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Discussion Starter #1
I got a new alternator about a year ago. A little while after that, I noticed that the plastic connector on top of the alternator was melted. (I thought it had melted from the old alternator going bad and wasn't a current problem, so I didn't think much of it.)
Recently, it actually got hot enough that it burned the plastic. I took it to the dealership and they quoted me around $2000 to replace the alternator and the wire that was connected at that point.
I looked on Subarupartstore.com and found I could get those two things for less than $700.

Am I missing something here? The wire looks to be pretty straightforward. It isn't that much work to trade out the alternator. Where is $1300 in labor coming from?
Is there something else that needs to be replaced that I'm not getting? Only those two things were mentioned on the estimate.

 

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This happened to me when I didn't have the nut tight on the alternator causing too much resistance which melted the plastic.

I just tightened the nut down, and went on my way. its been like that for 3 years now

but the wire that you're replacing isn't difficult to fix. The quote is because it takes 10 hours to do likely. 125 an hour for labor costs adds up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What I don't see is how it would take 10 hours. It just goes to the fuse box and there's like 5 connections along the way.
 

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What I don't see is how it would take 10 hours. It just goes to the fuse box and there's like 5 connections along the way.
whether or not it takes 10 hours is irrelevant, they charge what the book says.. and i think he was using assumed hours and rate to communicate how cost is calculated.

they may also have padded that in case something else is discovered along the way. after all, it was just an 'estimate'.

give it a try.. if you get in over your head, at least youll know about what itll cost to get it straight.
 

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whether or not it takes 10 hours is irrelevant, they charge what the book says.. and i think he was using assumed hours and rate to communicate how cost is calculated.

they may also have padded that in case something else is discovered along the way. after all, it was just an 'estimate'.

give it a try.. if you get in over your head, at least youll know about what itll cost to get it straight.
This

the book may say 10 hours, but a competent tech can get it done in less and pocket the other money.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This

the book may say 10 hours, but a competent tech can get it done in less and pocket the other money.
I am very slow when it comes to repairs, but I bet even I could do this within 2 hours time.
I will post my time when I get back from vacation in a week.
 

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whether or not it takes 10 hours is irrelevant, they charge what the book says.. and i think he was using assumed hours and rate to communicate how cost is calculated.

they may also have padded that in case something else is discovered along the way. after all, it was just an 'estimate'.

give it a try.. if you get in over your head, at least youll know about what itll cost to get it straight.
Yes this^ This is how flat rate works. There may or may not be some additional time added to this repair for whatever reason.

This

the book may say 10 hours, but a competent tech can get it done in less and pocket the other money.
When it comes to flat rate, you're paying for the experience and time that the technician has invested in order be to able to get that 10hr job done quickly. The better the tech, the faster your can get your car back without issues. BTW, the tech makes a very small amount of what the actual bill is. Alot of times, dealers techs only get paid on labor and the pay for them isnt the actual labor rate being charged to the customer. Just some food for thought :)

I am very slow when it comes to repairs, but I bet even I could do this within 2 hours time.
I will post my time when I get back from vacation in a week.
Let us know how it goes, im curious myself to see if this is actually a 10hr job lol
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Back from vacation.

It took 3 hours. That is including having to find a replacement nut, since the old one was damaged by arcing, cleaning up the battery connections, and putting NoAlOx on some of the connections.

If I did this for a living, I imagine it would have taken 2 hours or less. That's about $600 an hour that the dealership wanted.

I don't know yet if it works since I decided while I had it apart to rewire the Hella horns and replace the grill. I hope it doesn't start melting again when I reconnect everything.

Edit: I don't know if this had anything to do with it, but I noticed the old alternator said that it was a "remanufactured" one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
good to know

what part number did you order? I'd like to replace this on mine as well.
I ordered from SubaruPartStore.com.
The alternator is 23700AA5228A.
The wiring is 82241FG050.

By the way, it is a lot more tedious to replace the wiring than the alternator.

I'm still not sure if my problem is fixed yet.

Does anybody know of anything else that could cause the positive electrode on the alternator to melt like that?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't know if this is related, but after I put everything back together, I took it for a test drive. The A/C turned itself off just after I started driving. It was just like if I had switched the fan speed to off. After about 5 seconds, it came back on again.

I think my car is possessed.
 

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basically overcharging or a connection to ground...hows your battery? also try switching relays around...I usually swap the fuel pump with whichever is not working properly then its fairly easy to see if the relay is the issue, also check fuses...had dsm that acted wonky when main fuse was blown but intermittently made connection lol
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Key word right there :lol:
I replaced all the fuses in the fusebox when I replaced the harness (they came with it).
The only thing that was switched over to the new box was (I think) 3 relays.
I'll check to see if they are interchangeable, but I'm leaning more towards a bad ground at this point.
Battery is relatively new, but I have to check my records on that.

Do you think that installing extra grounding wires could have caused this problem? Because I did before this trouble started. I would think that would make it less likely to happen.
 

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rofl no kidding...went through 3 motors in a 6 month period on that stupid car...think final straw iirc was the bushings on the shift linkage broke so we temporarily fixed it and traded it for a firebird before anything else could happen...or maybe it was cuz it got rearended...either way we gave it w/title an keys to another guy for same 87 firebird!!! lol then we sold that for a downpayment on our house
 

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as long as the ground point doesn't connect to a positive point would not, would help a lot of the electronics function better...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Problem seems fixed...

But...

I disconnected a few things and I am reconnecting them one at a time to see if the problem comes back. One of the things is the water sprayer for the intercooler, which I think may have been installed without a fuse in the positive wire. I'm going to be checking it sometime for signs of a short circuit.

I think at this point though that the problem occurred because of a bad voltage regulator in the alternator or that the mechanic who installed my previous alternator did not tighten the connection properly.
 
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