How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing

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My 1998 S790 developed a strange noise around the timing belt, that
was changed a few weeks ago. Went to the dealer and they said that
it's the alternator bearing that is loose and they want to replace the
alternator and bearing, and wants to charge a $1000 for it.

How hard is it to change the alternator bearing by myself? Is it
doable, or do you need to have heavy machinery to do it?

Thank you,

Henry

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


Clara wrote:
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I've only ever changed the whole alternator, if you can find a source
for the bearing you could probably take it apart and change it though. A
new alternator from the dealer is over $400 last I checked, but you can
likely buy a rebuilt one for much less from a local auto parts store.
Changing the alternator is not particularly difficult, if you're
comfortable doing general maintenance.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


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Thank you James,
You are correct - the dealer had recommended replacing the alternator.
The cause is "Alternator Front Bearing is Failing and Noisy. Need to
Replace Alternator". How much time should I allocate for replacing an
alternator and is there a good site on the web that would step me
thourgh the process. I also have the mechanics manual at home...

Henry

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


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Found the following http://volvospeed.com/vs_forum/index.php/topic/63411-al =
ternator-replacement/
-- do I need to re-tention the belts after the replacement? Wonder how
hard it would be....

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


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Found this thread that talks about replacing alternator as well:
http://volvoforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3D36180

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


Clara wrote:
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I've never done it on a FWD Volvo, but in any case the challenge is
access. There are only 2-3 bolts and about as many wires to R&R, but in
some cars you will swear you need 5 more elbows in your arm to get to
them. Don't skip the "disconnect the negative battery cable" step that
any manual starts with. There is often no fuse of any sort between the
battery and the big red wire on the alternator, and if it shorts to
something, there is enough current available to set the wiring harness
on fire.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


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Thank you for the suggestions. It turns out, based on talking to the
mechanics, that it is the wheel-and-shaft (on which the belt rests) of
the alternator that is loose (e.g. wiggles a bit) and that what's
causing the noise. The dealer just replaced drive belt (and timing
belt) about a couple of weeks ago. Since I'm not sure in terminology,
what is the  belt that is connected to alternator? And does one touch
the belt connected to alternator to replace timing belt and drive
belt? Should I trust them with another repair if I do decide to go
with a mechanic doing it?

Of course they told me I have to replace alternator immediately, and a
new one will be around $1000. Thanks to the posts, I figured I can get
rebuild alternator for half the price ~$270, and then their labor is ~
$370. Really tempted to do it myself -- the only big stopper is how do
I know whether the belt is tight on it after putting the belt back?
And how hard is it to get the belt off it?

Sorry for too many questions,

Henry

Henry

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


wrote:

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the rebuild price still seems steep. contact me privately i might have
a line on better/cheaper.

oooh!! you raised a # of points. replacement 30 min to 3 weeks (45
min). 4 hands are better than two (esp if the +2 are young strong &
stupid). tension? well, you know when you know. it just runs right.
officially, check deflection -- it should be about 1cm. getting the
belt off is not a problem a knife, scissors, a rusty spoon. putting
back together is more of a problem. i think you will need to pop the
timing & re tension everything.

this raises another ? WTF? alts don't just break. people put them back
together usdab & then they fail. whoever replaced the timing belt
needs to answer a few ?s.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


On 17/06/2010 07:58, Henry wrote:


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According to my Haynes manual (I no longer have the car, so I can't
verify) there is a spring-loaded tensioner which automatically maintains
the correct tension. It says you have to relieve the tension when
removing and re-fitting the belt by putting a spanner on the tensioner
nut and turning it anti-clockwise - i.e. pushing the end of the spanner
towards the rear of the engine compartment.

*Sounds* easy enough! (but the reality may be different).
--
Cheers,
Roger
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


Roger Mills wrote:
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That sounds like a serpentine belt like a friend's Buick used. As lousy
as that car was, I have to admit it was the easiest most straightforward
alternator replacement I've ever done. Bolted right to the top of the
engine and took about 5 minutes to change.


With V-belts, you tension them until there's about 1" of deflection when
you push on a span of the belt with your finger. It's not rocket
science, doesn't have to be exact, but too loose and it squeals, but too
tight just puts more stress on the bearings.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing



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The belt to the alternator is called the alternator drive belt
generally, sometimes it also drives other things, sometimes a single
belt wraps this way and that, driving most or all of the engine driven
accessories, that is referred to as a serpentine belt. Yes, changing the
timing belt generally involves removing any other drive belts since they
  pass in front of the timing belt. Yes if the alternator shaft wiggles
at all the bearings are shot and it should be replaced ASAP. It sounds
like your mechanic is honest.


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If you are comfortable doing basic mechanical work then I think you will
be fine with this. Get a Haynes or similar manual, read through the
instructions a couple of times, make sure you have all the required
tools and parts on hand, and then set about the work. Allow a weekend
just in case you break something or get stuck, plenty of people here can
offer you tips if you have trouble. So long as you don't lose any bolts
or forget how it goes together it should go pretty smoothly.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


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Thank you for the responces!! I have the Haynes book, have a few links
on different sites (would be great if there was a YouTube on how to do
it). Got the part from a store in not too far from my home, paid $110
(+30 core charge) - much better than Kragen price of ~$270. It is some
what heavy - will probably need assistance in putting it in (actually
will be happy to provide assistance for a mechanic that would put it
in :) ) =3D Still thinking on whether or not to do it myself - will
probably start doing it over the weekend, ask for help if I get stuck
and get a mobile mechanic help if I will realize that I'm in
trouble :)

Henry

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


wrote:

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it seems like you know that weekends can be good/bad.  no matter how
well you plan, there will always be that last little "gevortner" that
you didn't think of -- or was it a "ramitsframits"? i could quote the
hhtg, but you know where this is going.  always have alternate
transport. 99% of the time things are easier than they seem. the other
1% sepaku is the the only option.

110 seems fine. if it seems heavy, consider Archimedes.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


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Well, figured I'm not sure I can do it myself after trying to lift the
belt and see if the alternator bearing is broken. I tried to ease a
the belt a bit and my fiance tried to move the  shaft of the
alternator - and then we switched, nothing seemed to be moving.
Asking a mobile mechanic tomorrow morning if a) we need to change the
part b) fixing the part and I will help and learn.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing



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You would probably have to remove the belt to tell. The play in the
shaft may be only a few thousandths of an inch, a good bearing should
have *no* runout that you can feel.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


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Well, everything is done now. The old alternator did produce a noise,
but the shaft was not moving. The new alternator is in place. I'm glad
I did not do it by myself -- did not have all the tool, and access is
tough. I helped mobile mechanic to do it though: took him two and a
half hours - of course it was his first volvo. Half way through the
project I thought I'll have a bunch of spare parts as opposed to a
car, but alas the car is all done and running fine.

Thank you very much for your support!

Henry

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


I see you used a "mobile mechanic."

Not necessarily a bad way to go.

I was doing a transmission R&R on a Volvo 850R and having never done
this task on a FWD, I was a bit nervous about pulling the CVCs.

I called a couple mobile mechanics I found from cragigslist.com, and
quickly zeroed in on one guy who knew the answers to the questions I
asked him, to try to prequalify him.

To make a long story short: a Win-Win situation.


Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


First Volvo come one an alternator is an alternator 2.5 hours is
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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Well, everything is done now. The old alternator did produce a noise,
but the shaft was not moving. The new alternator is in place. I'm glad
I did not do it by myself -- did not have all the tool, and access is
tough. I helped mobile mechanic to do it though: took him two and a
half hours - of course it was his first volvo. Half way through the
project I thought I'll have a bunch of spare parts as opposed to a
car, but alas the car is all done and running fine.

Thank you very much for your support!

Henry



Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing


On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 11:00:37 -0700, James Sweet

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right up! but are we sure that it's not an alignment problem? a bolt
failed on me @ the intersection of nowhere & no brain (grade 8?
whatdayoumean, i never got out of 5th?) the v belt could no longer
transmit power (shredded, there is a Jon Deere that fits) & thus the
alt didn't charge. rebuilt alts are cheap, when i was young & broke, i
once rebuilt a 4 barrel Weber -- try that in your spare time. your
choice. 60 US or 3 days asking yourself -- now where do you think that
goes. i like learning & my money!!!!!

why are you still talking to a dealer? you are now part of a huge
community. network!! you will be taken care of. the only requirement
-- pass it on.

Re: How hard is it to replace an alternator bearing
Clara wrote:
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    Times and alternators have changed a bit, but in the '80's I had the
fortune to take a car (either and AMC or a Volvo, I forget) to a local
'old school' mechanic. It had a noisy alternator. He replaced the
bearing in it. The charge was $.50 for the part and about $25 for labor.
Total.

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