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Alternator Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Alternator Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

***

Tools:

8mm/10mm/13mm sockets and wrenches, 10mm XZN triple square driver, strap wrench, impact wrench

Applicable Models:

Volvo C30 T5 (2008-13)
Volvo C30 T5 R-Design (2008-13)

Parts Required:

Alternator

Hot Tip:

Disconnect the battery before doing ANYTHING

Performance Gain:

Better charging

Complementary Modification:

Replace engine belts

The alternator provides your car with a constant source of electricity while the engine is running. Over time, the alternator can begin to fail and start causing trouble with the various electrical systems in the car. If you suspect alternator trouble, you need to check to see that it's operating correctly, and is indeed the cause of the problems with your charging system. Sometimes bizarre electrical problems can be caused by a number of faults other than the alternator. It's important to troubleshoot the system prior to replacing your alternator.

The first thing to check is the belt that drives the alternator. Is it tight? If not, then check that the belt tensioner is working correctly. Modern belts seldom break, but they get brittle and glazed with age, and can slip on their pulleys. Replace the belt with a new one.

The next item to check is the voltage at the battery. This should read a little more than 12 volts with the engine off. When the car is running, the voltage should read in the range of 13 to 14.5 volts with the engine at 2000 rpm. If your battery appears to be leaking, then your voltage regulator has probably failed. The battery will usually only leak acid if it has been overcharged at a much higher voltage. If the voltage measured at the battery is more than 16 or 17 volts when the engine is running, then the regulator is probably bad. If your battery has boiled over and has acid overflowing out the top, make sure that you clean up any spilled acid immediately. Dousing the area with a water and baking soda solution should help considerably to neutralize the acid and prevent it from eating away at the metal.

If you've checked all of these things and you still have charging problems, it's likely the alternator will need to be replaced. In order to remove the alternator, you'll need to extend the front bumper into the service position or remove the radiator and hoses completely. It is possible to replace the alternator without removing the radiator. See our articles on replacing these for more detailed info.

Before starting any work, make sure that you disconnect the battery. The positive battery terminal is directly connected to the alternator, and it can be dangerous to work on if it's live. See our article on Battery Replacement for more information.

This project also requires removing the throttle body, air filter housing and engine belts. See our articles on Throttle Body Cleaning, Air Filter Housing Removal and Engine Belt and Tensioner Replacement for more information.

Before you begin, it is vitally important that you disconnect the negative terminal from the battery.
Figure 1

Before you begin, it is vitally important that you disconnect the negative terminal from the battery. The electrical connection at the alternator is always live and you risk damage to both the car and yourself if you fail to do so. Loosen the 10mm clamping nut (green arrow) and lift the negative terminal off the battery post.

You'll need to move the oil dipstick (yellow arrow) out of the way in order to remove the alternator from the engine bay.
Figure 2

You'll need to move the oil dipstick (yellow arrow) out of the way in order to remove the alternator from the engine bay. Loosen and remove the 8mm bolt (green arrow) holding the dipstick to the oil filter housing. Carefully rotate the dipstick out of the way.

Press the tab on the electrical connector (green arrow) leading to the alternator and pull it off.
Figure 3

Press the tab on the electrical connector (green arrow) leading to the alternator and pull it off. Use a small screwdriver to carefully pull the protective cover (yellow arrow) off the positive terminal.

Loosen and remove the 13mm nut (green arrow) holding the positive terminal (yellow arrow) to the alternator.
Figure 4

Loosen and remove the 13mm nut (green arrow) holding the positive terminal (yellow arrow) to the alternator. Lift the terminal up and off the alternator.

Loosen and remove the upper 10mm (green arrow) mounting bolt holding the alternator to the mounting bracket.
Figure 5

Loosen and remove the upper 10mm (green arrow) mounting bolt holding the alternator to the mounting bracket.

Now loosen and remove the two lower 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the alternator to the engine block.
Figure 6

Now loosen and remove the two lower 10mm bolts (green arrows) holding the alternator to the engine block. You may find it a little difficult to remove these bolts as there isn't a lot of clearance to work with. Carefully lift the old alternator up and out of the engine bay.

Some new alternators are shipped with the drive pulley already installed.
Figure 7

Some new alternators are shipped with the drive pulley already installed. Other times, you need to transfer the pulley (yellow arrow) to the new alternator. You'll need to use a small screwdriver to pop the dust cover (green arrow) of the nose of the pulley.

Shown here is the 10mm XZN bolt (green arrow) that holds the pulley on.
Figure 8

Shown here is the 10mm XZN bolt (green arrow) that holds the pulley on. It appears that here is also a special tool that fits into the outer splines (yellow arrow) and counterhold the pulley while loosening the bolt. If you use an impact wrench, it will pop the bolt right off. If not, you can use a strap wrench to hold it while loosening the bolt. Once removed, transfer the pulley to the new alternator. Reinstallation of the alternator is the reverse of removal.


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