How to Change the Alternator on an E350

by Gregory CrewsUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Socket wrench

The Ford E350 is Ford's one-ton van. This van can carry a lot of cargo or people. Ensuring the van starts every time the key is turned means keeping a charge on the battery. The alternator has that responsibility. Once the alternator goes bad, the battery will not be able to charge while the vehicle is running. Replacing the alternator should not take very long as it is easily accessible.

Open the hood for access to the engine compartment. Disconnect the battery cables before replacing the alternator.

Locate the tensioner pulley toward the passenger side of the engine. Insert a bare socket wrench in the square notch and push it counter-clockwise to release the tension on the belt. Slide the belt off the pulley.

Pull the safety cap off at the top of the alternator. This will expose the wiring connector. Gently pull it off the alternator. Disconnect the negative wires by unbolting the nut on the stud and pulling the wires off the stud.

Unscrew the bolts holding the alternator in place with a socket wrench. Once the bolts are out, pull the alternator off the mounting brackets.

Bolt the new alternator to the mounting bracket. Ensure the bolts are tight.

Push the positive wires to the connector. Push on until the wires lock to the connector. Unscrew the nut off the negative stud and place the negative wire on to it. Tighten the nut back on with a socket wrench.

Insert the socket wrench in the tensioner pulley. Push the tensioner down to loosen the pulleys. Position the belt over the alternator pulley. Release the socket wrench slowly to tighten the belt.

Connect the battery by connecting the red cables to the positive terminals. The black cables will bolt on to the negative terminals.

Start the van and allow it to run. This will charge the battery. Turn the van off and allow it to sit for at least an hour. Once the hour is up, start the van. If the alternator is charging the battery, the van will start.


If the van is a diesel, there will be two batteries to disconnect.


Use extreme caution working around electrical components. Isolate the battery before attempting maintenance.

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