Alternator too hot

The alternator on our 95' Corsica 2.2-L recently failed, resulting in a dead battery. The battery was fairly old so I bought a new one and replaced the alternator with a rebuilt one from Advance. That one lasted
about a week. It failed a few days after the car was idling in a traffic jam for almost an hour. Advance gave me another rebuilt. I recharged the battery and also changed the 'pigtail' wiring harness that plugs into the back of the alternator. The alternator on this car runs very hot. I compared it to one on a 90' Celebrity 2.2-L. That one runs much cooler. I noticed the Celebrity alternator has a heat shield under it, apparently for reflecting the heat from the exhaust manifold. The Corsica doesn't have this shield.
Based on what I've read on this group about GM alternators, I wouldn't be surprised if the second one on the Corsica fails in the near future. Is there anything that can be done to make these things last a reasonable length of time?
Thanks
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Stargazer,
Yes, GM has had problems with alternators, but if the "Advance" alternator you purchased didn't last as long as the GM one did, then it's "Advance's crappy rebuild".
Here is a tip. Purchase an AC Delco rebuilt alternator. Odds are that you will have fewer problems with the O.E.M replacement product, because they install updated components, that solve the old failure issues.
After-market rebuilt alternators, only have to have one failed componnent replaced, to be called "re-built". Just because it was purchased from your favorite parts store, it dosn't mean it's good.
GMdude
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Could be crappy rebuilds, but you are right that too hot is no good.
Could you go to a local wrecking yard and get a heatshield that would be like from your old Celebrity?
Unfortunately I believe you have the CS series alternator - they seem to run hot and fail often. You can get a rebuild kit for them - I just wimped out and got a 5 year warranty one for the wife's car after replacing one every three years.
(I'm not sure which parts fail - but the alt. will probably outlast the car now so I'll never know.)
Ray
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Check alternator ground, and engine block ground. A poorly grounded alternator heats up, and dies quick.
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Stargazer,
Do not try to put any sort of heat shield on your alternator. It will reduce the air flow around it. The heat is produced by the alternator when it is charging. It needs air flow to cool it down.
An O.E.M or Delco CS alternator should last over 80k miles. Read Mike Levy's story in this thread. The original CS alternator in my wife's 94' Grand Am lasted 90K. I replaced it with an AC Delco. This is low for today's standards. That's why the CS got a bad reputation. Of course some failed sooner than that, but that statement can be applied to any alternator on the market.
I was a GM mechanic for 14 years. I'm not trying to push their product. I could care less about GM, but they make very good re-built products that last. Visit http://www.acdelco.com . These days I care more about how thick my wallet is. That's why I purchase some O.E.M parts, when required. Example: Alternator, starter, brake pads, exhaust...etc. Plugs, wires, filters, brake rotors, and oil, get from the parts store. Yes O.E.M parts cost more, and you should not purchase them if your going to keep your car for only one year.
A tip:
If you are going through alternators, check your battery, or have it load tested. A battery that is in a constant state of discharge will make your alternator work harder and produce more heat. The battery in your car has one purpose, to start the engine. After that, it's the alternator's job to replenish the battery, and run all electrical circuits on your vehicle. And yes, a bad battery can start an engine. The only way to check a battery correctly is to load test it.
GMdude
P.S. You could purchase a rebuild kit for the CS, but taking it apart, will be way over your head, as a do-it-yourselfer. The front and rear bearings are pressed onto the rotor shaft. You won't get the case halves apart. In the old days, this was a piece of cake. You could forget it on the CS, unless you have a couple of days to mess with your car. Odds are that you want it running the same day.
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These alternators do run hot, but it's mostly due to internally generated heat (except in a few cars where the alternator is jammed into a confined area). The 2.2L is probably one of the better positioned ones, I would guess..
You definitely don't want to go with a poor-quality rebuilt alternator with these - this seems to be the usual cause of the complaints about ridiculously short alternator life.
Late-model GMs have a newer-design CS alternator which has dual internal fans on it - I think they seem to be lasting a bit longer. I found it somewhat interesting that my new Saturn Ion has a Valeo alternator on it instead of a Delco..
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Robert Hancock Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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Robert Hancock wrote:

Does this mean a rebuilt for the 95' Corsica could be either the old kind or the new one with a better fan system? What should I look for to identify the new kind?
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