Alternator Terminal Cap

tkruger

Master Mechanic
May 6, 2015
258
43
NY
I have an 1987 Monte Carlo LS. Changed what I believe to be the original alternator last spring. It does have the black cap. I am the second owner and the car's records did not indicate the alternator ever being changed. Since the 1988's where built in 1987 I would suspect they used the same part.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,647
113
I have an 1987 Monte Carlo LS. Changed what I believe to be the original alternator last spring. It does have the black cap. I am the second owner and the car's records did not indicate the alternator ever being changed. Since the 1988's where built in 1987 I would suspect they used the same part.
Mostly true, but not always. You always have to double check. In this case with the cap, it is very likely true. In scouring pics on the net of low-mile cars, it appears 1985 was the last year for any RED caps on the G-body alternators, Buick, Olds, and Chevy. Although GP is still not verified. If you need the red cap, you can always paint the black ones.
 

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
6,802
113
Elderton, Pa
Mostly true, but not always. You always have to double check. In this case with the cap, it is very likely true. In scouring pics on the net of low-mile cars, it appears 1985 was the last year for any RED caps on the G-body alternators, Buick, Olds, and Chevy. Although GP is still not verified. If you need the red cap, you can always paint the black ones.
I would say not all cars had the cap. My '86 MC (late '85 build date) that I bought as a parts car years back had the rubber boot instead of a plastic cap. It was a LG4 car with alot of electical options. To be honest I've personally never seen a MC or Elky with the cap, all seemed to have the boot.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,647
113
According to service parts information, the Caprice/Impala have replacement boots. The 86-88 Monte has the black plastic cover.

If the factory did it differently, the replacement part wasn't going to be a boot if the parts guy used the GMSPO to get replacement parts. I admit I am weak in Chevrolet-speak.
 

79 USA 1

G-Body Guru
Sep 2, 2011
729
93
Cheektowaga, New York
Hate to be that guy but...I pulled my 88 SS out of storage today and the alternator has a single opening red cap.
Build date on door shows 08/87 and VIN calls out Pontiac Michigan assembly plant.
While it could be what the car was born with I have to also disclose the original short block was replaced under warranty within the first year due to a overheating issue. Guess this had one of the 305 blocks that cracked across the lifter galley. Same dealership that sold the car did the short block swap. Not going to say that other small parts didn't get changed out.
I also went through my 86 El Camino parts stash and found the alternator,that has a double opening red cap. Was the 3rd engine in the El Camino before I purchased it so who knows what it came with.
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
5,647
113
Hate to be that guy but...I pulled my 88 SS out of storage today and the alternator has a single opening red cap.
Build date on door shows 08/87 and VIN calls out Pontiac Michigan assembly plant.
While it could be what the car was born with I have to also disclose the original short block was replaced under warranty within the first year due to a overheating issue. Guess this had one of the 305 blocks that cracked across the lifter galley. Same dealership that sold the car did the short block swap. Not going to say that other small parts didn't get changed out.
I also went through my 86 El Camino parts stash and found the alternator,that has a double opening red cap. Was the 3rd engine in the El Camino before I purchased it so who knows what it came with.
One thing I've learned about the factory and service parts replacements...there's ALWAYS an exception(s) and sometimes the exception is the norm. No absolutes. While it's rather a nit-pick item, the red covers and black covers predominately had their places. As well as some having the rubber boots. Sometimes, due to parts shortages, or substitutions, GM usually excercised that right to substitute parts as they saw fit on the assembly line to get cars out the door and to the dealerships. It's entirely possible to have a red cap on the back of the alternator on your 88 MCSS from the factory. Although as you state it may not be the cap that came on it from the factory.
 
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