Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I'd like to share my recent experience.

98 Taurus 3.0L DOHC...Everything was just fine until the battery was getting old and weak. So I got a new battery and tried to replace it, but careless me...I connected it backwards (reversed polarity) and the horn was honking crazy. Quickly corrected it. But it seemed OK---although the battery light was on and the radio was dead, I thought those would be a small price I paid for the stupid mistake. Thought I would check them out soon.

So I was driving around a whole day like usual, without any event. The next day I was running errands near my home, after a few stop's and go's, the car wouldn't start. Well, was lucky to find someone who jump-started it but the car seemed seriously wrong. The accelerator pedal didn't seem to respond. The rpm was crazy up and down on its own, and at the same time the whole engine block was shaking up and down. I was about half mile away from home, so I managed to make it home--in the end it completely died just short of the garage.

Oh, gee, what is wrong???? I went online and learned that it would be a bad or dead alternator so it wouldn't charge the battery and the car was running off the battery until it was dead.

So, I went ahead and bought a new alternator at Pep boys, but too busy to work on the car a little while. Two months later, a buddy of mine and I got back on the problem. We studied internet and learned that this kind of Taurus (DOHC) is notorious for its alternator location, almost everyone was cursing on that. :angry: It is hard to access and even after you disengage it from the engine block, it would be extremely difficult to take it out.

Anyway, some postings were helpful, others weren't and confusing. But among all, this video gave us the best to complete the job.


In summary, you DO NOT need to lower the subframe. You CAN still pull it out with the structure intact with some finesse.

Anyway, here's how we did it.

1) Loosen the serpentine belt and take it out--we had to get the belt tool---loaned it from the store. Manual said I should turn the tensioner CCW to loosen it, but it was actually CW; i.e., you should turn it toward you (or you pull it towards you) when you are in front of the car.

2) Take out the tire (right passenger), raise the car. Take out the plastic cover in the fender well. Then you can easily see the bottom of alternator with a bolt head (13mm). There are three bolts holding the alternator. First, unscrew the bottom bolt from the bottom---this was easy. Second, unscrew the same bolt on top from the top--this was also relatively easy. Third, the third one, called strut bolt---this wasn't easy. Some postings referred to this as a SOB. We did it using the technique shown in the video above (around 3:40)--I would call it a "three-nut-technique."

3) Now, we watched the above video over and over again, and using the new alternator, we repeated the motion of pulling out and mentally practiced how we would do it. Like those guys on a rescue mission or something. It is also kind of like pulling a baby out of a womb, there's only a certain angle it would come out without damage, we had to be very delicate.

4) so, here you go, we did it!! We pulled it out of the engine block. We actually didn't do it exactly how it was described in the video, but still it was the right way---you should begin it like that then you would find some room to maneuver it around. Thanks joestl314, you the man!

I should mention: we pulled out the controller wire when it was half out and unscrew the bolt for the wire to the fuse box when it was out (to do so, we had to pull it out of the clips along side the cable to the fuse box).

5) So, putting the new one back in was relatively easy, but we still did some practice... DO IT EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE....

6) Now, after putting the bolts back, it was time to put the belt back. Alas, I could reach the tensioner with the belt tool and turn it a little but the power steering rubber hose was in the way so I couldn't turn it enough to put the belt back. So, we had to disconnect the rubber hose (you should siphon the PS fluid in the reservoir and the hose if you don't want to make a mess). Then it was easy.

So, everything was done, ready. Of course the voltage on the car battery was low, so I started the car with an external battery. Now, with the engine running, the voltage in the battery terminals should be 14-15 V. But it was only 11 V. Apparently the new alternator was not working. The battery light in the dashboard was still on. :confused:

So I grabbed the Haynes manual. Well, it says, if the output voltage is lower than 14-15V, we should check the 30A fuse or mega fuse in the power-distribution box. Well, we found a blown fuse in that box (a 20A one), and this mega fuse seemed be blown---we checked it with a meter.

Well, we went back to the store to get a mega fuse. Also we brought the old alternator to check it out. Guess what? It passed....After all, there was nothing wrong in the alternator. The mega fuse was only 6 bucks.

It was a piece of cake to replace the mega fuse. And it did it all--now everything is back to normal.

Later I found this posting where this guy did exactly the same thing, but he was smarter than me and checked the mega fuse before deciding to replace the hideous alternator.

Taurus/Sable Electrical Problems - Car Forums - Edmunds
(follow the postings from whitall)

Had I seen this guys posting, I wouldn't have spent $200 for the alternator, plus all the labor that I did....well, don't we all learn from our mistakes.

Here's the lesson:

Check fuses first (including the mega fuse) before blaming the alternator!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,415 Posts
so THAT's what they are talking about with teh alternator trick. Very handy, great post. THANKS!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I did the same thing...except I replaced both the alternator and the Mega Fuse...to no avail...it still won't charge. I'm pulling my hair out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,377 Posts
look for the inline fuse goin to the computer. had the same problem on an old k car. traced the problem to the inline fuse in the wire harness. i know its alot of wire to trace but if you do it yourself you save 75 dollars and hr
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top