: Replacing a Catera Alternator

03-21-11, 12:41 AM
Hey all,

I have been thinking about replacing the alternator on my '99 Catera. How difficult of a job should I be expecting? What is the best way to go about it and what are the step? The are a few articles on eHow that explain it pretty well but I feel that this is a more reliable source. Or is it worth it just to suck it up and take it to a shop?


03-21-11, 08:00 PM
I did mine and it was a bit of a pain. Its easiest to remove it from underneath. Im sure theres some post on here somewhere that can help you remove it. Ill post more if I can remember any good tips.

03-21-11, 09:16 PM
Thanks, I have been reading that it is a pain to replace and I do appreciate if you have any advice. Here is a look at what my voltage is reading on the gauge. This is at night with only the headlights and wipers running. (YOWZA!) The voltage peaks while driving just above the quarter line of the gauge.

03-21-11, 11:16 PM
I replaced mine last year. It is a pain. A lot of manuevering to get up in there, and unless there is a technique I don't know about I'd say it's almost impossible to get the bolts off without a second person. Because they are very long bolts that from one side are really only accessible from the bottom, and on the other side you gotta be on the top. At least from my experience I really couldn't get my hands up there in the positions needed to work on both ends at the same time

03-23-11, 05:15 PM
I did mine by myself. Heres a few tips I posted back then. On some alternators you have to swap out the pulley because the new one is larger and the belt wont fit. http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-catera-cimarron-forum/166496-pulley-swap-required-autolite-alternator.html

I replaced my alternator last night with an Autolite brand one I bought from Checker Auto (Schuck's/O'Reilly depending on where you live) last night. Besides being a pain in the a$$ I found that the belt wouldnt fit after I installed it. Turns out the pulley on the new one had slightly taller teeth which were also spaced apart a little further than the pulley on my stock Bosh Alternator. The circumference was the same though. Took me a while to figure it out but I was able to easily swap the pulleys by removing the bolt using large channel locks to hold the pulley while loosening the bolt. They arent pressed on or anything thank goodness. Belt fit fine after that. Just wanted to give a heads up for anyone else doing it. May be different on other brands of alternators.
Also you need an 11mm 12 pointed socket to get the alt. Bolts off. Like these: http://news.thomasnet.com/images/large/022/22123.jpg

The heads of the bolts look like these: http://quad4x4.com/images/4500%20smallk%20parts%20068.jpg

Also a long swivel extension or universal socket helps get the angle needed for the top bolt. I found it easier to come from underneath (removing the plastic cover pan thing). Getting the top bolt back in is actually easy because you can get your hand up there and push it through (just put it into the first hole, then mount the alt. then push it through.
I removed all the intake tubes which gave me plenty of room to work.

03-23-11, 05:22 PM
also found this thread: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-catera-cimarron-forum/164337-alternator-removal-catera.html