, I asked him if it was new like the one I'm replacing. He looks puzzled and says they do not make a new one that fits my car, 2000 OBW with automatic transmission.

Two months ago the kid sold me the wrong alternator. There are two different units depending on whether you have an auto or manual transmission. Sounds crazy to me. But they sold me the manual trans alternator and it did not fit quite as tight as it should, even when I cranked down on the bolt, and it wiggled enough to trash the bearings. The auto trans version costs $10 more and also has a $52 higher core charge. Amazingly, the manager at Autozone admitted their mistake and did a straight swap for the new correct alternator without charging me a dime. I got the right one and saved $72. It fits, charges, and is quite. List price ~$159.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Not looking for advise,. . .
but

Quote:
What do I do now? I don't even have a core to go to the auto parts store with. I'm tempted to dispute the charges with my credit card company and give the thing they sold me to the auto parts store for a core. Any advise on reman alternators? Advance auto, Napa or Autozone?
The H6 uses a somewhat unique alternator. There are a number of recent threads here where H6 replacement alternators from auto parts stores (I believe they were "rebuilts") have not worked properly -- not bearing or mechanical problems, but electrical -- the H6 alternator is controlled, in part, by the ECU, whereas on the H4, the alternator regulator does all the work. The rebuilts either were not for the H6, or were not able to function properly, allowing the charging voltage to drop too low.

Where the original alternator had been traded in and can't be retrieved, perhaps the best solution would be to find a working original Subaru H6 alternator from a wrecker/recycler.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Update,
I went back to the shop this morning and showed them how the new alternator did not fit. They changed the pulley and the + lug and said it should be all set. I went from there to work. Came home at 10 tonight and put it in. Major problem hooking the + lug up, it is not in the same place. Started the car, and the belt immediately came off. The pulley is closer, but still not in line.
I guess I will go to advance or autozone tomorrow and buy a rebuilt, with no core and call the shop on Monday. I can't believe something so easy has turned in to such a mess.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Aftermarket and Subaru = Headaches

Subaru switched to Mitsubishi alternators. You may want to make sure your replacement is identical.

If you have a Car Quest in the area, you may want to get one from them.

The OE alternator on my car is now at 180k. I have another from the JDM engine with approx 50k. You can never tell how long a part will last.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Resolution! On the seventh trip to the alternator shop, I was given a Mitsubishi factory rebuilt alternator, and I put it in. It works. The shop gave me the part at their cost. I guess patience pays off...
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Glad you got it going again, kind of stinks that they f'd up your original good working alternator and then made you pay for a replacement.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mine's at 193k or so... anyone know if the brushes and bearings are available from subaru (or anyone?)?
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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These part numbers may or may not have changed. They should be up to date.

front bearing 23721AA10A
rear bearing 23721AA040
brushes 23754AA010
rectifier 23830AA150
rotor 23708AA160
stator 23712AA140
internal regulator 23815AA160

You need anything else
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAS View Post
Resolution! On the seventh trip to the alternator shop, I was given a Mitsubishi factory rebuilt alternator, and I put it in. It works. The shop gave me the part at their cost. I guess patience pays off...
These guys sound like rip off's. They took no responsibility for their mistakes.
At least go on Yelp and make a complaint to protect others that might get suckerd by these clowns.
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