Alternator replacement with KDSS (1 Viewer)

Joined
Apr 4, 2014
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I am working through some decision of what to do as respects preventive maintenance on my 2006 GX w/KDSS with 147,000 miles. The timing belt was done at 86,000 miles. I need to think about reliability and preventative maintenance. I am thinking of installing a new alternator as a proactive move. So my question is I was looking at the alternator and frankly I do not see how it can even come out with the KDSS. I am sure the dealer can do it but the Lexus dealer would be horrific in cost.

I work on the car myself. Oil changes, differential changes, calipers, brake work, radiator etc. I pretty much stop with that type of work. Has anyone faced an alternator replacement with KDSS? Did you do it in your garage and how did you get it out?

I was also thinking of having the dealer do it when the second timing belt service is done. I could do that early to cut the cost if having the front end opened up makes the labor cost lower. Of course the cost of the alternator from the dealer is probably very high. I presume they take the radiator out but am unsure.

I have had the bumper off and the radiator out in the past. I just don’t remember if that would open up another way to replace the alternator.

Any suggestions?
 
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Jun 10, 2019
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Atlanta, GA
May not be thinking of this correctly, but if it’s the front kdss system that’s in the way, you can pretty easily remove the sway bar.

I forget the order to do everything, but you’ve got the sway attached to both front lower control arms (2 bolts a piece). It also attaches to the kdss piston and a fixed arm (2 bolts a piece).

Just make sure to put a jack under the kdss piston when removing the bolts, and then use the jack or a ratchet strap to keep the piston compressed while the sway bar is off.
 
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Mar 11, 2018
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I haven't done it but some people recommend getting it from fender well and remove the power steering pump pulley.
 
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Apr 4, 2014
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Thanks for the advice. All this helps. It is tight, this is not a field repair. We spend a month away from home on a stayvacation and it is isolated. So always thinking what could really trip us up. The GX is our only car when we are away and my tools are limited then. So thinking ahead.
 
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Sep 20, 2013
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Florida!
You will need to drop the swaybar, so yes you need to retain the KDSS pistons. You will also need to remove the P/S pulley. I did this in my driveway, but needed my entire cussword vocabulary to complete it. What should be a 30 min job is frustratingly complex. It's easiest to remove the wiring through the passenger wheelwell. Don't forget to disconnect your battery first, you can melt things if you don't.
 
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Apr 4, 2014
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I spoke to the local Lexus service department as i was wanted to see if I moved up my second timing belt service whether the cost of installing an alternator would be easier at the same time. Yes it would but only my maybe an hour they felt. Shockingly the labor cost of installing a new alternator was only $335 per the manual. I did not ask the shop rate and I know that the cost of new Lexus OEM alternator would most likely nix my desire to do this. I'd jump right into this but I want to make darn sure of the amount of time and effort as I don't have a spot to have the car sit for days torn apart. I also have memories of the new radiator which was only to take so many hours and it was double the time and lots of little frustrations here and there. It all gets done but sometimes not the interesting project you wanted.
 
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Apr 4, 2014
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The KDSS piston is it loaded like a spring so there is lots of force when released or does it just need to be retained so it doesn't edge down and create some issue with the hydraulic cylinder when pushed back up? How forceful will it be when unbolting?
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
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The KDSS piston is it loaded like a spring so there is lots of force when released or does it just need to be retained so it doesn't edge down and create some issue with the hydraulic cylinder when pushed back up? How forceful will it be when unbolting?
It’s not. It will slowly push out. You just don’t want to risk an air intrusion into the system from an overextended piston. Zap strap or ratchet strap it up.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
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It’s not. It will slowly push out. You just don’t want to risk an air intrusion into the system from an overextended piston. Zap strap or ratchet strap it up.
Thanks. I will be careful and if you hadn't said something I think I would have just let it hang down. Not good.
 

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