Replacement Procedures for a Grand Am Alternator
- Removing and replacing the alternator requires the battery to be disconnected, as the alternator is directly connected to the positive terminal. This can be a serious hazard if the battery is not disconnected and the mechanic attempts to remove the unit. Turning the terminal bolt counterclockwise will allow it to be set aside. The cable can also be removed from the alternator, after it is removed from the battery, in the same manner. The rear terminal nut on the alternator can be turned counterclockwise and the ring terminal can be taken off.
- Grand Ams have a serpentine belt system that allows for easy removal of the drive belt itself. The tension pulley arm can be pressed firmly to remove the belt from the idle pulley, and in turn the alternator pulley wheel. The belt does not need to be fully removed from the engine compartment, simply the alternator pulley wheel.
- Now that the belt is off, and the terminal is disconnected, the mounting bolts and nuts are all that holds the alternator in. Turning the nuts counterclockwise while stabilizing the bolt head with a socket wrench makes it easy to slide the bolts out. With the last bolt, the alternator can be manipulated from the engine.
- The alternator can be replaced by going in reverse. Position the alternator, slide in the mount bolts and secure them, attach the positive ring terminal, then attach the belt by way of the tension pulley arm. Reconnect the battery by turning the positive terminal bolt clockwise into the battery post hole. The process has been greatly simplified from the old style, "single belt" systems from earlier Pontiacs. The new alternator also has internal voltage regulators and should begin to charge the battery immediately.