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A really dumb question reguarding alternator
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My Dad has an 88 regal 32' Chevy 454 on chevy chasis. I am completely new to the world of RVs, but have worked on a car or two in my time. He recently called the mobile rv mechanic out to diagnose an electrical problem. He switched some wires a previous mechanic screwed up, and presto fixed.

During this time the mechanic informed him the alternator is bad. With the mechanics rate of 75$ an hour, I figured I would save pops a few bucks and change it myself...How hard could it be? It's just a 454....

This is where I get lost. From the top engine compartment, I can easily see and access the alternator. Removing it looks like I will need to move some heater hose out of the way, and possibly a bracket or two. From the front all I see is radiator.

This is my question..While I can see the alternator, and possibly remove it from top, ther is no way I could access serpentine belt from this location if it were to slip off any other pulleys. What is the best way to tackle this job? Pull radiator, tranny cooler, ect? Or go from the top?....Told ya its was a dumb question.

I will post some pics of it when I get a chance, and there is a possibility it may be up for sale, as grandma is scared to ride in it while grandpa's
Posts: 1 | Location: California | Member Since: 11-10-2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think possible the best way may be from the passenger side wheel well. Remove the wheel.


1984 28' Regal P30
Posts: 159 | Location: Mississippi | Member Since: 09-13-2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Captain Doom
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First, serpentine belts are easy to remove and reinstall. Once the tension is off, removal of the alternator sometimes is easier if the bolts are removed and the alternator lowered to the ground - obviously it depends on the accessory arrangement (on my '89 SOB on an '88 chassis, there were FIVE different configurations of accessories!)

Photos may help us make suggestions.


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'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

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Posts: 8406 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As Rusty says, photos would help.

My 84 has the alternator on the upper right side, and I do it completely from above. It as all V belts.

My 95 pickup has a single serpentine belt driving everything, and I use a Crescent wrench to loosen the tensioner and slip the belt off.

A neighbor has a 95 P30 with a serpentine driving the alternator, but a vee driving the air conditioning compressor and maybe the power steering.

It is always a good idea to take digital pictures or draw diagram of things like belt placement. Mistakes are easy to make. I find that I make fewer mistakes since I bought my first digital camera. It is a cheap piece of junk, but it is my shop camera for stuff like this.

Some P30s have a little guard to prevent the belt from hurting the lower radiator hose. It is very easy to get the belt on the wrong side of the guard, so be on the alert.

Disconnect the chassis battery first.


84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
Posts: 7397 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ah yes, this brings back memories of a temporary halt to my travels somewhere in Missouri last summer....

It is easy, just let the engine cool first. Steer the wheels hard to the passenger side, and you will have ample room to squeeze in from the wheel well area. I'm 6'3" and fit in under there. I recall getting to one bolt from the top, through the area where the top cover was removed. Move the air cleaner aside. You will also access the wiring from here. [be sure to disconnect your battery first - there is no substitute for safety] From underneath, you'll access another bolt holding the alternator in place. The alternator also serves to adjust the tension in the serpentine belt.

Do you have a carburetor or FI? The FI rig might have a higher output alternator.

Get a large piece of cardboard to cushion you under the rig, and to enable you to "slide" a bit easier.

You'll get the alternator out easily in under 30 minutes.

What symptoms did the bad alternator have? Can the grounding issues be ignored? Also, you will have an isolator in the circuit, to provide power from the alternator to the two sets of batteries. That might be something to also be concerned with.

BTW - There are no dumb questions when it comes to Barth maintenance.

Good luck!

1987 Barth 27' P32 Chassis
Former State Police Command Post
Chevrolet 454
Gibson Exhaust
Posts: 321 | Location: Massachusetts | Member Since: 07-28-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Forums    Tech Talk    A really dumb question reguarding alternator

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