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How Do I Replace My Alternator


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#1
weezy7997

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I have a 94 626 LX 2.5 Liter V6.
Got my alternator checked at Advance Auto and they said that my alternator has a bad Diode and I need to replace it and I need to know how to do that because I priced it and the shop wanted $350 and I feel thats to much for that amount of work. So if anyone knows the steps to change it out please help..... :P :biggrin:

#2
blackshine007

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there's 2 ways of getting at it, from the top or from the bottom. the easiest way is from the bottom. i would take off the A/C compressor (letting it dangle in the air) and remove it from there. it takes about 20 minutes to get to but no hard task. I sure beats cocking the radiator to the side to get the alternator out!!!

#3
NickR

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I have to disagree with you there, Blackshine! I think the easiest way is to take the radiator out (though, I admit, I have never tried it the other way). But the reason I think that is because when you take the radiator out, you are standing upright looking down at the alternator, rather than working from underneath!

Whichever way you do it, weezy:
1.disconnect the negative battery cable.
2. loosen (do not remove) the 17 mm bolt on the pulley wheel that adjusts the belt tension.
3. Unscrew (counterclockise) the 10mm nut on the tension adjuster, right next to the dipstick.
4. This bit is important: There are two 12mm bolts holding on the alternator. The top one is easy, just unscrew it and remove it. The bottom one looks really impossible, because it is too long to remove. The trick is that you don't remove it; you just loosen it, then push the alternator forward (towards the radiator) and a little bit upwards. Instead of the lower bolt going through an "O"-shaped hole in the alternator, it just slots into a "C"-shaped groove, so you don't need to pull that lower bolt right out (which is just as well, since you can't).
5. The belt tension should have 1/4 inch deflection.

If you do it from underneath, as Snailman recommends, you need to remove the front passenger wheel, and the plastic shield, to get at it. (It can also be easier to do this when you are doing it the other way, by removing the radiator, since it will make it easier to get at the belt, though you may not need to if you have long thin arms.)

If you use the radiator method, the radiator drain plug is on the passenger side (I needed help to find it!). You may also need to remove the fans, to get the radiator out. It is easiest if you remove the top hose at the block, and remove the bottom hose where it joins the block under the airbox. Damn, maybe Blackshine is right after all!

Whichever way you do it, replacing the alternator is not quick on these cars!

Good luck!

#4
weezy7997

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Thanks I am going to go and try that and let you know how it came out looks a lot easier from the bottom than the top. :biggrin:

#5
NickR

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Good luck! The hardest bit for me was getting that accursed belt tensioner loose. It had rusted solid. I seriously suggest you start there, before doing anything else. Of course, maybe you don't live in the 'rust-belt' like I do.

#6
blackshine007

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I went all the way to the store just to go get another keyboard just so I can tell you the differences between doing that from the top and the bottom. First off, I'll let you know that I've done it from both from positions. The top (Once the radiator is out) is slightly easier to do so by, but involves struggling with one bolt, which is in the way of the compressor, but it will come out. But if you're not trying to buy more coolant, wait for the air pockets to get out the system and constantly remonitor it, then you best take the bottom.

The best bet is to put the car on jack stands, take off the RF wheel and dust shield, and along with the few long bolts that hold the compressor to the block, after that, those 3 bolts that hold it down is the only thing that keeps it in (alternator). It falls out alot easier with the compressor out the way, trust me on that. Remember, you're talking to a mechanic that just don't work on 4 banger mazdas for a living, but everything else. After doing 5 alternators on Mazdas and Probes (1 MX6, 2 Probes & 1 626 V6 models, one on a 4 banger 626 atx), you about figure out which would be the fastest and more cost effective. After all, I have to be quick about how I do things or I don't make money, and trust me, I like to make money.

#7
josiah47

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hello you guys
i had to replace my alternator too, twice. the first one they gave me blew lol.
ok well i did it from the bottom and it wasn't hard at all except for the 4 bolts on the compressor they are the hardest if you take it out i did. i just did it with the car on the groundwan't that hard. took me 30 min the first time and about 10min the second. i think the bottom is you best bet.
cya

#8
NickR

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ok well i did it from the bottom and it wasn't hard at all except for the 4 bolts on the compressor they are the hardest if you take it out i did. i just did it with the car on the groundwan't that hard. took me 30 min the first time and about 10min the second. i think the bottom is you best bet.
cya

That's fast! A lot faster than it took me, removing the radiator and working from the top.
It looks like you are right on this, Blackshine!
But I still can't imagine doing it upside down, from underneath. Vertigo!

Strange how many people, like me, have had to replace it twice, after the first replacement quickly went bad.

#9
kritter

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But I still can't imagine doing it upside down, from underneath. Vertigo!

Strange how many people, like me, have had to replace it twice, after the first replacement quickly went bad.

Let that be a lesson to all of us to buy replacement parts that come with warranties! :smile:

As for the working from underneath vs. the top.. I am like you and would favor working from the top when possible, even if it's not necessarily quickest. If I was on solid ground and had more experience, I might think differently though.. :huh: :smile: As it is, squirming around on a gravel driveway and trying to break stubborn nuts loose when my body seems to be all contorted just doesn't always work so well for me. :biggrin:

#10
kloyless

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I prefer lying on the gound. That way if I get tired I can just take a nap right there,
at least until the dog licks my face and wakes me up. Ah, the life of a shadetree
mechanic. I use a big piece of scrap carpet to lay on.

Anyone take the Alt out of an 87 323? Damn thing has to be turned a certain way
in an exact position to come out and you better remember how it came out
or it's not going back in. I also found out that with Mazda Altenators getting the
way too expensive dealer part is worth it. I went through 3 rebuilds
before I finally got tired of replacing the thing and went to the dealer
for the part. I was wearing out the bolts!

Ok...now yall can make fun of me if you want. Humor is good.

#11
weezy7997

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Thanks to everyone with the help on the alternator but, I have a new problem now.
:( I replaced that but my car is still shutting off after the engine warms up. I put a new battery on it when I changed the alternator. Is there anyone who can help me with this problem? I was thinking about taking off the torque converter and cleaning it out but I don't know if that will fix it.
^_^ I am really getting tired of fixing this car.........
So If you are a specialist please help me out :huh:

#12
alwaysbroken!!!

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Hey

I'm haveing a little bit of a problem with removeing my alternator. I'm doing it from the bottom. I've got two bolts from the alternator out and two bolts from the a/c compressor. I also have undone a bolt for the alternator but it's to long to come out like someone else said. Can you help please me with the location of the bolts.

#13
NickR

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Hey

I'm haveing a little bit of a problem with removeing my alternator. I'm doing it from the bottom. I've got two bolts from the alternator out and two bolts from the a/c compressor. I also have undone a bolt for the alternator but it's to long to come out like someone else said. Can you help please me with the location of the bolts.

No problem! The bottom 12mm bolt on the alternator is too long to come out (it hits the side of the car, right?). So just take it out part way, and remove the shorter, top 12mm bolt on the alternator completely, then push or lever the alternator forwards (towards the radiator) and upwards a little. It will come out. Trust me.

The trick is that the long bottom bolt does not fit into a hole in the alternator; it fits into a U-shaped groove, so the alternator will come out even though the long bolt cannot come out completely.

#14
vejarmr2

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I dunno but a haynes manual always gets me through these "tough" situations! And its full of useful info. i always buy a maual for whatever cars are in my driveway. There worth the $13 trust me




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