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How to put in 2003 chevy calvlier alternator my self

Directions on how to take it out and put one in (replace) Im a girl so make it easy

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1) Open driver's door window (in case the car auto-locks shut), remove keys from car's interior, and disconnect the vehicle's battery's negative terminal wire and tuck it away, making sure it cannot touch the battery negative terminal (you might wrap it in a cloth, just to make absolutely sure) (make sure you have any stereo security codes, before disconnecting this). Also make sure you have any alarm system turned off, or have the key to do so.

2) Remove the alternator drive belt. Serpentine belt types require a spring tensioned pulley to be forced against spring pressure, away from the belt in order to remove the belt (MAKE SURE you take careful note of this belt's route for easy refit. Take a photo if necessary!). Traditional tensioners require a locking bolt to be slackened and then an adjustment bolt to be slackened, plus affixing bolt to be slackened in order to freely remove the belt.
3) Disconnect the wires from the back of the alternator unit. You may typically have one plug connector and one or two heavy duty wires on the back.

4) Remove any remaining alternator fixing bolts which are keeping it affixed to the engine block, and remove alternator.


1) Locate alternator position and lightly screw in all affixing bolts (do not tighten if using traditional type, manual tensioner). Tighten if using a serpentine belt tensioner (spring loaded type).

2) Re-attach all wiring and check for tight connections.

3) Replace drive belt. If using traditional tensioner, then manually adjust the belt tension so that you can twist the belt to about 90 degrees when tight, no further.

4) Clear the engine bay of all tools, reconnect vehicle battery negative lead.

5) Restart vehicle.

6) Listen for belt squeal (may need tightening further if manually adjusted). Take note of dashboard charge warning indicator. If illuminated, then check battery connections and alternator connections.

7) If you have a multimeter, then check voltage across battery terminals with vehicle running. Voltage should measure around 14Volts with a healthy alternator fitted.

8) After running for a few minutes, stop engine and recheck belt tension if using a manual tensioner. BE CAREFUL of any hot areas as these may burn. If in doubt, then wait until the engine is cold and re-adjust if necessary.

Job Done!

Good luck!

Posted on Nov 04, 2012


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SOURCE: 2003 Chevy Suburban-replace alternator

Ok, Alternators are a breeze on these things. There are two bolts that hold it on, and 2 sets of wires. If you haven't taken anything apart yet, and the belt is still on it, here's what to do. You will want one of those rubber or elastic bungee cords, about 2 and a half feet long(this makes it easy). Hook that bungee cord to your hood somewhere, so that it hangs down. Hook the other end on the serpentine belt right next to the alternator pulley. If you need to prop the hood up with a stick or something to keep it up, do so. Pull up on the belt, and watch the pulleys. The one that probably has a plastic pulley on it that moves up and down(this is the tensioner) is the one that you'll put a deep well socket in the middle of with a ratchet, and turn counterclockwise. This will make the belt go loose. Now you can work the belt off the alternator pulley, and once you get it off, the bungee cord will keep it in place, so you don't have to look at the diagram. Otherwise, if it comes off, there is a sticker just under the hood either on the fan shroud or the radiator support that has the belt diagram. Now, you can disconnect the battery, pull the rubber boot down off the nut and post on the back of the alternator, remove the nut and wire, and then unhook the wire from the side of the alternator. Now, you can remove the two bolts that hold the alternator on. You Will need to pry the alternator off at this point, as it fits really tightly in place. A socket extension or a large flat screwdriver works really well for this. Once you get it off, put the new one on exactly as you took the old one off. Note, you will have to release your tension on the tensioner at some point; i just ease it down, or if I can pull it off, wedge it somewhere where it won't loosen very far. Remember, on the tensioner, you're not trying to take the nut off. All you're doing is using it to move the tensioner arm. That's all there is to this job. Sometimes it can be stubborn with the prying part, especially getting it into place. Hope this is what you're after, and if you need more info, leave a comment for me.

Posted on Feb 22, 2010

Testimonial: "Great advice on the bungee cord!! Well written advide and easy for a novice to follow. Thanks"

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