How to Change the Alternator on Dodge Cars

by Contributing Writer

An alternator is an integral part of the electrical system of your Dodge car. The alternator cycles along with the engine, creating an electrical current and providing a steady charge to the battery. If the alternator on your Dodge car is worn out or working improperly, it is imperative that you replace it, as a faulty alternator can compromise both the safety and the reliability of your vehicle. Fortunately, replacing the alternator is a fairly simple task that only requires a few basic tools.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Alternator on a Dodge 2500 Diesel

Ensure the truck is parked on a flat and level surface. Open the hood for access to the engine bay.

Disconnect both batteries by disconnecting the positive and negative terminals. This will isolate the electrical power.

Locate the alternator at the top of the engine toward the passenger side of the engine. Pull the belt off the alternator by inserting a socket wrench into the tensioner pulley directly below the alternator. The tensioner pulley has a square slot that will fit the head of the socket wrench. Push the tensioner down and this will loosen the belt. Pull the belt off the pulley.

Pull the wires off the back of the alternator. There will be two wiring harness attached at the back. They can be pulled off the connectors.

Unbolt the alternator by unscrewing the two bolts holding the alternator to the mounting bracket. Pull the alternator away from the engine compartment.

Bolt the new alternator to the mounting bracket. Ensure both both bolts are tightened with the socket wrench.

Connect the wires to the back of the alternator. Push them in until they lock in place.

Push the tensioner pulley down to ensure the belt can go over the alternator pulley. Slowly allow the tensioner to rise back to its original position. This will tighten the belt.

Connect both the batteries. Ensure the positive cable is hooked to the positive terminal. The terminal is identified with a "+" symbol above it.

Start the truck to allow it to idle. The truck needs to run for at least 15 minutes to ensure the batteries get a full charge. Shut the truck down for at least an hour. Attempt to start later to ensure the battery is holding a charge.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • New alternator

 How to Change the Alternator in a Grand Caravan

Disconnect the negative (black) cable from the van's battery by loosening its cable clamp nut with a wrench. Place the disconnected wire someplace secure to prevent it from touching the battery terminal.

Detach the nut securing the B+ wire terminal to the stud at the back of the alternator. Disconnect the field wire from the stud, then disconnect the field wire electrical connector from the alternator.

Remove the alternator's drive belt by rotating the tensioner with a wrench on the tensioner pulley leg -- the direction you need to turn it will vary depending on the engine type -- and slipping the belt off the loosened tensioner. You may need to remove the power steering drive belt first.

Remove all bolts securing the alternator in place -- there should be two or three of them -- and remove the alternator from the vehicle.

Mount the new alternator in place and attach the bolts.

Reinstall the drive belt, making sure you route it in the same path as before. A diagram often is printed on the side of the engine compartment to aid this.

Connect the wires to the alternator, including the field wire and the B+ wire. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Alternator

 How to Change the Alternator on a 1999 Dodge Caravan

Removal

Disconnect the vehicle's negative battery cable.

Remove the windshield wiper housing if your van has a V6 engine; you will need to remove the wipers and the cowl cover first.

Remove the alternator's drive belt by loosening the belt tensioner with a wrench and slipping the belts off the pulley.

Unscrew and remove the bolts holding the alternator mount bracket to the engine. The exact position of these bolts will vary depending on the engine type. Remove the bracket from the engine.

Disconnect the wire connector from the alternator's rear side, remove the nut holding the B+ wire terminal in place and remove the wire and terminal from the alternator. On a 3.3 or 3.8-liter V6 engine, you'll need to rotate the alternator to do this.

Remove the mounting bolts for the alternator and remove the alternator.

Installation

Install the replacement alternator on the engine and apply the bolts.

Connect the B+ wire and terminal to the alternator along with the push-in field wire connector.

Install the alternator mounting bracket and apply its bolts.

Install the drivebelt, using the wrench on the tensioner, making sure the belt follows the same path along the pulleys. In most cases, the belt will have an automatic tensioner that will set the correct tension.

Reinstall the windshield wiper housing if needed.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Allen wrench

 How to Replace My Alternator on a 2002 Dodge Stratus

Pull your Stratus up onto a car ramp and place the car in park. Make sure to engage your parking brake as well.

Open the vehicle's hood and locate the alternator. This part is made of vented aluminum and is connected to the alternator belt assembly in front of the motor and transmission. Remove the electrical connection bolt on top of the alternator using a 12-mm socket wrench.

Climb under the vehicle and locate the swing pulley at the bottom of the alternator belt assembly. This pulley is smaller than the others and is located on the end of a metal joint. Remove the securing bolt on the swing pulley using a 14-mm socket wrench. Slide the pulley off of its mounting post. The belt should loosen.

Slide the alternator belt off the alternator drive shaft. Remove the four mounting bolts around the edge of the alternator using a 12-mm socket wrench. Slide the alternator away from its housing and pull it out of the engine compartment.

Slide the new alternator into place and secure it with the four mounting bolts using a 12-mm socket wrench.

Slide the alternator belt over the new alternator's drive shaft. Climb under the vehicle. Loop the alternator belt over the swing pulley and slide it back onto its mounting shaft. Secure it with the mounting bolt.

Replace the electrical connection on top of the alternator. Tighten it down with a 12-mm socket.

Items you will need

  • Car ramp

  • 12-mm socket

  • 14-mm socket

  • Socket wrench

  • Replacement alternator

 How to Replace the Alternator in a Dodge Intrepid

Determine which alternator your Dodge Intrepid will need. You'll want to be sure the new alternator is compatible with your Intrepid's engine. Models made from 1993 to 1997 have a 3.3 L EGA or 3.5 L EGJ engine. Models produced after 1997 are equipped with a 2.7 L EER, 3.2 L or 3.5 L EGJ engine.

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a socket wrench and remove the lower plastic splash shield. Drain the transmission fluid and disconnect the lower radiator support.

Loosen the "T" bolt, pivot bolt and drive belt adjusting bolt with a socket wrench but do not remove them. This will allow you to disconnect the drive belt.

Loosen the terminal nut for the alternator so you can remove the B+ wire. Disconnect the circuit plug for the alternator and remove the pivot bolt, using care not to lose the spacer. Remove the mounting bolts and the alternator assembly.

Install the new alternator assembly by reversing the removal procedure. Tighten the terminal nut on the alternator to 89 inch pounds with a torque wrench. Use a belt tension gauge and socket wrench to torque the "T" bolt until the tension on the drive belt is 120 lbs. for a used belt and 180 to 200 lbs. for a new belt.

Use a torque wrench to torque the pivot bolt and 10mm mounting bolt to 40 foot pounds. Torque the 8mm mounting bolt to 30 foot pounds.

Items you will need

  • New alternator

  • Belt tension gauge

  • Socket wrench set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Alternator in a Dodge Caravan

Determine which alternator your Dodge Caravan will need. You'll want to be sure the new alternator is compatible with your Caravan's engine. The models for 2001 to 2007 may have a 2.4 L EDZ, 3.3 L EGA or 3.8 L EGH engine. Models made after 2007 have a 3.3 L EGA, 3.8 L EGH or 4.0 L engine.

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a socket wrench. Remove the windshield wiper module for 3.0 L and smaller engines or the right front lower splash shield for engines larger than 3.0 L. Remove the accessory drive belt with a socket wrench. You will also need to remove the lower bolt and wiring harness from the oil dipstick tube with a socket wrench if you have an engine larger than 3.0 L.

Take the mounting bolts off of the alternator with a socket wrench and disconnect the alternator's electrical harness. This will allow you to remove the alternator assembly.

Install the new alternator assembly and connect the electrical harness. Tighten the mounting bolts to 40 foot pounds with a torque wrench and install the accessory drive belt. You will also need to install the lower bolt and wiring harness from the oil dipstick tube with a socket wrench if your engine is larger than 3.0 L.

Connect the windshield wiper module or right front lower splash shield as required. Connect the negative battery cable with a socket wrench.

Items you will need

  • New alternator

  • Socket wrench set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Alternator on a 2001 Dodge Intrepid

2.7L Engine Alternator Replacement

Unhook the battery. Remove the negative cable first, then the positive one.

Lift the front end of the car, using the jack, and place it on jack stands. Refer to your owner's manual for a placement diagram--they are in an unusual location for the 2001 Dodge Intrepid.

Remove the plastic splash guard from the underside of the engine. It is held in place by several bolts.

Unbolt the transmission cooler, then move it out of the way. Don't remove the hoses--just the bolts.

Remove the brace that holds up the radiator. Use a jack stand to hold up the radiator.

Loosen the adjustment T-bolt and pivot bolt on the alternator, but don't remove them. Remove the belt.

Unscrew the nut that holds the battery cable to the alternator, then remove the cable. Unplug the other electrical connector, as well.

Unbolt and remove the alternator.

Replace the alternator. The steps are the reverse of the removal procedure. Torque the nut on the battery cable to 90 in-lb. Torque the mounting and pivot bolts to 40 ft. lb.

3.2L & 3.5L Engines Alternator Replacement

Unhook the battery. Remove the negative cable first, then the positive one.

Unbolt the upper radiator support and remove it.

Loosen the mounting and pivot bolts on the alternator, but don't completely remove them.

Remove the belt--loosening the bolts should have relieved the tension.

Unplug the connectors from the alternator. A nut holds the battery cable in place.

Unbolt the alternator and pull it out.

Install the replacement part in the reverse order of the removal procedure. The battery cable nut should be torqued to 85 in. lb., and the mounting and pivot bolts should be torqued to 40 ft. lb.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • 3 jack stands (for 2.7L engine)

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set, metric

  • Torque wrench