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Replace Original Alternator on 2001 F150?

1997 - 2003 F-150

Replace Original Alternator on 2001 F150?


Old 01-11-2018, 07:22 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Replace Original Alternator on 2001 F150?

I have a 2001 F150 5.4l 138,000 miles that I drive back and forth yearly from Florida to Minnesota, 1900 miles one way.
I keep up on all the preventative maintenance.
The alternator is original.
Should I replace it or just keeping rolling the dice since it is the factory original? Just dont want a breakdown if it can be prevented.

If I did replace it, probably would use a Napa "new" alternator.
Thanks for any advice.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:23 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: ky.
Posts: 718
At 138,000 it should be OK. I never buy starters and alternators, I just have them rebuilt, and they last for years. I actually have better luck doing that than buying new. If you have a good rebuilder near you, that is one way to go. I've had bearings in alternators to fail, so I always have new bearings put in. But a new NAPA alt. would be just fine also, just listing options.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:24 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: shelton, ct.
Posts: 75
I also got great service out of my 2002 factory alternator replacing it approx. 7/15. I purchased a new "limited lifetime" warranty alternator from Advanced Auto and only got 2 years out of it and it was noisy as anything. I did get my 1 free replacement a couple of months ago and installed it and is a little quieter but at this rate if I have to replace it again, I would get an OEM alternator from the dealer or on Ebay. Otherwise I wouldnt change it if not needed. Just my opinion.

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Old 01-11-2018, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wilmington,NC
Posts: 4,182
My 2002 F150 with 147,000 miles on it is still running its OE alternator. I've been worrying about it for a while and even have a rebuild kit for it. Summer before last i was in the 130ks and I drove it to Wyoming from NC on vacation and I kept an eye on the voltmeter but the truck performed great. I was checking with Autozone a while back and the less expensive "rebuilt" alternators were repaired with only the parts that had failed replaced. "New" alternators were available that didn't require a core trade, probably made in china, where else.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Joplin MO
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I replaced the original on my 2003 with a lifetime warranty reman from O'Reilly a few years back, no issues.

Run yours till it quits, unless you are out in the middle of nowhere you should be able to make it to a parts store on the battery if it quits.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:04 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vernon, NY
Posts: 7,395
Mine started making a nice whining noise and Ford replaced it under the ESP. On my Dakota, I rebuilt it myself. Not hard at all.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:16 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NE iowa
Posts: 809
Is this the same truck you make this trip with every year? Or do you take typically take something else?

If your worried about the possibility of the alternator giving up on your annual trek.
Just get one and take it with you. If it does fail then you at least have the replacement and can swap it out on the road side or truck stop, provided that you bring a correct tools with you as well.
Or only have to pay some labor for someone else to do it. At least make sure you have AAA for the trek. If it was me I would pack a good selection of tools and spare parts.

With your relative low miles, it probably wont need too much attention for a awhile. Mine went to nearly 200k before I replaced it. Not saying that every truck will go this far but I think that is fairly typical.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 66
I have the '97, which should use the same alternator, but I don't know that this is actually true. If it is true, you can replace the brushes when you have the alternator off of the truck.

I had a worn brush that caused the alternator to not work. I put brushes in,but they only lasted a few months -- hundreds of hours of operation and failed again. Upon closer inspection, I found that the commutator shaft -- the main shaft in the middle of the alternator -- had marks in it that appeared to be from Channel Lock pliers or similar. In any case, I had to replace the unit, but the point of all of this is that you can get the brushes for pennies on the dollar of the price for the entire alternator. I cannot say that you can replace the brushes with the alternator in place, in theory you should but the practice indicates that getting to the screws might be a bitch, and if you drop a screw it will fall into the valley of the intake -- not into the intake ports, but onto the top of the engine and under the intake manifold.
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