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Old 04-04-2015, 05:11 PM   #1
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Wink Changing alternator 2005 Focus ZX5

I just did an alternator change on my 05 Focus ZX5 hatch. Before buying a new alternator I tested the charging system with a multimeter to ensure the alternator was the problem.

A little back story - Around early march I was on my way down south and was about 50 miles from home. I was cruising at around 70mph on the interstate and it was dusk. I started to notice it seemed like my headlights were not on but it wasn't quite dark enough yet to be certain. A few moments later my radio shut off and as I fussed with that I noticed my dash lights dimming and the temp and gas gauges read zero. Suddenly the car started to misfire and I bombed across the 4 lanes to the next exit I was almost about to pass. Broke down at the top of the ramp (car died) and had the car towed back home under my roadside policy. This wasn't fun, I had ZERO warning, no battery indicator light on the dash, nothing. Luckily I was near a major city, had cell service and had towing on my insurance.

Now on to the job itself of changing the alternator. I read several threads try to determine which alternator to buy, how to take the old one out, how hard it was going to be, etc.. etc..

I went to my local auto parts store and they had a 130amp model and a 110amp. I bought the 130 because it was about $50 cheaper but as soon as I got it home I realized it wasn't the right one. I called ford parts and he didn't know jack. He gave me a motorcraft part number which I had to cross reference to find the right part.

So finally today the weather was warm and dry enough to fix the car a full month after the initial breakdown. I kept the battery which was almost new on a trickle / float charger so I would be ready to rock and roll when the job was finished.

Let me say that after the couple of fairly un-useful youtube videos and threads including online diagrams.. I thought this was going to really suck and take all Saturday.

It took me less than two hours from start to finish and that includes also changing my oil and running to the auto parts store to get a new serpentine belt.

Only tools I needed:
3/8 Ratchet
8mm socket
10mm socket
13mm socket
15mm socket
15mm box wrench
Flat blade scredriver
8mm star socket in 1/4 drive
1/4" drive ratchet

1. Put car on ramps and chock wheels
2. Unhook battery completely.
3. Remove 10mm bolt that holds coolant bottle and move coolant bottle aside.
4. Gently pop the power steering bottle from the metal framed mount. This bottle is behind the coolant bottle closest to the firewall. Move aside and be careful of any wires that may snag.
5. <I did remove the two top bolts holding the heat shield one the headers. Later I determined that loosening or removing the heat shield was not necessary to remove and re install the alternator.>
6. Remove the 13mm bolt that holds the wire harness onto the top bolt of the alternator (remove alternator top bolt)
7. Under the car remove the car remove the dust cover that protects the under side of the engine and belts from road debris (2 x10mm bolts) One bolt is up under the fender at an angle but can still be reached with a ratchet and short socket.
8. Using a 15mm wrench rotate the nut on the belt tensioner clockwise to create slack in the belt. You are not removing the bolt you are just turning it about a 1/2 a turn or less to release tension.
9. Remove the air intake tube from the alternator. Mine was broke and came right off.
10. Remove the nut that holds the B+ wire on the alternator.
11. Remove the lower alternator bolt and nut. Bolt is 13mm, nut is 15mm. I used deep sockets for these and a jack handle for added leverage.
12. Using a 8mm star socket on a 1/4" drive remove the lower alternator stud. For some people the stud may come off with the nut. For me it needed to be removed after.
13. From the top of the car slide the alternator away from the engine enough to reach around with your left hand and disconnect the wire harness adapter from the alternator. I thought this was going to be hard but I got it on the first try.
14. Go back under the car and now slide the alternator off the top stud and lower it down to the axle.
15. Using a 13mm socket remove the bolt that holds the plastic shield off the alternator.
16. Remove the plastic shield and set aside.
17. Remove the rear engine mount bolt that should be right above your head as you are looking into the space where the alternator is located while under the car.
18. Using a piece of wood or a large c-clamp (which is what I used) pull the engine as far towards the front of the car as possible then wedge something between the block and the front part of the chassis where the engine mount was bolted.
19. Roll the alternator around until it is in a position to come out the opening you have created. For me it came out easiest with the pulley facing down and the green connector pointing towards the drivers side of the car.
20. Remove the alternator.

Assembly is reverse of these instructions. Test charging system when finished.

*When I re assembled everything the air tube was broken like it is for most people. I threw it away.

Now, very important to check before starting your car...!

If you have a hatch back focus open the rear trunk and using a screwdriver pry the plastic dust caps and tubing away from the trunk lid and trunk. Inspect these wires carefully.

After much research I found that a large majority of hatchback focus's have this problem and so did mine. Nearly all the wires were cut and split making contact with each other. I took my time and wrapped each wire in electrical tape then the whole lot of them several times for added protection. I reassembled the wire look and hooked everything back up.

Make sure you check this or you could burn out your new alternator in no time at all...


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Old 04-04-2015, 08:16 PM   #2
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Moved to General Tech Chat

Welcome to FF!

Decent write up, moved it here because most of the repair info. is found in this section.
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