I’ll start this off with a story so you can get a reference as to where I’m coming from. If you’d like to skip it there’ll be a bold End of Story so you’ll know.

So at the end of last November I was a few days from moving from WA to TX when the alternator shit the bed. You have to remove one of the CV axles to get to the alternator in the Integra, and since I have bad experiences with CV axles, I decided to just take it to a shop to handle it so I wouldn’t be stuck in WA for a few extract days wrestling with a stupid axle.

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La-dee-dah everything’s fine for a few months till May(?) when I’m out of town and BOOM! Alternator shits out again. Since it’s not something I’m willing to do in a parking lot, unless it’s absolutely necessary. I take it to a shop and fork over another $500 for them to replace it. Although they were at least kind enough to give me the old alternator.

End of Story

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So the guys who replaced the last alternator tested it and said the voltage regulator was bad. They did it with the little machine thingy, so idk how accurate that is for diagnosing specific components like that.

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So I have the old alternator partially disassembled (enough to access the regulator and brushes as you can see.) With the intent of replacing the regulator and the brushes.

Somewhat of a side note, but here’s what the connection points on the brushes looks like. Don’t know if that’s a problem, and if it is, if it’s the original problem or symptom of the regulator *allegedly* going bad.

Here’s my main dilemma though. The new regulator costs

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$142- Autozone and O’Reillys

$193- NAPA (Echlin brand, which I replaced my main relay with and it’s lasted longer than both alternators.)

While a rebuilt/new alternator would be.

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$125- Autozone and O’Reillys Re-manufactured

$124-$230- NAPA Re-manufactured

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$234- NAPA New

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Not to mention new brushes for $20. Because even if they’d still work as they’re pictured. I tried to put them back on and didn’t know you were suppose to push them down, so I messed up the little spring mechanism that pushes them up.

I’m still leaning to the rebuild side, because my logic is that a voltage regulator that costs more than reman alternator, will be a better regulator than the one in the cheaper alternator. I have no idea if that’s good reasoning or not.

Instill in me your infinite and sage wisdom Oppo.

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PS: My alternator is fine at the moment (knocks on wood and rubs a rabbit’s foot.) So the question is more of. Rebuild now and have it on hand for when it shits the bed, versus wait till the alternator goes out and buy one then.