Alternator Removal
Article: Nathan Taylor Photos: Nathan Taylor

This is a description of what I did for the above repair. Your Surf might be different – a little or a lot. You should still be able to get an idea of how to proceed, if you need to do a repair like this.
NB: I AM NOT A MECHANIC! I am handy with a spanner, and this article is to help you if you want to work on your own vehicle. Read through this article before launching into anything. There is nothing overly “technical” in this procedure, and great help is available from the Surf Owners Website - but get other help or advice if you think you need it…

I only used basic tools. Metric spanners, sockets, and screwdrivers, a hammer, a work light and pliers/multigrips. I also use a correction pen to mark items as I disassemble. This aids immensely when reassembling. A multimeter is essential to test the output of the alternator. If you don’t have one you can do the repair, and get it tested later.
The only thing I didn’t have, which I would have liked was a drift to “persuade” certain items. A big screwdriver is a crude substitute…

Remove battery terminals:
Negative first of course, if you have two batteries, remove –ve terminals x 2, then +ve terminals x 2. Secure or tape them up.

Remove the bash plate:
4 x bolts under the front, this gives access from underneath the vehicle.

Remove driver’s side battery, and window wash tank: This is to give room to work. There are two wires, and two water lines running to/from the tank. Mark/plug them if you think it necessary

Remove the AC compressor drive belt:
Looking up from under the car, you will see a pulley on a slide bracket, which the AC belt runs on. This is how to release the tension on this belt.

Before I released the tension, I made a “creep” mark, allowing it to be tensioned back to the same position. This is a good trick to remember. However there are specs for belt tensions later in this article if you want to be precise. When the tension is released, slip the belt off the AC compressor pulley. If you are going to remove it completely, mark it first for direction of rotation (belts should be replaced in the same sense they were before removal).

Remove the AC compressor (4 x bolts, 12mm)
This will probably mean removing some turbo plumbing. If you do, the open ends should be blanked off with a clean rag to stop debris entering (another very good habit to cultivate.)
The 4 bolts are NOT ALL THE SAME… Mark the head of the bolt with a dot, cross, or similar distinctive mark, and put an identical mark on the compressor, adjacent to where that bolt came from. There is also one wire running to the compressor which must be removed. Mine was wrapped in with the temp. sender wire, so this was disconnected also.
The compressor needs to be moved to allow access to the alternator. The hoses running to it are flexible enough to allow this. On my Surf, there was also a clip securing one of these hoses, which had to be undone. Be gentle, go easy and you’ll be right. Lift it carefully out when the 4 bolts are removed. I sat mine up on the four coolant lines that run back along the side of the cylinder head, on top of a folded up rag. An occy strap would assist nicely…


Remove the AC Tensioner Pulley Bracket (2 x bolts, 14mm)
Go back under the car, and remove the bracket that holds the AC compressor belt tensioner (2 bolts, 17mm). This is a little tricky. There is a picture of it “half removed”.

Remove the Alternator Drive Belts
Un-tension the alternator belts (x2) and remove them from the alternator pulley. There is a similar fitting to the AC belt tensioner to regulate tension on the alternator belts. It doesn’t “slide” an aux. pulley (as for the AC belt), but swings the alternator itself in/out on its mounting points. Make another “creep” mark first to assist retensioning. Again, if the belts are to be removed with the intention of refitting, mark them.

Remove the Alternator Tensioner Bracket (4 x bolts, 17mm)
The big steel bracket that the tensioning mechanism “slides” in is the next to go, so separate the alternator from it (1 x bolt). Then remove the alternator tensioner bracket.

Remove Lines and Fittings on the Alternator
Now you should have good access to the alternator, and enough clearance to lift it out. It’s time to remove the lines and wiring from it. There are the following:
Two oil lines. I had a braided line and a regular rubber line. The braided oil line runs to the alternator body, through a drilled bolt (12mm) When you remove this one, be careful not to lose the washer which lives between the alternator case, and end fitting of the line. The return oil line runs off the vacuum unit (mine is on the back of the alternator, some have it on the front – this will of course make it a different kettle of fish). When you have oil lines open, they should be blanked with a clean rag or similar.
2 x vacuum lines – a big one which runs up to the vac. tank near the firewall, and a small one, which is plumbed into another vac. line. Remove them (and blank them if you wish. I did).
A wiring harness (1 x nut, 10mm). Don’t put a spanner anywhere near this unless you battery terminals are off. If you do, you’ll be sorry (I was, ha ha ha). Also one plastic wiring “clip” to separate…

Remove the Alternator (1 x bolt and nut, both 14mm)
With all this done, you’re ready to remove the alternator. Go back under the car, and undo the looooong mounting bolt. If it’s in with the head forward, it may foul on the radiator shroud when you withdraw it. Do what’s required to get it out. The alternator is now free to be removed. I had to “drift” mine out. If you’re new to alternators, they’re heavy, but manageable

1) When installing the alternator, use an AC compressor bolt (smaller shank radius) to help “locate” the mounts. If you have a dowel of the right size, use that instead.

2) My alternator mounting bolt had only one regular nut, and no washers. It went back on the same way, due to nil availability of other hardware. I would suggest the addition of a spring and flat washer (if yours doesn’t already have them), or use of a nyloc nut and washer (if you can find them to fit). Tighten it up (it doesn’t have to be ultra-tight, just enough so as it won’t rattle off. Remember the alternator will still move around this point, when the belts are tensioned).

3) Attach the fittings/hoses to the alternator from bottom to top (i.e. start with the oil return, work your way up to the wiring on the top).

4) Once the alternator is in, and all connected up, refit the alternator tensioner bracket. Tighten the four bolts that hold it to the block. Get the bolts in place for the tensioning device, get the belts back in their pulleys, tension them correctly and lock it all up. Don’t overtighten the belts, it’s not good for them or (more importantly) the alternator.

5) Get the AC tensioner pulley bracket in place and start the two bolts which hold it. Don’t tighten them yet, a bit of movement will assist in replacing the AC compressor, as one of its bolts (lower front) also runs through this bracket.

6) Replace the AC compressor, and tighten the two top bolts and rear bottom bolt.
7) Tighten up the two bolts that hold the AC tensioner bracket.
8) Tighten the last bolt that runs through the AC tensioner bracket, and AC compressor. Reconnect wiring to AC compressor.

9) Refit the AC belt to the pulleys. Tension it correctly.
10) Refit turbo plumbing, any other misc. wires you removed.
11) Reinstall battery, reconnect and install wash tank.
12) Refit battery terminals. Remember +ve terminal(s) first, then –ve one(s)…
13) Ensure tools / rags etc. are all out of the engine bay.
14) Start car, test alternator output with multimeter.
15) Leave the bash plate off initially. Go for a bit of a drive, then have a look at everything to see that it’s still tight. Look for oil leaks on the back of the alternator (from the oil lines etc.), listen for slipping belts… all the obvious things. If it all looks good, skid the bash plate back on.