Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Malibu is back on the road

I ordered an alternator on Tuesday.  The best price I could find was on eBay from for $74 with no core requirement.

The alternator showed up Friday (from California!!!).

I ran errands for Mrs ERJ.  She had the snow tires on the back and a slow leak in the right rear that had been diagnosed as a cracked rim.  Stupid aluminum wheels.

I bought a plain-jane steel wheel and painted it aluminum color.  That will hide it until it is as dirty as the other wheels.

There was an hour wait at the grain elevator where I have my tire work done. The guys rotated the tires front-to-rear so the snow tires are on the front and swapped out the good, steel wheel for the cracked aluminum one.  I felt like that was a bargain at $35.

Back home.  Mrs ERJ went to Grand Rapids to pick up Belladonna and I started disassembling the front of the engine bay to get to the alternator.

An hour and twenty minutes and I was done.  The hardest part was the serpentine belt.

We will have four drivers at the house over the holidays.  Mrs ERJ was not looking forward to having only one working vehicle.  I just doubled the number of vehicles in the fleet.


  1. Look on YouTube and you may see how to repair your old 'core' alternator. If you do rebuild it, either instal it on your car and run it for a day to test it. If it works well, leave it on, and keep the tested working replacement as a spare. Rebuilding alternators is easy. The worst thing that can happen is the windings or armature shorting out.

  2. Thank-you PP-PP.

    I will look into that. It appears that carbon brushes are about fifty cents each and bearings run between two bucks and five bucks. Definitely worth doing.

  3. Its the end of 2019 and I am commenting on 5 year old posts, because ...sanity.

    I just got all the family drivers (not project vehicles) back to roadable.

    I maintain a fleet of beaters because I live in deer country where winter road salt is a major form of entropy.

    My family goal for 6 adults and 6 children is reliable transport within a budget of about $1,000.00 per year, per vehicle, outside gas and oil changes.

    We are fairly closee to budget, but we drive some ugly lookin cars.

    That's OK, it's camouflage and consistent with "grey" OPSEC.

    Many people spend a LOT of their take home (after tax) money on new and shiny.

    No thanks.

    We keep a couple extra vehicles available for when oopsies occur. Its not free, but redundancy is a beautiful thing..

    #2 son and I recently replaced all the belts and water pump on a 98 caravan 4 cylinder.

    Mechanic quoted $800 to do it. That was a close call, but it was a Florida van with minimal rust issues and 110,000 miles on the odometer. Normally we can expect 125 to 140,000 mipes from a dodge caravan transmission, so we invested $100 in parts and a couple days of wrenching to get it operational.



Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.