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Author Topic: Loosening lower alternator bolt  (Read 2453 times)
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Fifth Gear
Posts: 1203

« on: September 19, 2008, 07:07:05 AM »

I searched for this and didn't find it, so I hope I'm not reinventing the wheel here.  This is a tip for anyone replacing belts or an alternator.

Today I changed the belts for the first time on our '04 MSM.  Most of the bolts and nuts required using a breaker bar--not easy in the cramped quarters in there.  And as Tanner points out in his book, the lower bolt on the alternator earned a few choice swearwords.  I very nearly gave up on it today--I hope Mazda had a really good reason for putting the bolt in from behind!--until after trying several different methods, hit on one that worked.

For tight places like this I used a ratcheting boxed end wrench--the 5 degree type with an angled end from Craftsman--and then used a large screwdriver for leverage.  Finding a place to stick the end of the screwdriver was the challenge, until I found a small hole in the frame that worked just perfectly.

My apologies for the lousy pic--all I had available was my camera phone:

In order to actually apply any leverage to it, I had to hold the boxed end of the wrench tight on the bolt head with one hand, while pushing up on the screwdriver handle.  If I would have had a 3rd hand (or a photographer) I could have shown that here but you'll just have to use your imagination on that part  laugh

Incidentally, ratcheting wrenches are probably a bit weaker than a regular boxed end wrench.  Just beware, in case your bolt is so frozen that it may cause the gear to strip in your wrench.  Watch your knuckles!

This wasn't much of a FAQ, but hopefully a tip that will help out someone else.


2004 VR MSM, born Jan 28, 2004: #8 of 4000 ... my ex's car...
FM full intake, O2 mod, DP & catback exhaust; 28x7x2.5" CX Racing FMIC,  Walbro 190HP, Hawk HPS pads, 80/20 coolant mix, 323 PCV valve, AutoMeter UltraLite boost/vac & oil temp gauges in Lo-Tek 2-pod pillar, Mobil 1 0w/30 engine, Redline MT-90 trans, Mobil 1 75w/90 diff, Falken Ziex ZE912 rubber, Goodwin billet pedal covers, OEM footwell lamps, Racing Beat Style Bar II, Thompson Nautilus air horn, DDM 4500k HIDs
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