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2004 Rio
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Discussion Starter #1
I must thank everyone here for the advice on this repair which was successful. It didn't look like it was going to be for a while there. I had the alt fully disconnected and all brackets removed but I could not get the alt out of the engine compartment. Oh, be sure to disconnect the battery first...more on this later. Trying to move it upwards was too risky because of the a/c lines. But I couldn't find a way to get it through below either. I saw on here that removal of the engine mount and raising the engine a bit was needed. I felt that was a little out of my comfort zone. But I also saw a tip on this forum to use a prybar on the rubber engine mount to get the engine to move forward a little on that side. I did this and placed a wedge in there to hold it. Under the car I removed the oxygen sensor bracket, moved all wiring out of the way and the alt did come out by pushing it into the rubber steering boot as I manouvered it around the engine block. Putting the new alt in and putting all the brackets back in was easy at this point. I started the engine for only a few seconds and checked that the belt was fine. A broken alt belt could easily get in the way of the other belt and destroy it also. After all the alt work, you don't need time and expense of replacing two belts. I ran the engine a bit longer and checked the belts again. All was fine. Then I needed to test that the alt was working. I had rigged a cigarette lighter plug to the leads of my voltmeter. Before starting the reading was 12.3 volts. That looked ok, started the engine and it dropped to 11.9 volts. I'm thinking this isn't right. I went for a drive for a few blocks, voltage kept dropping, 11.5, 11.1, 10.9 ! Could the new alt be defective also? Possibly. Gave up for the day. Thinking about it over night I remembered that in removing the old alt I had caused a spark because I did not disconnect the battery first. I have been working on cars a long time and this was an amateur's mistake. This caused the 80 amp fuse to blow and so the new alt was not really connected to the battery and appeared to be as defective as the original alternator. Temporarily I bended the burnt sections of the fuse back together and started the car. Reading 14+ volts. Basically all is well. Saved myself $400 (less whatever the 80 amp fuse costs).
 

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2004 Rio
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks dslorio. The 80 amp fuse was only 5 bucks or less at NAPA.Its not an exact replacement because being a bus type or bar type fuse the screw holes are a little too close together to fit the screws where the original 80 amp fuse is mounted at the front of the power center. No problem. I cut the holes open at each end, flattened out the copper a bit and got about 50% coverage around each screw. I used a couple of washers to broaden that out a bit and bolted it down. Works fine. I'm sure those were at least 80 amp connections. Couldn't figure out how to remove all of the original 80 amp fuse, so I just cut out the center part from above with snips and needle nose pliers. The new fuse goes above that but still fits fine under the fuse cover.
 

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96 Camaro, 92 Rodeo, 87 Suzuki Savage
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5 Posts
Tip on removing the 04 alternator.

You don't need to remove the motor mounts, push the engine or any of that.
If you jack up the right front corner until the wheel is in the air suspended by the front suspension, there is clearance between the shaft and engine block to just drop it out.
 

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Lots
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I thought I had posted my story of loosing my charging. Yes, that BIG amp fuse blew for some reason. Of course I had taken out the alternator (easy on a car with no AC) and had it tested. Then I found the fuse. I had to modify mine just like Denny did.

-SP

 
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