Alfa 156 Alternator swap in pictures. - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 13 Old 16-09-11 Thread Starter
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Alfa 156 Alternator swap in pictures.

Hello all,

Having just completed this difficult task I hope these observations and photos might save others from some of the frustrations of the job.

It goes without saying that the car must be securely supported on firm ground. You will need a good deal of patience and resilience to complete this task. Assuming that you have reasonable mechanical aptitude and a decent set of tools, I would give yourself at least a week of part time working, weather permitting.

Photos 4 and 5 are the key to success. Given that you have removed the rear engine/gearbox mounting, you will find that there is insufficient room between the driveshaft/layshaft and the subframe/steering rack to extract the alternator, even with the rack bolts out (photo 3). You open up this gap by moving the engine and gearbox forward by disconnecting the front nearside mounting (photo 4) whilst keeping the driveshaft couplings free of obstructions (photo 5). You probably do not need to disconnect the steering rack as this affords little extra room, but you will need to force the high pressure line to the rack out of the way and free the plenum chamber mounting just above it (photo 3). I also disconnected the bulkhead mounting (steady bar - top left engine bay) which leaves only one engine mounting plus the driveshafts (which come to rest on the subframe) supporting the engine hence the ropes as backup but they were never actually under significant load - just be careful ! The only time you really need to be under the car in this state is when you pull the alterntor through the gap and put the new one in - put a jack under the gearbox. Don't go under the car if you have any doubts.

A couple of other minor frustrations. The exhaust pipe to catalyst nuts will probably have to be cut off (photo 2). I left the oxygen sensor in the front pipe which involves disconnecting the plug at the back of the engine bay, freeing the cable from several fiddly clips (including one above the anti-roll bar) and pulling it through. (attach string before removal then use to pull back)

All the best ! Merrison.

Click to enlarge the thumbnails

or see alfa alternator swap - a set on Flickr
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Last edited by merrison; 05-01-12 at 16:47. Reason: Better sequence of photos
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I would do it from the top TBH. Many accounts of less grief than this way. Well done for completing it though.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 13 Old 11-01-12 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch166 View Post
I would do it from the top TBH. Many accounts of less grief than this way. Well done for completing it though.
Nice to get a response at last, even if it is from you Mitch !

I am not advocating either way in particular, just giving my experiences of doing it this way, especially since this is the route the workshop manuals seem to take. Let the readers decide for themselves based on what is appropriate for them and the evidence before them.

If there have previously been good accounts, they are not easy to find.
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I always remove the throttle body & then loosen the plenium, then shift it to one side. 2 hour job.
 
(Post Link) post #5 of 13 Old 05-12-12 Thread Starter
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Update

I was going to reply to this posting,

https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...-ts-156-a.html

but gwlouw seems to have found what he needed...?...

https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...placement.html

Engine: Alternator Replacement - Alfa Romeo 145 - 146 Forum

https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...p.html#Scene_1

http://forum.alfa145.com/index.php?showtopic=9693

We are dealing with three different models here, and since millimetres can make all the difference, what holds for one model may not for another.

I still maintain that the choice to go from the top or the bottom is a difficult and personal one. I personally would not be happy leaving the plenum chamber mounting bolts off (top method 145), which is one possible reason why the workshop manual does it from the bottom. Also, removal of the inlet manifold seems to involve moving the engine forward (145). This too makes all the difference when doing the job from underneath (on the 156 at least).

If you are happy removing a lot of delicate stuff, you may prefer the top-down method. If you need to do work on exhaust system and underbody repairs, the bottom-up method may be for you. Either way, best of luck !

Regards, Merrison.

Last edited by merrison; 05-12-12 at 19:24.
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If there is interest in a point by point account of how I did this job on my 156, I am happy to provide that.

Just to add a bit more detail to what I have said previously:

I did not remove the subframe or driveshafts or dismantle any suspension. Where I depart from the workshop manual is that freeing the steering rack is not necessary either, and doesn't work since it does not move sufficiently to get the alternator out.

But you do need to move the engine/gearbox forward. The rear gearbox to subframe assembly/mounting is removed as per the manual, along with the front exhaust (photo 3). You now have access to free the alternator, plenum chamber mounting etc.

To allow the engine to be moved forward: Disconnect the engine to bulkhead mounting. Disconnect the front nearside engine/gearbox mounting (3 bolts, photo 4 - NOT the centre bolt, you'll strip it trying to get it back in !!). Loosen the front offside mounting centre pin a couple of turns to allow the engine to be rotated forward ( be careful - only this and your ropes/jack holding the engine). It is now easy to move the engine forward a couple of inches. It is not as difficult or scary as it sounds, just make sure everything is safely supported before you get under to extract the alternator.

Do the preparatory freeing of the alternator, removal of plenum mounting bracket, etc before you detatch/loosen the engine mountings, so as to minimise your time under the car in this state. And get the mountings (front and top) reconnected/tightened as soon as you have the alternator in place.

The job is fiddly and uncomfortable, but not that difficult once you have worked these things out.

The exhaust downpipe/flexipipe and catalyst are likely to cause some grief if they have been on for some time. I managed to repair mine which involved cutting out studs and some welding. If you can't do this or don't want to buy new parts, this might be the deciding factor on whether to tackle the job from the bottom.

Regards.

Last edited by merrison; 28-12-12 at 15:17.
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Alfa 156 2004

I just changed an alternator in a 2004 156, removed top engine steady, drivers side engine mount, supported the engine with brace from the top (can use rope and wood if you don't have brace) removed the rear gearbox to subframe mount then removed the 6 driveshaft bolts on drivers side and removed wishbone to subframe bolts and pryed the shaft and wishbone out of the way, then lower the engine till the inner end of the driveshaft is resting on the subframe, once you have done this pry the engine slightly forward, i done this just by prying the remaining end of the shaft against the subframe, then i removed the alternator through the inner wing, bit tight but came out, put new one back in the same way, although the new one was slightly larger and required my friend pulling the engine froward slightly more from the top of the engine bay.
No need to remove exhaust etc, all done in 2 hours
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how many hours labour is it at an Alfa specialist?
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a lot easier to do it from the top. 2 hours tops.
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Todays alternator change in northern Norway

Drive up on homemade ramps. Disconnect battery. Remove exhaustpipe. Loosen 3 enginemounts. You dont have to remove mount in back of engine. (Back, front and top) Jack the engine forward 8-10cm. Now its just to remove 2 bolts and wires and take it out. Appr 3 hours until startup :-)
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Very good Jorn (?) thanks for the insight. Just a bit cautious about the centre pin (bolt) on the rear mount, with the risk of thread damage on replacement, ditto the front mount. So, the two mounting bolts to the subframe are an alternative. Cheers, Merrison.
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I want to see someone do it from the top on the v6
I would say though if you are doing it from below it is the perfect time to do the anti roll bar bushes while you have the access.
Well done guys
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrison View Post
Very good Jorn (?) thanks for the insight. Just a bit cautious about the centre pin (bolt) on the rear mount, with the risk of thread damage on replacement, ditto the front mount. So, the two mounting bolts to the subframe are an alternative. Cheers, Merrison.
Hi. The centerbolt on rear mount are no problem to use again, just use some grease and fit it again. (use a jack to lift it up and it slides into position)
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