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How to Change an Alternator on a 1969 Ford Car

The alternator on a 1969 Ford car or light truck is a small generator that provides electrical power for starting the engine as well as powering accessories. Over time, the bearings or brushes inside the alternator may wear out, causing the unit to fail. If your headlights appear dim or you starter motor is operating slowly, it may be a sign that the alternator in your vehicle may need to be replaced.

Tools Used: Wrench set, Masking tape, Marker, Socket set, Straight edge, Ruler

Change an Alternator

Removing the Alternator

Unhook the ground cable from the negative battery post by loosening the cable clamp retaining bolt using a wrench. Then twist the clamp off the post. Secure the cable so it won't slip into contact with the battery while you work.

Label the wires attached to the rear of the alternator using masking tape and a marker. The wires must be installed on the new alternator in the same positions as on the old one.

Unscrew the nuts that secure the wires to the back of the alternator, using a socket. Then pull the wires away from the alternator.

Loosen the bolt that secures the alternator to the adjusting arm, using a socket. Slide the alternator toward the engine. Lift the drive belt off the alternator pulley.

Unscrew the two bolts that secure the alternator to the mounting brackets, using a socket. Lift the alternator away from the engine and remove it from the vehicle.

Installing the Alternator

Lower the new alternator into position in the mounting brackets. Loosely screw in the two bolts that secure alternator to the mounting bracket, using a socket.

Lay the drive belt over the alternator pulley. Slide the alternator away from the engine, applying tension to the drive belt. Failure to apply enough tension to the belt will cause the belt to squeal.

Tighten the two bolts that secure alternator to the mounting brackets, using a socket.

Checking Drive Belt Tension

Place a straightedge alongside the alternator drive belt at its longest span (essentially horizontally).

Press down on the belt at an equal distance between the two pulleys with your hand. Measure the widest distance between the belt and the straight edge. It should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch.

If the distance is greater than 1/4 to 1/2 inch, tighten the drive belt by loosening the bolt that secures the alternator to the adjusting arm. Then slide the alternator away from the engine and re-tighten the bolt.

Tips & Warnings

Check the condition of the drive belt and replace if it is cracked or frayed. Make sure the battery is fully charged before starting the engine with the new alternator. Failure to do so may damage the alternator.

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