VR leads are both 9mm long
I have alternator/VR issue with my car as well. 120A Bosch in a 2002 330i with 73K miles.
I got the alternator tested at Autozone and it failed. Return home, and pulled out the VR to see if the contacts are worn out, and it turns out that they are not - both are 9 mm long.
The alternator bearings are good as well, and the pulley axis turns smoothly without a squeak.
From what I've read in these forums, most of the time the problem is with the regulator, and those who have posted have invariably seen that the contacts are worn out.
I am planning to order a new VR today, but before I do that... is there anything else I should check alternator for, aside from the smooth rotation of the pulley axis indicating good bearings?
Thanks in advance for your help!