right, got the alternator off, i undid the two bolts that hold the lower mounting brackets to the engine block. good job i've got thin arms (but more wrists would have been useful, say an extra two on each arm!)
i've stripped the back off the alternator and removed a black box with cooling fins on it. i have left the three diodes running from the alternator coil to the rail (i tested them, they seem ok. just realised though, they're connected in parrallel. if one works, they would all look like they work. well, i don't think they're the problem anyway).
thing is, i've got the box with the heat sink, is this the regulator? i've also got a tiny little black box that sits just before the positive terminal of the alternator. it's got two terminals, but when i test them for continuity, there isn't any. does anyone know what this is?
also, how can i test my regulator (out of the vehicle). i've only got a standard multimeter (doesn't do transistors)
cheers folks, this is the last bit and then i'm done!
Just thought id let u know that the bolt should go in from the other side so it seems someones had it off before. It was hard to get it back in though, i was holding the alt while trying to push the bolt through but the alt slipped fortunatly into the right place and the bolt went straight through ,first bit of good luck ive ever had while working on a car.
cheers sid, it'll be a lot easier to get back together that way!
i took the voltage regulator out and took it to an auto electrics place who told me it wasn't a voltage regulator. that got me worried, but i thought "he's the pro, i must be mistaken". so i left him the whole alternator to sort.
when i got back into work i did some surfing and found this picture of the part he said wasn't the regulator.
oh **** thinks i, but he called me later to say that he couldn't 'confidently' fix it. (i'm a bit relieved).
so, it's off to moparts tomorrow morning, they'll do me an exchange on the alternator for £67, which is a bit better than the £150 vauxhall were looking for.
so basically, stripping the regulator out got me nowhere, vauxhall could replace it for £30 (and a three day wait), but they couldn't test the old one to verify that that was the problem. next time the alternator *ucks up, i'll just replace it.