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I just recently replaced my alternator. I couldn't find any YouTube videos and the service manuals I found on this forum were not conclusive enough.

To be direct; I had to remove the brace that spans across the top of the cooling fans, so that I could remove the fan closest to the alternator.

To remove the brace, you have to remove the bracket that joins the front grille to the brace and the front hood latch. Also remove the various clips that hold the harnesses and cables onto the brace. This allows you enough room to move the brace rearward and the fan can come out.

In total I think I removed 24 bolts just to get the coolant fan out.

The HVAC hard lines on the 2016 are directly in the path of removing the alternator if you use the directions based on a 2015. The only way for it to come out is towards the front.

The cooling fan must come out, but you can't lean it rearward after removing the top bolts because there is a frame brace in the way. So. the top brace must come out.

FUN!

I wanted to post this for future people replacing alternators.
 

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2016 EXL AWD Nav with sensing , 2008 Corolla SE
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It's never easy gaining access to components on these newer cars and it seems to be getting worse with the new models. Glad you were able to replace it yourself and do you have any pictures that you could post?
 

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I found this photo when I was removing the front engine mount. As OP stated, the top bar of the radiator support must come out. A wire harness runs across the back side. I use a very long thin needle nose pliers to squeeze tabs on the harness clips to try and not destroy them.
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