1993 Dodge Caravan LE 3.3L Alternator replacement

Tiny
THARRIS9175
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 330 MILES
I am trying to save myself a few bucks and change the alternator myself. I need some guidance in finding the drive belt tensioner. Any and all advice in helping me complete this task is greatly appreciated, THANK YOU! I'm starting to get a little frustrated as well as a lot dirty!
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Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 AT 11:32 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
THARRIS9175
  • MEMBER
Is this the correct diagram? The website I found states it is for a 1992 New Yorker with the 3.3L engine but I thought it may be the same.
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Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 AT 12:00 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What's wrong with it? I normally just swivel them back to remove the rear cover, then it's fairly easy to replace the brush assembly. That's the most common failure.

The spring-loaded tensioner is shown in your photo. Use a 15 mm box wrench to pull it forward and down. If it doesn't move easily, it is rusted tight and should be replaced.

Caradiodoc
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Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 AT 11:08 PM
Tiny
THARRIS9175
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The van will run but only when the battery has enough charge, all the electrical components will work as well until the battery is drained. The components such as the blower had always worked but, when the engine was at idle the headlights would dim and the blower would slow until the engine was running at a higher rpm. I was able to get the alternator off with little trouble until it came time to remove it from the engine compartment, I called my local dodge dealership and the mechanic I spoke to advised me to bend the bracket. I only hope I am able to bend it back.
Thank you for the reply it is greatly appreciated.
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Thursday, February 17th, 2011 AT 1:48 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
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.

Caradiodoc
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Thursday, February 17th, 2011 AT 2:59 AM

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