Today I had the joyous task of putting a new alternator, and while I was at it a new serpentine belt, on the Excursion.
All in all this was simple as pie.
It all started a couple weeks ago. The battery light would come on every once in a while but only during harsh acceleration, like getting on the freeway.
Last night, Claudine got stranded on her way to the gym. The battery light came on and stayed on and the battery didn’t last nearly as long as it should have.
Seeing how everything was original (110,000 miles and 6 years old), I figured it was time for a new battery and if that didn’t do it, an alternator too.
I picked up Claudine and we went to NAPA and grabbed a new battery. This got us home but didn’t take care of the underlying issue, the alternator.
I did a little digging on the web trying to figure out just how much of a pain this was going to be, and honestly I couldn’t tell. There were reports of needing to cut the fan shroud to get the serpentine belt out, and/or loosening up the radiator and moving it around. Oh joy.
The alternator on the beast wasn’t cheap either. $208 for a new one as no remanufactured ones were anywhere near us.
Popping off the serpentine belt on the modular 5.4 liter v8 was simple. Loosen the tensioner with a ¾ ratchet and cheater bar and it slid right off. The way this thing is routed didn’t require me to cut anything or mess with the radiator or fan.
Replacement took about 40 minutes total, 25 to get things off, and 15 back on.
It’s ready to go for another 6 years of service.