Time is not the only measure of easy or difficult.
Addition: I believe this job can go either way and the space being tight is not the problem. Just like so many other things on the e46, layers of things should be removed before you get to the actual parts to be replaced.
Sometimes the alternator binds in the bracket and is tough to remove. Other times it just comes out and the job is easier.
Do remember to disconnect the battery ground terminal in the trunk before working on the alternator.
Do remember to note the locator of each and every one of the six OFH bolts as they are each unique.
Careful tightening the bolts back as many have stripped the block threads.
Consider using sealant on the new gasket as it goes in.
Last edited by Stinger9; 10-03-2012 at 11:19 AM.