Alternator is gone-need some advice

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by MR, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. MR

    MR Guest

    I have a 97 SL1 and the alternator just died after 160k miles. Can't
    get anything that will last anymore.<g>
    I took a quick look and it looks like the power steering pump has to
    come off to get to the alternator or either you have to pull the
    engine. Just kidding. Also looks like the pulley has to be removed
    from the power steering pump to remove it. Is that correct? Any tips
    greatly appreciated.
    MR, Aug 17, 2004
  2. MR

    MR Guest

    As a follow up, I found my old shop manuals and it looks like I can
    access the generator as they call it from the front wheel well. I'll
    give it a try and am would still like to have any tips. Looks like I
    need a special thin wrench to keep the main power cable stud from
    turning since they have that point high lighted in bold letters saying
    it will cause the gen. to fail.
    MR, Aug 17, 2004
  3. MR

    Kirk Kohnen Guest

    You're right - you go in from the right front wheel well.

    As for that thin wrench for removing the power cable, I've done this in the

    1) When removing the alternator, disconnect the alternator power cable from
    the starter.
    2) Remove the alternator with the approx 1 foot long power cable still
    3) Find two nuts that will go onto the alternator output stud.
    4) Screw one down, then the other, and tighten them against each other.
    5) Then, use two wrenches, one on the nut you're trying to loosen, and the
    other on the double-nutted thing on the top. Loosen the nut holding the
    cable down.

    Reverse the process to put the wire on the new alternator.

    (Of course, you can do what I've subsequently done - buy the wrench and have
    a machine shop shave it down to about 0.060" Works like a charm!)

    Good Luck!

    PS - Replace the battery also. Weak batteries kill alternators, and weak
    alternators kill batteries. Cheap insurance!
    Kirk Kohnen, Aug 18, 2004
  4. MR

    Ritz Guest

    That's what I did as well. Pick up a cheap wrench and shave it down
    with a bench grinder.

    Long time no see. :cool: Still have your Saturn?

    Ritz, Aug 18, 2004
  5. MR

    MR Guest

    Thanks a bunch for the info. Do you know what size wrench it was?
    MR, Aug 18, 2004
  6. MR

    Kirk Kohnen Guest

    Wife & I bought a pair of 2003 ION 3s, and (ahem) sold our 97 SL2s to family
    members at very reasonable prices to help them out.

    We're relatively happy with the IONs, but they have had a few warranty
    issues that have been a bit of a pain.

    I have the ION 3 2002 Quad Coupe. Love it though. And, I've not had so much
    as a lick of trouble with the transmission (the vti) and I love the way that
    tranny feels.

    - k.
    Kirk Kohnen, Aug 18, 2004
  7. MR

    Kirk Kohnen Guest

    1/2" wrench, grind down to between 0.060" and 0.075" thick according to for the 97 Saturn SL2.
    Kirk Kohnen, Aug 18, 2004
  8. MR

    MR Guest

    Thanks a bunch. Job is done and what a job it was. Probably ranks up
    there with the most difficult one so far with any vehicle. It was the
    little things like loosing a bolt, working with one hand and a mirror
    was the tough part. Saturn said it would be about $400 and the did
    the convincing to DIM. Got one for $89.
    Good luck with your new Saturns.
    MR, Aug 19, 2004
  9. MR

    chuck Guest

    it looks like I can
    Interesting enough, I have the same issue with my son's 94 saturn.
    I was looking at how to get to the alternator and it looks like a job.
    I called the saturn dealership and he said to loosen the motor mounts
    and jack up the engine, then approach the replacement from the

    Could someone please give me a little clearer understanding of how
    accessing it 'from the front wheel well' is done. Did you have to
    loosen the motor mounts?

    chuck, Aug 19, 2004
  10. MR

    MR Guest

    Just finished the job yesterday and it took most of the day due to my
    inexperience and also loosing a bolt. If you have power steering you
    can remove the pump and sit it up near the top motor mount and that
    will give you access to the top bolt on the alternator. You do not
    have to disconnect any hoses on the pwr. steering. I did not jack
    the engine up or loosen motor mounts. I jacked the right side of the
    front up as far as I could and blocked, removed the front wheel and
    splash panel. That will give you access to the bottom alt. bolt and
    wire connections. The alt. is removed and installed thru the area
    where the splash guard is removed. It is the same one removed to
    change the oil filter. The main power connection is what took me a
    long time due to the one handed operation. It is the most tedious job
    on a car I can remember doing due to the close working conditions.
    Good luck,
    MR, Aug 20, 2004
  11. MR

    chuck Guest

    thanks for the info. i'll give it a shot tomorrow.
    chuck, Aug 20, 2004
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.