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Installing an alternator...

raymo8's Avatar
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10-14-02, 10:37 AM   #1  
Installing an alternator...

Does anyone know if installing an alternator in a 1990 Buick LeSabre would be hard to do? I need a new one and got estimates for around $200-$250. Then I called some auto parts stores and found out that the alternator is only $89. Why are the mechanics charging so much more for labor? Is this a harder job then I think? I looked at it and it seems like there are only 3 bolts holding it on. And then I would probably have to tighten the belt to the right tension too. But, I've never installed one before and I have some, but not a lot, of mechanical experience. Thanks.

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Joe_F's Avatar
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10-14-02, 11:40 AM   #2  
The quality of rebuilt units varies greatly, so that is probably why. Shops charge 75 bucks an hour labor, it's about an hour's labor plus the part, etc.

Check autolibrary.org as I have it below. Get a Delco rebuilt alternator, they are the best out there.

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10-14-02, 05:22 PM   #3  
another quick question...

i bought the alternator for $89 dollars tonight. I'm now going to try to do it myself. Do I need a special tool to loosen the belt or can I just pry it up, pop out the old alternator, slide in the new one, and drop the belt back down? The alternator is right on top and looks fairly easy to break loose. Since the belt adjustment is the tricky part, I would prefer not to mess with it. What do you think?

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10-14-02, 05:49 PM   #4  
Go back to the auto parts and buy a good manual on your car. It will show you how to install.

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10-14-02, 10:54 PM   #5  
See the URL below for the procedure:


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10-15-02, 08:14 AM   #6  
You didn't mention the engine type, but if it's a 6 cylinder with a serpentine belt there's a pivot point which will release the belt tension. A bolt with a 5/8 to 3/4" head. When released the belt will come off and when reinstalled the belt will automatically retension itself.

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