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Diagnosis Required..Help!!! (73 Auto)

Pegasys

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Messages
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Corvette
1973 Red Coupe
Ok, maybe bad luck, maybe nothing, but here goes...

Just took my 1973 out for a spin, didn't "warm it up" more than a minute or 2, drove a couple of blocks and it sputtered and stalled, started it again, went a few feet and it kind of choked a bit and almost stalled again. Waited a minute, revved it a bit and then ok.

Now comes the BIGGER problem. Drove it for 5 minutes to a friend's house and while it idled there smoke started coming out from under the hood. I left it running, opened the hood and saw smoke pouring out from the alternator. Not sure exactly where, because I ran to turn off the engine.

Ideas?? I let it cool down (5-6 minutes) started it back up and it seemed ok. Drove it home - 5 minutes or so - then let it idle for 10 minutes....nothing...no smoke, sputtering...nada.

PLEASE...suggestions?? Do I need to tow it somewhere for repair?

(The window handle broke when I went to close the window on the way home) Ok, I'm embarassed, but not too embarassed to ask for help from my new family!

Mike :confused :cry
 
A

Ala75Vette

Guest
Not sure on the 'first' prob, but I'd have to say it's a safe bet you need a new alternator. I suspect the smell of the smoke from the alternator was like burning wires, that ozone-ish electrical smell. Either that or something's seized up in the alternator and it's frying the belt....(and the smoke smelled like rubber)
 

Pegasys

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Messages
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Corvette
1973 Red Coupe
Thanks Ala75Vette...but then why did it run ok for 10-15 minutes afterwards? I guess I'll strt it up tomorrow and then maybe go for a short spin and see if it acts up. Could it be just oil or something else the engine picked up? I know you're probably right though.
 
A

Ala75Vette

Guest
Well, hope springs eternal, and if your planets are aligned just right, perhaps you're so lucky as to it just being some random oil on the manifold or something. It can happen. But, Murphy's Law says you need a new alternator....and, with time, your problem will probably resurface, only worse. I'd be watching the battery charging gauge on your instrument cluster, too. If it's waaay minus, the alternator is gone (aka kaput) and you'll be needing some jump starts soon...
 

Pegasys

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Messages
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Corvette
1973 Red Coupe
I thought it was just the gauge...ok..so that IS it then.

Thanks a lot...M
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
To be safe, I always fully charge my battery before starting the car with a new alternator. Reason being, the battery is probably drained more than normal and if it's too low, the alternator will die if you try too many times to try starting with a low battery.

- Eric:w
 

Pegasys

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Messages
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Corvette
1973 Red Coupe
Thanks Eric. I always thought that if the alternator went, the car would just go "clunk" when you tried to start it. This actually started smoking. Then after a few minutes it worked fine. The guy I bought it from had it 2 years and just stored it. He said the gauge was broken.
 

Pegasys

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Messages
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Corvette
1973 Red Coupe
What IS a fair price for a new alternator and the labor to install? SHould I get a reconditioned one or a new one?
 

Yoda

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Messages
4,884
Location
Amarillo, TX
Corvette
1981 UL5
..M
A new alternator can cost upward to $165 depending upon the size (amps), rebuilt you can figure you'll save around 25% of a new, usually with exchange of your old aternator.

I think the '73 came with either a 63 amp/alt or "high output" 85 amp/alt. You can buy them bigger all the way up to 120+ amps. Unless you're running a giant booming stereo and lots of other electronics,, I would recommend staying with direct replacement amp/alt.

I've only replaced one alternator in a Corvette in all my years and I got the GM new replacement, it's been so long ago I don't recall the costs.. Installation of the alternator is fairly easy and straight forward, with a little mechanical ability.. Labor would probably be at least an hour to hour and half shop time, and they will sell you on new belts, and hoses ;)

I would recommend changing out the belt or maybe this would be a good time to change all the belts, esp. if your car hasn't seen much road time in the past few years.

Good Luck
BudD
:w
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
On the window handle: Did it just pop off into your hand? If this is the case, a simple c-clip bought from any reputable car parts retailer should do the trick. Just ask someone and they'll point you in the right direction. It's a PITA to insert it back on, so there's a window/lock handle clip tool, also. Shoudn't be more than a few bucks.

--Bullitt
 

Pegasys

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Messages
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Corvette
1973 Red Coupe
Thanks Bullitt... Actually it broke in half in my hand!!?? :cry

I just ordered from Eckler's, the replacement and the tool to do it...

:)
 

Jack

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
a DOZEN alternators?

Pegasys:
Sounds like the alternator to me too ... unless originality an issue here, just get another from local parts house ... usually pretty cheap. Funny, just before going out of town Wednesday, I ordered a spare rebuilt alternator from my supplier. While away, delivery was made. I just returned home and realize my supplier made an error and had shipped me (and billed for) ONE DOZEN alternators ... I guess rep's finger rolled the 1-2 buttons when she keyed in my order. I'll call them next week to see about returning eleven. If that isn't practical then I'll have eleven for sale. They're all rebuilt 63 amp internal regulator Delco with fan & pulley (like on most GM of the shark era) ... they're not coded for vette but will fit & function same as original. If I get stuck with them I'll see if anyone here wants to purchase a spare for what I have in them.
JACK:gap
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
You don't need the tool to install the handle - only to remove it. When you install the handle, you put the clip in the slots of the handle first, then smack it on the shaft - that's why the end of the shaft is chamfered. The new handles come with the clip already in place, just as they did on the assembly line.
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
Ahhh... more useful insight. Maybe that explains why I had a hardtime of it. D'oh! :(
 

Pegasys

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2002
Messages
48
Location
Toronto, Canada
Corvette
1973 Red Coupe
John,

I still need to remove the window handle. It broke in half! I'll let you guys know how it turns out - maybe my first self repair....
 

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