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Old 09-27-2013, 07:52 PM   #1
DCAstraFan
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Default Alternator replacement

I have just replaced my alternator and it was a bear. Maybe I did it incorrectly, but I think it was the easiest, but certainly not easy. The alternator is fairly easy to get loose from the engine. But it is impossible to get the alternator out of the engine bay because the clearance is insufficient.

The initial thought was to remove the engine mount and try wedging the engine out of the way. But that seemed pretty substantial and risky. So I decided that I would disassemble the alternator in the bay and remove by pieces. Also disassembled the rebuilt alternator to get it in. It was tough and exhausting, but it worked and it was satisfying.

Anyhow, just thought I'd share.

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Old 10-04-2013, 11:27 PM   #2
nrramse
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Alternator replacement

Thanks for the posting, and welcome to the board!

I think all automotive engineers should be made to serve as technicians for a length of time so they know to make things like alternators a little easier to get to.

...
2008 Astra XE, 5 speed stick

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Old 10-12-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Alternator replacement

Just for future reference the way to get it out is to remove the passenger side engine mount while the engine is supported by a floor jack. Then you remove the alternator out the opening in the wheel well (remove front passenger tire and plastic fender panels) as you raise and lower the engine just enough to get it out. It won't come out if the engine is lowered all the way and won't come out if it is up all the way. There is a sweet spot right inbetween high and low where if you rotate it the correct way it will come out.

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Old 09-03-2015, 08:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Alternator replacement

I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would add my procedure in case someone else has this issue. Just for reference, mine was a 2008 Astra XE.

1. Disconnect battery
2. Remove air box and hoses.
3. Release tension on tensioner and remove belt from alternator
4. Lift passenger side front and remove tire.
5. Remove two bolts holding alternator (11mm 12pt)
6. Remove alternator from engine. This will probably be a little tight as the alternator threaded nuts pull tight against the mounts... a little prying and the alternator will come off.
7. Remove the nut holding the power wire and the electrical connector. This is a massive PITA. The wires aren't long enough so a lot of this is done blind. Plus the little electrical connector has a locking tab that is difficult to remove. Mine, of course, broke the little tab and I had to blindly use a screw driver to pry the tab out.
8. There was no way the alternator is coming out the top of the engine bay, so don't waste an hour trying. The key, as the other poster above stated, is to take it out thru the wheel well. I didn't have to monkey with the engine mount at all. What I did is to angle the alternator so the pulley is pointing toward the wheel well and slightly forward and slightly down. The flat part of the alternator should be on the upper right and the bolt holes should be in roughly the 10 o'clock and 4 o'clock position. The alternator will just barely fit thru the wheel well. I didn't even have to remove the splash shield.
9. Reinstall in reverse order obviously.

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Old 09-03-2015, 09:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Alternator replacement

Bigbl,

How many miles did your car have? How long did the alternator removal take?

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Old 09-17-2015, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Alternator replacement

This is funny because on the official instructions to remove the alternator it says to remove the engine mount/support.

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Old 09-17-2015, 03:51 PM   #7
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2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Alternator replacement

Wondering if there is some kind of difference between the XR and XE in this area. I for the life of me could not get the alternator out of an Automatic XR with the engine mount secured. Yet the XE did not seem to have a problem. Have to give it a try again the next time I need to remove the alternator (hopefully never! LOL)

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Old 09-17-2015, 04:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Alternator replacement

Maybe when the motor mounts become sloppy, the alternator is easier to remove? I had the transmission mount fail at 45k miles

Alternatively, the following post indicates some front motor mounts come a bit sloppy out of the factory "by design":

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho....php?p=1931147

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Old 09-17-2015, 07:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Alternator replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by AstraFasta View Post
Maybe when the motor mounts become sloppy, the alternator is easier to remove? I had the transmission mount fail at 45k miles

Alternatively, the following post indicates some front motor mounts come a bit sloppy out of the factory "by design":

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho....php?p=1931147
Yeah I was suckered into getting one of our transmission mounts replaced. They said it failed but in fact it was designed to look that way. I'll find text saying the inner plastic mold lines are meant to separate...

the second time they said it needed replacing on our other car I said no.

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Old 09-17-2015, 07:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Alternator replacement

Actually, in my case the transmission mount needed to be replaced as the car clunked on gear changes and on bad pavement.

Replacing the mount significantly tightened up the car.

The roads in the northeast are absolutely terrible as there just is not enough money to repair them. That was probably the driver of the failure.

I guess each case is different.

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Old 07-25-2019, 11:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: Alternator replacement

Wow, I'm back again reviving this old thread... I had to replace this alternator again and just came across this post. Sorry, I didn't see the questions on this back them. At any rate, when I posted this in 2015, the car had approximately 55000 miles.

A couple of months ago, the car developed a parasitic draw in which the battery would die 1-2 days. I replaced the battery as it was 5 years old. Died again. I then went through and tested the alternator - put out 14.15v, almost nil AC voltage. Ok, draw test with electronics asleep showed 380ma draw. Next went through and pulled all the fuses and relays one at a time. Draw stayed. Thinking it was an intermittent problem with door locks, I pulled the fuse. Still intermittent battery failures. Well last night I figured the only think left it could be was the alternator, so I pulled it again. Sure enough, the draw dropped to <10ma. Pushed up against block, draw returns. Pulled it away again, draw goes away. Removed alternator and tested diode from B+ post to case. One direction 530mv, nothing in the other. So, although the alternator apparently tested fine and was charging, there is a slight internal short of some sort causing the draw. I can't say I'm surprised as the alternator was the cheapest rebuilt unit I could find from Advance Auto that came out of China.

Currently the car has about 78000 miles. The first time I replaced the alternator it took about 3 hours to pull and 30 minutes to install as I couldn't figure out how to get it out of the car. This time, having experience, I pulled the air hose, then the entire air cleaner box. I removed the tension and belt from above and removed the two alternator mounting bolts from above. Once loose I twisted it around a little to reach the wires and yet again fought that damn little connector. To remove the alternator from the engine compartment, I again removed the passenger tire and using the method I described above, pulled it out through the wheel well. No need to mess with motor mount if you angle it as I described above (well at least on my XE). This time I had it out in about 40 minutes... working in an apartment complex parking lot having minimal tools.

Last edited by bigbl5; 07-25-2019 at 11:21 AM..

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Old 07-25-2019, 09:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: Alternator replacement

Alternator removal is a nightmare in these cars. I replaced the pulley a few years ago which required removal. Those wires were horrible.

If alternator fails, I will go Bosch new to avoid the problems with low quality remanufactured units.

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