i replaced mine twice, you can bring it out through the top end of the car but get it has a bolt from underneath the car, you need to take off the intake (plastic part) as well as the brake cylinder, as it is a tight fit, however it only comes up out of the engine and cannot be removed from the bottom, don't forget to disconnect battery before working on the car.
Actually this is not completely true. It is very possible to remove the alternator from the bottom of a 1998 Honda Civic. In order to replace the alternator you must remove the plastic air hose and air filter box (make sure to stuff the throttle body assembly with a clean rag). Next remove those brackets that are in your way holding the electrical connections near the alternator so that you can get your hands in there. After this is done you are ready to start removing the alternator first remove the top two bolts holding the alternator and the adjusting mount, and remove the negative connection to the alternator. Then jack the car up and remove the driver side tire (this will give you access to the lower mounting bolt). Next get under the car (after securely raising your Honda) and remove the small screw from behind the alternator. Then remove the lower alternator bolt, alternator with a long screw driver (to pry it out) and move the belt. Then remove the alternator mount (there are 2 bolts there). This is the tricky part turn the wheel all the way to the driver side. Then get the plastic molding covering the drive belts out of the way and start lowering the alternator so that you can make it side in to the opening the turn it until you get it out.**** To install do the reverse but make sure (*****) to push or pull (how ever it will work for you) the spacer on the mount, so that the inside of the mount where the alternator will go is flush (?? this is key).
More than one way to skin a cat
1) I took of the neg connect on the battery.
2) Put the car on jack stands and removed the drivers side tire
3) Removed the five or six 10mm bolts that hold the plastic air duct in place.
4) Pulled the air duct or whatever you want to call it out. Make sure to put this back in, the car will be noisy and may not cool as well without this part.
5) Removed the wires from the alternator.
6) Took out the two bolts holding the alternator in
7) Removed the two bolts holding the mount bracket in.
8) The Alternator was loose but could not be removed.
The wheel and the drive shaft were not a problem for me but the alternator would not fit between the engine and the frame.
9) I put my floor jack (with some wood) under a solid lift point on the engine and jacked the engine up about ½ of an inch. This made enough room to remove the alternator.
Slipped the new one in and did the above steps in reverse. This car has about 210,000 miles. Not bad for an alternator, not bad at all.
The cost: Two pieces of pizza, four bud lights, one broken finger nail and about 60 minutes. Oh and $130 for the new alternator.
THIS IS HOW I DID IT
This is a general overview of how I replaced the alternator in my 1997 civic LX. Disconnect the negative terminal from the battery. Jack the car up, position your jack stands, remove the driver's side tire. Remove the two bolts from the top of the alternator (12mm & 14mm). Unplug the green connector from the back of the alternator. Remove the terminal wire (the one protected by a black rubber boot) which is held on by a nut.
From the bottom, remove the small bracket (used to keep wiring in place) connected to the alternator by a screw or small bolt. Remove the long slide bolt from the alternator (14mm I believe). The alternator should now be free, from the bottom, push it out of its bracket and position it out of the way. You'll now need to remove that bracket that held the alternator in place (14mm I believe).
Remove the car's oil filter. You'll now be able to slide the alternator out from the bottom. It's a tight fit but it should come out. Before installing the bracket back in the car, make sure the new alternator fits inside of it. The new alternator may not fit and you'll have to adjust the spacers. I used a hammer to do this.
Repeat the process to install the new alternator. To tighten the belt, you'll be using the top 12mm bolt. Using a long tool or crow bar, you can push the alternator towards the fire wall, once you have the correct tightness of the belt, fully tighten the top 12mm bolt. Before starting the car, replace the oil filter and add oil if needed!
Word of caution, I tried two different "remanufactured" alternators from the big car parts store down the street. Both were bad, do yourself a favor, and don't get a remanufactured alternator! Spend the extra money and get a new one, I got mine from KOI/Savage. Best of luck!
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