How to Replace a Chevy 1500 Alternatorby Tim Anderson
Regardless of which Chevrolet 1500 truck you are driving, the alternator is an integral part of the electrical system. As the generator that keeps the battery charged and the current flowing through the various electrical systems in the truck, it is easy to notice when the alternator begins to go bad. The first sign is a battery that stops charging. Once you have determined that the alternator needs replacing, you must remove the old one and install a new one to keep the battery charged and your 1500 on the road.
Park your Chevy 1500 in a flat area and set the parking brake. Shut the engine off and let it cool before opening the hood of the truck. Look for the serpentine belt diagram on the hood of the truck or on the radiator shroud cover. Use the picture to locate the tensioner pulley that you will need to release in order to slide the belt off of the alternator prior to removal. Disconnect the battery leads with a pair of pliers and set them to the side.
Find the tensioner pulley along the path of the serpentine belt and place a socket over the end of the bolt that sticks out of the side of the pulley. Attach the ratchet to the socket and apply leverage in the direction indicated on the belt diagram of your 1500 truck. Wait for the pulley to fully disengage and slide the belt off of the tensioner pulley with the flat-head screwdriver. Release the tensioner pulley and slide the serpentine belt off of the alternator pulley.
Disconnect the wiring harness on the alternator with the flat-head screwdriver and remove all wiring that runs to the alternator. Use the ratchet and a socket to loosen and remove the bolts that keep the alternator in place. Remove the alternator.
Reverse the process to install the new alternator. Place the new alternator in position and thread the mounting bolts in place. Tighten them with the socket and replace all the wiring to the alternator. Slide the serpentine belt over the end of the pulley on the alternator, and adjust the tensioner pulley as before. Slide the serpentine belt over the tensioner pulley with the screwdriver and slowly let it move back into place. Remove your tools, connect the battery leads and start the vehicle.
- There are a number of 1500 vehicles on the road, and your Chevy 1500 may have an entirely different alternator than other versions. Check with your local auto parts dealer for the alternator you need, or refer to your owner's manual.
- The process to loosen the serpentine belt is the same in all 1500 trucks, although the precise size of the socket and the direction the tensioner needs to be turned to loosen/tighten will vary depending on the 1500 in question. Refer to the diagram of your vehicle for the exact specifics.