I keep seeing posts relating to GTV electrical and alternator problems. Some while ago I changed mine and sent in a blow by blow method for the 'How to' section. Although the link is there it does'nt seem t connect so here it is again;
Replace the alternator on a 2.0TS GTV 96/97
If you are reading this you are probably at your wits end with your car.
When my alternator went I can only say that I was confused!
The first sign was that the engine turned over very slowly on startup. The airbag light refused to go off – but the battery light did not come on at first.
I did what any sensible Alfa Owner would do and looked at the forums on this site!
I found lots of stuff about parasitic drains which basically means that your current is being drained from the battery. To check this you need an ammeter. I owned a multi meter that cost 7 quid. This was rubbish and failed to measure anything so I spent some cash on a good one.
It is essential to do at least a few tests BEFORE replacing the alternator because it is not a nice job and can be raving expensive if you have to take it to a mechanic and even worse if you take it to Alfa!
I found that the best test was to remove the battery and FULLY charge it on a bench. With your meter set to DC Voltage see that it reads at least 12.5 volts. If it reads less than 12 volts your battery probably has a knackered cell and will be the cause of your problem!
If all is OK, put the battery back in the car and BEFORE you connect anything up take off the front of your stereo and de activate any alarm system you may have. Whilst you are in the boot check that the boot light is not switched on. When you are sure everything is off connect up the battery and measure again. If it still reads over 12 volts you can be reasonably sure that its not a parasitic drain. Now start the engine and get someone to hold the revs at about 2K. Measure across the battery terminals and if the measurement reads anything up to 14.7 volts its not your alternator. If it reads just over 12 volts or less its going to be the alternator.
Have no illusions – this is a swine of a job. However it does NOT require vast knowledge. You just need a lot of patience.
You will need the following tools: decent socket set from 8mm to 19mm minimum. It should contain some long extensions and a universal extension. A cranked 14 mm ring spanner. A hydraulic or trolley jack. A selection of spanners 8mm to 19mm. A pair of axle stands or a pair of ramps and a decent inspection lamp.
You will also require a can of WD40 and either a new exhaust gasket (downpipe to first exhaust section) or a tube of gasket cement if your gasket is ok.
As I go through this I will refer to the manual that is supplied elsewhere on this excellent site. My advice is to download this and save it as a pdf file.
Now, this is EXACTLY how I did it. I’m sure that some people might have done it a different way – BUT this method broke nothing and apparently people are on record as saying that stuff broke whilst doing it so I was taking extra care.
Find yourself a flat area and put the car on the ramps or the axle stands.
Do NOT jack up the front drivers side wheel on its own (as per the manual) for reasons I will explain in a minute. Once you have the car absolutely rock solid (chock the rear wheels and put the handbrake on as well). Disconnect the battery.
Remove the drivers side front wheel – you will see acres of plastic shrouding. The lower part of the shroud is the bit to remove. You should see two 8mm hex head bolts and a penny sized plastic grommet type of thing. Remove the bolts and gently prise out the plastic grommet/nail thing (use couple of flat blade screwdrivers for this).
You can now see a few pulleys. A big one, and to the left of it a smaller one set back and just above it and forward of it, another one. This smaller pulley is your first job. You are NOT going to remove it. What this is is the accessory belt tensioner. You need to relieve the tension on the belt before you can get it off. Get hold of your 14mm cranked ring spanner and get onto the central bolt that appears to hold it. Now attempt to undo it and you will feel the whole pulley move to the left. Its spring loaded (HEAVILY spring loaded!). Move the pulley to the left until you can pull the toothed belt off the bottom of the big pulley. You will need to REALLY put some pressure on the 14mm spanner. But REMEMBER you are holding a pretty hefty spring in tension so let the pressure off the pulley SLOWLY!!.
This is why you should not just jack up the front wheel – you might knock it off the jack. This is why you should be on the axle stands.
In the manual it says to disconnect the cables leading to the Lambda sensor. I simply could not identify them. Once I got under the car I saw that the Lambda sensor was screwed into the exhaust with wires vanishing upwards through a bulkhead to somewhere in the engine bay. I decided to remove the sensor complete from the exhaust. Simply unscrew the locknut and withdraw it.
Removal of the front part of the exhaust is the next job. The four bolts/nuts that attach it to the manifold are easy to see and thankfully accessible. These will look really rusty and because they are subjected to immense heat, can be very brittle. Squirt plenty of WD40 on them and leave them to ‘soak’ for a while. Carefully remove them and you can then separate the exhaust. Check the condition of the gasket. Moving backwards to the next exhaust joint undo the two bolts holding it and separate it. There is a support bracket holding the exhaust up and an alloy protector underneath the engine. Remove the two captive nuts holding the bracket and then the four nuts holding the support. Your exhaust is now free so remove it.
The next job is the gearbox mount. Using a hydraulic jack or trolley jack, support the gearbox to take the stress off the mount. In the manual it says to remove the central bolt holding the mount to the car. I gave up trying – mine wouldn’t move. However the whole mount is attached to the body by a surrounding bracket held in place by two 13 mm bolts. I just removed these and voila! – it freed the mount. You now have to remove the bolts holding the mount to the gearbox. One of them is invisible but if you reach up through the hole left by the exhaust you can get it – its 19mm. When you’ve undone everything the mount will come free bringing with it the exhaust support bracket.
All this takes time and when done all you have is a hole through which you are able to get at the alternator!
You can now reach upwards and to the right and FEEL the alternator. You can just see the bottom of it as well.
Have a good feel round it and locate the two cables at the back of it. There is a thin cable and a thick cable. These are held in place by a 10mm nut and a 13mm nut respectively. Remove these with your socket set – you can’t get a spanner on them. Shift the cables out of the way.
Moving to the bottom of the alternator you will find a long 19mm nut and bolt holding it to the engine. Get a 19mm spanner on the bolt head nearest to the wheel well and then a 19mm socket with a long extension on the nut. Its tricky to co – ordinate this but once you get it moving its OK. Withdraw the bolt. It is now time to get the top mount. Luckily this is a captive bolt and all you need to do is remove the 17mm nut. This is a total *******. For a start you can’t see it and you have hardly any room between the engine block and the alternator body. I used a variety of extensions a universal joint and a long bar to connect the 17mm socket to the nut. This took a while believe me. However I got it moved and was able to withdraw the captive bolt. Your alternator is now free. Move the alternator to the space that you have created by the removal of the exhaust and the gearbox mount. At first glance the alternator will not pass through this hole! The manual says to loosen the bolts holding the steering rack. Yes it seems to be in the way BUT I couldn’t see why you need to do this as after about a quarter of an hour of twisting the alternator all ways I got it out!!
This whole process took me 5 hours.
You can now fit your new alternator. It is an exact reverse of the above process and a lot easier as you now know what you are dealing with.
Having got it in you should now test it. Don’t remove all the jacks/stands/ramps etc, just in case!!
Re – connect the battery and start the car. Using your voltmeter check across the battery terminals and you should have something like 14 + volts showing.
Well, that’s it and you have saved a shed load of money and at the same time had a good look at the underside of your car!
Now none of us are perfect and I may well have left something out – but I don’t think so. However if you feel that I have please post and I’ll remedy it.
Cheers for now