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NOTE THESE ARE GREAT INSTRUCTIONS WITH A COUPLE OF IMPROVEMENTS: 1) VERY IMPORTANT TO DISCONNECT HOT LEAD ON CAR BATTERY BEFORE YOU BEGIN--I CAUSED A SHOWER OF SPARKS WHEN I ACCIDENTALLY GROUNDED OUT THE ALT WHEN TRYING TO LOOSEN THE BOLTS. 2) GET YOURSELF A MINI-RACHETT...OPEN END WRENCHES ARE TOO BIG TO GET INTO SOME OF THE TIGHT PLACES. 3) MOST IMPORTANTLY: YOU MUST JACK UP THE CAR ON THE DRIVERS SIDE WHEN TRYING TO REMOVE THE ALTERNATOR FROM THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT OTHERWISE THERE IS NO WAY YOU WILL HAVE ENOUGH ROOM TO GET IT OUT....VERY FRUSTRATING UNTIL YOU FIGURE THIS OUT...JACKING THE CAR UP DROPS THE AXLE a CRITICAL 2-3 INCHES. YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO DISCONNECT THE AXLE IF YOU DO THIS. I just finished installing a new alternator in my 1989 Honda Civic DX hatchback. The alternator was making a horrible shrieking/squealing noise. I used a piece of garden hose as a stethoscope to localize the sound. It was definitely coming from the alternator. Once I got the alternator off it was clear that something on the rotor had broken and was hitting something inside the alternator as it turned, scraping each time it hit. If something scrapes fast enough it sounds like a horribly loud squeal. The classic symptom of bearings failing is described as a growling. Mine was a squeal not a growl. Remove the alternator: Put the car up on ramps if possible to allow more room under the car. Unplug the wire bundle from the back of the alternator. Remove the 7 mm nut holding the wire to the top of the alternator. Loosen the nut on the pivot bolt at the bottom of the alternator (easier to access from under the car). Loosen the bolt at the top of the alternator. Rotate the alternator toward the front of the car and remove the belt from the alternator pulley. If the belt is worn consider replacing it. Completely remove the top bolt holding the alternator. If you want more room to work you can remove the upper mounting bracket from the engine (one bolt) that holds the top bolt of the alternator. Chock the rear wheels, engage the parking brake, turn the steering wheel all the way to the left. This moves the axle toward the rear of the car to give you more room to get the alternator out. Remove the plastic cowling that separates the left front wheel well from the engine compartment. You may want to take the left front tire off to get better access but I didn't find it necessary. Remove the nut from the bottom pivot bolt on the alternator and remove the pivot bolt. It's a tight fit, you might have to gently drive the pivot bolt out. The alternator is now disconnected. Push it up and toward the right side of the car to temporarily get it out of your way. Remove the lower pivot bolt bracket from the car's frame (two bolts). The alternator can now be worked toward the wheel through the open area in the wheel well and removed. In my case the new alternator came with a pulley installed. Do not remove the pulley from the old alternator. It's difficult, the nut is very tight, it's installed with both a lock washer and locking compound, and is not necessary unless your new alternator comes without a pulley. My new alternator warned that if I ever removed the pulley from the new alternator it would void the lifetime warranty on the alternator. Just be sure your new alternator has a pulley with the same diameter and rib arrangement as the old one. Both my old and new alternator were rated at 60 amps. Install the alternator: Reverse the process above. Work the alternator past the wheel. Install the lower pivot bolt bracket. Connect the wiring to the alternator (it's easier to connect before bolting the alternator into place). Insert the pivot bolt through the pivot bolt bracket and the alternator. It's a tight fit, you may have to gently tap it to get it to go all the way through. Hand-tighten the nut on the pivot bolt. Install the upper mounting bracket if you removed it. Put the belt over the pulley. Install the top alternator bolt and hand tighten the nut. Slide a crowbar between the engine block and the alternator housing. Gently pry the alternator away from the engine to tighten the belt. Tighten the upper nut on the alternator. The belt should be tight enough to give just slightly when pushed. Officially, "1/2 inch deflection when the belt is pushed with 20 lb pressure at the mid-point between the pulleys." Too tight will cause undue wear on the bearings. Too loose will cause slippage, squealing, and undue wear on the belt. Tighten the nut on the pivot bolt. Reinstall the plastic cowling between the tire and the engine compartment. Check to be sure all bolts are tight. After driving for a little while the belt may need to be re-tightened.

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Q: How do you install an alternator in a 1989 Honda Civic DX?
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