I have a '94 Civic LX that needs an alternator replacement. I have
read that in order to replace the alternator, you have to drop the
half shaft in order to do so. I have also heard of people taking it
out of the top by removing the intake manifold.
My questions are...Which way is the best (i.e., the easiest)? How hard
is this to do? Are there any tricks to making it easy?
I appreciate any and all help. Thanks everyone!
The best trick works if the problem is that the brushes are worn out. In a
'94 I'd expect that to be the problem. Symptoms are that it started charging
off and on, then more off than on :-( You may not have noticed the off
and on until it was all off. Anyway, replacing the brushes is a challenge
but apparently not as great a challenge as getting the alternator out in
Check out Elle's write-up on her '91 Civic at
(Don't overlook the part about disconnecting the battery.) Elle is our
resident expert on most things Civic.
Only thanks to Eric, Tegger, Curly, JB, JT ("Grumpy"),
George of years ago, you, and many other regulars.
Nixternal, note especially the following comment within my
To remove the alternator in its entirety, use any of the
online Honda manuals (including Autozone's), supplemented by
rec.autos.makers.honda hints [link at my site is broken;
you'll have to groups.google the newsgroup's archives].
Notice especially the hints about getting that extra inch or
two of clearance needed to pull the alternator out: You'll
need to support and push against the engine via a jack,
pressing against a block of wood, which presses against the
oil pan. After this, an engine mount is removed, and the
engine is jacked higher. A similar method is used during
timing belt removal, only the manuals are explicit about
providing support at the oil pan.
I have a 95 CX hatchback,just replaced my alternator last month.Came
out the top(near the left middle/back)easy enough.
The BIG pain was to take the main bolt(the one that goes trought the
casing)off.It was stuck there.
Look and try different position and it should come out,unless there is
something that's in the way and it's not on mine.
Thanks everyone for the responses. The alternator is totally dead so I
will be replacing it with a new alternator. When I say dead, I mean
ceased :) I just read that I don't have to remove the half shaft
which is promising now. My plans are to:
a) Remove and replace the alternator
b) Remove and replace the belts (alternator belt is gone anyways)
And then of course a nice tune up, some fresh oil, and maybe another
250,000 miles :) At 13 years old, the engine still purrs like it is
new. The only "major" thing I had happen to the car was while doing
about 70mph on the highway the timing chain busted. The first reaction
from the tow truck driver and the mechanic was, "good chance your
valves are totaled as well." Well, nothing happened, all they had to
do was replace the timing chain and I think the water pump, can't
remember. They were all shocked that there wasn't more damage.
My only gripe about this car are the half shafts. The original shafts
went about 125,000 miles, then I screwed up and went to Sears for a
new set ($500 installed and aligned), which went out a whopping 50,000
miles later. Not went out literally but the nice popping sound you get
when turning. I have that issue again, but not as bad just yet. Being
a student makes the money tight, so right now my main goal is to get
it running again :)
Thanks again everyone and thanks Elle for the website link!
Remember to use OEM parts for all ignition system items
(spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor, spark plugs).
They pay for themselves. I am frugal and learned this the
That's a timing belt on your car, technically. Some (all?)
of the newer Hondas have timing chains, starting around
2000 or a bit afterwards.
One can indeed get lucky with a timing belt failure, as you
apparently did. "Good chance" remains an accurate
Consider buying OEM half shafts online from Honda parts
sites next time. Should be around $150 per half shaft. If
you're handy, you might be able to do it yourself. If you
can do it yourself, it's worth considering a halfshaft from
Napa or Autozone with a lifetime guarantee, so all it costs
you is labor. Caveat: Some here say they are not happy with
the halfshafts they have purchased from Napa and Autozone.
I figure your car likely could stand several items being
replaced, and for under a $1000, to get another 100k miles
or more out of it. At least, this is what I found with my
1991 Civic (189k miles) a few years ago. My biggest concern
with my Civic is rusting out of certain areas of the body.
So far, it's "only" cosmetic (knock on wood).
No problem. Feel free to let the newsgroup know how it goes.
Joe, I have had good results with the local NAPA, but aftermarket sources
may not get you exactly the axles for your car. They come in a variety of
sizes and shapes. It is very easy to get one that looks right but is a cm
too long or short. Comparing carefully at the store is best but requires the
old axle be out before you pick up the new one. In any case, put them side
by side sometime before you install the new one.
If you haven't done a drive axle replacement before, be prepared. It
requires at least a way of separating a tie rod end and removing the axle
nut. The first is a matter of the right tool, and the second requires either
an impact wrench or a big honkin' cheater bar. Check back before embarking
on that the first time.
My aftermarket rebuilt axlehalfshaft (don't remember the brand, the
mechanic had sourced it somewhere) broke. I mean, the CV joint was
fine, the axle broke in the middle. Parked it in the AM; started it up
in the PM, didn't goose it or nothing, moved 2 inches and snap. How we
did larf, arr arr arr.
Yeah, that HOnda rear quarter panel rust thing is nasty and universal.
Looks like JC Whitney is starting to stock some Honda quarter panel
repair panels, but I'm not that bad off yet.
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