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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This guide is for replacing the alternator on any 88-91 CRX.

Tools Needed:

Jack and jackstands
8mm wrench or socket/ratchet
10mm wrench or socket/ratchet
12mm wrench or gear-wrench (faster)
14mm wrench and socket/ratchet
Pry bar
Hammer

First, disconnect the battery. You don't want to shock yourself or damage any of the electrical components in the car if you short out the alternator.



Remove the 12mm slider adjustment bolt that holds the alternator in place on the slider bracket. Tilt the alternator back and remove the belt. Inspect the belt for any wear or cracking. Replace if necessary. (NOTE: on cars with A/C, you will need to undo the A/C belt in order to replace the alternator belt.)

Remove the lower 14mm nut that holds the alternator to the alternator bracket. Remove the bolt (You may need to tap it lightly with a hammer to break it loose).



Usually the alternator will still be stuck/pinched in the alternator bracket. Use a pry bar between the alternator and the alternator bracket to pry it free.



Now that the alternator is free, undo the electrical connections (much easier to reach once you can move the alternator around a bit. The top power connector is held on by a 10mm nut. The large round connector on the side of the alternator can be removed by pushing in on the side clip of the connector and gently wiggling it free. Sometimes there will also be an 8mm nut and metal clip that holds the wiring harness onto the side of the alternator.



Slide the alternator out of the way along the cross member towards the passenger side of the vehicle.

Jack up the car at the mid-point of the front cross member. Place blocks under the rear wheels and jack stands under the side lift points for safety.

There are two 14mm bolts that hold the alternator bracket onto the engine block. You may need to use a normal wrench on the one that is closest to the driver's side of the vehicle. I was unable to get a socket on it. If you can't reach these bolts, you may need to remove the driver's side wheel to free up some space.



Once the bracket is removed, remove the 3 plastic screws that hold on the plastic wheel well shield at the front of the wheel well.



Pull it down out of the way and then slide the alternator out through this space. You may need to twist and turn the alternator just right to get it to fit through the space.



Reinstall the alternator in the reverse order of the steps above. The alternator bracket has a small metal bushing that pinches against the alternator when the bolt is tightened. You may need to tap this bushing back out a bit so that the new alternator will slide into the bracket.



Tighten up all the bolts except for the top slider bracket bolt and the bottom alternator nut and bolt. Slip the belt back on and make sure that it is aligned with the grooves on both the crank pulley and the alternator pulley. Use a pry bar between the alternator and the block to tilt the alternator and tighten the belt. While holding the tension, tighten the 12mm alternator slider bolt. Check to make sure the belt is tight, then tighten the lower 14mm alternator nut and bolt. Reconnect the battery.



NOTE: A belt that is too loose will squeal and may cause low voltage output. A belt that is too tight will put excess strain on the alternator pulley and could shorten your alternator's life expectancy. Tighten it until there is no slack in the belt, and then give it a little push beyond that. If it squeals, tighten it a little more.

You're finished! Hopefully your replacement alternator will hold up for a long time to come. If you want to be able to monitor the health of your charging system, I would recommend getting an Autometer Voltmeter gauge, or similar product. Your charging system should be between 12.5 - 14.5 volts at all times (with some minor fluctuations). Usually when your alternator starts dying, you will start to notice that the voltage output will decrease. This will give you an advanced warning that something needs to be fixed, and prevent you from getting stranded somewhere inconvenient in the future.
 

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great writeup stickershop.

one note: a properly function alternator will put out over 13v at idle and up to 14v through the rpm's.

I have also removed the alternator by using a block of wood on my jack. using it to support the engine and unbolting the driverside mount from the frame. Then jack the engine up and slide the alternator out.
Ive heard it described many ways. My way and your way are the only ways ive done it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Synoptic said:
In my case I prefer unbolting the master cylinder and pull the alternator to the top. much easier I think, that way you dont need to risk a realigment while working the crossmember...
Just to let you know, I've seen someone break their hard brake lines by doing it that way. The way that I described in this writeup will not cause your alignment to get out of wack because you aren't even touching anything in the suspension. It also won't put any strain on your hard brake lines. All you are removing is the front plastic wheel-well shield so that you have enough space to slide the alternator out.
 

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Well, i have sone it both ways and both of them work.... That is the beauty of the How to articles.... someone can write it based on there own experiences and then everyone else can read it over and give alternate directions.. . I work in computers and there are many many ways to accomplish the same task. but it is whatever works for you that gets the job done..... the beauty of the feedback on the ho to articles is the guy who has never done the job before gets to benefit from the experience of SEVERAL people who have sone it. and has many choices about going about it... . heck, lets say that using the 1 method you encounter a bolt that you know is going to break before it comes out..... BAM !!! come to the community and find several other ways to do the same job.. .

this is truly a great place, i can not stress that enough... . someday who knows mabys we can all arrange a Community meet. . ya never know

later all
. . .
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
black_krix_si said:
great writeup stickershop.

one note: a properly function alternator will put out over 13v at idle and up to 14v through the rpm's.
Thanks! I updated the voltage specs to match what the factory service manual states. Anywhere between 12.5v and 14.5v is considered the normal operating range. Anything outside of that range is an indicator of a problem.
 

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I remember changing the alternator in my first rex about 5 years ago. It was the middle of one of the worst winters I've ever experienced, I had no garage, and my alternator was completely frozen up, causing my engine not to be able to start because of the resistance the belt had on the crank pulley. And no service manual, no CRX forum, just me. It was horrible, but I managed to wiggle it up through the top somehow. I have no idea how. It was miserable. Thanks for the write-up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Opticon said:
Great write up Stick! This is going to be moved to the how-to section right?
As soon as it's been reviewed enough for errors and potential improvements, crxfisher will move it over to the How to's. :)
 

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I have a bit of helpful info to add to this article, being Ive had an alternator go out on me recently, and I run a single cam vtec in my CRX. Make sure you have a 4 groove pulley, when you go to get an alternator for a CRX its alternator and crank pulley is a 3 groove, and the crank and alternator pulley on the 92 and up d series motors is a 4 groove. Just have the place that you get your alternator from swap the pulley from your old alternator to your new alternator, its usually something thats done right at the store where you buy your alternator from.
 

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wow

i found this place when trying to remove my alternator a month ago, and at that time wasnt able to find this post (searching all over google) an my dad, a normal mechanic (as in repair, not rice :p) sugjested the same thing with the MC but we had to take a bunch of other wires and stuff out as well...
anyway, got it out, got it back in (had to hammer it back in, again, your post covers that too) but i always wondered what the "right" way of doing it was...i thought it was the wheelwell like that, but didnt look hard enough, my friend thought it was supposed to go though the bottom, but everywhere that looks open was almost 1/4th inch to small

anyway, great article, i hope i never have to do it again, but if i do, i now know the right way
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've done this job on one CRX where there wasn't space to go out through the bottom unless a couple of additional steps were done. I believe the cause of the problem was that the motor mounts had sagged a bit, so the motor was a little lower than normal. I basically just put a jack underneath the motor and cranked it up a 1/4" and there was then just enough space to slide the alternator out through the bottom. If that still doesn't work, you can also loosen the rear cross member bolts to get another 1/4" of space.
 

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my alternator just went, and though its replacement is simple... the mechanic who serviced the car before i purchased it was a real butcher. The top bolt on the slider was almost totally stripped, and the bottom bolt has been torqued on SO TIGHT (to compensate for his screwing up the top bolt) that the hex head of the bolt was stripped BEFORE i tried in vain to loosen it.

lesson learned through someone else's stupidity: dont just fix something so it works, fix something so its done right
 

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my alternator is out and im having the worst time in the world getting this thing out of the engine bay

i have it out of the bracket but i cannot get it out of the engine bay and ive ben working on this for 4 hours its really starting to get to me

i tried removing the alternator bracket but those bolts wont budge at all and i have no room to work with them either..they actualy started stripping before i gave up

i tried taking the bolt out of the driver side motor mount and lifting the motor as high as my floor jack would go but still no room to get it out

any help would be greatly appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
sodiumcycle said:
Thanks for the guide! I just did an alternator replacement on an 88 crx only using your posting. The Chilton's manual was completely unhelpful and this was all I needed.
No problem. Always glad to help. I barely ever refer to Hayne's or Chilton's manuals anymore because they tend to skip a lot of important practical steps.
 
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