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Replacing Alternator - 95 Deville Concours


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Murphy's Law is at it again. First the ambient air sensor quit - we replaced that, then one of the mufflers dropped off the tail pipe, then the emergency brake got stuck "on" causing the rear brakes to go metal to metal. Now, the lights flicker as we're going down the street and we think that's the alternator. It's a '95, and AutoZone's checking machine can only check '96 and newer. So how do we get the alternator out? The car has Northstar - looks nice, but covers everything. Help!

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The 1995 DeVille has OBD II so Autozone should be able to check it too, whether they know it or not. You should check other more likely things, particularly the positive battery cable where it bolts to the battery and the battery and engine grounds, the battery condition, etc. before you go after the alternator, which doesn't give much trouble in these cars.

The alternator is mounted low on the passenger side on the front of the engine. It's best removed from under the car and it's not a bad job from a rack or a creeper with the car on jack stands. Without checking my FSM, I would suggest this sequence:

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable and tie it away from the battery.
  2. Remove the serpentine belt. You might consider getting a new one to put back if it has 30,000 miles or more on it.
  3. Put the car on a rack, or jack it up and put it on jack stands.
  4. Remove the connectors.
  5. Remove the armature cable; use two wrenches to make sure that you don't spin the bolt in the alternator.
  6. Remove the alternator mounting bolts and drop the alternator.

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I also found it helpful removing the passenger side cooling fan. it's held in by 2 little bolts at the top. this gives you plenty of moveability working from the top, as you carefully lower it down. I say carefully because clearance is tight against the radiator, and you don't want to hit that with a heavy alternator.

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