: I need help! Car repair basics please? SHO...



Playdrv4me
12-13-08, 09:51 PM
Alright so here's the skinny. The alternator on the SHO crapped out today and it really ruined my whole day. Everytime one of my cars breaks I get really depressed because its such a bitch to work out all of the logistics necessary to get them to the repair shop to get fixed, not to mention the cost. In addition to all that, there is the feeling of lack of self worth associated with having someone else fix something.

So I decided to try my best to tackle this project. It will probably end up a complete disaster, especially since this car came from the North and has the associated salt and snow effects here and there that I'm sure make removing bolts and such even tougher. But I just have to try. Unfortunately there is an excellent guide written by a SHOer for the '94 3.0L motor, but the layot is completely different on the '95 and I can't find anything more than the basic diagrams on the Autozone site.

Still, the alternator on the 3.2L SHO motor is located at the top toward the radiator. TWO of the bolts appear accessible, one bolt on the top, and the forward bolt toward the bottom. The THIRD bolt is hidden behind the idler pulley. That is my first question, I'm pretty much assuming the idler pulley has to come off so I'm wondering how that is done. i.e. do I release the tension on the tensioner pulley so there's slack in the belt and THEN remove the idler pulley bolt or will it just spin into oblivion?

Second, the reason I usually avoid car repair duties is it seems from reading various repair stories on forums that one bolt or another ALWAYS ends up "seized" or "rusted" etc etc. What is the BEST way to approach this? I tried removing the bolt at the top with a 14mm socket and a ratchet, but no matter how much force I applied it wouldn't budge. Am I correct in assuming I should spray some of that de-seizing compound and then let it soak into the bolts overnight? I dont believe there is enough room for any more leverage, i.e. breaker bar etc. which I also hear is used frequently with bolts.

Thanks for the help.

I'll give up if I sound like an idiot, but I'm hoping I can do this. It's about time.

LS1Mike
12-13-08, 10:00 PM
Take the belt off first. The ildler will come off. There should be a big bolt in the middle. In my WS6 and Truck it is REVERSE thread, not sure about Ford. The bolt should go through a sealed bearing (might as well change that pulley while you are in there). It should come right off. Now I have seen pressed on idlers. The bracket and pulley come off as a unit. Either way they are both easy to remove.

The other bolt try soaking it over night. A photo would help.

You don't sound like an idiot because....oh hahaha JK.
Everyone starts somewhere. You should have seen me do my first cam swap in a SBC. Painful.

We'll get you through this, this is day one stuff.

Playdrv4me
12-13-08, 10:12 PM
Ask and ye shall receive...

http://www.q45.org/gallery2/d/42452-1/alternatorillustrated.jpg

The red arrow is the easiest bolt to access which I was just testing to see how difficult it was. I could not get it budged. The other two bolts on the alternator are that same size.

The blue arrow is of course, the idler pulley.

Toward the bottom of the photo is the radiator core support in green, and the stray terminals are off the battery which I've removed of course as it makes it worlds easier to get to the front of the alt.

Thanks for your help.

LS1Mike
12-13-08, 10:21 PM
Yeah your idler pulley is typical wish I could tell you if it uses reverse threads or not, that one should be easy pull the belt and go for it. I always change my ilder puller and tensior puller if I am doing the alternator. Cheap and easy insurance. I tend to be anal about that stuff though.

Soak the shit out of the bolt with the red arrow over night. What is it for? I can't really tell. Does it hold the top of the alternator?
If it breaks does it stay in the alternator?

edit:
Can you get an extension and socket to fit on that bolt?

How about taking your rachet, find a spark plug socket and extension, make a small breaker bar.
Photo to follow.

LS1Mike
12-13-08, 10:31 PM
http://img48.imageshack.us/img48/1346/wrenchxm5.jpg

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
12-14-08, 03:05 AM
See what happens when you buy a Ford. :)

Blackout
12-14-08, 01:26 PM
See what happens when you buy a Ford. :)

Says the guy with an Isuzu lol

Destroyer
12-14-08, 01:50 PM
See what happens when you buy a Ford. :)
It's true!. Cadillac's NEVER blow alternators. :rolleyes:

LS1Mike
12-14-08, 02:15 PM
So how goes the battle?

Night Wolf
12-14-08, 03:27 PM
Says the guy with an Isuzu lol

Whats wrong with Isuzu?

Anyway.... it's nice to see people atleast making an effort to work on their own cars... start out with the basics and move up.

FWIW, the idler pully bolt on my Lincoln was *not* reverse thread, maybe Ford kept it all the same, maybe not.

misfit6794
12-14-08, 04:31 PM
Lots, of pb blaster penetrating oil, and no wd-40 is not the same thing. I used to have to use at least a half a can anytime I had to work on my bronco. It will work miracles. I just did the alternator on my mustang, its front and center on the 4.6, I got lucky.

Night Wolf
12-14-08, 08:12 PM
Lots, of pb blaster penetrating oil, and no wd-40 is not the same thing. I used to have to use at least a half a can anytime I had to work on my bronco. It will work miracles. I just did the alternator on my mustang, its front and center on the 4.6, I got lucky.

heck yeah.... alternator on the 4.6 is such a breeze.... also is cool that the voltage regulator and brushes are both replaceable too.

Oh a somewhat similar note, I am really stoked! I fixed the Lincoln tonight... the bolt that broke off in the head.... improvised a bit, but it works and fixed the problem :cool2:

Night Wolf
12-14-08, 09:35 PM
BTW, has the cruise control recall been done on that car? If not take it to any Ford dealer and they'll do it... it only takes a few mins as they just put a bandaid over the acutal problem by installing an in-line fused wire harness to the sensor that is always powered (even when car is off) that, if the diaphragm was to leak brake fluid on it, could start a fire.

You can tell via the new wire harness with blue stickers from the brake fluid sensor:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e363/InoventionsEast/Lincoln/12-14-08/12-14-08004.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-14-08, 09:51 PM
The alternator on the 4.9L (Cadillac) is a dream to do too...Brian got it down to a 10 minute job on his wife's '93 SDV. If I remember correctly, it's in a nice place on his '96 F150 with the 4.9L I-6.

LS1Mike
12-14-08, 11:08 PM
It is pretty easy in all the stuff I have. If you haven't done one it can seem like a daunting task.

Red_October_7000
12-14-08, 11:31 PM
The alternator on the 4.9L (Cadillac) is a dream to do too...Brian got it down to a 10 minute job on his wife's '93 SDV. If I remember correctly, it's in a nice place on his '96 F150 with the 4.9L I-6.

The 4.9 I6 is one of the most maintenance-friendly motors ever conceived. If I were ever to have a Ford, and couldn't get/didn't need a big block, the I6 coupled with a stick would be the motor for me.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
12-15-08, 02:20 AM
Any proper car its easy to do the alternator on. My mom's Blazer with the 4.3 took me about 10 minutes. I spent more time trying to get the new belt to the other side of the cooling fan than I did changing the alternator. Its only the tiny eco-boxes that are a true pain in the butt to do simple maintenance on.

Jesda
12-15-08, 12:41 PM
On the Q45 you either remove the radiator or the AC compressor. Fun stuff.

At least the alternators last 400k.

Krashed989
12-15-08, 02:07 PM
Before removing the idler pulley look for an "L" on the bolt head. If it has an L it means it's reverse thread, if not then it's normal.

Red_October_7000
12-15-08, 03:18 PM
Hell, the only reason the alternator was hard on my MR2 was because the chimp in a tool belt who did it the last time stuffed it up so badly that it was impossible to get the old one out. New one went in in about 15 minutes and wasn't made all that much harder by the car being mid engined.