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Old 02-04-2020, 09:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 7
1997 gm 5.7 short bus alternator replacement

Hey guys. We just got our first short bus. 1997gm with the 5.7 on our way home from buying it the alternator we think died. The bus bogged down and after shutting it off it would just click when we tried to start it.
Battery was old so we replaced it and it got us down the road about 5 miles and same thing happened and all it would do is click.
How hard is it to get to the alternator to replace? Iv been looking on YouTube to no avail on similar vans and buses.. if anyone has a guide that would be awesome.

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Old 02-05-2020, 12:58 AM   #2
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Try checking the connectors/wires on the battery. Make sure they are clean/tight. Also check the thick wire going to the starter and the connection at the starter.

Many auto parts stores will check your alternator at no charge. If you have a volt meter, test the voltage on the battery when the engine is running. It should be 13.8-14.3 if the alternator is working properly.
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Old 08-12-2020, 10:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Godfrey ON
Posts: 36
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TCF
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
There'll be 2 connections to that alternator - a largish (typically) red wire fastened by a nut to the back, and a smaller plug (with 2 wires).

As stated, with the engine idling, the large wire should measure 13.5 - 14.2 volts to body or ground.

If the alternator output reads the same as the battery "plus" to body, and slowly decreases with time as the engine idles .. yeah, the alternator may be done.

Screw the box stores "what make and model sir/ma'am"! Look up "auto electric rebuilders" wherever you are. that old Delco with the core shouldn't run you more than $100.

The secret is not to say "bus" .. Just bring it in, plop it on the counter, and say "want one of these". Regardless of the eighty odd Delco alternator part numbers, there are only actually a few to fit any specific application. (The Delco stator housings clock on the mounting tab casting to account for multiple part numbers .. )

As well .. as you have a '97 without the electronics to care .. there are "one wire" replacement alternator options (they don't use the smaller plug) which work quite well.
Stranded in time.. Surrounded by evil.. Low on gas.
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