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Alternator Replacement 1984SE by Gavin
Started on: 06-10-2015 02:59 PM
Replies: 10 (215 views)
Last post by: Gavin on 06-12-2015 01:35 PM
Gavin
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Report this Post06-10-2015 02:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GavinClick Here to Email GavinSend a Private Message to GavinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello,
I am just about finished replacing my 31 year old alternator in my 1984 SE (no air conditioning) manual transmission. It has been a journey for me, as I do not have car mechanic skills or specialized tools. I note that many of the topics posted involve fairly technical and advanced stuff, such as upgrading engines and transmissions. My story would be about basic info for the individual who just feels like doing some stuff instead of taking the car to a garage. If any one is interested in knowing what I came across please let me know and I will tell the whole story.
Gavin Shorrock
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jaskispyder
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Report this Post06-10-2015 03:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sure!

It is pretty straight forward on the '84. Remove the top alt. bracket then remove altenator. I think you may have to remove the EGR, but I can't remember if it is in the way or not. I did it on the lawn in an hour. No need to jack up car.
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Gavin
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Report this Post06-10-2015 05:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GavinClick Here to Email GavinSend a Private Message to GavinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hello Jask,
I am going to fit in finalization of this on Thursday evening then see if my car still runs. If so I will give my story on Friday. You will laugh at my troubles if you were able to do your work in an hour on the lawn without raising the back end.

Gavin
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fierosound
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Report this Post06-11-2015 06:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If the Duke has an automatic transmission attached to it, replacement can be quite a chore.
Did you upgrade to the CS130 unit? http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum9/HTML/000035.html

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jaskispyder
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Report this Post06-11-2015 08:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you take it out the top, the tranny doesn't matter. As I said, I replaced it on the lawn, from the top. The V6 is another issue.
 
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Originally posted by fierosound:

If the Duke has an automatic transmission attached to it, replacement can be quite a chore.
Did you upgrade to the CS130 unit? http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum9/HTML/000035.html


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Gavin
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Report this Post06-12-2015 09:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GavinClick Here to Email GavinSend a Private Message to GavinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So here is my story about replacing the alternator in my 1984 SE. I am not a mechanic. I tinker with my Fiero because I am the original owner and it is special to me. Replacing the spark plugs is an adventure. That is the level I am at. I heard a squealing sound from my engine compartment. I had no idea what the problem was. Someone suggested the bearings in my alternator might be seized up. I located the alternator and loosened the nut that keeps it in the correct position for belt tension. I had to use a crowbar to move it forward to loosen them remove the belt. When I did that the squealing noise stopped. So the diagnosis was correct. I know nothing about buying car parts. A friend suggested the auto parts supply store next to my office downtown. When I told them what I needed they asked me if I had air conditioning, which I do not. The next day I had my new alternator, actually a re manufactured AC Delco. I learned later that the insides are new. The metal case has been sandblasted to look like new. I have an aftermarket stereo but really nothing that draws a lot of power so I believe that this basic alternator will be just fine. I have a Haynes manual which says to take the alternator out from below the car. I borrowed two wheel ramps and backed my car up. I blocked the front wheels, for safety. The alternator is fastened at the top with one bolt that screws through the upper bracket into the side of the alternator. It rests on a lower alternator bracket that is bolted to the engine block. Of course that lower alternator bracket is hard to see and if you have no idea that it exists or what it looks like the process is that much more difficult. Finally I was able to locate the bolt that passes through the bottom part of the alternator and secures it to the lower bracket. It was badly seized after 31 years but after a struggle I was able to loosen and remove the bolt. With the wires removed from the alternator I figured I would be able to lower it through the bottom of the car. The Haynes manual said so. In fact there is not a large enough space to remove the alternator. Something has to be removed, but what? At this point I did not know how the lower bracket was attached. Since the alternator was going be replaced anyway I loosened the four bolts that hold it together and separated the two halves. Each half was small enough to fit through the openings. One half came out the top, the other through the bottom. At that point I could see that the lower bracket is attached to the engine block with two bolts. By loosening those two bolts and removing that bracket there is just enough space to remove or install the alternator. I did most of this work by myself. I had some wire left over from another project that I used to lift and secure the alternator in place while I bolted the lower bracket back in place. Now that I know more about the set up the next part of the adventure seems silly. The through bolt that secures the alternator to that lower bracket was really tight when I tried to remove it. I assumed it should be just as tight on installation. After getting my new alternator in position I kept tightening the through bolt until I heard a cracking sound. I had tightened to the point that the bracket (white metal/aluminium) couldn't handle the stress and it broke. Maybe I did not have the through bolt in position. At that point I had a 31 year old bracket in three pieces. The Fiero Store carries the bracket for the 85 to 88 but not the 84. The local GM dealer checked for me but could not locate one. Fortunately I live in a mining town with support industries and I was able to have the bracket welded. The welder did a really nice job. I got the alternator back in position, suspended with the wire, leaving just enough room to reinstall the repaired lower bracket. Then I lined the through bolt hole up wth the holes in the bracket, installed the through bolt and tightened it just to the point where I am satisfied that it will not rattle loose. I have to remember to check it from time to time. I installed my new pulley belt. The old one was in pretty bad shape. I followed the instructions in the Haynes manual to set the tension on the belt, tightened that upper bolt and hooked the battery up. Imagine my surprise when the car started. I rolled it off the ramps, backed it out of my garage and proudly drove it around town. Nothing high tech here as it turns out. With the learning curve and having to get the bracket welded the whole project took about three weeks. No one hour on the lawn for me. It's a good thing I have another car. Comments?
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Report this Post06-12-2015 09:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Gavin:

So here is my story about replacing the alternator in my 1984 SE. I am not a mechanic.
I tinker with my Fiero because I am the original owner and it is special to me....

With the learning curve and having to get the bracket welded the whole project took about three weeks.
No one hour on the lawn for me. It's a good thing I have another car. Comments?


Should have checked here for help BEFORE you went through all that...
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Report this Post06-12-2015 09:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Should have pulled it out the top

Did you use some PB blaster on the bolts, to help break up the corrosion? Did you use anti-sieze when re-assembling?

As for the lower bracket, the top bolt really holds the alternator in place as the lower is more of a pivot point. At least you could get it welded.

The V6 needs to drop out the bottom, but even then, it is pretty easy with a manual tranny. I have done it on an automatic and dropped it out the bottom, while others had to disconnect a tierod.

Be careful to not overtighten the belt, or you will be replacing the alternator again

From Chiltons: (again, I pulled the alternator out the top)

Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable.

Remove the air cleaner assembly and move out of the way.

Disconnect the upper strut mount.

Remove the alternator adjusting bolt, upper adjusting bracket and drive belt.

Disconnect the wiring from the back of the alternator.

Lower the alternator mounting bracket and remove the alternator from the bottom of the vehicle.

[This message has been edited by jaskispyder (edited 06-12-2015).]

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Gavin
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Report this Post06-12-2015 10:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for GavinClick Here to Email GavinSend a Private Message to GavinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the info Jask. Yes I have some penetrating lubricant that I used. I put some lithium grease on the bolts before putting it all back together. I have been maintaining my bicycles for longer than I have owned the Fiero so I appreciate regular maintenance and lubrication. Re tension on the belt: I figured my problem would be not getting it tight enough. I did not measure carefully the amount of play in the belt but I will spend more time on that this evening. I note the squealing sound when the engine starts, for about 5 seconds then everything sounds good. In fact, when the engine is warmed up and the car just idling it sounds really good, quiet. Do you have a theory why I would get that squealing sound, but just on start up? Re: How else could I have done this/I should have checked here first. I spent quite a bit of time in this site looking for guidance. I came across one owner who took off the rear wheel and and one of the suspension parts to get at the alternator. It made me wonder whether there are differences between Fieros of the same model year. I did not see that I could easily remove that upper bracket. I will have to take another look to satisfy my curiosity. My next project, hopefully a small one, is to replace my tach filter. My tach appears to be giving me readings that are at least 1,000 rpms higher than they should be. Who said I should have checked here first? Well I am checking here first. (Attempt at humour).
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Report this Post06-12-2015 10:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Your belt could be bad. I think Haynes talks about tension. You could try a little belt dressing, but the location of those belts allows water from rain to get on them. It sounds like your belt is slipping... probably glazed over.

The V6 engine is where you have to do more work to get the alt. out, as you have read.

Pickup some good anti-seize (permatex makes some)... it comes in a bottle with a brush. This will work better in the long run and it is cheap. FYI, what brand of penetrating oil? Also, if you have a tight bolt/nut, try tightening and loosening over and over to get it to come off without breaking. Nothing worse than breaking off a bolt (been there). At least 4cyls are easy to work on.
 
quote
Originally posted by Gavin:

Thanks for the info Jask. Yes I have some penetrating lubricant that I used. I put some lithium grease on the bolts before putting it all back together. I have been maintaining my bicycles for longer than I have owned the Fiero so I appreciate regular maintenance and lubrication. Re tension on the belt: I figured my problem would be not getting it tight enough. I did not measure carefully the amount of play in the belt but I will spend more time on that this evening. I note the squealing sound when the engine starts, for about 5 seconds then everything sounds good. In fact, when the engine is warmed up and the car just idling it sounds really good, quiet. Do you have a theory why I would get that squealing sound, but just on start up? Re: How else could I have done this/I should have checked here first. I spent quite a bit of time in this site looking for guidance. I came across one owner who took off the rear wheel and and one of the suspension parts to get at the alternator. It made me wonder whether there are differences between Fieros of the same model year. I did not see that I could easily remove that upper bracket. I will have to take another look to satisfy my curiosity. My next project, hopefully a small one, is to replace my tach filter. My tach appears to be giving me readings that are at least 1,000 rpms higher than they should be. Who said I should have checked here first? Well I am checking here first. (Attempt at humour).


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Gavin
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Report this Post06-12-2015 01:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GavinClick Here to Email GavinSend a Private Message to GavinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Jask. One of the staff at the auto parts supply store saw me with my car, at lunch time. I said all was going well but the belt was squealing for a few seconds at start up. He suggested that there is something wrong with my belt. I reminded him that I bought one just the other day from his store. He said try some belt dressing. I find that funny because until this morning I had never heard of belt dressing. I will get some on my way home, after work. The penetrating lubricant that I used is called "Sea foam - Deep Creep". I do not remember where I bought it or how long I have had it but it has worked well to date. That anti seize stuff, is it the same as pipe compound? I had to buy some for a plumbing application. If it is the same stuff I will use it, if not I will buy the right stuff. I appreciate the fact that you have broken bolts before and now are wiser. I am not the only one who breaks things in the attempt to fix things. (another attempt at humour, no offense intended.

Gavin
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