Smoking alternator on my '98 GT
Today when I was leaving work, there was a whine and the alternator was smoking pretty bad as soon as I started it the engine, and smelled like electrical connectors burning. I turned the engine was off, made sure the radio was off, started up again and it ran and charged fine all the way home. No more smoke, no idiot lights, and everything works as it should. I tested it with a multimeter and everything checks out. 12.5v off, and 14.7 idle.
The sticker on the alt has part#213-3115E, which seems to be a NAPA part#. It has a build date of 11/30/2011. I saw no visible sign of anything burnt except the top of the boot on the alt terminal, but I'm pretty sure that was already there before. None of the other plugs looked charred in any way. Could it be internal? The smoke looked a lot like it was coming from below the alt terminal, which could only be internal. I'm just not sure why it would smoke and whine, then work fine for 30 miles and 3 successive startup tests.
Since I don't know much about the history of the car, I'm thinking about getting a new alternator, a hefty ground strap for it, and a new positive lead, but any other ideas would be great.
1998 GT Convertible Auto - Magnaflow catback, CAI, Bilstein HD's, H&R Race springs, 3.55 rear with TORSEN diff, MSD Ignition, chassis strengthening bits (to be installed)