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My Caprice's alternator failed. The car had ~133K on it, and I don't know if it was the original or not. It was the 140-amp model.

I bought a lifetime-warranty Remy 140-amp for $110ish shipped from Rock Auto. https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=474185&cc=1037461&jsn=449

The first one charged fine below 4000RPM, but completely stopped charging above 4K. As in the lights would dim noticeably and voltage would drop into the 12s. Once below 4K, it would begin charging again.

The second one was damaged in shipping and wouldn't spin by hand.

The third one charged all the way to 6K but its output voltage would often (but not always) fluctuate by +/- 1V or more and not do a great job charging the battery. The fluctuations were noticeable as rapid flickering of the dash and headlights as well as being noticeable on a voltmeter.

At this point, Rock Auto offered to let me return it for a refund so I could buy something else. I bought a Duralast Gold from Autozone for $140ish after tax. https://www.autozone.com/batteries-starting-and-charging/alternator/duralast-gold-alternator/607418_222912_0

If you look at the picture, and if you look at the alternator on your B-body, you'll see that neither the top nor the bottom mounting holes are threaded--they're designed to have bolts go through them with a nut on the back end. Well, the top hole on the Duralast alternator was threaded. Not wanting to get a different bolt (why? because REASONS!), I swapped it for another one, which was also threaded.

So, I ordered a fourth Remy from Rock Auto. I figured, surely the third time will be the charm (can't really hold it against them for the one that was damaged in shipping). Alas, no. This one charges fine up to 4K, but from 4K on up, its output goes on and off. Not as fast as the flickering of the third Remy, but I'd say it switches on to off every half second or so.

GAAAHHHH.

I really want to not have to pay for another alternator again, ever, which is why I bought the lifetime-warranty Remy and Duralast. I don't trust parts-store alternators to last forever, so when one comes with a 1-year or 2-year warranty, I fully expect I'll be buying another one in a few years.

The Remy is obviously a bust--those jokers apparently are incapable of making a decent alternator. I don't really want to switch to a different bolt so I can use the Duralast. At this point, I have resolved myself to buying a non-lifetime-warranty alternator. What I'm looking for is you guys to recommend me a dead-nuts reliable alternator that'll work great for a long time, even if it has a short warranty. And under $200, please.
 

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Even medium size cities support a quality starter/alternator rebuilding service that totally go through your entire case for less than $200. I've never had a moment's trouble from anything I've ever had done at ours.
 

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My current alty was found on a JunkYard car and when I opened the hood this super clean Delco Remanufactured Alty was staring me right in the face. For only $15 I just could not pass it up. It works great and has been on there for a few years now.

The alty is 1 part I dont mind getting from an AZ or advance if it comes with a lifetime warranty. The price, ease of replacement and the fact I can go into any store and quickly get a replacement is why I have no fear of these. Now a Waterpump from AZ....thats a completely different animal and I would not trust that and they are a PITA to replace. BTW - the picture to the duralast part does not appear to sow threads in the housing...it looks correct to me. But not only does a nut go on the backside, the top bolt also goes through a support bracket on the back.

Another option, rebuild it yourself with parts from these guys....

https://alternatorparts.com/cs144-alternator-repair-video.html

They have some easy to follow videos and I havespoke with them a few times. He was very helpful and a good resource if you need it.
 

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My current alty was found on a JunkYard car and when I opened the hood this super clean Delco Remanufactured Alty was staring me right in the face. For only $15 I just could not pass it up. It works great and has been on there for a few years now...
Same here- every time I see a nice looking cs144 at the local Pull-A-Part, I grab it. I've got a spare in the car and a couple of extras.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There are three lifetime warranty 140-amp alternator options from the local parts stores.

SHIP TO HOME ONLY - advance auto - $147.99 + $12 + tax - https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/carquest-alternator-new-140-amps-8112-5an/20170106-P

NOT AVAILABLE - o reilly - $145.99 + $10 + tax - https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/ultima-select-5352/charging---starting-16772/alternator-11425/ultima-select-140-amp-alternator-new/n111884b/4544943/1996/chevrolet/impala?q=alternator&fitAttr_10040=140+Amps+and+above

THREADED HOLE - autozone - $145.99 + $16 + tax - https://www.autozone.com/batteries-starting-and-charging/alternator/duralast-gold-alternator/607418_222912_0

So basically I either get an alternator that I'll have to mail off to get replaced if it fails (Advance Auto), one that's just plain not available according to the website (O' Reilly), or one that has a threaded hole instead of a straight-through (Autozone).

There is a local shop that rebuilds alternators, but I've had issues with them. A few years ago, they rebuilt the alternator for my '04 Mustang Cobra, a car that's known for eating alternators. After the initial rebuild, the pulley fell off of the alternator while I was driving. Once I got it back with a new pulley, the voltage regulator went bad, overcharged my battery, and popped it. I had to fight with the shop to get them to cover at least part of the tow and repair costs. So, not going back there.

Do you guys think the AC Delco alternator is a solid option? It's $120.99 plus shipping. Only a 2-year warranty, but if it's a quality product, hopefully I'll never need the warranty. https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=3467844&cc=1037461&jsn=450
 

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Got sick of "lifetime" parts years ago,and refuse to install any of that crap on my car.
 

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I still do not see threads in that Duralast picture. I zoomed in on it and it looks open to me. Did you see one personally and it was threaded? Even if it was, nothing a quick pass with a drill could not fix and no one would be the wiser. But I just don't see any threads there.

Only takes about 10 min to swap one out with just a few sockets. So going with a lifetime unit in an alty would not be a problem for me. But lucked out with the JY find.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I still do not see threads in that Duralast picture. I zoomed in on it and it looks open to me. Did you see one personally and it was threaded? Even if it was, nothing a quick pass with a drill could not fix and no one would be the wiser. But I just don't see any threads there.
You're correct--the picture is thread-free, but the actual unit had threads. I was in the process of installing it and the bolt wouldn't slide through.. I was like, WTF, so I looked more closely and saw the threads. I traded it for a second one, ordered from Autozone in the store instead of via the website, and it also had the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ordered the Delco unit from Rock Auto--hopefully that one will be the last one I have to install.
 

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The Delco alternator showed up today and.. it's literally identical to the Remy unit. It's got the same manufacturing sticker on it--the only difference is that one has a Delco sticker on it, and the other has a Remy.

No test drive tonight--just fired it up in my garage and made sure it charged at idle, which it did.

The rectifier is what has been the problem on all of the Remy alternators that I've had. Hopefully the extra $20 that the Delco unit cost has translated to a slightly better rectifier.
 

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My car had a dead alternator when I pulled it out of the garage it was in. I made the mistake of getting an autozone one because I was in a pinch. I changed out two of them. Pretty much every 6 months I had to replace. I finally got an AC Delco off Amazon. It was $100 or a little over....I don't know where it was manufactured. All I know is that it's been working fine now for years.

If I knew better I would have kept the original and had it rebuilt but I just left it at autozone as a core.
 
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