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Alternators -- Removal, Repair, Replacement

Alternators -- Removal, Repair, Replacement

Randy Wilson

David A. Snider wrote:

Thanks. It's looking more & more like the voltage regulator is at fault; I guess I'll go ahead and replace it. (Damn! It's such a pain to get the alternator off! Anybody know of any tricks for getting the alternator out without having to unbolt the stabilizer bar or else remove the air conditioner compressor??)

Just a note. You do not have to remove the sway bar. Just undo the end links, and pull the ends down and forward. This will caused the dipped section in the center to go forward and up (loosening the trans coller helps), giving *just* enough room to slide the alternator out.

Dan Fitch

Dave wrote

I know lots of people have probably asked this but HOW do I get the aternator out of the car, I've got it all disconnected (including the bolts) but I can't get it out of the engine bay. Do I have to remove the A/C compressor or the sway bar. HELP. and where is the best place in Canada or the (US) to get another one from (rebuilt). Thanks in advance.

83 XJ6...with an'81 JAG 3.4L, fuel injected conversion


I did mine a few months ago. The easiest for me was to remove the sway bar mount nearest the alternator and undo the connectors at the ends of the sway bar. It will twist out of the way far enough to wrestle the beast out of there. This is probably the worst job on a Jag. Greasy, dirty, slippery, heavy and at an unusual angle. I finally got mad at it and took my high pressure sprayer to the whole mess from under the front. It cleaned up the grease enough to get around in there and not lose my grip on everything from slippery hands. I found that the alternator could be rotated around once it was up in the cavity where it mounts, so find the best angle to get it in, then worry about orienting it correctly so the holes will line up. I hope this helps. At least know that many of us have been down the same path and feel your pain. They are reserving a special place in hell for the guy who designed it that way.

While you're in there, if the sway bar bushings are original, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much better the car handles with new neoprene bushings and sway bar end connectors. They're relatively cheap, and effective.

Per Stanius

Some comments on the BUTEC alternator found in early Ser. 1 with ac:

  1. can be replaced with modern system, but need some rewiring
  2. rebuilding one is about $120 and is definitely recommended instead of replacing (cheaper, plus maintains originality)
  3. the regulator is a separate unit, and the original butec one is very expensive (~$200!!!). Most parthouses have alternatives at $40 or so.

I just had mine fully rebuilt - like new now...;-)

John Napoli

Hunt Dabney asks


How much hassle was involved in the GM alternator conversion? What operational differnce do you notice? (I saw your post re the higher running voltage).

    Alternator in a XJ6? Easiest job yet.
  • First, remove air pump (later on, reinstall it carefully somewhere else).
  • Next, get a GM small-case alternator with 12 and 6 mounting. Don't forget to ask for a double pulley.
  • Now, install the alternator where the air pump used to be with the air pump hardware. You will have to cut a 1 7/8" or so spacer out of a piece of pipe (I used copper pipe) for the lower mount.
  • The belt needed to be 31.5 inches long on my car. Seven bucks at Pep Boys.
  • Connect the brass connectors from the Lucas alternator to the back of the GM alternator. You might have to open up one of the wire clips that hold the two heavy alternator leads to the frame for the wires to reach.
  • Wire the jumper from the correct terminal of the side conector on the alternator to the main connector lug.
  • The idiot light lead plugs into the other side terminal of the alternator. Rerun the lead around the compressor.
  • I ground the top lug and the top of the 'banjo' bolt adjuster a bit for more bonnet clearance. With clay, I measured about 1/2" of clearance to the bonnet. Plenty -- maybe other alternator lug patterns would be better, though.
  • Oh yeah, the bottom plate of the sheet steel bracket that the air pump/alternator bolts to needs a slight mod. At its front, it is a double steel plate. I trimmed the inner plate at 45 degrees with a cutoff tool. This helps the alternator swing closer to the cam cover, making it easier to install the belt. Harder to describe than to visualize -- you'll see what I mean. I also had to trim about 1/2" off the end of the banjo bolt adjuster.

Car runs about 1 volt higher -- don't know why, but all GM alts seem to do this. Oh yeah, this unit was rebuilt for 100 amps.

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