Alternators, more than many other auto parts, have a limited operating life, therefore they must be periodically replaced in order for the vehicle to keep running properly. The process, luckily, is quite easily completed on a 4.0L Jeep Cherokee. The engine compartment is engineered so that there is easy access to the alternator mounting assembly. All that is required for removal are a few basic tools and 15 to 30 minutes of spare time.
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Things you need
- 12-mm socket
- 14-mm socket
- Socket wrench
- Replacement alternator (custom for your car's model and year)
Park the Jeep on a flat, easily accessible surface and open the bonnet.
Remove the negative (black) battery connection from the vehicle's battery using a 12-mm socket. Removing the mounting bolt will allow the connection to simply slide off. This will stop the current between the battery and the alternator, allowing you to work safely.
Locate the alternator at the front of the engine compartment. The alternator is a vented, cylindrical part connected to the drive belt. Remove the bolt that secures the electrical connection to the alternator, using a 12-mm socket wrench. Slide the connector away from the alternator.
Locate the swing pulley at the bottom of the drive belt assembly (the pulley closest to the ground). Remove its mounting bolt, using a 14-mm socket wrench, then slide the pulley off its shaft. This will loosen the drive belt.
Remove the four mounting bolts from around the edge of the alternator, using a 12-mm socket. Slide the alternator out of the engine housing.
Slide the new alternator in place and secure it using the bolts that you just removed in the previous step.
Readjust the drive belt, sliding it over the new alternator's turn shaft. Make sure to centre the grooves perfectly, as doing so incorrectly can damage the belt when you try to start the vehicle.
Replace the swing pulley at the bottom of the drive belt assembly and resecure it with its 14-mm mounting bolt.
Slide the electrical connector onto the new alternator and secure it with the bolt you previously removed. Replace the negative connection on the Cherokee's battery post; secure it with its 12-mm bolt.
Tips and warnings
- If you return your old alternator when purchasing a replacement, you won't be charged a core fee. Alternator manufacturers take in used parts and refurbish them.
- Always treat electrical components as if they were live. Shock hazard is always a risk when working within an engine compartment.
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