Lotus Elan Central
Removing & Replacing the Alternator

This task breaks down into two phases:

1. Gaining access to the alternator attachment bolts, wiring, etc.

2. Unbolting & moving the loose alternator down and out.

Phase 1

This requires working first from above and then (with the car on jackstands) from below. When you attempt to see the adjustment bolt on the alternator pivot arm from above remember it must also be completely
removed and later replaced. So to get room, remove the power steering fluid container's sheet metal mount and push it away to the rear. Also, remove the power steering hose from the top of power steering pump and push it back to the rear ( I drained the container, but the fluid tends to drip out of the hose anyway). [You can probably get creative and stop the drips by strategically placing a pen cap or such in the end of the open hose to cork it up--Doug]

To get access to the top of pump, take out engine dipstick and remove oxygen sensor. You will need a variety of tools -mostly metric. Now, you should be able to loosen and remove the adjustment bolt and just loosen-only the top pivot strap bolt. The alternator is still held up by the bottom bracket and belt.

Loosen right side front wheel bolts, jack up, support, remove wheel (do not turn steering wheel from straight ahead position).

Phase II

From below, remove oil filter in order to get at the alternator connector and also the single wire with its terminal, the connector needs to be squeezed at the plastic locking tab in order to disconnect it. First, disconnect battery before alternator connections.

OK, now for the tricky part, because it doesn't seem possible for the alternator to be removed! It comes through the opening between half-shaft and frame, and remove the hose clamps from the pipe along the frame opening at the bottom to get more room. Then locate and unbolt the right most bolt from the alternator bottom bracket (from the engine), then loosen the remaining left most bolt and tilt the bracket-alternator combination down to the right in order to separate the alternator via the *long* pivot bolt. There is just enough room to remove this *long* bolt. No need to remove the bracket from the engine, however.

Now, you should pry up and the alternator is in your hand and it is heavy - be careful as you reverse the alternator end-for-end and slip it down through the opening connector end first and up. This is not easy and requires some fishing around until it falls through. [Make sure the kids aren't around to hear all the swearing--Doug]

My rebuilder charged about $115, and please check that the pulley bolt is tight before reinstallation (just reverse all the previous moves!).


write-up by Loren

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