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I've got a squeaky alternator. While trying to get the thing out I found that the EGR valve was in the way. But, the bolts holding the EGR mount to the block seem like they're going to sheer off if I torque them enough. A sticky aluminum kind of thing. For now I just put the alternator back on waiting for a better time to work on this. But honestly, it doesn't seem possible to fit an impact wrench in there to break them loose. I'm looking for suggestions.
 

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Do not use an impact wrench on these! Blast the bolts in PB blaster (or another rust buster) and let them sit for for a while. I used a 1/4 ratchet, universal, an extension and regular socket (cant remember the size 6mm? 8mm?) They feel like they are going to break but they just let loose with a snap/crack and my first reaction was "Oh $%#" I broke the bolt but realized that it was turning. (The socket head would snap before they will break on a 1/4") I may have used a 3/8 with an adapter to get the leverage. They are in a terribly hard to reach place but you can get the lower bolt out w/o removing the alternator. (guess since you already have it out it shouldnt matter)

Not me and not my video or my technique.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxwUOUmcOdI
 

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I do remember now, I used the 1/4 inch drive and when the bolt finally broke loose the socket broke too. It did loosen the bolt enough to get it out. A quick trip to Sears and replacement to tighten the new one on.
Oh and to answer your initial question, yes (sort of). I broke a stud in an exhaust manifold and I can say it truly sucks! Easy out didnt work, tried reverse tap that ended up broken in the bolt. Ended up taking it to a machine shop who drilled out the stud and put another larger stud in. Not cheap but at least I could take off the manifold and take it the shop, cant do that with a block.
 

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In addition to soaking with PB Blaster it will probably help to have the block warm since Al expands more than steel.


Also hit the head of the bolt lightly with a hammer if you can reach it.

Sometimes gently alternately applying torque CW and CCW will break some loose.

Steel bolts and Al threads don't do well together. When you reinstall the bolt use a tiny bit of anti-seize.
 

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All good advice! And despite all this, every once in a while, a bolt will break off in a "tough" location! (^**&#^)%.

It's possible to remove the alternator (on 3.8s) without removing either the EGR or dipstick tube, which is another good candidate for breaking off in the block.

Remove the plastic cover above the upper radiator support, then remove the upper radiator support, which is 4 bolts, as I recall. With a little twisting and turning, this will provide enough room to get the alternator up past the back of the radiator.
 

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Anti seize!! Arrgg knew I forgot something on that install. I've got 75,000 over all and I've got 15k on the new EGR, it hope the EGR wont fail before the rings or bearings :) I may actually break a bolt next time around.

Wish I knew about the rad support for the alt, ended up taking the EGR out six months later to do the alt ADP, sounds like a diesel when the bearing goes bad.
 

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EGR bolts are especially sticky because of all the heat which causes rust, sort of like exh manifold bolts - another real pain. Both these places are good candidates for SS bolts. I have been using brass nuts on exh manifold studs for many years now, sure saves a lot of frustration. I'm not sure brass bolts would work though, they probably would just twist off. Easy to drill out though!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I went back to it and gave it a little more pressure and got the EGR bolts out cleanly. We pulled the alternator out, drilled a hole in the plastic end of the pulley, squirted some grease in there and put it back together. We also put some grease in the bearings of one of the idler pulleys and put it all back together. The high pitched squeak was then gone but the whining/grinding sound stayed. So, thinking it was the alternator pulley we ordered a replacement alternator. We got that changed and the grinding/whining sound still remains. I'm wondering if it is the power steering pump. I remember a sound kind of similar on the last Caravan and replacing the rack solved it.
 

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... the grinding/whining sound still remains. I'm wondering if it is the power steering pump. I remember a sound kind of similar on the last Caravan and replacing the rack solved it.
One usual suspect in the P/S system on the 4 gens is the P/S Reservoir. Although the sound is usually described as "groaning", I think mine also did some whining and grinding along the way, before I silenced all of the various noises with a new P/S Reservoir. Do a search on this forum, and you will find everything you would every want to know about this very common issue.
 

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Unfortunately once a steel shaft/bearing starts to squeal it is damaged. Grease will temporarily stop the noise but it will be back because of the scoring.

What is the secret to search? I searched power steering reservoir and power steering pump - nothing! So I know I'm not doing something right here, this is not rocket science.
 

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... What is the secret to search? I searched power steering reservoir and power steering pump - nothing! So I know I'm not doing something right here, this is not rocket science.
Well, I just tried and didn't get hits either. Although this is a very well know problem, I'm not sure how much has been posted in the past year, and perhaps something is kaput with long-term search.
Anyway, here's a thread that covers just about every aspect of this issue. This was the one that was a huge help to me, and I'm certain many others as well.
http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/showthread.php/6549-Power-Steering-Noise-Fix-Changed-the-Reservoir
 

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use the correct search button, not the one on the top

To start, click on "Forum: 4th. Generation Chrysler Minivans: 2001-2007"
When that page loads, you will see "search forum" on the right
This will search just the 4th gen forum
I get lots of hits for power steering reservoir

Other alternative - use google
example:
power steering 4th generation site:forum.chryslerminivan.net/
or
power steering 4th generation site:http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/
 

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use the correct search button, not the one on the top

To start, click on "Forum: 4th. Generation Chrysler Minivans: 2001-2007"
When that page loads, you will see "search forum" on the right
This will search just the 4th gen forum
I get lots of hits for power steering reservoir

Other alternative - use google
example:
power steering 4th generation site:forum.chryslerminivan.net/
or
power steering 4th generation site:http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/
I did all that the first time!!

Just now I tried it again. The top right search works fine - so far! However, it doesn't say "Search Forum", it is just a blank white search box in the blue menu strip?

The center top search box in the Forum strip works not at all!!

Go figure?
 

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Well all this talk of snapping bolts...
Helped a friend this morning change an alternator on a 2000 Maxima. The aluminum tensioner bracket has a long skinny thin steel bolt which welded itself. Of course, snapped bolt. Not enough meat to drill and tap for a new bolt, ended up getting a part from his friend a Nissan mechanic who keeps spares in his car.
Wish we'd discuss warm weather and no snow, I'm tired of this winter already.
 
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