2007 Dodge Caliber 2.0 4cyl- alternator change

Man, this was a fun car! And by that I mean that it was anything but! Sarcasm is hard to express electronically :) I’m going to share with you guys how we took this alternator out to replace it. The book calls for 3-4 hours on this job. And it took every bit of time. This is another job where, if you aren’t absolutely comfortable taking stuff apart it would better to let  a professional do this.

Also, it is helpful to have 2 people, one with small hands, a flexible extension (6″), a swivel, 13mm socket (shallow well), 3″ extension. These were the things that this would’ve been nearly impossible without.

Well first of all, we actually got the alternator cheaper from the dealer. So this one would be worth calling around about. Also, the dealer had it in stock and most of the other parts stores either didn’t have it or couldn’t get it. Add to the fact that the dealer alternator was new and all others were rebuilt and this is a pain to get in and out, we went with the dealer.

In any case, we did reference the book on taking this out. However, we found that their instructions were not the best way to go about this.  This is how we started:

-Remove the top and bottom idler pulleys and put them out of your way. 

-Take metal line off power steering pump, remove bolts and set pump up on the motor out of the way. There are holes in the pully to access the bolts. There are 3 bolts on this pump.

-Then get under the car and take a/c down. Doesn’t come out, just take bolts out and move out the way. It doesn’t move much.

-At this point, remove the bolts from the alternator (2 bolts) and let it sit down in the hole. You can’t get it out because of the power steering bracket, but you need it loose so that you can get your hand on the back bolts on that bracket.

-So now we work on removing the bracket. It appears that the alternator bracket and power steering bracket are one piece, but trust me, they are not. Because of the way they fit together, it will seem like another bolt is holding it until you have the bolts completely removed. It will not move even if you have loosened all 4 bolts. 

-There are 2 bolts in the back of this pump bracket. If you reach though where the alternator was (under the bracket) you can feel these 2 bolts. They are vertical to one another and they are facing back towards the passengers side. To loosen you will be pushing down on these bolts. Now to break these loose we used a very short 13mm wrench. There is not much room to get anything else on there. You will find that the intake is in your way up top and the oil dip stick tube is in the way on one side and the oil pressure sending unit is in the way on the bottom bolt. **Do Not remove the dip stick.!** The book says to do this but it is nearly impossible to get it back in once you have it out. You can work around it, it just takes some manuevering.

-So loosen up these bolts using the wrench. We then went up through the bottom with the 6″ flexible extension, swivel and shallow well socket on the top bolt. Allen wrenched it from the bottom while I held the socket on the bolt up top. The bottom bolt was more difficult because you had to work around the dip stick. The best way I found was to go around it using an extension. Put the 3″ extension between the swivel and socket and you come right around the oil pressure sending unit. The bolt barely clears it, but it will work. This really took patience. Basically, we did the same thing, Allen wrenched it off from the bottom and I held everything in place up top.

-Once you get the 2 bolts out of the back there are 2 bolts in the front. Both are under where the top idler pulley sits (you should have this off already).

-You’ll need to pull the brackets apart using a big screwdriver between the block and the bracket.

-Once you get that out, the alternator will lift right out. Remember to unplug the wires :)

-Set the new alternator in there and hook the wires back up. Don’t put the bolts in the alternator yet. You’ll want to leave it out of the way so you can get your hands back into the back of the ps bracket. 

-When you go to put the bracket back in the spot, it fits together kind of like a puzzle. There are little inserts that are inside the bolt holes for the bracket that help the bolts lockdown better. They may be exposed on the inside area where the bracket goes. If this happens it will keep the bracket from seating properly.  Use a pair of pliers or channel locks to push them back into the hole and flush with the other bracket.

-You will need to get it all lined up to get those back bolts started on the bracket. You’ll know when you get them started and use the same procedure to tighten them back as you did to loosen them.

-From there you pretty much reverse the entire procedure above. Once you get the ps bracket bolted down you can both work on bolting everything else back.

-Really the longest part was getting those back bolts out. It really was a pain. I won’t lie to you.

Remember, just have patience and the right tools and you’ll be good. Good luck with all of your repairs. Please let us know if you have questions.  Also, I apologize for not having pictures. We will remember to grab the camera next time.

Cassie Watson

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