How to Remove an Alternator from a 1996 Mazda 626by Dan Ferrell
The alternator in your 1996 Mazda 626 is nested on one side of the engine. If you are doing this for the first time, trying to replace the unit may seem like an impossible task. You can reach the alternator from the top, but you need to remove it from under the engine compartment after taking off some parts. With a few tools and working in an organized manner, you will have replaced the alternator and your 626 will be back in the fast lane in no time. This procedure applies to the four-cylinder model.
Park your Mazda on level ground. Shift the transmission to Neutral and release the parking brake.
Open the hood and disconnect the negative (black) battery cable with a wrench.
Unfasten and remove the alternator upper mounting bolt with a ratchet and socket.
Loosen the lower alternator through bolt with the ratchet and socket. Push the alternator toward the engine just enough to release the tension on the alternator belt. Remove the belt off the alternator pulley.
Lift the front of your Mazda with a floor jack and secure it on two jack stands.
Crawl under the car and unfasten the six mounting bolts securing the transverse crossmember located in front of the catalytic converter. The converter is the metal, rectangular box connected to the front exhaust pipe that connects to the exhaust manifold. Use the ratchet and socket. Remove the crossmember from the vehicle.
Secure the catalytic converter to any component close to it with flexible wire for support so that you can remove the front exhaust pipe at the converter.
Locate the oxygen sensor mounted on the front exhaust pipe. The sensor is a small cylindrical unit, about the size of a spark plug, with an electrical wire at the end of the unit. Unplug the oxygen sensor electrical connector and remove the sensor using a ratchet and an oxygen sensor socket.
Unfasten the three bolts that secure the front exhaust pipe to the exhaust manifold using the ratchet and socket. Unfasten the two bolts securing the front exhaust pipe to the catalytic converter with the ratchet and socket. Pry the pipe mounting hook off the rubber hanger with a screwdriver and remove the front exhaust pipe from the vehicle.
Reach the alternator from under the vehicle and disconnect the cable and wire from the back of the alternator with the ratchet and socket. Finish removing the lower alternator through bolt as you hold the alternator firmly with one hand. Lower the alternator and remove it from the vehicle. Follow the steps in reverse order to replace the alternator.