Hold on. If the head lights get brighter when you raise engine speed, the system would appear to be working. Based on the symptoms I would expect to find a sticking tensioner and a slipping belt although that will normally cause a squeal. That happened once to my '95 Grand Caravan.
There is one other thing to check but it will take a professional load tester. If that shows excessive ripple, there is a shorted diode in the alternator's output circuit. That is not real common on Chrysler alternators. One shorted diode will kill 2/3 of the maximum capacity so a 90 amp alternator will only be able to develop around 30 amps. It takes about 25 amps to run the head lights, running lights, ignition system, and fuel pump. That doesn't leave much to recharge the battery, and it won't even develop 25 amps at idle.
As for removing the alternator, let it drop down to the cross member, then pass it over the back side to the ground. If you tie a wire to it first, you can use that wire to pull the new one up. You'll still have to crawl underneath to pass it over the cross member.
To check if the new one is working, measure battery voltage while the engine is running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts.
Thursday, February 17th, 2011 AT 2:59 AM