Appliance oil on the centre bar To admit the alternator to slide easily into position.
If the battery charging light comes on in your Thunderbird, it may indicate a problem with your alternator. Most auto parts stores can perform a free check to determine whether your alternator is working properly. Sometimes this test may not indicate that anything is wrong even when there is a problem, however. The alternator typically does not fail all at once, and it may be several months before a faulty alternator stops working completely. Replacing the alternator can be a challenge, and it is accomplished more easily with the help of an assistant.
1. Disconnect the negative battery cable by loosening the battery terminal and, if necessary, gently prying the terminal apart with a flathead screwdriver. Pull the negative cable off the battery, wrap it in a dry rag and place it out of the way.
Avoid damage by pulling the wires straight off the terminal. Pull the cover away from the wiring and remove the nut. Place the nut into a cup for safekeeping. Repeat this process, if necessary, for an additional wiring connection that appears on some vehicle models.2. Remove the wire harness on the alternator by inserting a flathead screwdriver into the connection and pressing on the clip while pulling on the electrical receptacle. Recruit an assistant to pull on the electrical receptacle while you press the clip.
3. Feel underneath the alternator to find the pivot bolt on the bottom side of the alternator. Loosen the bolt with a wrench. Locate the adjustment arm bolt on top of the alternator, and remove it. Put the bolt in the cup. Disengage the belt by sliding it around the alternator pulley. Remove the alternator pivot bolt on the underside of the alternator by wiggling the bolt back and forth while wiggling the alternator. Coax the bolt out, and put it the cup. Pull the alternator off the pivot bolt bar. You may need to remove any hoses or shields in the way, depending on the Thunderbird model.
4. Spray the bottom side of the alternator pivot bolt bar and the bar inside the engine with Liquid Wrench, WD-40 or another lubricant. Insert the new alternator into position and onto the pivot bar. Use a mirror and a flashlight to line up the alternator onto the pivot bar, if necessary. Insert the pivot bar bolt into the hole and simultaneously jiggle the alternator until the bolt goes into the hole. Insert the adjuster arm bolt loosely into position. Pull the alternator belt around the pulley.
5. Insert a long bar beside the alternator to apply pressure on the belt. Recruit an assistant to pull the bar tight while you tighten the alternator adjuster arm bolt and the pivot bolt. Flip the belt sideways with your hand; ideally the belt should turn halfway. Tighten the adjustment arm bolt to 31 to 44 pound-feet and the pivot bolt to 40 to 55 pound-feet on 3.8L engines. Tighten the adjustment arm bolt to 15 to 22 pound-feet and the pivot bolt to 30 to 40 pound-feet on 3.8L SC and 5.0L engines.
6. Connect the alternator wire harness by pressing it firmly into the connection until you hear a snap. Insert the wire over the post and tighten the nut with a wrench. Attach any hoses or shields that were removed. Connect the negative battery cable. Tighten it until the terminal doesn't move in either direction.