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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 02-06-2005, 01:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am going to replace my altenator today and I need some advice as how to do this, I am sure I will be able to figure it out on my own. However it would be nice to have some advice from others. And if any one has any step by step directions they would be greatly appreacheated. Thanks !
(By the way it is for a 97 328is)
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Old 02-06-2005, 01:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No big problems but forget to disconnect the battery. Take out the Air mass meter and air filter housing To release the drive belt use a 16mm socket and fairly long handle on the tensioner pulley nut (have a good look at the belt before you take it off) draw or photograph it if you think you need to. Then disconnect the wiring from the back and itís held on to the engine by two long 16mm headed bolts.

Iím sure youíll have no worries

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Old 02-06-2005, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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New up date, I have had a battery charger conected to the battery for about a hour now ( I wanted to double check to make sure it wasn't just a bad battery). I got in the car and tried to start it, and amazingly it turned over a couple of times before it died. What does this mean? Does it mean that the altenator is not bad?(I was told the car wouldn't even turn over if the altenator was bad)
Opinons anyone?....
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Old 02-06-2005, 04:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OKay it gets even better! I just started the car! and it is running without the assistance of the charger! Shouldn't the car die if the altenator is bad????
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The car will run off the battery until it runs out of charge even if the alternator is bad. However, it is more likely that you have a bad battery and not a bad alternator. Put a voltmeter on the + and - terminals of the battery with the car running. If you get a reading of more than 12.5 volts your alternator is ok.
As a general rule of thumb, ALWAYS replace the battery with a known good one before coming to a conclusion that other parts of the electrical system are bad. It will save you a lot of time money and grief.
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Old 02-07-2005, 02:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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you should really be certain if you check the voltage the battery is putting out beffore changing anything , the first step to repairing a car is being able to diagnose the problem first.
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