How to Replace Alternator Bearings

A car doesn’t have an infinite lifespan. Usually, problems arise in your vehicle when you get weird smells and sounds coming from it. The lights of your car may dim or become weak even when you just replaced the battery on it. These signs may be traced to the alternator component of your car. When the alternator of your car starts to make weird noises when starting up, it’s the bearings’ fault. A noisy alternator tells that the bearings on it needs replacement.


Here is a step by step guide on how to change the bearings on an alternator:


  1. Prepare the proper tools you need. This includes the replacement bearings, screwdrivers, and wrenches. An impact gun is also a good tool when it comes to removing the pulley.
  2. Disconnect the battery. This is to avoid burning the car (and yourself) when replacing the bearings.
  3. Using a wrench, remove the nuts and bolts that locks the generator inside.
  4. Using an impact gun, remove the pulley that holds the generator. You can remove it without the impact gun, but it is much easier to do so with the tool.
  5. Remove the 4 rivets that attach the SRE and DE together. To remove them, use a 3/16” drill at a slight angle to drill the rolled lip off the 4 rivets. Tap them out the front of the front cover by using a small punch.
  6. Pry the housing up using a medium flathead screwdriver in the hole where the bolt was. Be careful when doing this. Make sure that the rotor doesn’t move when doing this so that you will not break the brush.
  7. Spread and remove the soft steel ring that locks the spacer and bearing in place. Using a generator bearing puller would make the task much easier.
  8. Remove the head screws in the bearing retainer. Knock the bearings out using a hammer and a drift punch.
  9. Replace the bearing with a SEALED bearing that never needs oil. Reuse the oil wick and the plate on each side of it. Those two will act as spacers along with the bearing spacer behind the ring.
  10. Tap the new bearing in place with a copper pipe or 2 blocks of wood. Don’t tap on the seal or outer race or else you’ll damage the bearings.
  11. Squeeze the lock ring using pliers until it’s squeezed tight to the shaft. If the shaft is loose, it may cause screeching on the metal where the shaft hits.
  12. Reassemble everything back in order. Make sure to not lose a single bolt, nut or screw when dismantling the generator.


Looking for bearings for your broken alternator? Check out Bearings Direct—they’ll surely have what you’re looking for!

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