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Old 07-04-2011, 01:03 AM   #1
Alan330xi
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Question Alternator pulley

After a struggle, I got my alternator out using various DIYs on this site. I need to remove the pulley to use on the rebuild. How do I remove the pulley (without using the "special BMW tool")?
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:30 AM   #2
LivesNearCostco
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I am no expert and I probably did it all wrong, but here's how I got mine off.

First time: Hold pulley with strap wrench. Use 15/16" socket with Ryobi 18v battery-powered impact gun. Came off no problem. It's really like a 23mm nut but my socket sets only go up to 21 and 22mm, so the 15/16" was close enough. Unfortunately I put on 2 or 3 drops of blue Loctite on the threads when I put the nut back on. So....

Second time: Same as first worked okay to loosen nut, but then nut wouldn't come all the way off because of the dried LocTite, so the whole alternator armature was spinning with the torque wrench while the pulley (held by strap wrench) was slipping. I had to improvise, key word being vise, like vise-grip. Held 15/16" socket with vise grip wrench. Stuck 6mm or 7mm long hex socket into center of the 15/16" socket. Used 3/8" ratchen to turn hex socket clockwise and vise grip to turn nut counter-clockwise, and got it off. Then cleaned off dried thread locked from spindle threads with a wire brush. Scratched up the finish on my 15/16" socket pretty badly.

Needless to say, I didn't use threadlocker this time when tightening the pulley nut. I think the center of the spindle (at least on my Bosch alternator) is actually a triple-square (12-point?) star and requires some special triple-square socket. It's certainly not a regular hex nor a regular torx. You can buy the triple square from the BMW/Euro specialty tool sites, or maybe from BavAuto.com, but I don't have a set. But even if you do that, you need a way to torque the 23mm or 15/16" socket. Impact gun might work for you as long as your alternator spindle wasn't gunked up with thread locker like mine was.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:50 AM   #3
Alan330xi
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Thanks. I'l try that. Got to buy a 23mm socket and strap wrench. My other problem is the plastic duct cap on the back of the alternator. The philips screw is stripped. I'm in the process of trying to drill it out. Doesn't matter if the screw breaks (getting a new alternator). Just need the duct cap intact.
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:43 PM   #4
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My alternator doesn't have the ducting on the back, but I also have the 120 Amp Bosch round (oval) plug alternator, at least I think the electrical plug is oval. I think my alternator didn't come with the ducting, unless a previous owner removed it. Uh, point is, make sure your pulley nut is also 23mm and not 21mm or 22mm. And Happy 4th of July!

Also note that just regular socket with ratchet and strap wrench might not work, as the pulley will probably slip within the strap wrench. For me it only worked if I also used the impact wrench, which could loosen the nut faster than the pulley could slip.
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:38 PM   #5
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Need to add that it's possible there's more than one type of Bosch alternator and more than one way to fasten the pulley on. AFter seeing these tools offered on the ECS Tuning web site, am not sure if the proper bit for holding alternator spindle still while turning the pulley retention nut is a triple square or not.
--Long reach triple square bits: http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330..._Tools/ES9011/
--Alternator clutch pulley removal kit: http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330...d_Tools/ES419/
--Alternator pulley removal kit (13 pieces): http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330...Tools/ES11415/

My alternator apparently does not have the clutch type pulley, and I'm not sure these tools would have helped me remove my pulley.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:40 PM   #6
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Pulley removal

Bought a 24 mm (not 23) to remove nut. Stuck a 4mm Allen wrench through a hole in the alternator to stabilize the inner workings and easily removed the nut and wave washer. Then I couldn't remove the pulley. Wouldn't budge. I'm getting a rebuild from NAPA which includes the pulley. Go figure.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #7
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Maybe my alternator nut is also 24mm... I used a 15/16" socket which is 23.8125mm. My guess is you have a tapered pulley shaft and I don't. Maybe you need a 2-jaw or 3-jaw puller? Or not, since your rebuilt alternator comes with a pulley.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:02 AM   #8
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How to remove and install the alternator pulley

I'm updating this 2-year-old thread since it had been useful to me when I was rebuilding my Bosch 120-amp alternator earlier this year. I also used at 15/16" (23.8125mm as LivesNearCostco pointed out) socket to counter-hold the special 24mm alternator socket, which can be held with a 24mm wrench.

Here's how I got the pulley off--and back on.

I needed:
  • 10mm Triple Square Driver I bought the 6-piece set from ecstuning.
  • Special 24mm socket (BMW P/N 83 30 0 491 167)
  • 24mm or 15/16" box-end wrench
  • Torque wrench capable of 44 ft-lbs

Getting the bolt off the alternator is no trouble when you have these tools. I don't recall having any difficulty getting the pulley off the shaft but I do have some pullers and may not have thought about it. Your torque wrench needs to work in reverse, as if torquing a left-hand thread. The photos show the details.

An impact gun would probably work fine here too but since I'm a stickler for torque specs, I really wanted to be able to measure 44 ft-lbs exactly.

Triple-square was new to me. At first glance it looked like an inverted 12-point socket but it's really completely different in that it *is* a triple "square" with the squares separated by 30 degrees.

I hope this helps someone.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:21 AM   #9
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Hah, awesome thread! Thanks! Where do I get that specific pulley, in case I wanna replace it?
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
... Where do I get that specific pulley [socket??], in case I wanna replace it?
The special socket with a BMW P/N can be gotten from SamstagSales.com and other places.

They also sell the triple square (you'll need a "long reach").
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latitude39 View Post
The special socket with a BMW P/N can be gotten from SamstagSales.com and other places.

They also sell the triple square (you'll need a "long reach").
No I mean the alternator pulley, in case it goes bad. Or I guess...can you buy the bearing for it?
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Zell View Post
No I mean the alternator pulley, in case it goes bad. Or I guess...can you buy the bearing for it?
The pulley? Probably a junk yard or you can get pulleys online.

The bearings can be gotten from SmithCoElectric in Greeley, Colorado. They carry all the parts (bearings, slip rings, etc) for our alternators. They sell the first-rate Polish-made Bosch-original bearings. The big bearing was about $35-ish and the small bearing was $25 or thereabouts, which is pretty expensive when compared to the cheapies you can get elsewhere. My original Bosch bearings (made in England) felt like new at 140k miles when I rebuilt the unit. I want my rebuild to last so I spent the extra $$ for peace-of-mind.
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