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So, I am looking into doing the upgrade mentioned in the service bulletin about the alternator and ecu upgrade. I took it in and have a case number and all that, but with 93,000 miles, I am not sure they would help with it. (I would guess it was owned by what I call an "old lady" - a trade in at a local Chrysler dealership. $3000 and it had 82K miles on it about a year ago).

SO, my question is, which would be the way to go? Should I go and see if Kia will help, or do it on my own? I figure I can tackle it, but I probably don't have the tool, nor the firmware, that I would need for the ECU to reprogram it. Any ideas on a cheap ECU programmer? Where would I get the "firmware" for it (does the reprogramming even use firmware?)?

I love my little 'dona. Fun to learn on. Don't be afraid to be technical. I want to learn :D
 

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pdspatrick:

I spent much of the Fourth doing what you are facing.
You definitely need a helper of some heft since the passenger side front wheel needs to be taken off. If it was torqued on by air tool you'll notice that need.

What the experts will also tell you is that the bottom bolt of the alternator is hard to extract as well as replace because the designers failed to include that 32nd of an inch needed to shove it back in for tightening.

You heard it here first - how to get around that:

Being a complete Luddite as far as car mechanics are concerned I decided to grind off just the ornamental edge on the hex bolt. In other words it took just that bit of steel - less than the thickness of a tiny paper clip - to replace the bolt.

You also have to remove both fans to bring the loosened alternator to the front while a second pair of hands moves it towards the position of the battery, i.e., towards available space closer to the driver's side.

Removing 3 of the passenger side fan's 4 bolts is easy but the the fourth, on the bottom, was impossible to replace and is now asleep in the glove compartment.
Of course if you have a child without a protective agent nearby :), it may be possible to screw back in.

I used my Samsung Tablet's camera to record everything I did and was able to refer to it plenty of times.

I bought my van new and it has only 51,000 miles on it but it's the first major repair and it cost me $129.- saving about 6 hours of a mechanic's wages.

Downside: I missed out on the parade because of a faulty alternator. The cost of the lesson?

Priceless!
 
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