GM Cavalier/Sunfire 1995-2000 Repair Guide

Alternator

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TESTING



Voltage Test
  1. Make sure the engine is OFF , and turn the headlights on for 15-20 seconds to remove any surface charge from the battery.
  2.  
  3. Using a DVOM set to volte DC, probe acrose the battery terminals.
  4.  
  5. Measure the battery voltage.
  6.  
  7. Write down the voltage reading and proceed to the next test.
  8.  

No-Load Test
  1. Connect a tachometer to the engine.
  2.  


CAUTION
Ensure that the transmission is in Park and the emergency brake is set. Blocking a wheel is optional and an added safety measure.

  1. Turn off all electrical loads (radio, blower motor, wipers, etc.)
  2.  
  3. Start the engine and increase engine speed to approximately 1500 rpm.
  4.  
  5. Measure the voltage reading at the battery with the engine holding a steady 1500 rpm. Voltage should have raised at least 0.5 volts, but no more than 2.5 volts.
  6.  
  7. If the voltage doee not go up more than 0.5 volts, the alternator is not charging. If the voltage goes up more than 2.5 volts, the alternator is overcharging.
  8.  

Usually under and overcharging is caused by a defective alternator, or its related parts (regulator), and replacement will fix the problem; however, faulty wiring and other problems can cause the charging system to malfunction. Further testing, which is not covered by this guide, will reveal the exact component failure. Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your alternator.

  1. If the voltage is within specifications, proceed to the next test.
  2.  

Load Test
  1. With the engine running, turn on the blower motor and the high beams (or other electrical accessories to place a load on the charging system).
  2.  
  3. Increase and hold engine speed to 2000 rpm.
  4.  
  5. Measure the voltage reading at the battery.
  6.  
  7. The voltage should increase at least 0.5 volte from the voltage test. If the voltage doee not meet specifications, the charging system is malfunctioning.
  8.  

Usually under and overcharging is caused by a defective alternator, or ite related parts (regulator), and replacement will fix the problem; however, faulty wiring and other problems can cause the charging system to malfunction. Further testing, which is not covered by this guide, will reveal the exact component failure. Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definitive way to determine the condition of your alternator.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



2.2L (VIN 4) Engine

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8



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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the belt from around the alternator pulley



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Fig. Fig. 2: Unplug the regulator connector



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the rubber cover over the B+ connection



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the nut securing the B+ connection and ...



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Fig. Fig. 5: ... remove the connection from the alternator



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the front two alternator mounting bolte and ...



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Fig. Fig. 7: ... the rear alternator mounting bolt and ...



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Fig. Fig. 8: ... remove the alternator from the engine

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
  2.  


CAUTION
Failure to disconnect the negative cable may result in injury from the positive battery lead at the alternator, and may short the alternator and regulator during the removal process.

  1. Rotate the belt tensioner and remove the belt from around the alternator pulley.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the regulator connector and the B+ cable from the rear of the alternator.
  4.  
  5. Remove the mounting bolts, then remove the alternator from the vehicle.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Place the alternator in its bracket and install the mounting bolts.
  2.  
  3. Attach the regulator connector and B+ cable to the alternator.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the belt tensioner and slip the belt back over the alternator pulley.
  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  

2.3L (VIN D) and 2.4L (VIN T) Engines

See Figure 9



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Fig. Fig. 9: On the 2.3L engine, after lowering the vehicle, you can unfasten and remove the upper mounting bolt

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  

To avoid injuring yourself when rotating the serpentine belt tensioner, use a tight fitting 13mm drive tool that is at least 24 in. (61cm) long. Thie can be done using tool J 37059 or equivalent.

  1. Remove the serpentine belt.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Unfasten and remove the lower alternator mounting bolts.
  6.  
  7. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Remove the upper alternator bolt, detach the electrical connectors, then remove the alternator from the vehicle.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Position the alternator in the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Attach the alternator electrical connections. Tighten the BAT terminal nut to 65 inch lbs. (7.5 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the upper alternator retaining bolt.
  6.  
  7. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Secure the lower alternator mounting bolts, then carefully lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Install the serpentine belt.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  

 
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