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So I need a new alternator. I've never done this job before, but I've fumbled my way through a lot of other repairs - 02 sensor, fuel filter, water pump, air filter. Stuff like that.

The question is: do this myself or get a mechanic? My guy wants $350 for the job. That seems pretty reasonable, if more than I want to spend. Can anyone tell me how hard it is to replace an alternator?

It's a 1986 740 GLE (non-turbo).
 

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changing the alternator is one of the easiest jobs to do! you can pull this one off on the side of the road with nothing more than a cresent wrench.

this job is very easy. the alternator has on bolt holding it to the frame, and another bolt holding it to the adjusment arm.

the first thing you need to do is disconnect all wires, making sure they don't touch the body of the vehicle (ZAP!!) then simply remove both bolts, then remove the belt from the pulley. it is sometimes easier to remove the belt from the pully, then remove the bolts. either way doesn't matter. once the old one is off, pop in the new one, but the two bolts back on, and attach the wires, and you're good to go. make sure the new one is adjusted (using the adjusting bracket) so the belt is nice and tight
 

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I agree that replacement is easy [but backbreaking if car not up on a hoist]

but the issue is replace with what - are you simply going to buy a new one or do the normal thing of an exchange one

generally any auto electrician has a stock of altern and starter motors [and even fuel pumps] and will swap yours for a reconditioned one while you sit in waiting room having a cup of coffee and it will be heaps cheaper than a new one

thats how it is done in Oz anyway, where even a volvo agent would simply steer you to closest auto elec
 
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