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Old 01-25-2008, 10:37 AM   #1
Rayce185
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Check the Voltage Regulator before replacing the whole Alternator...

I know there have been some threads about the V regulator, but none explicitly saying that you should check it to see if the coal contact is worn off before assuming that the whole alternator is broken, which costs three times as much.

Screw off the V reg and a spring fit coal piece should be exposed. Check if it still has contact to the alternator coils when installed by seeing if there is a slight spring resistance when mounting it back on.

Here is a list of the different alternators and V regs, check your alternator to see which one you have before buying a new regulator: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.d...16&hg=12&fg=22

I just wanted to reassure you guys of this, because a colleague of mine had to do this with his Mercedes, and the dealership told him that the whole alternator had to be replaced, literally pulling his leg and overcharging him
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:58 PM   #2
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interesting
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:35 PM   #3
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is the 120A BOSCH better then stock alternator?
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:37 PM   #4
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I guess it depends on what your car needs on power. I read somewhere that the 120A version is only used with a lot of options in your car, like the HK sound system, alarm etc.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:40 PM   #5
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I think I need that one... how much mileage is ussually dying time? ..lol
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:46 PM   #6
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I did that about two years ago. see link below. The regulator is mounted to the backside of the alternator. There is a catch. Since the regulator is like $80-$100 with no returns, if there is more going on that just the contacts. Like diodes or bearings than the whole alternator is going to need to be replaced. Then you have to buy a whole new alternator and be stuck with a slightly used regulator.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...88&postcount=6
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
I did that about two years ago. see link below. The regulator is mounted to the backside of the alternator. There is a catch. Since the regulator is like $80-$100 with no returns, if there is more going on that just the contacts. Like diodes or bearings than the whole alternator is going to need to be replaced. Then you have to buy a whole new alternator and be stuck with a slightly used regulator.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...88&postcount=6
You could either buy the separate alternator ( http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...26&hg=12&fg=20 ), or tell BMW to test the voltage regulator first, before doing the whole exchange.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:05 PM   #8
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You could either buy the separate alternator ( http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...26&hg=12&fg=20 ), or tell BMW to test the voltage regulator first, before doing the whole exchange.
i don't think you read my link. i've been there done that.

my point of the "catch" is the cost. in many cases the cost is much easier and better to just buy a rebuilt one with new regulator. bmw isn't going to just check your regultor or alternator for free. and many shops can't tell if the regulator is the exact problem or something else internal.

i'm not saying don't count out the regulator, i didn't and replaced mine. i have two threads on it and now posting in this one makes 2.5. i was just saying there is a catch.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:21 PM   #9
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well it depends if you need a new alternator or not. If get low or no power then you'll need an alternator. If it's overcharging then you may get away with just changing the regulator.

Most people would replace the whole thing so they don't want deal with it again. (many alternators have internal regulators, so they have to replace the whole unit)
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:04 PM   #10
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I guess it depends on what your car needs on power. I read somewhere that the 120A version is only used with a lot of options in your car, like the HK sound system, alarm etc.
I don't think so. My 325i is absolutely bare bones, no extras (I am surprised I don't have the manual window cranks...), and my stock alternator is still the 120A Bosch. Or should I say: was (it just quit on me)
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K:^P View Post
well it depends if you need a new alternator or not. If get low or no power then you'll need an alternator. If it's overcharging then you may get away with just changing the regulator.

Most people would replace the whole thing so they don't want deal with it again. (many alternators have internal regulators, so they have to replace the whole unit)
Does any one know what is the regulator part number required for 2004 325CI (MS45.1)? It has Bosch 120A alternator with a oval control plug (similar to Z4) versus square plug used by MS 43 cars.

Thanks!
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