How to Replace the Alternator on a 2000 Ford Windstar

by Allen MooreUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • 2 ramps

  • 2 wheel chocks

  • Battery wrench

  • Belt tensioner tool

  • Socket set

The Ford Windstar was Ford Motor Company’s main minivan for the 2000 model year. As with all modern-era Ford vehicles, the Windstar relies on an alternator assembly to provide electrical power for the minivan’s various accessories and drivetrain management system while the engine is running. If the internal generator or external voltage regulator should fail on the Windstar, you must replace the alternator assembly in order to continue getting the most out of the minivan. Anyone with basic auto-repair skill can replace the alternator on a 2000 Ford Windstar in about an hour.

Drive the Windstar’s front wheels onto the ramps, set the parking brake and chock the rear wheels by putting the chocks on the ground directly behind the wheels.

Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable end from the negative battery terminal using the battery wrench. Move the cable end off to the side where it cannot contact the battery until you reconnect it.

Find the belt-routing diagram, applied to the fan shroud, and use it to locate the belt tensioner and alternator. Move the belt tensioner off the serpentine belt with the belt tensioner tool and then push the belt aside as you slowly move the tensioner back into place.

Move the serpentine belt off the alternator pulley by hand. Unbolt the alternator ground wire from the back of the alternator using the socket set. You may need to crawl underneath the Windstar to reach the back of the alternator, depending on your physical size and dexterity.

Disconnect the wiring harness from the back of the alternator and then unbolt the alternator from the engine with the socket set. Pull the alternator away from the engine by hand and pull it out of the engine well from the bottom. Compare the old and new alternators to make sure they are physically identical.

Put the new alternator in position and thread the bolts in by hand. Tighten each one down with the socket set. Connect the alternator wiring harness by hand and then bolt the ground wire to the alternator using the socket set.

Reconnect the negative battery cable end to the negative battery terminal with the battery wrench.

Wrap the serpentine belt around alternator pulley in the same manner it was prior to removal and then move the belt tensioner aside with the belt tensioner tool. Hold the belt to the belt tensioner pulley and slowly move the tensioner back into position. Remove the tool and close the hood.

Move the wheel chocks and drive the Windstar off the ramps

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