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Old 06-16-2014, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default Alternator pivot bolt fubared?

Some routine maintenance today to fix a squeaky alternator belt revealed that my car's PO apparently broke the alternator mounting bracket that is attached to the water pump. The specter of having to pull the timing belt and replace the water pump to tighten an alternator belt is bad enough, but when I went to actually remove the lower pivot bolt to remove the alternator I found that there isn't clearance to actually remove the bolt. Am I missing something simple here did someone at some point install this bolt backwards with the engine out of the car? The bolt is currently installed from the rear towards the front of the car. If I'm not missing something obvious, do I have any recourse besides a) cutting the bolt or b) pulling the engine? Thanks.

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Old 06-16-2014, 05:23 PM   #2
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That intake manifold brace comes off in about 10 seconds with a 14mm Socket. Most people take it off and leave it off. That's how the bolt got put in that way.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
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yup, I removed mine and broke a bolt to it, so i left it off. That was 3 years ago, and i havent had any issues with it yet...

*walks out to car to find intake manifold snapped off
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:31 PM   #4
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I've yet to see any documented failures directly related to the IM brace. It's been an argument for years as to whether it serves a real function or not. I suspect it was one of those things that the engineers said it needed by their calculations, but empirical evidence suggests otherwise.

Besides, I like how easy it is to reach the oil filter without it.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:37 PM   #5
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Thanks, that's a relief to hear.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselmiata View Post

Besides, I like how easy it is to reach the oil filter without it.
psh.... screw ease of access to the filter.... WEIGHT REDUCTION YO!!!!

#swag?
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselmiata View Post
I've yet to see any documented failures directly related to the IM brace. It's been an argument for years as to whether it serves a real function or not. I suspect it was one of those things that the engineers said it needed by their calculations, but empirical evidence suggests otherwise.

Besides, I like how easy it is to reach the oil filter without it.
I broke 6 manifold studs without the brace on. I havent broken any since I put the brace back on.

You can drill out the threaded part of the alternator and use either a slightly longer version of the current bolt or a 3/8" (I think thats the right size) one and come from the front and use a nut.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:18 AM   #8
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I can think of half a dozen or more local track rats that have that brace removed, none have had any issues. They're running everything from blown stock mounts to poly and a set of delrin motor mounts.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
I can think of half a dozen or more local track rats that have that brace removed, none have had any issues. They're running everything from blown stock mounts to poly and a set of delrin motor mounts.
They probably havent checked their studs recently. If one or two pop off you'll never know. Most of mine didnt even break off till I went to put the socket on them and didnt even start to turn it.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselmiata View Post
I've yet to see any documented failures directly related to the IM brace. It's been an argument for years as to whether it serves a real function or not. I suspect it was one of those things that the engineers said it needed by their calculations, but empirical evidence suggests otherwise.

Besides, I like how easy it is to reach the oil filter without it.
My local spec miata shop swears that they are needed, I have also yet to see any issues without it.

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I broke 6 manifold studs without the brace on. I havent broken any since I put the brace back on.

You can drill out the threaded part of the alternator and use either a slightly longer version of the current bolt or a 3/8" (I think thats the right size) one and come from the front and use a nut.
I pulled the brace off my 94 when I bought the car in 05, it never had an issue. In 2010 I swapped on a BEGI IM that had no provision for the brace, I have yet to have an issue with any of my studs.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:35 AM   #11
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True, I haven't taken their intake manifolds off, however I have taken mine off with zero issues.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:38 AM   #12
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Spinning to 8500 rpms and cornering at 1.6g could be part of my problem.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:40 AM   #13
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Brace gets in the way of coolant reroutes and also limits options if you want to use sandwich plates for oil cooling or larger oil filters. That's why mine are gone. Haven't had an issue (knock on wood) and the better cooling is worth it.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Spinning to 8500 rpms
I think this is it. You're hitting some resonant frequency that the brace changes. Like those guys that break the OEM throttle shafts.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:10 AM   #15
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I had to take mine off to fit the plate for the oil filter relocation. No issues at all.
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