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Step 1 - Removing the Alternator

The first thing to do is to disconnect the battery. Always start with the ground (black) wire first.

Now remove the top motor mount brace. It needs to be removed so the engine can be moved around. Plus it gives you a lot more room to work on the car from the top.
Remove the serpentine belt.
For details on this procedure click here: Serpentine Belt

Using some type of homemade tool, remove the belt tensioner assembly. I cut down a hex socket and then used a Craftsman adapter with a wrench. There is one bolt in the middle of the pulley that holds it on.
From underneath the car you need to disconnect the two wires connected to the alternator. A big red wire and a small green wire. The big red wire is how the alternator charges the battery and the small green wire is used to regulate how much current the alternator puts out.

Save the two nuts as you might not get replacements with the new alternator.

For extra space, pull off the little hose connecting the PCV canister to the oil sump. It should just slip off.
Now you can remove the two hex bolts holding the alternator onto the bracket. The lower bolt is very easy to access from the wheel well. The lower bolt was on pretty tight so I used an impact gun to break it loose.

The upper bolt is much more difficult to access. I used a regular hex socket and a long pipe to give some leverage.

Be careful as you do not want to strip these bolts. Make sure the socket is the right size and fully seated.
Once both bolts are removed, you can pry the alternator out of the bracket. Move it out of the way and remove the alternator bracket.

There are only 4 bolts holding the bracket on, and they should not be super tight. Removing this bracket helps make room to remove the alternator from the top. I'm not sure if this is completely necessary when removing it from below, however it is only 4 bolts and only takes a minute to remove.
*I have received a few emails indicating that they have successfully removed the alternator from above, without having to move the engine around. Based on those responses, I recommend you try to remove it from the top before going through all the trouble of loosening things up to be able to move the engine slightly.

In order to slide the engine around you have to loosen the nut on the rear engine mount. I used a swivel socket and long extension to do this.
You need to be able to move the engine forward about 1" in order to get enough space to remove the alternator.

At this point the exhaust is still attached to the turbo. If you can remove the alternator from the top with the exhaust attached then you can avoid taking a chance of breaking a stud off in the turbo housing. I just went ahead and dropped the downpipe as I knew my bolts would come off. I already dropped the downpipe awhile ago for another project.

To drop the downpipe there are three bolts on the turbo, and there are two bolts that hold up the turbo downpipe underneath the car.
Be sure to spray all of the bolts with some penetrating liquied as they are probably rusted and weakened.

Once all of the bolts are removed, the downpipe will drop down until the wires on the O2 sensor are tight. This will free the engine up to move around.
Getting the alternator out of it's hole is a real trick either from above or below. I tried from below first, but I could not push the engine forward with the pry bar and get the alternator out at the same time. Perhaps with two people this would be possible.

I then focused on removing it from the top. It is a tight squeeze and there are some fragile A/C lines nearby. You also need to disconnect the PCV tube going into the oil dipstick, and a large vacuum hose going to the throttle body.

To give me one millimeter more clearance, I decided to use a dremel and sand down the casting ridge on the intake manifold. I think this actually helped a lot for the five minutes it took to sand it down.

From there I just pulled the engine slightly forward and was able to squeeze the alternator out.

If you haven't had a drink yet, then it is definitely time!
Putting the car back together is actually much easier than the removal.



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