How to Change the Alternator on a 1987 Ford Ranger

The alternator in a 1987 Ford Ranger provides electricity for the electrical accessories in the truck, and charges the battery as well. When the alternator goes out, so will the battery and the electrical accessories, one after the other, until the truck is unable to start. Fortunately, the alternator on an '87 Range is straightforward to remove and install, and can be done in under 45 minutes.

Tools Used: Open-end wrench set, Masking tape, Permanent marker, 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set, Replacement alternator

Change the Alternator

Open the hood. Disconnect the negative connection on the battery using an open-end wrench and then disconnect the positive connection in the same way. Label the wires on the alternator using the masking tape and permanent marker. Label each wire in a way that will help you determine which wire goes where when you install the new alternator.

Disconnect the connections on the alternator using an open-end wrench. Loosen the bolts at the base of the alternator with a wrench and pivot the alternator towards the engine with your hands. Pull the belt off the alternator pulley.

Unbolt the alternator from the engine with the 3/8-inch ratchet and socket. Pull the alternator away from the engine compartment. Set the replacement alternator in the engine bracket and loosely bolt it in place, making sure that the alternator can still pivot and move.

Slide the belt over the alternator pulley. Pull the alternator away from the engine until the belt is tight, and tighten down the alternator bolts using an open-end wrench. Reconnect the connections to the alternator using a wrench, then reconnect the battery connections, starting with the positive terminal and then the negative terminal.

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