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whynotthinkwhynot 03-07-2012 09:11 PM

How-To: Remove 05 Duratec alternator from above
OK, when I my alternator died, I read that everyone had to invite a friend over to help them lever the motor out of the way so the alternator would come out. Well, I have a problem, I don't have any friends. Really, even beer doesn't help- they just puke, or hate me anyway. I have to go it alone. So maybe you know someone in a similar situation, or maybe you are in a similar situation. Maybe you just don't want to buy any beer for your freeloading cheap ass friends who would only have to pull back on a pry bar for a few minutes while you do all the work. Regardless, here's how to go it alone.

E8 torx female socket.
Flex head ratchet
3/8 and 1/4 ratchet
Stubby ratchets
15, 13, 10, 8, 7 mm sockets and some in wrenches.
Jack stand
Wheel chocks
Stuff like that

This is mostly a picture story, and most of it is fairly self explanatory.

A daunting task indeed. Oh well, remove the negative cable and get started.

You'll have to remove the coolant reservoir, power steering reservoir and it's bracket, the noise suppressor and it's bracket, the purge valve and it's bracket, and remove all the bolts in the upper exhaust heat shield.

Yes the purge valve lines are just like the fuel lines- press the clip on it's flat side until it clicks and pull it off.

The purge valve is held on by a simple clip on the back side.

That's all the bolts that hold the upper exhaust heat shield and the 2 that hold the purge valve/fuel line bracket. Yes, it's 8 bolts on the heat shield. 2 long ones (the rusted 2) at the top, 3 in the center, and 3 at the bottom. If Ford hadn't put this handy small bolt holder up there- I'd probably ditch them completely for how hard this alternator job is. Thank goodness it lasted 140k miles!!

Removing this helps free up the fuel line so it's not so hard to move back. You'll also have to remove the serpentine belt cover after jacking the vehicle- there are 2 bolts- one under the headlight, and one in the center.

If you're not a complete goof, you'll draw out your serpentine belt routing before you remove it. Yeah, I know, manuals- right. Some have them, some don't, but even if you do- this might keep you from having to look at it later.

If you're having trouble removing the serpentine belt, then you're probably not holding your mouth right. I found it was easiest to use a 15mm open end of a wrench to rotate the bolt on the tensioner to the right while sliding the belt off the water pump pulley.

Well, I guess it's time to start removing the alternator.... mmmmm flex ratchet= fewer hand cuts.

To remove the alternator, you're going to want to remove the vent from the back of the alternator. You won't be able to remove the nut on the hot wire any other way. On my alternator, there is one 13mm bolt that holds the whole vent assembly to the alternator- although it's 2 parts. I was unable to separate the two parts while it was in the vehicle. It might help getting access to the bolt by removing the upper alternator stud completely with the E8 torx socket, and the lower bolt so that you can tilt the alternator forward like this.

To remove the stud you'll need that E8 torx socket I mentioned in the tools list. That's really the reason I wrote the tools list, and it's the only special tool you'll really need.

This pic is from when I put it back in, but you can see how not having the vent gives you the access you need to the main hot wire bolt, and plug-in connector.

Here's the evil vent, if you look closely you'll see that I broke the clip on one side that connects to the snout. It still connects just fine with only one clip. I had real difficulty removing the snout with just one clip- even out of the vehicle. Now you might be thinking- why the vent? Well electricity and heat go together like celebs and marriage. If you didn't put it back in, then the voltage regulator would probably die off a lot sooner. That's why I broke it apart into 2 pieces. I had to install the back side with the alternator in the vehicle. I wasn't able to put it in there with it on.

OK so now the evil vent is gone, remove the alternator from the remaining stud. Push the exhaust shield out of the way, and pull the alternator out just like this.

I know, it doesn't look like it but there is just enough room there. Maybe later models have a heat shield that is easier to remove- I don't know. Mine is like the one that ST's have, the manifold is tubular not cast, and honestly I don't know how to remove the heat shield without removing the mani-cat also.

There you have it- the impossible alternator removal from the top without schmoozing buddies with no beer money.

Be sure to clean your main hot contact points on the alternator and the wire before re-installing. I was torn about putting blue thread lock or anti-seize on the upper stud. The studs aren't zinc galvanized, so the steel will bite (actually galvanize) into the aluminum, so that means anti-seize. Yet, you don't want it tight or it will get stuck- so that's thread lock. I settled on anti-seize and about 20 ft-lbs which is more than it had on it when I removed it.I'll update the thread if that doesn't last as long as the alternator. Now you could use a little AS on the bottom threads, and BTL on the top few.

If you don't like that, get some friends (and beer).

(yeah I know the vc is leaking, that and the o2 are next week- my back hurts I'm old and I want to fart now)

rbrad6937 03-08-2012 06:01 AM

That is a great write-up. I wish I lived closer to you as I would of shared my case of beer with you. I have an 06 ZX4 is this the same configuration as your 05? Thanks again for taking the time to do this for everyones benefit.[thumb][ffrocks]

FocusedSlayer 03-08-2012 09:04 AM

That's pretty much the same way I got mine out the top except I didn't have to disconnect that valve , I had enough slack in the lines that once I got it off the firewall it would move far enough out of the way .

mozzman 03-08-2012 04:08 PM

Question,is this the original battery or first replacement? I'm just trying to see if it's possible to avoid this job if i just buy a new battery every 5 years whether it needs it or not.

whynotthinkwhynot 03-08-2012 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by mozzman (Post 4047849)
Question,is this the original battery or first replacement? I'm just trying to see if it's possible to avoid this job if i just buy a new battery every 5 years whether it needs it or not.

The guy who rebuilt the alternator said that it needed new field brushes, bearings, and regulator. Fortunately it didn't need a new pulley- those are like $85 from what he said. The total cost was $85. The battery was 7 years old, but it's not like it was dead- I think I drove to work on it in the morning with the lights on- that's like 20 minutes. Heck the new battery only puts out like 12v even and the old one put out 12.7 GO MOTORCRAFT BATTERIES!

I wish I'd taken a pic of removing/installing the stud. That's probably the most important thing to doing it this way. I guess it's because I had to get under the car to slide the alternator on, so I forgot.


Originally Posted by rbrad6937 (Post 4046836)
I have an 06 ZX4 is this the same configuration as your 05?

I have no idea really, but it should work if you can get everything out of that corner.

josephd 01-27-2013 12:04 PM

Excellent write up! Thank-you. I agree, I wish I lived closer. Maybe I would learn how to fix things on my car myself.

drewday 02-07-2013 05:56 PM

Thanks - very useful. I'll be using your info to replace the alternator on my 04 ZTS which has the same engine bay setup as yours. Never would have thought of the E8 Torx socket and I wonder why they design odd bolts like that into the car - to annoy home mechanics?

josephd 02-07-2013 07:09 PM

Times have changed from the cars of yesterday. It's almost like they build the cars around the motors.
It's not easy working on a car yourself anymore.
There are check engine lights that you need special equipment to diagnose.
Special tools for one thing or another.
Mechanics have to take classes to learn the latest technology.
Or buy a new piece of equipment, to even keep up with the cars newer technology.
A lot of us don't have the time or especially the resources to work on our own cars.
I remember my old Maverick. Changing a water pump, and fan belts, or replacing a set of shocks was a simple Saturday afternoon job.
I look under the hood of my Focus, and you need to be Houdini to work on it.
I envy and respect you guys that have the knowledge and resources to do a lot of wrenching yourself.
But for some of us, unfortunately. Its not so simple.

jacjm 03-15-2014 12:22 PM

i know this is a (kinda) old thread,,, BEST ONE I'VE FOUND THO !! (so far),, but i did NOT buy the torx female socket,,, a 1/4" socket fit right on mine, and the studs came out fairly easy. the BIGGEST problem i am having is getting the heat shield far enough out of the way. (well, that and the stupid quick-locks for the fuel and purge lines).,, it looks like you only have your shield only "pushed" over,,, same as i have mine, but still not enough room.

3Dfocus05 04-27-2014 09:26 AM

I used this yesterday on my '05 focus worked great took a sawzaw to my heat shield kept the upper half though an bolted right back on the little [:)][:)][:)][:)][:)] wrapped all the way under my manifold. Its like pinch welded pieced together. But yeah 1/4 inch shallow socket on the studs an when reinstalling them I used anti seize. Great write up bro.!!

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