2006 Mazda Tribute/Ford Escape 3.0 Alternator removal

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3,459
Location
NC
Neighbor across the street alternator is not charging. Asked me to take a look at it. OMG what in the heck were the engineers smoking when they placed the alternator on the bottom back side of the engine. This job is going to be a super PITA. This alternator has two shrouds on it. I reckon one is for road debris and water splash, and the other is for cooling. Saw a video where some people are pulling the alternator out of the engine bay by pulling it up and out at the firewall. What ever is in the way has to be removed like some kind of air tank, various vacuum hoses, and a couple electrical connectors. I think it is going to be easier pulling it out the bottom. I do have one question. The top bolt on the alternator is actually a stud with a nut. The nut comes off first. Then the stud is removed with a captive torx socket which I don't have. Does anybody know what size captive torx socket I need to buy? On the parts schematic, the nut is #11, and the stud is #12. I did find a video that shows how to do this job. He does say that the alternator did not have the front shroud, and he got lucky. The one I will be working on does have the front shroud.
 
Messages
57
Location
Iowa
I had this done recently on my 2007 V6 Mariner. I was out of town so had to have it farmed out. Talking to the tech later, he said the only way to get it out for him was up by the firewall. He did mention that he had to get another torx socket but did not mention what size. said it wasn't easy and I paid accordingly. Good luck
 
Messages
1,651
Location
MN
E8 should be the correct size for the stud. You have to remove the passenger CV shaft and intermediate shaft for clearance, remove the plastic cooling ducts one at a time, and get creative to slide the alternator down and out. You may have to use a block of wood and a jack under the oil pan to get a little more clearance, I can't remember for sure. Don't bother trying to take it out the top, it won't fit. Are you at least lucky enough for it to be 2 wheel drive? Not having the transfer case in your way makes a lot of difference on these.
 
Last edited:

BigD1

Thread starter
Messages
3,459
Location
NC
Yes it's two wheel drive. Good thing I did not try to remove it from the top. I read that some people tried to remove out the top which did not work. Maybe it is model or year specific if that works or not.
 
Messages
1,651
Location
MN
Originally Posted by BigD1
Yes it's two wheel drive. Good thing I did not try to remove it from the top. I read that some people tried to remove out the top which did not work. Maybe it is model or year specific if that works or not.
I don't see how that would be possible on a 3.0. The 2.5, maybe. On the 3.0 the rear cylinder head bractucally touches the firewall and it's a BIG alternator. Take your time, remember your physics and geometry lessons, and you'll get it out. But I promise, you won't have fun doing it. This is also incentive to buy a QUALITY alternator, NOT an AutoZone or other parts store made in Mexico pile of junk. You don't want to do the job again in 6 months.
 
Messages
92
Location
SE WI
Also remember the block is aluminum. The stud could be seized into the block. Trying to heat up the block to get it out is futile. I had a 96 Mercury Sable with the same 3.0 Duratec that had a alternator failure. Had to break the old one apart to get it out. Cut down the mount on the new alternator, and a different nut arrangement to get it back in.
 

BigD1

Thread starter
Messages
3,459
Location
NC
Finally got this job done. This has to be one of the worst alternators in history to change! On this 2006 Tribute, it has two composite plastic covers on the alternator. Front cover is basically a rock/dust guard. It's easy to remove. The rear cover on this one is actually two pieces. One is a hollow tube piece, and it just snaps into the rear cover. This type of cover design does double duty as a heat shield and air circulation. The E8 torx socket was the correct socket for the top alternator stud bolt. The stud came out very easily. It only torques to 5 ft. pounds. Heads up. Owner of the vehicle wanted this vehicle now, so he bought a new Ultima alternator from O'Reilly auto parts. Luckily, we still had the old core. Two of three studs on the back side of the alternator that are attachment points for the back cover were too short. Wrong studs were installed. Had to remove two studs from the core, and install on new alternator. If this alternator goes bad again, he can take it to a shop!
 
Messages
881
Location
NC
Originally Posted by BigD1
Finally got this job done. This has to be one of the worst alternators in history to change! On this 2006 Tribute, it has two composite plastic covers on the alternator. Front cover is basically a rock/dust guard. It's easy to remove. The rear cover on this one is actually two pieces. One is a hollow tube piece, and it just snaps into the rear cover. This type of cover design does double duty as a heat shield and air circulation. The E8 torx socket was the correct socket for the top alternator stud bolt. The stud came out very easily. It only torques to 5 ft. pounds. Heads up. Owner of the vehicle wanted this vehicle now, so he bought a new Ultima alternator from O'Reilly auto parts. Luckily, we still had the old core. Two of three studs on the back side of the alternator that are attachment points for the back cover were too short. Wrong studs were installed. Had to remove two studs from the core, and install on new alternator. If this alternator goes bad again, he can take it to a shop!
I have this same DOHC in my Taurus. On the plus side, changing out the water pump is a breeze as it's on the top of the engine. smile
 
Messages
4,951
Location
Kansas
I did this job on my daughter's 2003 3.0 V6/AWD Escape a couple of months ago. Youtube videos say to take it out the top. I have to disagree with that and I took mine out the side. Yes, the axle has to be pulled. No big deal. I also think it really helps to take out the motor mount bolt, put a jack under the oil pan and lift the motor up. Remember to replace it with a GOOD replacement,not a "lifetime warranty" unit that was purchased because somebody had it the cheapest. The irony is that I have an F250 pickup with 250K miles (with an easy to change alternator) and has the original alternator. The Escape that my daughter drives had the alternator fail at 100K miles. I've heard horror stories of some shops charging $1000-$1200 for this repair. I'm not so sure about that, but I bet some people have gotten pretty peeved about the cost of this repair. I feel this repair should be doable in 2.5-3.0 hours, probably less after the first one. Also do a close inspection of the front, flexible brake lines on the early Escapes. They make a hard 180° turn and I've seen many early Escapes that have had the front brake line blow or are very nearly ready to.
 
Messages
2,739
Location
San Rafael, CA
The 08 Escape V6 that I had for a while with well over 200K is gonna be due for this job at some point. My coworkers daughter drives it, I'm not looking forward to having to change it LOL.
 
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