2.0 16 Valve Petrol 135HP

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Alternator removal and replacement - Xantia S1 2.0i 16V with A/C

The Haynes manual doesn't even acknowledge the existence of this engine and its unique arrangement of the auxiliaries and the drive belt tensioners meaning that Haynes is worse than useless because it causes confusion.

Of the three auxiliary units driven by the auxiliary drive belt (hydraulic pump, alternator and A/C compressor, the alternator is the most likely to fail, especially as it's underneath the HP pump, so any LHM leakage drips into it, hastening its demise. If the hydraulic pump is leaking, even slightly, it's essential to permanently fix the leak otherwise you'll be buying another new alternator before long.

The alternator is a real PITA to get at even when you know how to remove/replace it, as follows: -

Essential Tools etc.

  • 8 10 & 13mm ¼" drive sockets, ratchet and 4" (100mm) extension.
  • 16mm 3/8" drive socket (short) and ratchet.
  • 12mm flare nut spanner (you may get away with a really good quality 12mm open-end spanner).
  • 6mm hex bit - 3/8" or ½" driv.
  • 18" ½" drive breaker bar plus ½"F to 3/8"M adaptor.
  • 3.5mm drill or, better still, one of those small hex keys supplied for assembling Swedish flat-pack furniture (item F).
  • Inspection lamp.
  • Long and short cable ties (or several shorter ones).
  • Clean rag.
  • 1200 grit (very fine) wet and dry.


The fasteners for the O/S/F lower, inner, wheel-arch liner will almost certainly be well rusted, so it really helps if you can get some penetrating oil on them several hours in advance.


The car MUST be on a hard, level, surface.

  • Chock O/S/R wheel and pull hand-brake on tight.
  • Put suspension lever to HIGH.
  • While waiting for suspension to rise, crack off O/S/F wheel bolts.
  • When suspension is right up, SECURELY support O/S/F with an axle stand either under the jacking point or the subframe mounting bolt. If the axle stand is an inch or two too tall, put the jack under the jacking point, lower the suspension to raise the O/S/F wheel, put a brick or similar under it, and raise the suspension again to lift the car 3” higher this time.
  • Set suspension to LOW. As soon as the weight is off the O/S/F wheel, remove bolts and wheel.
  • Remove O/S/F wheel arch lower inner liner to provide access to the O/S of the engine.
  • Take a good look at how the auxiliary drive belt goes around the pulleys and tensioners. Take digital photos if you can – much more reliable than memory.
  • With (F) to hand, inset the 3/8" adaptor in the square hole of the spring tensioner and then fit the breaker bar to it. Use this to turn the tensioner anti-clockwise (releasing the tension in the belt) as far as it will go and push (f) through the small hole in the tensioner arm and into the corresponding hole in mounting plate to lock it in the 'wound-up' position.
  • Remove the tensioner (carefully!) by undoing the two 6mm hex socket head bolts.
  • Remove the drive belt.
  • Disconnect the battery positive lead, wrap it in something like a rag, and tuck it securely where it can't possibly pop back into contact with the positive terminal. Lay something non-conductive over the battery so that there's absolutely no chance of a tool shorting the battery terminals.
  • De-pressurise the hydraulic system by undoing the release valve by no more than 1½ turns. The release valve is the only 12mm 'bolt' on the front of the Pressure Regulator (the unit on the front of the engine that the Accumulator Sphere screws into). Do not close the valve!
  • The hydraulic pump has two steel output pipes coming from its front and a rubber supply pipe going to its back. Undo the clips supporting the supply pipe and tie it to the inlet manifold up out of the way.
  • Undo the (10mm) nuts and bolts fastening the support clips for the two output pipes - 4 for each pipe including the (longer) bolt into the bottom of the engine block. Release the clips from the studs on the curved bracket.
  • Detach the curved bracket by undoing the bolts (top and bottom) that fasten it respectively to the bracket on the front of the hydraulic pump and to the engine block. Do not remove the bracket bolted to the pump - it's not easy and it's quite unnecessary!
  • With the 12mm Flare Nut spanner, carefully disconnect from the hydraulic pump the steel output pipe nearest the inlet manifold (i.e. the one to your right as you look at the engine) being prepared to mop up a slight dribble of LHM. If LHM pours out, do it back up quick - you haven't de-pressurised the hydraulic system! This pipe supplies pressure for the power steering.
  • Plug the hole in the pump with a twist of clean rag and wrap the end of the pipe in rag and tie a plastic bag round it - this stops LHM making a slippery mess.
  • Gently pull the pipe towards you and to your left and trap it to the left of the other pipe - use a cable tie to make sure it stays there. You can now get at the alternator!
  • Back under the O/S/F wheel-arch, look up the end of the engine and you will see two 16mm bolt heads that go through two pairs of lugs of a cast-iron mounting bracket, the lugs furthest from you being threaded. The alternator body has two cast lugs that fit between the pairs of lugs on the bracket. Undo both bolts, top one first. The bottom bolt will pull out, but the top one won't because the inner wheel-arch is in the way so don't try. Instead, lift the alternator so that the top bolt comes out of the slotted bracket lug, then push the bolt head right in (away from you). The bolt-head will now pass behind the top idler pulley so that the alternator will tip forward, away from the engine, until stopped by the remaining hydraulic pipe.
  • From above, locate the two wires to the alternator terminals. Manipulate the alternator until you can get at the terminals, but don't strain the wires. * If the wires are fasted to the alternator with a cable-tie retainer, cut the strap of the cable tie so that retainer body can be used with a new tie.
  • Remove the rubber plugs and undo the terminal nuts (13mm and 8mm). Lift the ring terminals and the crinkle washers off the terminal posts.
  • The alternator can now be wriggled out from behind the remaining hydraulic pipe.
  • Clean the faces of the mounting lugs on the cast iron bracket so that the (new) alternator will slide back in easily; this is important.
  • Check the state of the ring terminals on the alternator wires, using WD40 to loosen the dirt. If necessary, rub clean with wet & dry dampened with WD40. Wipe clean.

When buying a replacement/exchange alternator, shop around making sure that the new one is identical to the old (you're likely to be offered two possible types, one half the price of the other) - check the mounting arrangement, the pulley diameter and the offset between the pulley and bracket face. I found that prices (ex VAT) quoted for the correct alternator varied from £98 (GSF exchange) to £399 (new).

Replacement is the reverse of removal with a couple of cautions: -

  1. As soon as the new alternator is in place, cover it with a thick rag - because accidentally turning the hydraulic pump will pump LHM out of the open port over the new alternator - bad news! If this does happen, remove the new alternator turn it upside-down and wash the LHM out the way it came in with lots of brake cleaner (nothing else!) - be careful to keep the brake cleaner away from the alternator bearings.
  2. When it comes to re-fitting the hydraulic connection to the pump, be careful not to cross-thread the flare-nut. By moving the pipe slightly, you should be able to screw it most of the way in with your fingers. It has to be tight enough not to weep under a working pressure of over 70 bar (1030 p.s.i.) but over-tightening will make it leak. Finally wipe every trace of LHM from the connection.
  3. When closing the release valve, it only needs to be 'nipped up'. If you tighten hard, you'll wreck the seat of the ball valve - that's a new regulator.
  4. When everything is back in place, tightened up and checked, (make sure the protective rag on top of the alternator is well clear of belt and pulleys but leave it in place!) start the engine and watch the hydraulic connection. When the STOP light has gone out (the main hydraulic system has pressurised) put some load on the connection by turning the steering wheel.
  5. Remove the protective rag. Take the car for a short test drive, and check again that the hydraulic connection is still absolutely dry.