How to remove the ALTERNATOR from the 2002 Mercury Cougar 2.5L V6 engine
This is a detailed account; so, it's simpler than it, at first, looks.
1. Disconnect battery negative cable terminal, and place it where it won't touch the battery post.
2. Raise and securely support the front of the car.
3. Slacken the serpentine belt, using the 3/8 inch square hole in the belt tensioner. The tensioner spring is very stiff. Leave the tensioner tool in place. [Draw the serpentine belt routing for the later re-installation. You'll need it!]
4. Remove the right front wheel.
5. Remove the small plastic splash shield (about 6"W by 16"L) in the wheel well, for access to the alternator.
6. Disconnect the RH steering tie rod-end ball joint, and place to the side: OR, turning the steering wheel to the far right, or far left, may give adequate clearance to remove the alternator. Try it.
7. Remove the alternator top mounting NUT (15 mm) using a u-joint and extension bar. Then, remove its 3+ inch long STUD using a 6 mm socket or wrench. Removing the STUD lets the alternator be lowered. Yes, I do mean STUD.
8. Remove the two, 3 inch long, lower alternator mounting bolts (13 mm). The alternator will come down a couple of inches, providing access to the mount bracket bolt behind the alternator.
9. Remove the three 2 inch long bolts holding the alternator bracket.
[An alternative to removing the STUD, is to remove the three, 2 inch long, bolts (using a 10 mm socket) holding the alternator cast aluminum mounting bracket to the engine. With the bracket lowered, the alternator can be lifted from it, and then withdrawn.]
With the alternator and bracket lowered, you have easier access to the power wire and the electrical connector on the back of the alternator.
10. Remove the large power wire 10 mm nut, on the back of the alternator.
11. Disconnect the electrical connector, on the back of the alternator, by depressing the tang with a screwdriver, and gently pull on the wires to pull the connector off.
12.To withdraw the alternator out through the side opening, cant and turn it to maneuver it through the opening. Be patient, and persevere, it will come out.
To Install The Alternator:
1. Cant, turn, and maneuver the alternator through the opening to its mounting position.
2. Attach the power wire and electrical connector to the back of the alternator.
3. Place the alternator on the bracket, put the loose alternator and bracket in place.
4. Letting the alternator hang down about 2 inches, install the three bracket bolts.
5. Then, install the two lower alternator mounting bolts, loosely. Install the upper alternator mounting STUD (if removed). (Use your left hand to start the STUD into the threaded hole. Hold the alternator in place with your right hand, and wriggle it as necessary to get the stud started. Press the stud in as you turn it to get it started.)
6. Put the 15 mm nut on the STUD and torque it. Torque the two lower alternator mounting bolts (13 mm).
The remainder of the installation is the reverse of the removal, more or less.