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94' Seville
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 1994 is in need of a new alternator. I could save some money by changing it out myself; but I will have to remove the engine coolant system in order to get to it! I know I will have to get the car up on the ramps; and it will be a two-man job; but is it worth the trouble?

The cheapest quote I have gotten in my area is at least $500. That shop will warranty the work for 12 months, or 12,000 miles. The highest quote I got is from a shop that specializes in older Cadillacs. They will charge between $600 to $700; but will warranty the work for 24 months, or 24,000 miles.

If I can do the work myself; I can get a two year warranty on the alternator with no mile restrictions. However; I'm responsible for the labor. If it is straight foward; I may take on the challenge. If it is not; I may just bite the bullet; and have a shop do it. Besides; I don't want to do something stupid like bust up my radiator to change out an $85 alternator! Any thoughts on this matter?
 

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99STS,2004 Jeep Liberty Renegade,98 Deville RIP
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1,054 Posts
There are two schools of thought on this, either go with the FSM method and remove the rad or cover the inner part of the rad with a piece of cardboard, drop the cradle until you can remove the alt, this would not entail touching the coolant system. On your car the alt should be watercooled so watch for that line. Good luck
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville STS 73k Miles, '90 Chevy 1500 Reg Cab
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725 Posts
Buy the factory service manual and follow the steps, even with the money spent on the manual you'll still be much cheaper then any of the shops, and you'll have the manual for any future jobs which will come in very handy.
 

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94' Seville
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Discussion Starter #6
The Hayes shop manuel I bought told me I had to drop the coolant system to get to the alternator. However; I spoke with one local mechanic, and they said I could just drop the bottom piece. They did say it is tricky; and labor-intensive. I am kind of a rookie at this; so I should probably let the pros handle this one until I get more experience with doing repairs myself!
 

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99STS,2004 Jeep Liberty Renegade,98 Deville RIP
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Sorry for the confusion, I had read that when the original NS was brought out the 150 amp alt (usually STS, ETC) was to be watercooled to keep the heat down, the 140 amp alt was not watercooled, I guess they thought the extra 10 amps needed something extra.
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville STS 73k Miles, '90 Chevy 1500 Reg Cab
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725 Posts
I think it was the 140 amp that was water cooled, at least back to 96 as my brother's 96 SLS is water cooled. I believe reading that in 99 they bumped up to a 150 amp air cooled unit, since they weren't working it nearly as hard with the extra capacity they didn't need to water cool it. IMO it was incredibly stupid to go to the effort to put a water cooled alternator in as the marginal cost to bump up to a 150 or 160 amp unit couldn't have possibly been more than than additional parts it took to water cool that unit, let alone the extra engineering time it took to design it.
 
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