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Osso, most alternators have exhaust fans on the front with the pulley. They draw air through from rear inlets, and obviously on a 4C Alfa, that's straight off the exhaust headers. Worst possible "cooling" air source.
We all know they go a long time like that, depending on driving conditions, but the heat disperses the lubricants inside the alternator, that oil film holds dirt, the built-up crud retards cooling, resistance builds up which generates more heat, and finally the alternator fails. The life difference between an alternator vented from atmosphere and one pulling air off the exhaust manifold surface might be inconsequential in a cool climate, but in a hot climate, it can be a great deal.
Some new alternators such as the DelcoRemy 24SI have fans in the center, drawing air from both ends of the alternator, and some have cooling exhaust fans on the rear, but I've never seen that on a car.

YHS,

Joe C.
Sono lento, ma sono brutto
Servici Vari Crash Test Dummy and big truck writer about alternators.
 
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