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Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19 Dec 2013, 04:13 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 30
Default Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

ALL,

The auto mechanic just called and said my PT Cruiser has a bad Alternator and a leaking radiator.

450$ to change out the alternator and $391 to repair/replace the leaking radiator

I have many hand tools and some mechanical skills. How hard would it be for me to change out the alternator and radiator? A Do It Myself job.

We just paid to have new tires, Throttle body cleaned, new Oxygen sensor because the eng light came on.. total price for those things 800$

This comes and a bad time during christmas ... so any advice would be great.

Thanks for your time,
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 19 Dec 2013, 04:29 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: darien il
Posts: 4,592
Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

the radiator is no biggie to change. here's my experience about doing it.

anybody try the $54 radiator

total cost was $62 shipped, + coolant. arrived next day via fedex. took me 1 hour 40 minutes start to finish.

i bought the $54 radiator at rock auto. they have a 5% dicount code you can use here

------

cheapest i can find an alternator is $96.99 from advance by ordering online and using discount code DOW51. (you can pick it up or have it shipped)

-if you add the generic $10 belt to the order, it gives you a larger discount, so you get the alternator and belt for $97.18. (19 more for a belt)

-if you get the alternator and the dayco USA made belt, it's 104.38. this is what im getting. i like stuff made in USA

i was pricing alternators YESTERDAY. good time to ask (:



i heard a rumor you can disconnect the upper and lower torque struts in order to rotate the engine enough to make the alternator fit out.
other option is to remove the axle. you can remove the large axle nut and the 2 bolts that connect the strut to the knuckle. the tip of the axle just barely fits out of the knuckle. people say it doesn't fit out, but i've done it multiple times fairly easily.

my advice, keep the money. $170 is way better than $840. you'll save $670 -go get greasy. oh, you'll want a ratchet wrench to adjust the alternator belt tensioner. a ratchet wont fit and a wrench takes too long.
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Last edited by rob342; 19 Dec 2013 at 06:11 pm.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 19 Dec 2013, 04:35 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,743
Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

Howard,

Depending on the tires you bought, you way overpaid that mechanic of yours to do the things he did. If you go to our HOW TO section in the Tech part of the forum you can find almost all the instructions you need to do almost everything. If not, just Google it like: "How do I change the radiator on a pt cruiser" and your find instructions and video's on just about everything. Look it over and see if you want to tackle it yourself.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 19 Dec 2013, 06:25 pm
Busted_PT's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Beckley, W.V.
Posts: 13,882
Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

Yep, what these guys said.
__________________

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__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________Performance, Body and Service, OEM

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This is a great read from one of our own! Badglas
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 21 Dec 2013, 12:30 am
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

Thanks for the help... I believe i will change out the radiator and alternator myself..

What is a good Brand for each part?

Thanks!!
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Old 24 Dec 2013, 04:50 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 30
Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob342 View Post
the radiator is no biggie to change. here's my experience about doing it.

anybody try the $54 radiator

total cost was $62 shipped, + coolant. arrived next day via fedex. took me 1 hour 40 minutes start to finish.

i bought the $54 radiator at rock auto. they have a 5% dicount code you can use here

------

cheapest i can find an alternator is $96.99 from advance by ordering online and using discount code DOW51. (you can pick it up or have it shipped)

-if you add the generic $10 belt to the order, it gives you a larger discount, so you get the alternator and belt for $97.18. (19 more for a belt)

-if you get the alternator and the dayco USA made belt, it's 104.38. this is what im getting. i like stuff made in USA

i was pricing alternators YESTERDAY. good time to ask (:



i heard a rumor you can disconnect the upper and lower torque struts in order to rotate the engine enough to make the alternator fit out.
other option is to remove the axle. you can remove the large axle nut and the 2 bolts that connect the strut to the knuckle. the tip of the axle just barely fits out of the knuckle. people say it doesn't fit out, but i've done it multiple times fairly easily.

my advice, keep the money. $170 is way better than $840. you'll save $670 -go get greasy. oh, you'll want a ratchet wrench to adjust the alternator belt tensioner. a ratchet wont fit and a wrench takes too long.

I stuck. How do I remove the axle. Any pictures or videos? I can't get this !!??@@$&! Alternator out until I remove the axle:

Thanks for your help
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 24 Dec 2013, 05:53 pm
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 30
Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed :bang-wall:


Ok,,, I am stuck. i have the alternator loose. all bolts removed and the bottom alternator bracket removed however unable to remove alternator.

looks like i will need to remove the axle. What is the best way to remove the axle?

Also, when removing the axle is there anything i need to pay special attention to... such as need to mark specific axle location when removing or so on or so on. Or just unbolt and remove then reinstall?

any pictures or video links would be helpful.

thanks for your help and Merry Christmas!!

your most needy pt forum member.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 24 Dec 2013, 08:50 pm
UptownSport's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: 55403
Posts: 3,912
Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

Axle is pretty straightforward.

We had a guy break one at dragstrip (Neon, same axle) and change in 8 MINUTES!!!!

I can't do that- so figure 45 minutes with all the monkeying around and gathering tools.

The trans will leak out lube, so be prepared!

Thanks for the good wishes!
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Old 05 Jan 2014, 01:06 am
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 30
Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

UPDATE....

I am 95% complete on the alternator and radiator replacement... so far what the mechanic said that needed to be replaced... DIDN'T FREAKING NEED TO BE REPLACED.... 4#$#@@!!,

Took the alternator off and had two parts stores test it.. both stores said it tested good. bummer.

also removed the radiator and it looks good. The mechanic said it was cracked. I am starting to believe he is on crack.

Dont understand why this auto shop got this wrong ... they have a great rep here in town.

should have the PT back together this Sunday and to a diff mechanic to troubleshoot the PT. Hopefully I can get a good diagnosis this time.

Sorry for the delay... holidays prevented progress

Thanks for the help... you made i big difference!!!
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05 Jan 2014, 01:30 am
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 81
Default Re: Alternator - 2003 Limited 5speed

Exactly what I have told many folks, a good mechanic is like a good doctor. They are it in not for the money but for the love of the job, just like anyone else. If you can get a pressure tester loaner from the local parts store you can pressure test the cooling system yourself.

What the mechanic said about the rad leaking, did he say he did a pressure test of just saw fluid under the rad? Also have you noticed any fluid where you park the PT and noticed a fluid level drop? It is a closed system and there is a small amount of evaporation due to temperature they run at.
Hopes this helps you out I have 3 myself that I maintain for friends and family.

Les
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