Tacoma Alternator Rebuild

After a lit­tle over 300,000 miles on my 1998 Toy­ota Taco­ma, the alter­na­tor final­ly died this week. A re-man­u­fac­tured one is around $130, so I decid­ed to rebuild mine.

There are a cou­ple ways to do this, one is to get an alter­na­tor brush set like the one I got from O’Reilly Auto Parts (P/N:32–0123) for $5. Or, you can get the Toy­ota kit that comes with the entire brush car­ri­er assem­bly (around $20).

Shield Removal

You need to remove the rear shield to get to the brush­es. Remove the three 8mm bolts, and the 10mm nut on the bat­tery ter­mi­nal. After that, just pull the cov­er off.

Brush Assembly

Remove the 2 Philips head screws to get the brush car­ri­er out. Make sure you get a good screw dri­ver, as these screws can strip eas­i­ly.

Replace Brushes

Now the fun part, replac­ing the brush­es in the car­ri­er. Using a high temp sol­der­ing iron, heat the sol­der on top of the car­ri­er until the brush spring push­es the brush out. You may need to help it with some pli­ers.

Once you get the old brush­es out, time to install the new brush­es. They come with an extra long lead so you can set the depth so that the brush­es don’t fall out as they wear. after you are done sol­der­ing, and brush­es set to prop­er depth (they should not be able to fall out of the car­ri­er, but should be pushed out by the spring as far as pos­si­ble for long life), go ahead and clip off the extra wire from the top of the car­ri­er.

Smooth Up the Armature

Before putting all back togeth­er, take some fine grit sand­pa­per and clean up the arma­ture on the alter­na­tor. If yours has grooves in it like mine, just try to get as much of the groove out, but don’t take too much mate­r­i­al away.

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