5.0 Serpentine System with a 3G 130 Amp Alternator

The next big piece off the pile in the garage is the alternator and bracket. It had the original 2G alternator on it when I got it, and I took it off as an assembly. The assembly included the bracket, the alternator and the tensioner. All of it looked sufficiently 30 years old, and original.

Being as it wasn’t on the engine, it was a little awkward to take apart. I managed to get the alternator off while wedging the bracket against the ground. The tensioner wouldn’t budge. Ultimately, I had to mount the bracket on the engine to hold it tight enough to lean on the tensioner bolt and remove it.

As I was looking at how I could rebuild the tensioner, I found some information on it being a serviceable part that I could replace and avoid having future issues with the old one. I ordered one from LMR.com that looks just like the original.

Once the tensioner came off, the bracket was ready for blasting to clean it up. I probably could have cleaned it with a solvent just as well, but I no longer have a parts washer, but I do have a blast cabinet.

Cleaned up and sprayed with a coat of clear to help keep it that way for a while.

I found the original bolts in the ever shrinking bin of engine disassembly hardware. I didn’t blast them since they were in good shape and had a black phospho covering already. I just used my thread chasers to clean the threads then mounted the bracket.

This is about the time I realized I needed to do something with the oil dipstick tube. The bracket gets in the way if the tube is in the front on the timing chain cover. I had to do some creative bending to get it to face a little further out and wedge just in the right spot between the bracket and the head. Not perfect, but functional and not visible.

The next issue to solve was the 3G alternator I have is a 130 amp, which is the larger of the body sizes. I have this left over from the coupe since I didn’t realize there were 2 sizes and I figured 130 would be better than 95, so went with it, then bought the right one. It turns out I have a similar issue here, but its solvable to make it work in this case.

With this bracket, the alternator is locked in place. Unlike the original style where the alternator swings to tighten the belt. The issue is that the alternator doesn’t quite clear the bracket to get locked in. It touches in 2 places. One is on the body right where the short bolt attaches, but only barely. The second is bigger, on the back where the screw protrusion is on the alternator. It makes contact with the frame on one of the ribs, but only by a little bit. I really want to use this alternator, so I made the adjustments to the bracket to make it work. I shaved both spots enough to get it installed and locked in.

Before I started, I covered the rest of the engine with the engine bag. I then used the die grinder to shave the upper nub a little bit, then remove a chunk of the rib in the back. I kept the alternator on the long stud so I could swing it in and check as I went.

The alternator can actually swing just past the retaining bolt now, as seen in the above picture. I pivoted it back to line up the bolt hole, and locked it down.

The next piece was to get the pulley off the old and the new alternators. I needed to clean up the old one before I reused it, and I needed to take the V-belt version off the new alternator, then install the serpentine pulley.

This was an issue for me since my old pneumatic roto hammer was too weak to break either one free. I had to order a new one, so I went with a nice Dewalt cordless because overkill and power tools are my thing. A few minutes after it arrived, the pulleys were off. I blasted and painted the serpentine pulley and used the new Dewalt to install it. I didn’t have room for the old fan with the new alternator, so it will have to do. Looking up the PA Performance 130 Amp 3G for a serpentine setup, there is no fan, so I think I will be fine.

The last piece was the new tensioner. That was a simple bolt on and back in business, like new. The only noticable difference was the pully. The new one had no lip, but the original did. The diameter of the belt surface appears the same though.

Another step closer. I need to dig through the parts bins for the air conditioning compressor brackets next. I may also need to get a power steering delete kit before I can put the belt on. But I can envision it. The AC spend is going to delay installing the belt though. That’s going to be a big project as well. I need to wrap up a few more before I make that purchase.

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