Alternator install panic -
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-31-2013, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
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Alternator install panic

My husband tried to install our new alternator today on our 95 cherokee. It is not an understatement to say that I thought he was going to light the Jeep on fire. It took an hour and a half of fiddling, checking the forums for tips, inventing new swear words, and sweating a little blood to get the old one out. So, of course the new one just dropped in like nothing. However, when he went to replace the serpentine belt, nothing he could do would make it fit. I know the PS pump was pivoted as far as possible, because you can hear it hit the end of it's slide. After conversing in calm civilized tones for a few minutes, I realized that he did not put the old pulley on the new alternator, even though the new Bosch alternator's pulley is about 3/16" bigger all the way around. I asked him why he didn't swap them, since the new one is obviously a different size, and he said "because I couldn't get the old one off". Hm. Anyway, I guess 2 questions: is there a way to make it work with the bigger pulley? His thinking is that the tensioner moved SO much that 3/16" shouldn't make that much difference. And, if you have to replace the pulley, how do you break that nut on the pulley shaft when the stupid pulley spins? Is there a way to brake the pulley while you use wrench? Will an impact wrench do the trick? Ok, three questions - Is there any way to change that pulley out without taking the whole flippin' thing apart again?

Thanks for your help. Your advice, and several beers for both of us tonight, may save our marriage

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-31-2013, 06:48 PM
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Electric or air impact wrench will take it loose. You may have to get creative to figure out how to keep the pulley from spinning without damaging it.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-31-2013, 06:58 PM
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To try and answer your first question, a larger pulley would most likely cause issues with clearances and might not fit all together (as you guys seem to be finding out). I can't tell you with much certainty as I haven't done much on the Cherokees personally but you should be getting a replacement alternator/generator that is the same as the old one. That includes the pulley diameter. An impact wrench would not be my first choice in removing the pulley bolt. If you needed to, you would need a spanner wrench. Imagine the letter "y" and on each of the two top parts there are prongs or pegs sticking out which engage any openings in the face of the pulley. Just Google it, there are lots of styles. But you should have to do this! If you have the proper replacement part it will fit. You might have to "persuade" it a bit, but it will go together. Also by changing the pulley size on an alternator you are changing the speed at which it rotates. That in itself shouldn't cause you any trouble but just keep it in mind. Hopefully I haven't confused you guys too much with this long winded response
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-31-2013, 08:13 PM
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You'll need to remove the alternator (sorry) and bring the old and new to an autoparts store. They will usually swap the pulley for free. Just be sure they tighten it properly.

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post #5 of 5 Old 03-31-2013, 08:42 PM
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
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Also, it can be tough to figure out the route for the serpentine belt (ask me how I know...). I did replace mine once and didn't worry about taking any notes. Then I spent a long time trying to figure out how it was supposed to be routed. I ended up cheating and looking online. I really don't think a little difference in the pulley diameter is going to make it impossible to mount the belt - that adjuster has a LOT of range.

This might help:
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