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Thought I'd share some of the stuff I did differently from the book on an alternator job. The subject is a 98 Plymouth Grand Voyager, with 191,000 exactly. The alternator was original and the brushes had worn out. The cast case also had several cracks in it, possibly from me beating it with the handle of my snap-on pry bar, in an effort to coach just a few more days service out of it, until the weather warmed up.

Today was about 25 to 29F, and while it wasn't supposed to snow, it did, which influenced some of the stuff I did.

I took off the wiper tray. Then using a 15mm box wrench, with a 3" 3/8" drive extension in the other side of the box wrench, I took tension off the accessory belt. Then I extracted the belt and tie-wrapped it to a large bundle of wires near the engine mount. This kept very light tension on it, so that the belt didn't fall off the crankshaft, necessitating pulling the right wheel, and the associated splash guard to gain access to the accessory belt.

The alternator in there was a "125" which I assume is a 130 amp alternator. Sparing you the procurement details and debate which ensued, it can be said that the good old 98 spends it's days being driven by my kids, instead of the kids be driven around by it. Also, the air conditioning died a couple of years ago, is a big woosh of oil laden 134a mist on a family trip somewhere in sultry hot Virginia on a mid July day. So there isn't AC to run, and the kids mostly run around in the van. Therefore I got the 90amp alternator which AZ said "fit" the 98.

The last time I did this job, on our 2000 GC I failed to properly read the orange factory shop manual, which said I should remove the generator mount plate. Well, I caught that nuance this time, and decided to repeat the faux pax and bend the generator mount plate to get the old alternator out.

Remember the old snap-on pry bar which I used to beat a few more hours out of the old brushes? Well it came in handy for prying the generator mount plate from the block and cylinder head. I took out the top two 15mm headed bolts, and then loosened the lower 15mm headed bolt, and rearranged heavy formed sheet metal.

Just so that you don't get the wrong idea...that snap-on pry bar...well, I couldn't afford one of those. But they sure are nice. I found mine at the side of the expressway. I went by it at lunch one day, noticed it had apparently fallen off some high priced plumber's truck, and left his jewel for him to find. He didn't, and several hours later I was the owner (possession is 90% of ownership) of a well used, somewhat rusty snap-on pry bar.

Back to the "generator bracket" as Chrysler calls it...Without much effort I could extract the alternator from it's haven in the rear of the engine compartment. To my delight, the 90 amp one I had from AZ was about 7mm smaller, and just slipped through the opening I had forced, with so much ease that it was inaudible. Pushing the generator mounting plate back into position, and hand screwing in the 15mm headed mounting bolts was easy.

I tightened everything up, feeling good that I had (this time knowingly) saved time with bending, rather than removing the alternator bracket.

Using the previously mentioned adapted tools to move the belt adjuster, I was able to cut the tiewraps, and slide the accessory belt over the alternator, maintaining it on all the pulleys. I was grateful that I didn't have to jack up the right side, pull the wheel, and splash shield just to get the accessory belt on. By now, 2 inches of snow had fallen, and I was working on ice, so I felt doubly smug that my tiewrap trick worked. (Tighter tiewraps work well for preserving timing belt orientation when popping off 4 cyl cylinder heads. Handy little buggers.)

If you've gotten this far, thanks for enduring my verbosity, and I hope your alternator replacement goes as smooth as possible.
 
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