I can do it in a few hours, in and out laying on my back (no hoist just jackstands)
What you need to do:
- Remove belt, pry bar or sheer strenght will do the trick
- Jack up front of car as high as you can
- Remove passenger side sway bar end link (15mm bolt and 17mm wrecn on 99-00 or 15mm wrench on 01-02)
- Remove passenger side tie rod bolt. (15mm) you may need to hit with a hammer the tie rod bolt to get it out once nut is off
- Remove passenger side wheel wells (10mm)
- Remove y-pipe and cat converter (15mm)
- Remove power wire boot and bolt (10mm)
- The alternator is held down with 2 long 13mm bolts (maybe 15mm can't remember) and 1 short 10mm bolt. The 10mm bolt is actually through a bracket, there are 2 bolts ont he bracket, one to alt the other to the block, you need to just remove one of the 2 bolts.
- The other 2 long bolts are above and below the alt, the head on the bolts is towards the inside and their directions is side to side. The bolts are brass in color. The bottom one you can get to by using a few extensions and going above the intermediate shaft. The top one will require a u-joint and some finagling, it's actually hard to find, neverthe less reach, and should be the hardest bolt to get out.
- Once all bolts are out, you may need a pry bar to get the alt out of the bracket, just stick it in there and pry it out.
- now carefully turn the alt so you can remove the voltage regulator bracket and the small ground wire bracket (especially careful on ground wire bracket)
- next wiggle it out
when I had my alt. replaced under warranty I took it to the dealership and it took them 2 and a half days, and the guy said it was a nightmare to replace. But when I just had it replaced AGAIN last week, the mechanic I took it to did it in 4 hours, (that's including the time to go get the alt. from a ford dealer) Go figure.
I just did this last week. I did everything Puck says but:
Didn't remove sway bar link end link.
Didn't remove y-pipe or cat converter.
Used a 3/8 inch long handle rachet/strait bar on belt tensioner (rotate counterclockwise) to remove belt tension.
The hardest part about the whole damn thing was getting to the top bolt on the alternator. Might of been a little easier by removing end link and y-pipe/cat like Puck said but I didn't want to risk another headache of busting old rusty bolts. I just used very long extensions, universal, and a little patience.
I did everything after work and was done by the end of the night. Probably around 4 hours with breaks. Took an additional hour to got get it rebuilt for $80.
2 1/2 days for a Ford mechanic on a lift is REALLY sad. I have a feeling that they take that long on purpose to justify their ridiculous labor costs.
There is a top bracket that comes off the car, attached to the alt. It looks like a small L. You do not need to reinstall that tiny bracket...and most Ford techs do not. It is the hardest thing to remove, and install...yet it is only there as an extra support. Mine has not been in the car for months.
The bracket really wasn't an issue with me. I removed the alternator with the "L" bracket still on. I never had to take the bracket off the alternator. I just removed one of the bolts but not both. That part was actually very easy to do.
It was the top bolt that goes into the alternator bracket that was the hardest to reach and see for me.
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