Types of alternator parts?

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The alternator consists of various parts, including the wire, cooling fan, and drive pulley, which are critical for proper functioning. Replacing just the brushes can often rectify most alternator problems, and advances in bearing design have eliminated bearing problems. Since 1973, most alternators have included an internal voltage regulator, reducing charging difficulties.

Some of the most commonly known alternator parts are the brushes, stators, bearings, and pulleys. Many of the alternator parts, such as the housing, cooling fan, and wiring harness, get overlooked when any discussion of the alternator takes place. However, these are critical parts of the alternator that are directly responsible for the proper functioning of the component. While whole assembly replacement is often practiced to cure alternator problems, alternator parts are often easily interchanged, making an alternator rebuild a viable option in most cases.

The main component in an alternator is the wire. Of all the alternator parts, the wire is the key to producing electrical power. However, one of the most crucial components of all alternator parts is the cooling fan. Heat is the enemy of any alternator, and the inclusion of a quality cooling system is crucial to the long life and proper operation of the charging system. Many times, the importance of the cooling fan is overlooked when discussing the critical parts of the alternator.

Most manufacturers use one of two types of fan designs. The simple stamped metal fan is the most common, with the other being similar in design to the impeller found inside many water pumps. The drive pulley is also an important factor in the operational success of an alternator. The speed at which an alternator is driven is directly related to the size of the drive pulley on the component. Changing the speed at which the alternator spins directly affects the charging speed the unit produces, as well as the cooling speed the fan allows.

A primary cause of most alternator failures is the brushes. The brushes are the point of contact between the rotating stator assembly and the stationary rectifier. This is also the gateway for the electricity produced by the alternator parts and the charging system. In many cases, replacing just the brushes will rectify most alternator problems. Advances in bearing design have eliminated bearing problems that would often be the cause of many alternator noise problems and failures.

Most alternators used since 1973 have included an internal voltage regulator. Prior to this, the regulator was mounted to the vehicle’s firewall or radiator bracket and was the source of many charging difficulties. The inclusion of this component with the alternator parts has reduced problems commonly associated with older charging systems. Fortunately, this newer style alternator is easily retrofitted to older charging systems.

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