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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Default Remove alternator without removing intake manifold?

    Had the "loose screw" issue on the alternator pulley on my wife's 2009 XC90 3.2 and dutifully replaced the overrun pulley, which involved removing the intake manifold, etc. Two weeks later and I had to check something else and noticed a nice red grease spray around the pulley area, and I think I know what happened. When I opened the new pulley box, I expected to see a new cap along with the pulley, but it didn't come with one, so I re-used the old one, which I warped slightly removing from the old pulley (it's a rubber-coated flex-steel cap). It seemed to fit snug, so I reinstalled everything and didn't think of it until I saw the spray.

    I'm assuming that the overrun pulley isn't 'sealed' and this is likely internal grease that is normally held in by the cap spinning though the cap seal. I assumed the cap was more to protect from dust and water - not to hold grease in! Regardless, the warped cap isn't sealing and I'll have to order a new one.

    My question: when I removed the alternator, I noticed that the bolts don't thread into the block all that far - maybe 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch. I can see the top two bolts and 'feel' the bottom two bolts - has anyone removed the alternator bolts and 'backed-off' the alternator without removing the intake manifold? There's likely enough room to slide it to the left enough that I can re-pack the overrun pulley and install a new cap, but I'm not sure if I have enough room to loosen the mounting bolts.

    If I have to remove the manifold again, then I might as well order a new overrun pulley and cap, but just trying to save another day under the hood.

    Last edited by amonti; 03-22-2022 at 07:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    Well, I contacted the manufacturer of the overrun pulley and received a great response (pasted below). Bottom line is that it's not "re-greaseable" and I should change the pulley and use a new cap. Volvo should include a new cap in the box - please order the cap (part #30750110) when ordering the pulley; most other suppliers do, and the cap would have been in the box had I purchased an OEM version of the part. The OEM version also includes installation instructions and an impact tool for removing/reinstalling the part in a "pinch", and regardless of where the pulley is purchased from, if it's part 920803, then it came off the same assembly line, with the only difference being what's laser engraved on the end ("FoMoCo" in the case of Volvo, and "Litens" for OEM). As a note, you need to push the cap on with your thumbs - do not use a mallet as the pulley can be damaged with force on the edge.

    Also, there is another Litens pulley on the crank mechanism that dampens the AC (it's closer to the bottom of the engine and on the other side of the belt from the alternator), which also has an expected service life roughly equivalent to the alternator pulley.

    As an experiment, I'm going to try the following this weekend (after disconnecting the battery):
    1. Loosen/remove the 7 bolts holding the intake manifold in-place (on the engine) and coolant return line
    2. Loosen/remove the two bolts at the bottom of the induction pipe (just below the throttle body)
    3. Loosen/remove the inlet pipe
    4. Remove the two electrical connections (harness and nut) on the alternator
    5. Back off all 4 alternator bolts
    6. Slide the alternator out from the left-hand side

    I'm hoping this avoids disconnecting and reconnecting the 6/7 connectors around the induction pipe, which are already brittle, and which took the most time to disconnect and reconnect when I replaced the pulley the first time. If you live in warmer climates, your connectors may be easy to remove and reinstall, but when they are regularly exposed to -30 and below, they tend to stiffen-up and break when handled after a decade. I'll post here and let everyone know how it went. Oh, and I accidentally said "T6" in my original post, but that was our previous XC90 - this one is a 3.2.

    OEM reply below:
    Thanks for your inquiry regarding the grease inside the OAD™ pulley. Our pulleys are not serviceable which means that you cannot just add or re-pack more grease into them should the cap be left off or not seal while running.

    My recommendations for you are as follows:
    1. Replace the pulley with a new one and ensure the new cap seals properly - OR
    2. Ensure the cap is installed and run the existing pulley with the lesser amount of grease in it. The longevity of the pulley will for sure be affected, however, you will be surprised with how long the pulley will last with less than the proper amount of grease. The pulley is designed to spill or leak a certain amount of grease out of the pulley and into the install feature pocket (area behind the cap where the threads of the alternator are).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    Well, I thought I'd just start the swap when my wife arrived home from work yesterday evening, but I was able to complete the entire swap in just over an hour! My goal was to remove as little as possible, and I ended up only having to remove the inlet pipe - nothing else. Here's the process:

    1. Disconnect the battery (negative terminal)
    2. Loosen the clamp connecting the induction pipe to the air filter box and pull the pipe off (tighten the clamp slightly if you don't want the clamp to fall off)
    3. From underneath, loosen the clamp connecting the inlet pipe to the throttle body and pull the pipe off the throttle body
    4. From the top, lift the induction pipe out (if the resonator box - the triangular piece of plastic connected to the inlet pipe - prevents you from lifting the pipe out, loosen the clamp connecting the resonator and disconnect, then lift both out of the engine bay.
    5. Remove the alternator nut (think it was 12mm) with a ratchet and long extension from the left-hand side
    6. Disconnect the "dashboard light" connector on the alternator; it's a 'barbed' connector in that you have to push down on the back of the connector while pushing in toward the alternator to clear the barb on the regulator housing, then pull back (removing these and moving the cables out of the way will help with subsequent steps - move them as required for all remaining steps)
    7. Using a 10mm socket, remove the top two alternator bolts - only the left one is can be completely removed - the right one will stay 'loose' until the alternator is free
    8. Using a 12-point offset box end wrench, remove the bottom two alternator bolts; the one on the right is easy and can be seen if you sight it from the right where the induction pipe used to be; loosen the bolt and remove it completely, then use your fingers to 'feel' the left-hand lower bolt and slowly back it off a few degrees per turn - once free remove the bolt
    9. The lower mounts have brass sleeves and if they're stuck, you may have to use a long-handled screwdriver to pry the alternator away from the engine - make sure you can feel the sleeves either on the alternator or on the engine as you're going to have to use these to line-up the alternator when re-mounting it
    10. Once the alternator is free from the engine, pull the alternator to the left and remove the belt connecting the alternator to the accessory pulley, then remove the last bolt (upper-right)
    11. Slowly rotate the alternator towards you so the mounting face is towards you, and then counter-clockwise so the regulator is facing down and the pulley is facing up; at this point, it's a good idea to work a towel or other soft surface underneath the regulator to protect it - just lift the alternator up by the pulley in-between the intake manifold holes and feed the towel underneath, then set the alternator down
    12. Remove the alternator pulley cap by cutting away at a small amount of rubber from the edge, then inserting a sharp knife or screwdriver into the gap and prying up; this takes some patience, and I eventually used a knife to lift and create a gap, then inserted a small screwdriver and lifted up
    13. With the cap removed, insert your alternator removal tool with a box-end wrench around the outside nut, and a 1/2" extension and breaker bar in the centre
    14. Turn the breaker bar counter-clockwise while holding the wrench and break the pulley free; remove the tool and unscrew the pulley by hand (remember, it's reverse-threaded)
    15. If you're changing the pulley because the accessory pulley nut became loose, now would be a good time to tighten/replace the nut; it's supposed to take 63 Nm of torque, but I could only put 50 on it before the entire accessory belt started turning - under normal operation, it's self-tightening (as is the alternator clutch pulley), so exact torque isn't critical here, and there's no point in thread locking the bolt either - it really won't loosen if the alternator clutch pulley is working properly
    16. Install the new pulley by reverse threading it onto the alternator shaft, then insert the tool again and torque clockwise to 80 Nm (again, it's self-tightening, so exact torque isn't critical)
    17. Install the cap onto the pulley with your thumbs only, making sure all edges seal and are flush with the outer pulley ring
    18. If the lower alternator mount bushings fell out at any point, re-insert the bushings into the engine-side mounts by lightly tapping them into place with a small mallet
    19. Lift the alternator, remove the towel, rotate the alternator into rough position, pre-install the upper-right bolt, then put the belt back in place over the two pulleys
    20. Manoeuvre the alternator into place so the lower sleeves are in-place - then hand-tighten the upper-right bolt so the weight of the alternator is supported, then double-check the fit to ensure the bushings are lined-up - don't worry if there's a small gap as tightening the lower bolts will close any gap
    21. Reinstall the three remaining bolts and use your fingers to tighten all 4 as much as you can - you may have to lift and/or jiggle the alternator to help turn the bolts
    22. Using a 10mm socket, tighten the upper bolts - if you have a slim torque wrench, tighten the bolts to 25 Nm, otherwise do not over tighten or use any thread locker/anti-seize
    23. Using the 10mm box-end wrench, tighten the lower bolts (again, do not over-tighten - 25 Nm isn't a great deal of torque) - there's no hope of using a torque wrench on the lower bolts
    24. Re-connect the "dashboard light" connector and reinstall the alternator cable with a long socket (maybe clean the eyelet with a bit of 800+ sandpaper first, if it's dirty) - the torque on the nut is 15 Nm - be careful to not crack the regulator housing as that's basically they entire cost of the alternator
    25. Re-connect the inlet pipe, noting that you may have to re-connect the resonator while the pipe is 1/2 way in (if you had to remove the resonator to remove the inlet pipe), then tighten the upper and lower clamps
    26. Re-connect the battery and test

    It looks like many steps, but I've covered off all the details, so the actual in-car time is quick; this technique saves you from removing the lower skirt, lower induction pipe bolts, all 8 connectors, and 7 bolts from the intake manifold. Reduces risk of: cracked connector housings, dropping things into the combustion chamber, and so on. I've tackled this repair both ways and while this method does have a couple of tricky parts - mainly around moving the alternator around, it's way faster, cleaner, and easier than removing the entire intake manifold. I know someone else who changed the regulator in-place, and as long as your armatures aren't shorted, you should be able to repair your alternator quickly and fairly easily.

    I'd upload photos, but the upload manager keeps rejecting all of my photos regardless of size or other attributes. If anyone know why this is, please let me know.

    Hope this helps! Noticed that this forum is much quieter than it used to be (could it be the insane number of ads?) - not sure, but if there's no interest here, I'll cross-post elsewhere and maybe post a video. Many years ago, this place used to be hopping, but I understand that stuff happens...good luck and please post any questions.
    Last edited by amonti; 07-22-2022 at 03:12 PM.

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