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Old 07-20-2019, 09:41 AM #1
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Question Replace Complete Alternator for Failed Voltage Regulator?

Good morning, all. I have a question I'm hoping you can help with.

We've been having problems starting our 4R. Clicks over and sometimes catches to start, sometimes doesn't. I got it running and took it to O'Reilly Auto (nearest place that could test). They ran a test on the battery and the battery came back fine. He continued testing and said the starter also checks out fine. He continued testing and said that the voltage regulator failed, so we are going to need a new alternator. (I should add that I have no reason to not trust them. They've helped a lot in the past in diagnosing problems, so I'm assuming what they're telling me is accurate.)

Is the voltage regulator part of the alternator assembly, or is it separate? I'm wondering if it's something I could take care of without having to remove or swap out the entire alternator. If I do have to do the entire alternator, no worries. I've got a couple days this next week I can work on it once the part is in.

Thanks in advance for your help. I appreciate it.

-Joel
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:03 AM #2
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Typically you swap the whole alternator. Had it happen on a Honda but I would assume the T4R is the same.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:45 AM #3
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I'd rather rebuild an OEM alternator than buy a low quality 'rebuilt' alternator from a box store. If you don't think you can rebuild it yourself, take it to a local starter/alternator repair shop.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:51 AM #4
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If you are capable of replacing it yourself, then you should be able to test it yourself. Just hook up a meter to the battery and start engine. Voltage should be just above 13.3v. Turn on high beams, A/C on full blast to put alternator under a load. Does it drop below 12.5v?
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:46 PM #5
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Might go for an upgrade while you're at it.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:33 PM #6
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Thanks, all! I appreciate the help.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:59 PM #7
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Alternators are pretty easy to rebuild if you can find a kit for them. Kits usually come with new brushes, bearings, and diode/regulator assy. The new brushes will need to be retained by a pin (because they are usually spring loaded) until you get the case back together - then pull the pins out. I looked and looked for a kit for my old Nissan and never found one - ended up getting a rebuilt one.
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:24 AM #8
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Thanks to @harper7 for posting info about the alternator swap in the service manual in the stickies section. I was able to download everything and am ready to go tomorrow.

After our daughter was born (she's almost 4 years old), our 4Runner quickly changed from an offroad-wannabe to a daily driver with a carseat in the back. I don't need anything crazy in terms of alternators, so I went with a rebuilt one from a local parts shop.

Hopefully all goes well tomorrow.

-Joel
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