How to Change an Alternator on a 1988 Mazda 626

The alternator in your Mazda is held in place by the pivot and adjusting bolts. So changing the alternator may seem simple, but you should pay careful attention, during the reassembling process, to avoid damage to other components. Still, this is a task you can accomplish at home. Don't let a bad alternator leave your Mazda without electrical power.

Tools Used: Wrench set, Small ratchet, Socket set, Small wrench, Small standard screwdriver (optional), Ratchet, 2 by 4 wood block

Change an Alternator

Removing the Alternator

Disconnect the ground cable from the negative (-) battery post. Use a wrench to loosen the cable clamp nut.

Remove the air cleaner assembly for clearance, if necessary, using a small ratchet and socket.

Disconnect the wire from the B terminal from the rear of the alternator by removing the retaining nut using a small wrench.

Unplug the electrical connector from the rear of the alternator. If necessary, use a small standard screwdriver to carefully pry the connector up until you can grab and pull the plug off by hand.

Loosen the alternator adjusting link bolt using a ratchet and socket.

Loosen the alternator lower pivot bolt using a ratchet and socket and a back up wrench, if necessary, to hold the retaining nut in place as you loosen the bolt.

Examine the alternator drive belt routing, if necessary, for easy reassembly.

Push the alternator towards the engine by hand to relax the drive belt tension then remove the drive belt.

Remove the alternator adjusting and pivot bolts.

Remove the alternator from the engine compartment.

Installing the New Alternator

Position the new alternator in place and install the adjusting and pivot bolts finger-tight.

Route the drive belt around the accessories' pulleys and the alternator.

Push the alternator away from the engine using a 2 by 4 wood block of the appropriate length to provide the drive belt with the appropriate tension. Make sure the wood block is anchored against the engine and not a component that might break as you push against the alternator.

Instruct a helper to tighten the alternator adjusting link bolt using the ratchet and socket as you hold the tension against the drive belt. Then remove the wood block.

Tighten the alternator lower pivot bolt using the ratchet and socket and the back up wrench, if necessary.

Plug the electrical connector into the rear of the alternator.

Connect the wire to the B terminal on the rear of the alternator and tighten the retaining nut using the small wrench.

Install the air cleaner assembly, if removed, using the small ratchet and socket.

Connect the ground cable to the negative (-) battery post using the wrench.

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