I replaced the alternator in my 1998 2.5L V6. I think it is the same. It is not an easy job. Here is how I did it (with detailed hints).
My transmission is a standard, I'm not sure how much difference that makes. Basically, I followed the procedure in the Haynes shop manual, but I will go over the basic steps with additional hints. Other than normal tools, you will need an 18mm offset deep box end wrench (for the upper strut nut), a hefty 6 mm Allen wrench (again for the upper strut- you may need the socket type for more strength), a 32 mm hub socket, a wheel puller and a number of extensions (3/8 and or/1/2").
The alternator is just above the right hand half axle, so you will need to remove it, so if the CV joint is bad or the CV boot is bad, this is a good chance to replace it. Make sure the alternator is what is bad. Generally, the alternator light will be on if the alternator (or regulator, which is part of the alternator) is bad. But also check the voltage across the battery, it should read about 14.7 volts (while engine is running) if the battery is charged up, a little less if it is not.
The general procedure is:
Remove negative side of battery (very important!).
Loosen right hub nut while car is still on the ground. This takes a 32 mm socket. This nut may need to be replaced if the locking mechanism breaks while removing
Jack up front end and put on jack stands. Both wheels must be off the ground.
Remove brake caliper (two 7 mm Allen bolts) and suspend caliper
Remove brake caliper bracket.
Remove brake disk.
Loosen upper strut nut (under hood) a few turns so that the strut will swing more freely underneath. You have to hold the 6 mm Allen bolt while loosening it
Disconnect tie rod end. You may need a tool, but I was able to just tap mine out. Make sure to loosen the nut and leave it on the threads when you do this to protect the threads.
Disconnect upper connecting link (anti sway). A 17 mm open end wrench will hold the stud just behind the connector so that it won't move when you remove the nut.
Remove lower arm to wheel knuckle bolt at bottom of knuckle that holds the lower knuckle to the lower arm.
Push spring loaded lower arm down while you remove the lower arm stud from the lower knuckle. This may take two people, especially to put it back on.
Remove anti-lock sensor.
Pull knuckle off the spindle using a puller and swing it forward
Remove the two bolts that hold the half axle bearing.
Remove the half axle. It should pull right out of transaxle.
Remove serpentine belt
Remove the cross-over exhaust pipe
You may want to remove the bracket that holds the half axle bearing. It makes access a little easier, although the tree bolts are a little hard to get to.
Remove the electrical connectors to the alternator.
The alternator is held in place with three bolts, two long horizontal bolts and a small bolt on the back of the alternator.
Remove small bolt at the back of the alternator.
Remove upper bolt. This is very difficult to get to. I did it by snaking a long set of extensions from the left wheel well all the way across the car to the upper alternator bolt. This actually worked pretty well. I first placed the 13 mm socket onto the bolt (you can just barely get to it with your fingers) and then connected the long string of extensions from the left wheel well and used the driver to loosen it and remove it. I used a set of wobble extensions you can get at Harbor Freight; they allow you to have a little flexibility with the extensions.
Remove lower alternator bolt (this one was easy!)
Pry the alternator out and remove from wheel well. Voila, its out! Have it checked out and hopefully that was the problem.
If the new alternator does not fit back into its bracket, you will have to remove the bracket (not too hard) and use a punch to open up the roll pins so that the alternator will fit back into the bracket.
Put things together in reverse order.
Make sure to use anti-seize compound on the exhaust nuts.
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