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Old 07-04-2005, 04:00 PM   #1
Bus Nut
Eric von Kleist's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Grundy, Virginia
Posts: 632
Year: 1985
Coachwork: ThomasBuilt
Chassis: International Harvester S-1700
Engine: 9L IHC V-8 Diesel 180HP
Rated Cap: 60
Alternator Bearing Shot :cry:

Woo-hoo! My first mechanical problem! (Needless to say, any mechanical problem is not something I look forward to paying for...)

I had my hood raised today to deal with some ants that are trying to take up residence there, when my neighbor noticed that there was a V-belt tightly wrapped around the fan shaft. After examining things, I determined that it was one of the tandem belts running the alternator and air compressor from the main shaft. It is the forward, or outer belt that came off. I examined the alternator, and there appears to be some play, between 1/16" and 1/8" in the alternator shaft assembly. My assumption is that the front bearing (at least) in the alternator is shot.

I rarely drive the bus, but I have been cranking it every 5 days and letting it run for 45 minutes to an hour to charge the batteries. I think the belt must have broken Saturday when I cranked it last, as the pulley grooves where it ran are not rusted or dirty.

I could not readily discern any model number or other identifying information on the alternator, but I did not examine it extremely closely.

The engine is a 1985 IH 9.0 Liter.

The alternator is ...pretty big. It has worked fine so far, at least according to the voltmeter and ammeter on the dash.

Here are my questions:

Is there a standard alternator used on these engines (assuming the school district didn't install something else along the way)?

Where am I likely to find identifying information on the alternator, or how can I identify it otherwise?

...and the biggie...

Can I replace the bearings in this alternator (assuming I can identify it), or is this a situation where buying a new/rebuilt alternator is likely to be just as cheap/expensive?

I really hate to have to do R&R work right now, but I am NOT going to own a disabled vehicle -- since I'm living in this thing, so it has to be functional.

I appreciate any assistance.
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Old 07-05-2005, 02:18 PM   #2
Bus Geek
lapeer20m's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: near flint michigan
Posts: 2,653
I'd just pull the alternator off and take it to a good alternator/starter rebuild shop. IT's worth the money to have an alternator that's done right.

As a poor mans option, any smaller automotive alternator would work in it's place, but a skoolie uses a lot of 12 volt energy when running all the heater blower motors, windshield wipers, lights, fans ect and a standard 60 amp alternator might not be able to keep up.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who will watch the watchmen?)
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