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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 06-11-2015, 10:31 AM   #21
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: NJ
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My Ride: BMW
OP A million thanks for posting this. Excellent work!!!

I referenced this DIY yesterday and it was spot on! had my phone handy and went step for step. Absolute easy job and can't imagine paying the $700 my indy shop wanted. took me a less than 2hrs. I will also add that i opted not to remove the Oil lines and just swiveled the alternator around a bit until it came off. While i was in there i changed out the the AC belt too. If you forget the belt routing, there are pictorials online you can reference.

I bought a BRAND NEW Valeo Alternator (pn#439317 from ECS shipped for $275. No core needed as it comes shipped directly from Valeo but ECS is a distributor) and the AC belt cost $18 from JMK BMW

14 Volts back to the battery! Wheeeew

Last edited by 89Bim3r; 06-11-2015 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:38 PM   #22
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cali
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My Ride: m3 vert
Just completed this DIY. Thanks for the great post. I changed:

2002 e46 M3:

3 - tensioners/pulleys:
-One that was stuck to the top bolt of the alternator call the (idle pulley) $50
-One below the alternator called main drive belt tensioner $40
-One on the left side that holds the tension on the compressor belt called (serpentine accessory belt) $40

All were around $40 each at autozone. I would have gotten better brands but it was a last minute decision to replace them as they span freely and made noises, which means the grease has dried up and risk freezing in the future.

2 - Belts:
-One short belt (runs along to the compressor) called serpentine accessory belt. $20
One long one (runs the alternator side) called the main drive belt. $20

1 - Rebuilt BOSCH alternator was $157 and $77 core charge at http://eEuroparts.com. They ship a return label.

Saving $180 charged for labor by indy shop, I was able to use that money to purchase all the items above. My car now has new belts, pulleys, and working alternator.

NOTE: This alternator replacement solved my year long issue with EML light even after I changed the three TPS sensors (top and bottom of manifold, plus the petal) I would feel a few hesitations on the gas petal/car and the EML light will come on, but no LIMP mode, but the next time the car feels like that during the same trip, LIMP mode comes on.

No battery or alternator warning lights came on for me during the whole year this was going on. These last few days, everything on the dash just lights up and the car dies. (issue was the alternator wasn't working right and everything was running off the battery until it was totally dead.)

So happy the EML issue was resolved by the alternator replacement. _nr_
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:47 PM   #23
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Canada, eh
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My Ride: 02 Imola Red M3
Easy DIY. Whoever is doing this, should replace Oil filter housing gasket. Those go (at least on M54s) all the time. It would be an extra 15 mins on top of this


Originally Posted by roronoah View Post
so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 03-25-2017, 05:45 PM   #24
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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Disconnecting the positive terminal of the battery first is dangerous.
Research shows it is necessary to disconnect the negative terminal first and reconnect it last.

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Old 04-15-2017, 02:45 PM   #25
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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My Ride: 2001 E46 LSB
Originally Posted by LemansM View Post
So what brand is everyone using for an alternator these days?
Sorry to bump an old thread but my alternator just kicked the bucket and is providing 12.1v while the car is on. Looking for replacement units... any suggestions ?
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:53 PM   #26
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Bosch Remanufactured has worked well for me.
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alternator, diy, e46, m3, replacement

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