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  1. #1
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    Yes | No

    Normal Rebuilt Alternator Life?

    23 Months ago, I had the alternator replaced in my 2000 54Ois. Car had about 115,000 miles on it. On Sunday, the alternator went out again, car has 143,000 miles on it. Called the repair shop, who insisted they used a "BMW dealer part" when they replaced it previously. I was told that despite the part listing for $950.00 (rebuilt), Bosch has dropped in their quality control department, and the rebuilds just dont last as long as they used to.

    I'm new to this section of the forum, so forgive me if this has already been discussed. I searched, but didnt see anything about this.

    Your input would be appreciated. Car is being repaired, but I cant understand why the rebuilt part should fail so quickly.

    http://members.roadfly.com/87LandShark/AD-87-635.jpg


  2. #2
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    Yes | No

    I hope mine lasts longer than that. (m)

    They can be rebuilt if they don't burn up internally. The bearing and regulator can be sourced, just not from BMW.
    I replaced mine a little over 3 years ago, with shipping I paid $565. I have about 35K miles on this one.
    I have since found a used one that I got for $175, doesn't hurt to have spares.
    If I remember correctly there is a 2 year warranty on parts purchased from BMW, you may want to contact them.


  3. #3
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    Yes | No

    mine has been in for about 3 years and 60,000 mi

    and still doing fine. I purchased a reman from the dealer for I think 700.00 and I installed it. The local rebuilder who normally rebuilds all alternators and starters for me for years told me that the rebuild kits are no longer available and that the only way to get the water cooled is a reman.

    Anything is possible concerning QC but I hope this one lasts for some time. I am thinking the tension on the pulley may be too much as that is what went out in mine (the front bearing). There may actually be some rebuild kits out there but you will need to be lucky to find one probably. I think when mine goes again (did I say when????) I meant "IF"!!!, I will probably find a good used one.

    I wonder if anyone has built a plate to cover the hole in the block and built a conversion for an air cooled one?

    If your repair shop got it from a dealer, perhaps they will all good will this and drop the cost for the part. You can install it yourself. It's very easy to do in your garage or driveway. You can also try some of the BMW dealers who discount internet pricing and just have one shipped to you.


    Michael - Chattanooga Tennessee
    BMWCCA 65795

    00 540 Sport / 6 speed, SaharaBeige Metallic / SamanaBeige II Montanna Leather, 35% tint, Xenons, DSP, CD Changer, Auto dimming rear view mirror, rain sensing wipers, fold down rear seat, Style 32 staggard wheels, Hankook Ventus V4 ES 245/45/WR17/95W Fronts and 275/40/WR17/98W Rears. 152,900 Smiles and climbing!

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    Other BMWs hanging around usually needing attention
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  4. #4
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    Yes | No

    Im sick i have every receipt

    Paid $285 for mine, didn't have to go through the core charge thing since i brought in mine and picked it up later in the day.
    Knock on wood mine is still ok.

    I would never pay that much for an alternator. i thought $285 was outrageous.




    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)

  5. #5
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    Yes | No

    Water cooled? That's a great price






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  6. #6
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    Yes | No

    Re: Water cooled? That's a great price

    Yes water cooled. I remember posting this a while ago but still cant figure out what he rebuilt, I recall u said the water cooled alt's. have no brushes to replace. I wonder what he rebuilt other than replacing the regulator? When i gave him my alt. all he wanted to know about was the casing. he mentioned the casings crack from overheating or air pockets and they have to be scrapped if so.

    Mine just stopped charging suddenly, First few minutes there was no indication other than the DSC and ABS indicators turning on, the alternator light didn't come on for about 5 mins. I hooked up my battery booster and drove it home.

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)

  7. #7
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    Yes | No

    If anybody wants to pay for shipping

    I would be willing to pick them up and ship for anybody on this forum.

    Just sucks about the core return.
    Anybody know if an alternator will fit it those Flat price shipping boxes? 8 bux whatever fits in the box is definitly worth it.

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)

  8. #8
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    Yes | No

    I'll let you know if they will fit later today. (m

    I think I have a few of those USPS boxes. I'll see if it fits.
    Right, there are no brushes in these, the only replacable parts are the bearings and the regulator.
    Did you see the pics I posted about 6 months ago when I took my bad one apart?

  9. #9
    Bimmer5Michael
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    Yes | No

    Does he still rebuild water cooled alternators?

    At the time I bought mine, it was Friday night, I had to be 150 miles away Monday morning and the local rebuilder could not rebuild mine. I searched all the normal parts places on line and knowing no one would have one from the auto stores. At that time the dealer was able to beat all other prices for a remanufactured water cooled alternator, no core charge to later remove from my credit card, no shipping charges, and most importantly the dealer had one in stock.

    I just looked at my records and I paid 450.00 for mine with the remainder being belts, a front useless cup holder, a belt tensioner (which may have aided in the destruction of the alternator) and a gallon of BMW coolant. So to me at that time it was a blessing and worth every cent (except for the worthless cup holders).

    I called 2 rebuilders yesterday and asked if they could rebuild thes alternators and both said they used to but could no longer get the "kits" to rebuild them. The one builder I have used often does actually remanufacture them and they look new when you get them back with even new pulleys, new paint where applicable, new bolts and such.

    So if that shop still rebuilds the water cooled alternators we all need to know about it and perhaps it can be added as a resource. I will certainly make sure it gets in the local chapter newsletter every month.

    By the way what is the difference in a rebuild and a remanufacture or did I answer that above?

    Glad you found a great deal!!!

    Michael
    00 540 sport 6 speed

  10. #10
    Bimmer5Michael
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    Yes | No

    The bearing is what died on mine

    It was very sudden, made a quick screeching sound followed by smoke in the passenger compartment and a electrical burning smell, soon followed by the idiot light. It was just getting dark and I was 50 miles from home, I gambled continued the drive to the house and by the time I got there the lights were dim and the car was sputtering. When I rolled into the driveway the car stopped. The belt had beed shredded miles before that. The alternator and the tensioner were completely locked up.

    Is it true that the water cooled alternator was created because it produces less noise and is kept at a more controlled constant temperature. We see how that worked out!!

    Michael
    00 540 sport 6 speed

  11. #11
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    Yes | No

    My failure was similar to yours except I didn't (m

    make it home before the alt jammed, ripped the PS pump off and broke the belt which also spins the water pump. The flatbed took me the last 5 miles home. Shortly after the alt light came on there was smoke.
    AAA is well worth the price when you are past warranty.
    Yes, it's suppose to be quieter, no air movement to keep it cool, but the coolant that is suppose to keep it cool is HOT. Never compared the air cooled ones to ours, maybe we can get Euro to stick a temp probe on his and do some stop and go driving next summer. j/k Euro.


  12. #12
    Panos
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    Yes | No

    Mine still spins freely by hand at 167.5k miles

    I hope it continues to last that long. I did have the smaller pulley on it for about 50k miles, so maybe that was the easy part of its life.

  13. #13
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    Yes | No

    It will just fit with a minor bluge in the box if(

    you remove the pulley. That may not be the easiest thing to do for some. The center of the shaft needs to be held with a Torx T50 or 8mm allen while you remove the 24mm nut down in the pulley. Kind of hard to get both tools to occupy the same space at the same time. My first attempt was to use a strap wrench to hold the pulley and a socket, didn't work, the nut was on too tight. I could have held the pulley with a pipe wrench but I didn't want to mark up the pulley where the belt rides.
    Then I got my impact wrench, didn't even have to hold the pulley, it spun right off.
    The USPS flat rate specs are "It must reasonably fit within the box" so as long as the pulley is removed it shouldn't be a problem.

  14. #14
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    Yes | No

    I'll find out this weekend.

    I would call and ask but its a couple of older Greek guys and being Greek i know they will just yes me to death on the phone and tell me something else when I'm there.

    All the starters and alternators Ive bought from them all looked new. (paint bolts etc) so i don't know what the difference is between rebuilt and re-manufactured. Maybe re-manufactured means the oem company rebuilt it?

    Im sure these guys will even give us a discount if i mention he will be listed as a resource by a local chapter.

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)

  15. #15
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    Yes | No

    Impact wrench is the only way to go with pulleys.

    I dont mind removing the pulley as long as the buyer can put it back on.

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)

  16. #16
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    Yes | No

    WOW scary.

    now im happier mine failed the good old normal way. stopped charging and thats it.

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)

  17. #17
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    Yes | No

    btw they have been in business well over 25 years

    no worries about dishonoring warranties or shady happenings.

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)

  18. #18
    Enrico Tobing
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    Yes | No

    Re: Normal Rebuilt Alternator Life?

    Never use rebuilt parts, I was tempted to buy one 6 months ago, but when checked it gave only 13.05V output. Instead I bought a brand new Valeo 120A that gives exactly 14V for USD 325. Bosch was even cheaper at USD 275.

    When I had a 520i/E34 in my garage brand new OEM alternator I bought for the car lasts upto 5 years. Good luck!

    528i/E39/1997

  19. #19
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    Yes | No

    Your talking about a whole different alt.

    non water cooled alternators have cost me between 65-100 bux. rebuilt and gave me 14.4 volts just fine

    Andreas
    Queens NY
    BMWCCA# 186796
    86 325es (wrecked by careless driver)
    87 325 (project for life)
    00 540is 6spd (daily driver)

  20. #20
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    Yes | No

    Re: Your talking about a whole different alt.

    Sorry, thought 540 has similar alternator with 528i. 87Landshark please disregard my post.

    Rgds,
    Enrico Tobing

    528i E39 1997
    Automatic ZF 5HP18

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