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Directions to Replace the Alternator on a 2000 Dodge Stratus

by Mike Aguilar

The 2000 Stratus was Dodge's entry into the mid-size sedan class. The interior is roomy, thanks to Dodge's "cab-forward" design. The Stratus was available with three different engines in 2000. The entry-level SE had either a 2.0 liter or a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine, while the upscale ES came equipped with a 2.5-liter V-6 engine. All three engine packages came standard with a 90-amp alternator, while a 125-amp heavy-duty alternator was also available. No matter which engine package or alternator your Stratus has, the process of changing the alternator is the same.

Remove both battery cables from the battery, using the correct wrench to turn the nuts on the terminals counterclockwise. Use the battery terminal and post cleaner to clean the cable ends and the battery posts thoroughly.

Remove the passenger-side inner splash shield. This may be attached to the inner fender with push clips, small bolts or screws requiring removal with either a socket and ratchet or Phillips screwdriver.

Remove the wire from the alternator terminal labeled "Batt" using a socket and ratchet. Remove the field connector by squeezing the lock tab and pulling straight out of the connector.

Loosen the pivot and adjuster bolts on the alternator -- the adjuster or tensioner on the 2.5-liter engine -- by turning the bolts counterclockwise with a socket and ratchet. Mark the outside edge of the alternator belt with the chalk. On the 2.5-liter engine, remove the power steering belt first, by loosening the pivot and adjusting bolts, pushing the pump towards the center of the engine and removing the belt.

Remove the pivot and adjusting bolts and lift the alternator out. On cars equipped with cruise control, remove the vacuum line from the speed control module and remove the two mounting bolts with a socket and ratchet. Move the module out of the way.

Install the new alternator, the pivot and adjuster bolts. Install the alternator belt, ensuring the chalk line is on the outer edge. On the four-cylinder engines, pry the alternator away from the engine using the pry bar, tighten the adjuster and pivot bolts. On the 2.5-liter engine, tighten the adjuster and pivot bolts, then the tensioner bolt until the belt will only twist 1/4 to 1/3 of the way around. Torque pivot and adjuster bolts between 40 and 45 foot-pounds. If you have access to a belt tension gauge, tension the belt to 150 pounds for a new belt or 80 pounds for a used belt.

Replace the inner splash shield.

Reconnect the alternator "Batt" and field connectors. If the cruise control module was moved to access the alternator bolts, replace it where you removed it from.

Replace both battery terminals one at a time. Tap the terminals onto the posts with the ratchet handle to fully seat the terminal and tighten the nuts with a wrench. Start the engine and allow it to run for 5 to 10 minutes and shut it down. Verify proper tension on the alternator belt.

Tip

  • Using a belt-tension gauge, the measurement is in pounds, because it describes the number of pounds of draw strength required to cause a deflection in the belt.

Warning

  • Too much tension on any of the belts can cause premature accessory failure by causing bearing failure.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Mike Aguilar is a freelance writer with over 30 years of professional experience as a mechanic and over 10 years experience in the construction and home-improvement fields. He also attended an electrical apprenticeship for two years in Santa Clara, Calif., becoming a licensed low-voltage technician.

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