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Alternator Replacement

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Can someone please give me a step by step instructions on how to replace an alternator on a 1997 Mazda 626 es pics would be appricated thank you

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0. Disconnect battery. (And charge battery, if it needs it).

1. Jack up, support car firmly, and remove passenger front wheel. Remove plastic splash shield. (Not strictly necessary, but this gives you much better access.)

2. Loosen 17mm locknut in centre of idler/tensioner pulley (the smooth shiny one) for the alternator belt. (Use a wrench; a socket won't fit).

3. Turn 10mm adjuster bolt counterclockwise to loosen belt, then remove belt.

4. Remove 4 bolts that attach the AC compressor to the block. Do not remove hoses.

5. Disconnect alternator wires.

5. Remove top alternator bolt.

6. (Here's the trick) loosen but do not remove the lower alternator bolt. (You can't remove it, because it's too long). Now pry the alternator away from the engine block and off the lower bolt. (Yes, it comes off like magic; hard to explain, but you will understand when you see it.)

7. Installation is the reverse. There should be around 1/2 inch deflection in the belt.

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You can also remove the radiator to give yourself enough room, which I have found to be the quickest way, except the fact that you need to bleed your system. A lot of people do not like this method. I do.

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Well, I just had to replace my MX6's alternator. I've done it both ways now: remove the radiator, and remove the AC compressor. I think I prefer the remove the radiator method. It's a pain in the neck (literally) working from underneath.

I have read that you don't actually need to drain the radiator, just place a 2x4 across the engine compartment, and heave the radiator up on top of it without draining it, leaving the hoses attached.

The biggest pain in the radiator method(s) is that big thick AC hose that goes around one of the fans. It's in the way of pulling the radiator out.

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Just a few thoughts as I have just done this and figured I'd clarify (mostly because I'm a ditz and didn't realize this till after I yelled at the cat...) For step 6 above the bolt is indeed to long and instead of removing the bolt from the alternator, there is a grove in the block that it slots into, so if you're looking at a new alternator and wondering if it's a good idea to cut into it fear not! Now when going to remove the alternator if you've at all had an oil leak it's possible that the bolt will move back and forth in the hole without issue, but pulling on the sucker will yield you nothing. I used a crowbar between the housing of the alternator and the block on the pulley side and applied light pressure and with that the sucker popped out. Wipe out the grove and you'll be on your way. 

Second suggestion (if going for the radiator removal method) is in regards to the bracket that the top of the alternator is attached to. You can pull the alternator out with it in place but it's a pain in the rear. The bracket is held on by two 12mm bolts on the underside of the bracket, and I suggest removing it as it gives you plenty of wiggle room and it's far easier to remove the part.

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