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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, thanks for reading.

I have a 2002 Ford Focus SVT all stock. The alternator was going bad on me so I decided to replace it myself. The damned thing didn't want to mount so I lifted the engine and cleared the entire passenger compartment save for the exhaust manifold and the damned thing still won't mount.

Any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The mounting indentations near the two main bolts, specifically, the one nearest the firewall, are giving me trouble. It appears as though the alternator needs to be practically mounted upside-down to slide them into the mounting bracket. I'd gladly do so if the power steering lines weren't in the way.
 

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There's a common alternator mounting situation that can make it difficult fi you aren't familiar with it.

One of the two main mounting tabs usually has a bushing in the hole that LOOKS fixed in place but actually moves as the bolt is tightened to snug against the bracket.

On a replacement, particularly a "rebuilt", this bushing may be pushed in to fit a bracket tightly making it difficult to impossible to fit it to yours.

Look for this feature, and where you find it the bushing can be tapped (lightly hammered) out enough to clear the bracket while installing the alt. When it's bolted up this will be drawn into the right position again - super tight!


BTW - even if reusing the same alternator you'd need to loosen that bushing in most cases, it gets loosened a little during removal but often not enough to slide it back together.

Edit - I see two of us had the same idea!
 

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Doesn't it have inserts in the mounts on the alternator? These need to be pushed toward the center of the alt before trying to slide it onto the bracket. It is a very tight fit on mine...getting the darn thing off is the hardest part, putting it back on is easier.


Edit: Typing at same time again sailor!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dear lord, that makes so much more sense.

So let me get this straight, take punch and hammer and just hammer at the buttons on the bolt holes for the two bolt mounts? On both bolt holes? If that's the case, easy. Just gotta get some WD-40.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh crap wait never mind yes I remember that bushing. Sorry. I'm no where near my car right now. It's the damned thing in the bolt hole, right? My terminology is messed up, sorry. I've done many alternators on many vehicles, never run into this issue so I've never had to ask.
 

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".... thing in the bolt hole, right?"

Yes, it is the insert in the mounting holes on the alternator (not the bracket on the engine) that needs to be slid towards the center of the alternator before you try to put it on the bracket. It is almost impossible to get the alt on the bracket if you don't do that.
 

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We like to call the structure the inserts fit into as "Ears"

Once you really understand how to pull and install an Alt. in our cars without a jack, you feel really stupid. The hardest part is the tensioner and belt. The rest is an hour max in and out with hand tools.
 

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Two on every alt and I pound mine OUT to make them looser on normal zetec. Torquing the bolt then pulls them back IN as the bolt pulling on thread then slides the insert back tight on the bracket.

Those inserts can make for hell removing old alt as well if they stay tight, often you have to take like a min-crowbar to finagle around in there to load the alt sideways enough to slide the inserts back loose, then alt simply falls off the bracket where it was locked like concrete before.
 

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Two on every alt and I pound mine OUT to make them looser on normal zetec. Torquing the bolt then pulls them back IN as the bolt pulling on thread then slides the insert back tight on the bracket.
Now that you say that, I do believe it is out instead of in.

It becomes obvious if you look at the alternator and then bracket as to which way they go.
 

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Most alternators I've done over the years have one sleeve in an ear that will move (the one away from the belt end) on the pivot bolt types.

Fought a few on & off before learning that wasn't molded in & just a tight fit that was SUPPOSED to move for installation....

Same type of setup on these.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you guys so much! I took your advice and got it all done and mounted within an hour and she runs beautifully! I'm gonna drive her over the weekend to make sure the check engine cleared and it'll be good to smog!

Thanks again!
 

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".... thing in the bolt hole, right?"

Yes, it is the insert in the mounting holes on the alternator (not the bracket on the engine) that needs to be slid towards the center of the alternator before you try to put it on the bracket. It is almost impossible to get the alt on the bracket if you don't do that.
I think I'm having the same problem. I can't get the dang alternator back onto the bracket and I think the inserts are pushed to far towards the center of the alternator. I'm not sure I understand correctly how to get the inserts pushed back into the mounting holes (away from the center of the alternator). Any hints? Getting more clearance so the alternator slides back onto the bracket would make my day!.

Thanks
Jeff
 

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....get the inserts pushed back into the mounting holes (away from the center of the alternator)
Yes, the inserts need to be pushed away from the center. I had previously said towards the center, but I corrected myself after AMC reminded me that I was thinking wrong.

Just push them out and the alternator should go on the bracket.

Often the inserts cause all kinds of problems trying to get the alternator off the bracket because they tend to lock it in place.
 

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Multiple 'tricks" depending on tools available to do this.

Slip joint pliers can squeeze on them, with a socket larger than the sleeve on the outside you can get a "square" fit for an even push.

If you tap on them with a small hammer or other implement, hold the "ear" of the alternator against something solid to take the force (right near the sleeve). You don't want to chance wacking on it & putting the force through the whole ear as that could possible break it. (light taps with it "backed up" won't hurt)
 

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I used a c-clamp to push them in. Alternator slide right onto the bracket. Only a waste of an hour or two and a sore back yesterday to learn this.
 

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Visegrips offloaded slightly to one side at an angle to push on insert with one jaw while pushing outside bracket opposite direction with other jaw works well and easy too.
 
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