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to start unhook battery and get the drive belt off tension pulley

then get the car in the air either by lift or as high as you can on jack stands

then remove both front wheels,on passenger side remove plastic cover surrounding wheel well,

once removed you can see the bottom bolt on the alternator and can reach it with a 1/2 inch drive rachet and 13mm socket

from under the car between the rack and pinion and the firewall

now you need to remove the y-pipe and this will let you not only see the top bolt from under the car ,and the drivers wheel well

to do this unbolt manifolds and where y pipe connects to the cat you will need to carefully use vise grips and pull the pins out of the studs to remove them

attach vise grips to pin and slowly rotate pin back and forth to get it loose and work the pin out twisting back and forth


but also can see top bolt from driver side wheel well

which is where you have to access it from ,

using a 13mm and a 1/2 inch drive extension 36 inches long or longer ,weave it through from the driver side wheel well and get top bolt out

then pry alternator from cradle ,this may take some effort

turn it to access wires,and the plugs remove wire and plugs

pop passenger side tie rod end and carefully finish removeing the alternator from the car,once again this may take some effort

the install is in reverse



take your time

on the y PIPE


1. Put the front of the car on jackstands and dis-connect the negative battery cable.

2. Remove passenger side wheel and lower splash guards. Using low profile 3/8" socket wrench or breaker bar, remove the serpentine belt from the alternator pulley.

3. Dis-connect the passenger side tie rod from the knuckle.

4. remove the driver side wheel.

5. Get 3 or 4 feet of extensions for your 3/8 socket wrench and feed them through the driver side wheel well to the upper bolt of the alternator. Yo may need to secure the socket & extensions on the bolt from up top then get back down to the driver wheel well, but it's worth the few seconds. Remove the upper bolt.

6. From below the car, loosen the lower bolt, but do not remove.

7. There is a small bracket on the alternator between mounting bolts. Remove the 10mm bolt that secures the bracket to the block.

8. From above, pry the upper tab from the mounting bracket.

9. Below the car, hold the alternator while removing the lower bolt.

10. Dis-connect the electrical to the Alternator.

11. Maneuver the alternator out through the passenger side wheel well. Takes a little thinking, but it'll come out.

12. Transfer the small bracket to the new alternator.

13. Feed the alternator in through the passenger side and make electrical connections.

14. Secure the lower alternator tab and hand tighten the lower bolt.

15. Pivot the alternator up. The upper tab may not easily fit into place. Tighten the 10mm bolt in the center bracket to the block. This will press the upper tab into place.

16. Install the upper bolt and hand tighten. Fully tighten the lower bolt now.

17. Use extensions from the driver wheel well to tighten the upper bolt.

Remainder of this project is simple re-assembly. An experienced shade tree mechanic can do this alternator R&R in under an hour after his tools are set out.

I looked at mine once (1995 model) while doing something else. If the answer provided is true, you're lucky because I'd swear you'd have to drop the engine sub frame on my car. Even after removing the right side wheel-well plastic liner and belt shroud that covers the AC/serpentine belt, I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that you'd never get it out past the exhaust, steering rack and sub frame. Not to mention that the alternator pivot bolt head faces the inside of the engine compartment. Methinks the answer you got refers to a 4 cylinder model.

I've also read somewhere that the 95 V6 version requires removing the passenger driver axle....FYI

Just had the alternator replaced on my 1998 Contour, six cylinder. The belt was replaced, also the idler pulley do to worn bearings. The passenger side axel had to be replaced, the threads where damaged in the removal process. I saw a connection rod was also taken loose. All this just to get to the alternator. "It's just a better idea" Total cost was very near 500.00. I have found that most any repair on the contour has been expensive. Parts seem to be a bit scarse.


perhaps a better method is to simply cut the front right hand side of the car off, change the alternator and weld it back in place. This would surely be less time consuming and cause less aggrivation.

well my wife's car is a 98 Cotour v6 2.5L DOHC and yes it is easier to remover the passenger side CV Axel not the Drive Axel. but the alternator will still come out with out doing so it just help the instillation process go smother and in my eyes its just a hassle to remove/take apart more then is needed to get the job done.

2000 v6 contour - Technically very easy but physically demanding.

The first answer and the steps shown are very concise and totally correct for the V6 contour. - The whole job is very fiddly, especially if you are laying on your back with the car on stands.

Steps 1 through 3 are required before you get to the alternator.

After removal of the serpentine belt - I would suggest replacing your idler pulley and tensioner pulley if over 100K miles. ($10-$15 each and an extra 30mins)

You can remove the alternator without moving to the drivers side of the vehicle.

Use 3/8 sockets and extensions (no knuckle joint) to get you to the drivers side of the exhaust downpipe. Then undo the upper bolt first, do not remove bolt fully. Now undo the lower bolt which is more difficult and needs a similar path(drivers side of the downpipe) but different route to reach the bolt. Remove the bolt fully. 13mm.

Note - Both bolts will be very tight !!

Next remove the UPPER bracket bolt on the small rear bracket completely. 10mm Use 3/8" drive and a knuckle joint right after the socket, route it downwards on the passenger side of exhaust downpipe.

Now you can try to remove the wiring - for me it was too tight at this stage.

Remove the upper bolt completely. Stay under the car - Prise/wiggle the alternator off the upper saddle mount. Be careful do not stretch the wiring, it was very tight on my car. Whilst still laying under the car, maneuver the alternator for better access to the wiring, remove the thick wire, using a wrench. 8mm. Next push in the plug retainer wire toward the alternator body and pull off the 3 wire electrical plug. Lastly prise off the charge light plug, be very careful not to break this plug or its retainer finger.

Now go take a short break and clean up !!

Remove the pass wheel.

Remove the pass. tie rod from the spindle housing M14 and then use a tie rod breaker, do not damage the rubber dust shield or thread. Remove pass. roll bar link from the strut, use a 17mm wrench on the back, M15 nut front, I used a pneumatic hammer driver, as this was very tight and corroded.

Remove the small wheel well plastic cover 2 bolts 10mm.

Now wiggle and pull out the alternator through the hole, rotate as necessary.

Hey presto you are half way done........ (If you have ECL trouble codes for Oxygen sensors, now is a good time to change both bank 2 sensors ($36-$40 each) use m22 wrench - easy without alternator there - its no problem !)

Remove the rear bracket make a note of the orientation and transfer to the new alternator do not tighten the bolt fully, allow bracket to move under light force. Now reassemble the new alternator.

You will need lots of 3/8 extensions to get to the exact length to work. ie the difference between a deep reach socket and std socket can be the difference between success and failure trying to get onto the bolt head.

Took me 7hrs total but I did change both o2 sensors and pulleys - I would consider paying for the alternator job next time. I could not have done this in less than 2.5hrs even the 2nd time around. Book time is probably around 1 to 2 hours. You will need patience and determination.CH

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โˆ™ 2015-07-15 20:44:06
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Q: How do you replace the alternator on a 1998 Ford Contour V6?
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