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How to Replace the Alternator on a Ford Escort 2000 ZX2

by Dan Ferrell; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Large 13mm box-end wrench

  • Floor jack (optional)

  • 2 jack stands (optional)

  • Assistant (optional)

  • Ratchet

  • Ratchet extension

  • Socket

It is your 2000 Ford Escort ZX2 alternator’s job to supply electrical energy to keep the battery charged and to run all the electrical components and accessories when the engine is running. As you can imagine, a worn-out alternator sooner or later can leave you and your ZX2 stranded. Avoid that headache by replacing your old alternator before it gives out. Without the need for special tools, you can perform this task in about 60 minutes at home.

Removing the Alternator

Open the hood and loosen the bolt that secures the negative battery cable to the battery post using a wrench. Detach the cable from the battery.

Position a large 13mm box-end wrench on the belt tensioner bolt and pull or push it to rotate the tensioner away from the belt. This will release the tension. Hold it that position. If your tool does not have enough reach, raise the front of your ZX2 using a floor jack, support it on jack stands and work from under your vehicle.

Slip the belt off the alternator pulley with your free hand or ask an assistant to release the belt for you if necessary. Slowly release the belt tensioner.

Unbolt the coolant reservoir tank using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. Move it to the side to gain extra clearance as you remove the alternator.

Reach behind the alternator and unplug the electrical connectors.

Unbolt the alternator and remove the mounting bolts, using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Tilt the alternator so that you have access to the back side of it, and unfasten the retaining nut that secures the battery cable, using a ratchet and socket. Remove the nut, washer and battery cable.

Take the alternator out of the engine compartment.

Installing the New Alternator

Place the alternator in position in the engine compartment and connect the battery cable to the back of the unit. Install the cable and washer, and tighten the retaining nut using the ratchet and socket.

Install the alternator mounting bolts by hand. Tighten the bolts using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Plug in the alternator electrical connectors.

Replace the coolant reservoir tank using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.

Rotate the belt tensioner bolt using the large 13mm box-end wrench and slip the belt over the alternator pulley with your free hand, or ask an assistant to slip it on for you. Lower your ZX2 off the jack stands if you had to raise it.

Secure the black battery cable to the battery post, using the wrench, and close the hood.

References

About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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