Don’t screw with the alternator

What a pain in the arse waste of time that was.

I had set to go about replacing the remaining 3 mounts, and the alternator, and power steering belts today.

I began with the engine mount, it seemed to be the worst to do, as well, it would get in the way changing over the power steering belt, so I could knock that off at the same time.

Car on ramps, jack holding weight of engine, off comes engine mount (a bit of force needed).

Undo the support bolt on alternator, knock it forward, V belt comes off crankshaft, and alternator. Looks in good condition, put it aside for emergencies.

Remove the power steering pump support bolt – whoops, we need to remove the plastic air intake moulding for that, struggle with the clip and awkward positioning, but the plastic moves. ┬áNext, remove power steering support bolt, stop – need to remove the two bolts holding it, into the other end. So, I place the socket on, start twisting it off, and the bolt snaps off. Fantastic. Next bolt, set ratchet to spin in right direction (sigh), undo bolt just enough, knock pump forward, belt is off! Hooray.

Put new power steering belt on, ensure it fits in grooves correctly, and push some full weight down on the pump to apply tension to belt. Great, do up the support bolt and pump bolt (the other was already done on account of the head of it snapping off).

Install new alternator belt, make sure it fits snugly, and apply enough force that the belt resists a bit of human hand force. Tighten up. Great.

Install new engine mount, tighten up bolts, jack up just a tad to line it up better, repeat and drop / raise enough, and the mount goes on. Great!

Reinstall air intake moulding (what a crap of a job it is). Crank car over, watch for belts snapping. Belts don’t snap. Nice. Car makes exceedingly loud squeals. Not so nice.

Remove alternator support bolt slightly, knock it forward, pull back down on it, do it up again. Still squeals.

Ahh @#$# it, time for some lunch I think. Down goes hood, away goes socket set, jack, and ramps.

Have lunch, sit and think about it some more, back out to the car – car up on ramps, alternator bolt released a little, tension readjusted, tighten up bolt. Crank over, still squeals. Try and identify which one squeals, so I turn the steering wheel hard left and hard right, the sound changes slightly, but persists.

Readjust power steering belt, remove the air intake moulding again (what a crap job that is, a struggle to move it out of the way for a single bolt). Move the pump back, and then full force down on it, bolt back in, reinstall air intake, try and see for squeal. It remains. Maybe we have too much force – remove power steering tension altogether perhaps. Remove plastic moulding for air intake. Set belt with as little tension as possible (so it could slip off or be chewed at if it wanted to), reinstall air intake plastic moulding – it’s getting easier this time, just don’t do up the bolt on it!

Turn it over, it still squeals. Rinse and repeat, and alternate between power steering belt and alternator,  to try and find cause. Not found.

Get ready to give up, then I noticed a bolt at the top, which controls the tension – something I earlier last week thought about not changing, as I wanted to leave same tension on. The bolt was loose, strange, I must have taken that off a little before and not noted it.

Anyway, undo it a little more, and push down on alternator, tighten bolt up – viola, the car works without squeals.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Take it for a drive up and down the road, to test the engine mount isn’t going to collapse, check the belts don’t slip under a usual work load – they don’t. Alls well again.

I could have saved so much time if I did just tighten that bolt, a lot of time. Hours. What a pain.

Next weekend, I might have time to do the transmission mount, but that means removing the air intake and air filter, a right pain. They really couldn’t have wedged that in the car any more than they have – seriously wedged in. Taking out just the air filter, requires some serious twisting and bending of hoses. And that’s just getting the old one out.

The worst part of the ‘fixes’ isn’t actually the errors in the work, that’s easy, the worst part is the concrete, it’s not nice on the back.

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