1996 Ford Explorer Change an Alternator

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Changing an alternator on a 1996 Ford Explorer is a relatively simple task for anyone with basic automotive repair skills. The alternator consists of an electrical generator and a voltage regulator which work in unison to provide the Explorer with electrical power for the various systems. Should the generator or regulator fail, the alternator can over or undercharge the Explorer, which can lead to stalling out at best, or burned out components at worst.

Tools Used[edit]

Socket set
Belt tensioner tool

Change an Alternator[edit]

  • Lift the hood. Unplug the wiring harness from the backside of the alternator by hand and then use the socket set to unbolt the ground strap from the back of the alternator as well.
  • Connect the belt tensioner tool to the serpentine belt tensioner. Move the tensioner off the serpentine belt with the tool. Slip the belt off the alternator pulley with your opposite hand and then allow the tensioner to move back to its normal position.
  • Unbolt the alternator using the socket set. Lift the alternator up and out of the engine well by hand and compare it to the replacement alternator. Verify that both are physically identical before installing the replacement.
  • Position the replacement alternator in the engine well and thread the alternator bolts in by hand. Tighten the bolts down with the socket set.
  • Move the belt tensioner aside once more and slip the serpentine belt over the replacement alternators pulley with your free hand. Relax the pressure on the tensioner with the tensioner tool making sure the belt stays on the tensioner pulley as the pulley returns to its normal position.
  • Plug the wiring harness into the replacement alternator by hand and then bolt the ground strap on the replacement alternator with the socket set as well. Remove the belt tensioner tool and close the hood.