Alternator repeated fail - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the '99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Alternator repeated fail

Original owner 02 Powerstroke F250. 170K miles. I just replaced my forth alternator due to bearing seizure. All pulleys look aligned, tensioner seems working fine. Count is: One OEM, one aftermarket local shop, one O'Reily, one NAPA (new not rebuilt). I could blame the auto parts houses but beginning to think it's another issue.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:46 PM
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I have replaced a lot of 95-2003 7.3 alternators but never for bearing failure. Something is definitely going on. You should have someone rev the engine up very slowly to 2200 RPM (that is the upper end of revs that any gearing makes that engine turn at 70-75 MPH) and see if there is any shaking of the alternator or any other weirdness with belt, etc.
From your post I think you are saying all the alternators failed from bearing issues. Did they all go about the same distance or did the OE one go a longer span and each replacement a lot less miles?

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, OEM lasted less than 40K miles. Not sure about bearing failure in first two but think they are still in a barn. On the road but will check when back at the coup. Last two definitely bearing!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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This one from OReily, last one from NAPA just froze.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 06:55 PM
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One thing to check is to see if you have the right serpentine belt. There are two different belts that differ slightly in length depending upon whether or not you have the cold weather package. If you are supposed to have the longer belt, but instead you have the shorter belt, that could make it too tight and cause the bearings to fail. How tight is the belt?
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2001 F350 XLT 4X4 crew cab, dual rear wheels, long bed, black, 7.3l turbo diesel, automatic transmission, 4.10, shift on the fly, running boards, sliding rear window, 38 gal fuel tank, Odyssey extreme 65-PC1750T batteries, Michelin LTX-MS2 rear tires, Sumitomo Encounter front tires, Shell Rotella Ultra elc, 11,500 gvwr, 20,000 gcwr, 7500 gvw, completely stock, 114,000 miles when purchased, now has 250,000 miles, repairs so far: two starters, batteries, cps, brakes, tires, alternator, ball joints, locking hub, wheel hub, AC compressor, serpentine belt, power steering pump, driver's side window, ignition switch, o-ring, Spectra premium radiator, water pump, fan clutch, fan blades, thermostat, thermostat housing, tensioner. Stolen twice so far, but recovered both times with major damage.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Well, that’s certainly a thought, think my original is behind the back seat as a spare. No tensioning issues installing new belt with any of the above alternators.
Thanks!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:29 PM
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Did you get the lifetime warranty alternator from O'Reilly's this time?

2001 F350 XLT 4X4 crew cab, dual rear wheels, long bed, black, 7.3l turbo diesel, automatic transmission, 4.10, shift on the fly, running boards, sliding rear window, 38 gal fuel tank, Odyssey extreme 65-PC1750T batteries, Michelin LTX-MS2 rear tires, Sumitomo Encounter front tires, Shell Rotella Ultra elc, 11,500 gvwr, 20,000 gcwr, 7500 gvw, completely stock, 114,000 miles when purchased, now has 250,000 miles, repairs so far: two starters, batteries, cps, brakes, tires, alternator, ball joints, locking hub, wheel hub, AC compressor, serpentine belt, power steering pump, driver's side window, ignition switch, o-ring, Spectra premium radiator, water pump, fan clutch, fan blades, thermostat, thermostat housing, tensioner. Stolen twice so far, but recovered both times with major damage.

2005 Nomad Rampage toyhauler made by Skyline. 11,500lb gvwr.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 09:32 AM
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Also look at the accessories you have installed if any. Even high power stereo systems. Normally a bearing failure on an alternator is not from tension, but instead from heat. Over loaded alternators get real hot. That's why the ambulance package was made with the extra alternator for all the gear. I had 2 alternators sieze, 8hrs after install on my backhoe. Because the mechanic didn't charge the batteries before re starting the hoe. Burned up both of them. Last one was glowing when it failed. I did the 3rd install, and the alternator came with a big cardboard card attached to it so you cant miss it, saying make sure to fully charge batteries before starting, or it may fail, and warranty is void if you don't. Wonder how the mechanic missed that , twice.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 09:35 AM
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Also, if yours came with no pulley, like mine did, on my truck I mean. THen that means you put the pulley on it. If you over tighten the nut, you ruin the bearings.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Middlejohn1 View Post
Well, thatís certainly a thought, think my original is behind the back seat as a spare. No tensioning issues installing new belt with any of the above alternators.
Thanks!
Only if you are sure that it is the original, then is it possible to read a P/N?

What is the P/N of the belt currently installed?

My thought was the same as Don's, that you might have the wrong belt installed.


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