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1988 MR2 Supercharged
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am completely new to the MR2 world and my wife and I just picked up a 1988 Supercharged model. It is in need of an alternator and after looking around online I figured I would pick all your brains for a little help. First off, am I correct that a 1988 Supercharged MR2 is an AW11? Or are there other model designations based on certain features such as Manual or Auto transmission? Second, does anyone have a good recommendation for an alternator, are there certain ones I should stay away from? Are OEM ones even out there any more? I tried searching the forum for some answers but this is truly the first forum I have been part of and I got lost. Im sure this topic has been covered at some point.

Thanks for any info you guys can help out with
 

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Driving MR2s since '89
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Yes, all MK1 MR2s can be referred to as AW11s. The alternator for the Supercharged (SC) model is not the same as for the normally aspirated MK1. The SC alternator does NOT have an integral voltage regulator. So you need the SC specific part. They are hard to find. I don't think Toyota sells them anymore.

Adapting an NA alternator is possible but I don't have details. Others have had good results having their old one rebuilt by a shop that specializes in automotive electrical work.

[edit]
RockAuto has a rebuilt one in stock currently. $76
 

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1988 MR2 Supercharged
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks JimKing, I had a feeling there may be some challenges to finding parts for this car. It was just too damn cool to pass up though. I'm thinking rebuilding it will be the way to go.
 

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Since the alternator and regulator are separate units, you need to determine which part you actually need. The BGB has tests to localize the failure.

Of course, if it is the bearings, then the diagnosis is simple.
 

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I've never had good luck with the normal auto parts store alternators. Even when I worked in an auto parts store many years ago. They were all junk. I've never owned an S/C model. If you can't find a decent one, look for a local rebuilder. Can't be any worse than most reman units
 

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Yes, all MK1 MR2s can be referred to as AW11s. The alternator for the Supercharged (SC) model is not the same as for the normally aspirated MK1. The SC alternator does NOT have an integral voltage regulator. So you need the SC specific part. They are hard to find. I don't think Toyota sells them anymore.

Adapting an NA alternator is possible but I don't have details. Others have had good results having their old one rebuilt by a shop that specializes in automotive electrical work.

[edit]
RockAuto has a rebuilt one in stock currently. $76
That's exactly what I did. Bought a one-wire regulator and he slapped it in to my alt. Now no plugs but my charging light will always be on. I dont care for now...
Everything about the 4-agze alt. Replacement job has been a bitch. Especially getting the nut on the bottom bolt on the inside.
 

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I have been waiting for the correct rebuilt unit to become available from RockAuto for the last nine months! I ordered twice and both times they sent me the wrong alternator - no plug and not even the correct pulley. Right now I have about given up on anything becoming available so I'm waiting until Spring and will drive the car to a garage to have it removed and rebuilt locally, have it towed back home during the rebuild and then towed back for the re-installation. I'm driving on the battery right now so I'm limited to how far I dare drive it but carry a spare battery in the trunk! Replacing the alternator is not an easy job because it more or less requires that the car be on a lift to get at it from the underside. These alternators are subject to failure, unfortunately, and an old post suggested that the problem is oil leaking from the distributor so you might want to have the mechanic look at replacing that seal.
 

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also having the a/c compressor under the alternator made me opt for taking out the oil filter. It was way easier getting to the dist. bolts and wiring that way and I just had it on jackstands. Oh and if you still have the original alternator send it to The Rebuilder 722 Central Ave S, Kent, WA 98032. His review rating is 5 stars(ill bet hes the best in the country) or call him at (253) 854-0904 Mon-Fri 8-3 PST.
 

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I still have not been able to locate an alternator (and I tried junk yards, too). I like your suggestion on the oil filter removal and I already have the vehicle on jack stands for a muffler replacement that I did last fall. IF taking out the oil filter makes the job of removal doable using the jack stands, I will remove it myself . I will call your recommendation and hope he can give me a quick turnaround. Thanks for the oil filter tip. There are two local re-builders but I am not sure about their competence. One has an associate that would actually come over to remove and re-install the rebuilt. Thanks for the post and I'll let you know how it went.
 

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Since the SC alternator has no internal regulator, an electrical rebuild is most likely either brushes or diodes. Both of these are easy to do.
I was able to remove the alternator by taking it out thru the air inlet - not easy but doable! I had a local rebuilder look at it and he suggested having the stator rewound because of discoloration that he thought was due to overheating. He tested it and said it was still functional but we decided to rewind it anyway. He also replaced the diodes, brushes and commutator. After reinstalling it, all is well. In addition, I had the distributor rebuilt with new seals, rotor, cap and bearing to hopefully prevent a recurrence of the oil leak from the distributor that apparently caused the alternator failures. The voltage regulator did need replacing so all is well except the oil pressure gauge is not working after my installation. I think I may have pulled the connection off so I will take a look at it the next time I change the oil to see if I can find the wire and reconnect it. No more idiot lights staying on . At some point I will consider selling it as I am getting too old to be crawling around on my garage floor but I plan to enjoy the winter/spring repairs for one more summer!
 
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