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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks wanted your thoughts, I have a 2007 E-150 with 5.4L V8. Currently about 113K on the clock. Has been an excellent vehicle with no major issues.
But I have a concern as I'm about to go on my third trip to Kentucky from California and I have added some electrical equipment.
Namely a 20 amp DC-DC charger that is fed direct from the alternator and is manually turned on or off. Now being that were at 14 years old I'm thinking it would be a good idea for me to have a spare alternator and water pump on board.

It seems OK still churns out 14.4 on a cold morning and of course drops a bit as the engine warms up, and in this summer heat it holds roughly 13.6 while tooling down the highway, but with AC on in the heat it can drop as low as 12.2 at idle. this also can happen if the Charger is cranking which draws about 35 amps on it's own.

As for the water pump, it seems ok, no strange noises or leaks and I have never ever seen the temp gauge change up or down even on the hottest of days climbing a hill.

I guess it's a gamble as if I get them, they may not be needed for a couple years and of course no return no warranty at that point.
But at least I wouldn't be at the mercy of where ever I'm broke down at.

Mike R
 

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Alternators usually fail due to heat and foreign debris.
Only thing you can do about heat is keeping the path for air flow into the engine compartment cleaned out. Hose out the radiator and condenser. And check and clean the engine especially around the alternator. But avoid getting anything into the alternator.

As far as debris, you might be able to blow it out with compressed air. Or if you want to do the Full Monte, remove, disassemble case and clean. Any rotating connections would be an area to focus. It has been so long since I have had an alternator apart, I assume there are brushes. (see pic?) If there are brushes that are not making full contact, it is possible the alternator will not fully charge and will generate greater heat.

As long as you have serviced the cooling system on a regular basis with the correct coolant, the pump can last for double the mileage. I have 180K on my 06 5.4l daily driver. And I have done nothing to the cooling system except drained and refilled the cooling system every 3 years.

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A recommendation that is not asked above.

With just over 100K in miles, if you have not replaced all of the O2 sensors, I would recommend doing so.
An O2 sensor is feedback the PCM uses in real time to make air/fuel ratio adjustments on a fraction of a crankshaft rotation. Signal speed is key to the O2 sensor. As a sensor ages the signal is slower. However a slow signal will never trip the CEL. Only a no signal situation will trip the CEL. Installing a fresh set of o2 sensors will improve operation and you will get better fuel economy. May be a 1/2 to a full MPG.

If you decide to do this, it is something that is rather easy to do. IMO easier than removing the rear spark plugs of that engine if you had a truck or SUV. (The rear cover of a van is almost cheating for spark plug replacement) And I have always gotten generic O2 sensors from a website. Typically the sensors are under $20 each. That is what I have done and recommend.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Appreciate the comments folks. NP changing out the sensors. i think I'll continue to just monitor voltage and pray LOL. I do have a dual voltage meter I custom made that reads the starting battery and the house batteries right on my dash above the steering wheel. I'm a bit anal about that.
 
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