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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Help removing stubborn ford alternator!

1979 ford f-150. Small block v-8, original alternator. A friend asks me to help change it. I arrive, and he as already split 3 sockets (2 master mechanics, 1 craftman) and the head of the bolt going through the alternator and into the engine is stripped. I went home and got the welder. I first welded on a large nut, weld broke, I then welded on a short bolt, weld broke, then I welded on a larger bolt, (1/2 or 5/8), weld held, but the bolt twisted off. The entire alternator moves when I turn the bolt, so I think the bolt is seized in the aluminum housing. At this point I told him to forget about the core and cut the darn thing off with the sawzall. Any body got any better ideas? Oh yea, the bolt has been sprayed with liquid wrench every day for the last 8-10 days.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 06:58 AM
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Re: Help removing stubborn ford alternator!

Heat. Works every time. A steel bolt stuck into aluminum will cause corrosion of both the bolt and the aluminum. The corrosion is bigger than the metal it comes from, so the bolt is well jammed into the hole. If you can heat the aluminum, it will expand, the hole will expand, and the bolt will come out. If you heat the bolt where it goes into the aluminum, it will expand, in turn forcing minute expansion of the hole. After the bolt cools it will come out. You can also heat the whole area, then cool the bolt with ice. It might take several cylces of heating and cooling, but it will come out.

I have a very small acetylene torch tip that I use. It applies a lot of heat to a small area. Propane is a lot less effective, but will work also. Often with propane you have to use the "heat the area" method.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help removing stubborn ford alternator!

I forgot to mention that I tried the propane torch thing before we stripped the head. I don't have an acetylene torch. I thought that all the intense heat from welding would help to break it free, but no cigar. I do realize the problem is corrosion due to dissimilar metals, but I didn't expect it to be this bad. The expansion rate of aluminum is much higher than steel, so I thought I wouldn't need acetylene type heat.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2002, 03:12 PM
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Re: Help removing stubborn ford alternator!

Grind the head off or use a hacksaw or sawzall to cut the bolt between the alternator and head?
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Help removing stubborn ford alternator!

Yeah, it appears that we're going to go with the saw approach. We may lose the core, but it has to come off!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 05:55 AM
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Re: Help removing stubborn ford alternator!

Give it one more go with the propane first. The Aluminum is a good conductor, so turn the heat up and keep it on there until it's good and hot. Then hold ice cubes on the bolt and chill it. If possible, rap the bolt with a small hammer. If it still wont come out, you'll know that you gave it your best shot.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 07:00 AM
 
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Re: Help removing stubborn ford alternator!

if you ground off one head ( or both) coulndt you use a punch and knock it out?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Help removing stubborn ford alternator!

we will give it one more try before sacrificing the core. We have already removed the radiator for more room to work. ( broke a tranny cooler line; more work to do) We have tapped it with a hammer several times to no avail. Maybe the ice will work. Heating the aluminum is kind of a bear, because there are hoses and wires quite close. Thank god the fuel pump and lines are on the other side of the engine.
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