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Can't remove alternator- Am I doing something wrong?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by toddious, October 11, 2011.


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    1. toddious

      toddious Well-Known Member

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      My alternator died on my explorer, so I am trying to pull it out to swap with a new one.

      On the alternator there appears to be 3 bolts, 2 of which look like they're only a nut that is threaded from the bottom, and require a deep socket to remove. I was able to get these 2 removed (and they are not actually just a nut, but an entire assembly).

      The 3rd bolt looks like a standard bolt head, 13mm. Granted it is in a difficult position to get a wrench with any leverage. I initially tried break bar with and without extensions, but was not able to break this bolt loose. Fearing that I was going to strip the head, I went and bought an cordless impact wrench (19.2v Craftsman) so that I could apply downward pressure and use the impact to break the bolt free. However, the bolt still won't budge. I even tried putting the other 2 bolts back in to see if this would help the 3rd break free, but have had no success.

      I'm 1 bolt away from having this truck fixed! Am I doing something wrong? Please help....

      Edit: This is for my 2002 Explorer 4.0l
       
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    3. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>

      I looked up Alternator removal for the 2002-2005 V-6 Ex's in my Haynes manual, here is what is says to remove the alternator: " To detach the alternator from a V-6 engine, remove the nut from the stud bolt (the rear bolt) and detach the coolant hose bracket, then remove all (3) alternator mounting bolts". So from what I read here and see in the manual, there is 1 rear nut to a stud bolt that holds down a coolant hose bracket, then 2 mounting bolts hold down the alternator itself, so you appear to be removing it correctly. Try PB-Blaster spray on the stubborn last bolt, then try to loosen again. Also, according to the photo in the Haynes Manual, you can see 2 mounting bolts and 1 nut clearly in the photo. The photo appears to be looking straight down on top of the alternator. On the right hand side of the alternator in photo, appears to be the larger, 13 MM bolt head and it looks easily accessible. There is another bolt head on the front left side and in the rear left side of alternator, appears to be the nut to the stud bolt and they appear easily accessible. The photo only shows arrows to those 2 bolts and 1 nut to remove the V-6 alternator. The only other intsructions were to disconnect the negative battery terminal, disconnect electrical connectors on alternator and remove the belt from the pulley. Installation is the reverse of removal.
       
      Last edited: October 11, 2011
    4. Triton8273

      Triton8273 B

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      Exprobs is correct on all of that. I have to replace mine a few months back and that rear bolt was a pain in the ass b/c of the coolant hose and yea, they are all in bad sports to get the leverage to break them loose...do you know how to properly release the belt and get it back on?
       
    5. toddious

      toddious Well-Known Member

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      Yes, belt has been removed, as have all electrical connections and the 2 other bolts. The one I can't get off is on the passenger side towards the front. I have removed the hose, as well as the airbox, and still no luck. I even bought/returned a 250ft/lb electric impact last night that didn't budge it.

      I'm headed to a friends house tonight to give their air gun a try. Supposedly has 525ft/lb's, so about double what I put on it yesterday. We'll see what happens...
       
    6. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      Let us know how you made out and post any tips that helped you get it removed or reinstalled. Good luck.
       
    7. toddious

      toddious Well-Known Member

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      Will an alternator from an '01 explorer work? The one they sold me at the parts store says it's for an 01. When I asked, they said they are the same from 01-04 or something. I didn't have mine out obviously to compare.

      Anyone?
       
    8. Triton8273

      Triton8273 B

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      Whats the model number on the alternator?
       
    9. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      I really don't know if they are the same Alternators, the '01's, but the model year range for your '04 Explorer is 2002-2005.
       
    10. toddious

      toddious Well-Known Member

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      Hit it with the air gun last night and still no luck....

      I finally broke down and took it into my mechanic today. He is probably going to have to torch it, or break the head off the bolt. Ridiculous too, considering this alternator has only been on this motor like 6 month(which means someone either cross threaded it, or tightened it way too much).

      The good news is that the ford dealership verified that 01-04 4.0l alternators are interchangeable. At least I've got that going for me...
       
    11. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>.

      Thats a hell of a stubborn alternator bolt with the air gun not getting it to move. I would think the torch should work if he can get the heat to the right spot without burning anything else up thats important down there where the bolt meets the block. I would go with the guess of cross threaded but either way if one of them is what happened, they probably damaged the threads in the block. 6 months isn't long enough for them to rust in place that hard.
      A few weeks back I did the brake job on a car owned by a guy from my gym, and when I went to remove one of his rear wheels, all 5 lug nuts for that wheel were completely cross threaded. It took me about 20-30 minutes to force all 5 lug nuts off with a 3 1/2 foot long breaker bar, one short turn at a time. Even an air gun wouldn't have gotten these off they were that tight. Some a$$hole tire changer/mechanic where he got a set of new tires from recently, hammered those lug nuts on with his impact wrench without ever making sure the lug nut threads were properly in line or seated with the first few rows of wheel stud threads. It ruined all 5 wheel studs as well as the lug nuts. What a PITA that was. Good luck with the mechanic!

      .
       
    12. toddious

      toddious Well-Known Member

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      Stubborn bolt indeed! THey were finally able to get it out in the shop, but he said they had 3 different guys working on it, a 3ft breaker bar, and like 3 different extraction tools. By the time they broke the head loose, the bolt was totally mangled and needed replaced.

      This replacement motor was installed at the same dealership in the spring (and i'm friends with the service manager) so he removed the bolt and installed the new alternator at no cost to me... almost a week later and I can finally drive again.....
       
    13. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      Glad to hear they got that bolt out and repaired your vehicle at no cost to you, no charge is always a good thing. This dealership would have been the one who installed the first alternator/bolts on the replacement motor that you had installed, when they switched over the old engine's external parts to the new motor. Did they ever say if the threads on that bolt were cross threaded or not? Just curious.
       

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