Is it hard to change the alternator on my 1998 Ford Bronco?

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Answered by: Michael, An Expert in the DIY Repairs Category
Let me assure you it is a very easy repair process and does not take too much time at all to replace the alternator.

You will need a set of standard wrenches and a set of standard sockets. You might want to make sure you have a 1/4 inch socket set. You will also need a crow bar so that we will be able to tighten the belt by using that to keep pressure on alternator while tightening the last nut.

So let's get a 3/8 inch wrench and take off the battery cable first. We don't want to have any power going to the alternator so we don't get a bad shock. Undo the cable and then go to the alternator and unplug the plug that's on the top of alternator. It will have a little tab on the side you push to release it so you can pull it out. Once that is done grab your half inch wrenches and look towards the bottom of the alternator and you will see a bolt that is holding the alternator in place. On the back side is a nut that is also the same size. Loosen them and then find the other bolt on the top of the alternator and do the same thing.

Those bolts are the ones that hold it in place there is one more you need to take off that is in the bracket that helps the alternator slide so it can be tightened. Once those or all off your alternator should come right out. Make sure when pulling it our you remember the way it came out and then check to make sure that you have the right alternator and it has all the same fittings and all matches perfectly. Keep the old alternator because there is a core charge that you will be charged if you don't bring back the old one.

We are going to get the bolt that was on the bottom of the alternator and put that back in first so it will hold it in place while you put the other bolts and nuts back on. Make sure not to tighten everything down too tight until you get the belt on and then you can tighten them about 70 percent. You will need to get the new belt and thread it through the way its suppose to go making sure you don't leave any of it off. You can then grab your crow bar and get ready to use it as leverage to keep the alternator tight while you are tightening the nuts and bolts on the unit.

Now you will make sure all the bolts are very tight and the belt is nice and snug also. After you finish tightening them all you can plug the plug back into the top of alternator so that it will have power when its fired up. Now you can get your wrench and put the battery cable back on tightening it so it will not come off. That is a common problem with batteries. People just don't tighten them enough and it eventually will come loose and not start. Its an easy fix but you should not have to do that if tightened properly. Ok and that is all there is to it.

You will want to start the vehicle to make sure your new alternator is operating correctly but all the hard part is done. Hopefully all is well and you wont have to go and replace the alternator again. I hope that helped a bit and good luck with all those emergency repairs.

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