NOT fun. If you look at the undercarraige there is a small sheetmetal piece under the alternator that is held in with 4 bolts. Remove this piece (kind of rectangular shape but with 2 corners notched off) and you can look straight up at the alternator. You also need to remove the right front wheel and the access panel ("peep show door" as I like to call it) in the wheel well housing to get yourself more room to work.
Now, the trick is to undo the bolts on the mounting bracket since it has to come off too, just to get clearance to drop the alternator out of the bottom. You will almost certainly need something like a ratcheting box end wrench as there is no clearance to rotate a conventional one, nor is there room for a standard socket wrench to work in there.
Anyway, once you get the thing loose (which is the hard part) it just drops out through the opening where the metal panel bolts onto the bottom of the engine cradle. Do be careful not to snag/cut/damage the wiring to the alternator. It is a tight squeeze.
Near as I can see, removing the radiator would not really be much help and it is not called for in the service manual so it would just be making yourself more work without any real benefit.
Thanks for your help. I plan to tackle it again this weekend and see what happens. I have the alternator laying in the bottom and just gave up that day to regroup. This is one of the worst jobs I have ever done on any car I have owned but I still love my Cadillacs.
Wow, can I ever relate to that. I did one on my Mom's 97 about 4 months ago, had me cussing a blue streak (to the dismay of the neighbors). I started it at about 5 PM and finished at 1:30 AM, had to make a trip to pick up ratchet wrenches to get everything apart and it just took forever.
Granted, it was the first time I've done one on a Northstar engine, mine is a 4.9 and is MUCH easier to get to. I'm sure the next one I do (and there will be a next, 4 Cadillacs in the family and counting) won't be nearly so bad since I have one under my belt now and know what to expect [and what NOT to do].
Hard as it is, just be patient when doing it, some of the bolts have to come out an 1/8th turn at a time and it gets terribly frustrating. My temper probably made the job 5 times worse than it had to be.
And yes, I too still love my Cadillacs - the things we do for love <chuckle>.
Thanks for the information about that sheetmetal piece that has to be removed. That saved me from removing the rad for nothing. Total time on this job was about 7 hours. Thankfully it fixed the problem.
Just FYI S&K makes an awesome slimline ratcheting wrench set similar to Snap on check Craftsman holiday catalog approx $129 SAE also handles 50% rounded corners and multiple bolt types . Tools are my life I work Aviation Maintenance. As far as I am concerned a job is only as easy as the tools you use. Anyone agree???
:highfive: Just FYI S&K makes an awesome slimline ratcheting wrench set similar to Snap on check Craftsman holiday catalog approx $129 SAE also handles 50% rounded corners and multiple bolt types . Tools are my life I work Aviation Maintenance. As far as I am concerned a job is only as easy as the tools you use. Anyone agree???