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results: 84 4kq alternator removal
The final gory details of my ordeal:
All I really wanted to do was to pull the voltage regulator and check the
brushes. One of the screws was in too tightly to loosen given the limited
amount of space between the back of the alternator and the radiator. So I
decide I have to remove the alternator.
The pivot bolt doesn't [anymore?] have a bolt head. It is a really tight
fit through the alternator that tightening the nut presses into place.
After a few years, this welds itself to the alternator, and it takes a *lot*
of force to remove (see below). After I can't get the alternator out, I go
after the voltage regulator again, this time succeeding in getting it out.
To my surprise, the brushes are still OK. I decide I probably need a new
alternator, and go to replace the voltage regulator, and get the car
drivable again. I discover that I only unscrewed the voltage regulator
screws part way before they seized, and then sheared off. I cannot replace
the voltage regulator, because the screws are sheared off inside their
holes. So I go after the alternator again.
If you remove the little plastic cover on the bumper covering one of the
license plate screws (I have no front plate), you can remove that screw
(very difficult after 15+ years of corrosion) and see through the bumper,
through cutouts in the frame, and see the frozen pivot bolt! All I need is
a strong, thin steel rod to pound it with. The next day I go buy a 3/8"
socket extension, and drill out the screw hole larger so the socket
extension fits through. I start having at it with a hammer until the pivot
bolt pin breaks, well up inside the mounting mechanism. I'm stuck again
until the next day, when I go buy some hex bolt sockets to remove the
alternator mounting plate. (8mm allen-wrench-type fits those bolts.) [I
still have radiator shrouds, which I had already removed to make getting at
things easier.] I get the alternator out, mounting and all, in short order.
(This was the easiest part of the entire ordeal.)
Now I've got everything where I can easily pound on the pivot bolt, and have
at it. No dice. Nothing budges. I try to drill out the bolt, but it is
too hard a steel rod for my puny drill and bits. (I did make a little dent
into which the masonry nails I was using to pound the broken bolt fit nicely
into.) I held the nail with a vice grip and pounded that sucker as hard as
I could for a long time, and still no deal. That bolt had become one with
the alternator. I was ready to give up and take the unit to a mechanic and
see if he had a press, when I noticed that the bolt, formerly flush with the
mounting (on the side it should come out on), was protruding almost 1/2 mm.
I had budged it a barely perceptible amount! Once budged, it should come
out (I reason) and give it a few more whacks. Nothing doing. I flail with
all my might for 5 more minutes, and it finally starts moving significantly.
It was a slug-fest all the way out. The pivot bolt is such a tight fit that
it remains stuck until almost completely removed.
Off to the parts store for a rebuilt alternator, and... aw heck. The one
their computer says is correct doesn't match mine. They call Foreign
Autopart who has one for 50% more money. I head off to a different store.
They also has one that is an exact match for the wrong one at the other
store. Off I go to Foreign Autopart to pay more, but theirs also matches
the wrong one. Everyone agrees my car takes a different alternator than the
one that came out of it. At least they have the correct Bosch catalog from
which we determine what my car really has. (My 84 4kq has an 83 4k
alternator, according to them. This may be consistent with the fact that my
4kq is one of the very first sold in the USA. I bought it Nov 83!) They
locate one in another store, and get it delivered just before closing.
Meanwhile I go to Home Depot and buy a suitable bolt to use as a pivot bolt.
The one I bought (1/4") is slightly too small, meaning it should come out in
a few years.
Slapped it all back together, and I've got 14.25 volts! Halleluiah! I've
got one extra screw left over that I only remembered where it belongs while
typing this sentence. It's the now-useless plate mounting from the bumper.
(What a relief. I've been pondering this all day.)
88 Corvette (also with new alternator)
84 4kq with new alternator, grrrr.
P.S. The Corvette's alternator is right on top of the engine, almost like
they thought it might need to be replaced someday, and you'd want to be able
to get to it. While I was [easily] replacing it (first time I've had to
work on the 'vette), I noticed all sorts of little details unlike an Audi,
such as the fact that the engine is entirely *behind* the front wheels, and
that all the stuff in front of the wheels is lightweight stuff like vacuum
canisters and air intake shrouds. Almost like they intended for it to
handle well. Weird. On the other hand, it's too low to the ground to
change your own oil. BTDT once only.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Huw Powell [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Monday, February 01, 1999 17:41
> To: Rich, Jack; quattro group
> Subject: Re: 84 4kq alternator removal
> > It didn't occur to me to try to turn it. The threaded end with the nut
> > haven't tried, because it would destroy the threads. The other end
> > protrude out at all, so there's nothing to work with there.
> Somethine wrong with that... I have close to a btdt on a parts car alt I
> pulled to save - the nut broke off and the bolt won't turn - so maybe
> once before someone actually broke the *head* off the bolt?
> If you absolutely can't undo/loosen it (and it sounds like something you
> should fix right for the future anyway - can anyone say "stainless
> steel?), you can remove the alternator bracket from the engine, it is
> held on by three fat allen head socket cap screws. It helps if your
> radiator air guide is long gone...
> Good luck!
> Huw Powell
> 82 Audi Coupe; 85 Coupe GT