Valeo Voltage Regulators: Anyone w/ Interchange Experience? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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Valeo Voltage Regulators: Anyone w/ Interchange Experience?

I have a w203 with a Valeo alternator. I would like to replace the regulator (found it a couple months ago completely gunked up with some sort of tar that was likely the insulator and sealing material, so I cleaned the brushes and slip rings and the alt worked again) as a preventative measure.

The Valeo regulator is hard to find and priced through the roof at Benz dealers (more than 50% the cost of a quality rebuilt alternator that would switch me over to a Bosch, with the more readily available regulator type). Valeo has been helpful, but marginally understanding of the situation they created: they claim the regulator is available and in their supply chain and all parts distributors can get them. I have contacted distros and stores nationwide, and they tried, and can not get them. The rebuilders I contacted have much the same response. One gave me an eta of 6 months, and no guarantee they could get one in that shipment. The Benz dealers have to special order them and "encourage" replacement with a Bosch unit, for about €600 for the alt only, or over €1500 for the replacement and labor.

I have found some no-name regulators that fit some interchanges, but not others because the valeo number scheme is a bit confusing. Sometimes they fit a number that valeo gave me, but do not list the alternator, for instance, or the other way around.

Anyhow, I've seen some no-name regulators, the bodies and mounts are physically the same, but plugs slightly different, appearing like they can be modified enough to accomodate the mercedes plug quite easily.

Has anyone tried to use an alternate, but similar regulator? My experience with such things leads me to believe it's much the same situation with those old style bosch regulators we all know, where differences were minute between many of them and all interchangeable in some way, with or without mods.

My regulator is the one to the right, and one potential ebay find has the right configuration, but a slightly different plug that still carries that inside oval shape, it appears.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 07:11 AM
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Not too different on this side of the pond, JC. The Valeo regulators are about $100 from either dealer or specialty alternator dealers like Wagner. (The linked site has a catalog you can look up.)

We can get Bosch reman alternators (comes with new new regulator) for less than $200 so it is a real dilemma as what to do.

Both my 1997 E320 and 2003 E320 wagon have Valeo alternators but none has issues (yet). When the times comes, I think I will just get a reman Bosch alternator.

There are a few threads in the W210 forum but you may have read them.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I downloaded the Wagner catalog a couple months ago and id'd what possibly could be the regulator (again, with slight differences in part numbers, as regulator numbers and alt numbers don't always exactly correspond to the app data). I might end up getting a family member or friend to see if they could get the wagner one, but I'm also suspecting they are the no-name ones available in Germany. The closest ones to the application are about 70-80€, which brings me enough into the range to get the part from the benz dealer with a guarantee. The one I indicated is €20 +s&H.

What baffles me the most is how Valeo found the interchange numbers for me, confirmed the physical inventory, confirmed the delivery time, and left me hanging when I told them that all the shops I tried have said it can't be ordered, even when i told them I spoke to valeo.

I'll check the 210 forum. I also suspect other valeo regulators (and alternators) are being changed out due to the build up on the brushes and slip rings. I cleaned everything off (with great difficulty), and it's working fine again...until it happens again.
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