2003 Ford Focus SPL

Replacing Alternator

          D Vautier

There is a lot of information around about focus alternator replacement but little of it is very helpful.  I therefore hope that this brief tip sheet may be of use to somebody.

The basic rule for testing the system is that if you don't pull 13.8 volts across the battery at idle with nothing running your alternator is bad.  And/or if you disconnect the battery at idle and the car dies the alternator is bad for sure.

Deep well sockets are absolutely necessary here for this job.

Moreover the biggest difficulty is getting the old alternator out which can only be from on top.  There is absolutely no room to do this underneath.  Drop the cooling shroud.  You don't need to disconnect any wires to the shroud but just get it out of the way.  You also may have to remove the power steering unit simply so that you can move the hose closer to the engine and make room to squeeze the alternator out.  It does squeeze out. The exhaust heat shield has to come off.  Pull the alternator out by the pulley which assumes the smallest profile (5 inches vs. 6 inches sideways).  You can't get it out sideways.

There are two retaining brackets on the cooling shroud which I never found.  I just kept probing until something came lose.  Then the shroud lifts up and drops down about six inches which creates enough clearance.  A jack is only needed to get the lower alternator bolt off.  You need a deep well for this.  The hot connection for the alternator can be removed while mounted and it can be tight.  The other connector is a bear and can wait until you free the unit and rotate it into a better working position.  Upper bolts are easy.  Lower bolt goes off from under the car with right wheel jacked up a bit.

Careful with the power steering unit.  Just rotate it.  Don't try to move it too much.    



Here I was able to remove the fan shroud and let it drop about 6 inches.  this leaves enough clearance to get the alternator out and a new one in.

I removed the mounting bolts for the power steering unit which allows the hose to be moved back.

This shows the long lower mounting bolt and the two upper mounting holes.