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My Elise is out of warranty now (I've had it 3 years), the alternator isn't charging the battery and LOA says it's 1700 to replace, isn't this a $200 part?
 

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You could buy alot of tools for $1700. Mechanics wanted $1800 to rebuild the top end on a Bronco II I had. No way. I bought the manuals and did it myself (I am NOT a mechanic) for under $500. I did get a little something extra, though. A nice scar on my forehead where I clocked myself with the ratchet handle.

Seriously, if it were me I would consider doing it myself if that $1700 is true.
 

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Well, the 1700 is true as far as the price they gave me, but what I'd like to know from anyone here is if a stock alternator from another 2zzge engine would work or if there is something special about the "lotus" alternator?
 

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I even go one step farther than "doing it myself" - I don't replace alternators, I rebuild them. The parts are often hard to find (search the 'net) but they are relatively cheap. I've had to rebuild the alternator in my truck twice now - instead of $170 for a rebuild alternator from the parts store, it was $25 for replacement brushes. The second time was $30 for new bearings (solvent go in the bearings and ran them dry). Taking apart and rebuilding an alternator is fairly trivial.

As for "is there anything special" about the Lotus alternator? I suspect that it's only the parts bag that it comes it. There is no reason that they wouldn't have used a standard Toyota sourced alternator.
 

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+1 on do it yourself. This is not a hard thing to do, just your personal time is the extra expense.
 

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My Elise is out of warranty now (I've had it 3 years), the alternator isn't charging the battery and LOA says it's 1700 to replace, isn't this a $200 part?
Wait, 1700 for the part, or for the part and installed?

I'm guessing labor is involved?
 

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Can anyone give me the part number on the alternator and the manufacturer? I don't have access to my car today and I'm wondering if it's a toyota alternator with a toyota part number (starts with 27060).

Thanks in advance if you can get me this info!
 

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Sorry, I just searched the entire service manual for alternater and found no matches. Maybe it's in the engine manual - which I don't have.
 

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I have no doubt it is the stock Toyota alternator. AutoZone lists it under part #12293 for $285.00 + core for a rebuilt unit-- http://www.autozone.com/R,APP195420/vehicleId,/initialAction,partProductDetail/store,1776/partType,00086/shopping/partProductDetail.htm I would suggest checking with your local store for availability and if they have one buy it and compare it to the one on your Elise. Just from the photo, the AutoZone alternator sure looks right. If it matches, you win if not just return it to AutoZone.
 

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I am not a handy guy and have replaced the alternator on an older car. I cannot imagine the Elise is too diferent. Really was just several bolts and then trying to get the stupid belt aligned properly. $1700 seems extremely over priced! That said, I have no clue how hard it is to work inside our tiny engine bay...
 

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I am not a handy guy and have replaced the alternator on an older car. I cannot imagine the Elise is too diferent. Really was just several bolts and then trying to get the stupid belt aligned properly. $1700 seems extremely over priced! That said, I have no clue how hard it is to work inside our tiny engine bay...
drop the belly pan and take a look up to the USPS side. there's not a whole bunch of what anyone would call room up there. it's very tight.

here's a short thread which discussed the serp belt and tensioner:
http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41822


also, to the OP, i would suggest that you at least consider replacing the belt while this work is being done. perhaps it's included in the estimate?

good luck.
 

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You didn't say how many miles you have on the car, but chances are if it stopped charging (the charge light is on), then the brushes are worn out. They are rather easy to replace. Since most mechanics replace alternators instead of repairing them, I highly doubt that they will have the brushes in stock, so you will have to special order them from your local Toyota dealer). Even at a dealer, I would be fairly surprised if the replacement brushes/holder would exceed $50.

You have to remove the alternator and remove the brush holder, then replace parts. The only other parts that normally go bad electrically are the voltage regulator and/or the rectifier - but when they go bad, there is usually other signs other than it's not charging. I've replaced lots of brushes, but never the other electrical parts in an alternator.

If you don't feel up to the challenge of "rebuilding" the alternator, you can usually find a local auto electrical shop that will do the rebuilding (they are the people that rebuild the ones that the auto parts stores are selling). If you take your old alternator in to them they can usually rebuild it and have it back to you in a couple of days for a lot less than buying a rebuilt alternator from a store.

If you rebuild it your self, or take the alternator someplace to get it rebuilt, you are going to have to remove it from the car. Otherwise, you are going to pay someone a fairly hefty labor charge to remove a couple of bolts (especially when they find out it's a Lotus $$$$)

I haven't checked (nor needed to remove my alternator) but since the alternator is mounted on the top side of the engine, chances are you remove the alternator from the top of the engine in the Elise. The diagrams below are from the Toyota Engine Manual, but they should be the same.

The alternator is only held on with a couple of bolts - you have to use a socket/wrench to let the tension off the serpentine belt, then remove the alternator. First diagram.

Once off, you start the disassembly. Second diagram is exploded view, third is the disassembly instructions to get you to the brushes.

Fourth diagram is how to check the brushes to see if they need replacing.

Fifth diagram is the installation instructions with torque values for the bolts.
 

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Tim - where/how did you get the engine manual for Toyota? Cost?

thanks.

PS: When I rebuilt starters, the local shops always have the parts.
 

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Tim - where/how did you get the engine manual for Toyota? Cost?

thanks.

PS: When I rebuilt starters, the local shops always have the parts.
For a while, you could log onto the Toyota web site in Europe and for around $15 - 20 you could download the Celica Manuals similar to how we can do the Lotus Manuals.

Unfortunately, I didn't do that soon enough, so I was not able to get the exact part number manuals that Lotus specifies.

However, Toyota in the US has a similar "subscription" and download process. I signed up for one day of that and downloaded the Celica Manuals. It's a bit more of a hassle than the Lotus manual since each section is a separate PDF file - the diagrams above came from 7 different PDF files that cover "The Charging System" - probably about 10 or 12 pages total. But I have the Manuals for the Engine and Transmission (although the US version of the Transmission - different sixth gear ratio).

Now, you are going to ask for the URL - I don't remember anymore - I downloaded the stuff about two years ago. I think it might be in the sticky thread about downloading the Lotus Manuals.
 

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Thanks, Tim.
 
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