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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Alternator 'heads up'

With winter upon us, I like many others, suffered the 'old battery = no start in cold' thing. Turns out the battery was almost 8 years old so I don't feel so bad. Just for easier sleeping I pulled the alternator to make sure I didn't cook the rectifier or anything else. It was good; made 14V, ripple = 0.8V, no burned or 'leaking' diodes (they hold water?), no oscilloscope but also no indication of lost phase(s). BUT.....

Since we have easily removable regulator/brush assemblies I pulled it off and saw what 156K miles does to brushes - The original part number = (as seen on back of transistor) NEW part no. ***for 80 or 140 amp BOSCH - alternator = 1 197 311 225 (Valeo may be different)*** {if you notice the width of the brushes in the comparison are not the same - good eye, that's for an Audi but the length is what I need to demonstrate}

*NB* - They must make a straight/square connection on the commutator part of the rotor. I had to file mine very slightly to stop if from seating cockeyed. (look at the short brush and you'll see why)

I went from 12.45V to a rock steady 14.1 at the battery at idle.

My hope is some fellow forum members will read this and NOT have to buy a new alternator if it's not totally bad...
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Alternator 'heads up'-part-no-001.jpg   Alternator 'heads up'-part-no-002.jpg   Alternator 'heads up'-part-no-003.jpg  

Last edited by C Sean Watts; 01-07-2012 at 06:17 PM. Reason: forgot
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Excellent topic
Annoying to hear when people change the whole unit when its just an easy fix !
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