DIY: Remove replace install belt alternator and voltage regulator - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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DIY: Remove replace install belt alternator and voltage regulator

Replacing and/or repairing your v belt, alternator, voltage regulator, or any combination thereof is quite simple. I recently installed a new voltage regulator on my 2001 E320 sedan - gasoline powered with 90K miles. The part (part no. A003 154 51 06) cost $70 bucks including shipping from the dealer.

The diagnosis seemed fairly straightforward. The car flashed a battery/alternator malfunction. Using the codes available via the climate control, I found that my voltage did not increase with my engine running - thus check alternator. But, the alternator did not look burned out - the copper wires were copper colored and not oxidized dark brown and/or blue. It still could have been an alternator issue, but I figured it must be the regulator. Many people have posted on this forum that they had this same problem/symptoms and it was a faulty voltage regulator. Apparently this is quite common for this car. I decided that this was the most likely scenario in my case. I also liked the prospect of fixing the car for $70 versus $400. In the end, it did turn out to be my voltage regulator. Thanks to free exchange of information on this forum and all who contribute!

Note: This thread is not intended to diagnose any problem. It merely explains how to take off a belt, alternator, and voltage regulator from a w210 e320. Apparently there are a couple of different alternator types out there and two kinds of tensioner pulleys. My alternator is a 120amp Bosch. If you are unsure which part you need/have, call your dealer with your VIN. They will be able to tell you what unit came with your car. The steps are very similar. If you need to replace any of these parts, you should feel confident to DIY.

On a scale of 1-10 I rank this one a 3. The hardest part was reinstalling the alternator to line up with the screw holes. I just set the bottom bracket in and swung the unit into place using channel-loks. That was the only crux I encountered - simple solution. I hope your alternator has the same "ear" to grab onto. Also, using an external torx wrench would be ideal for removing/replacing the alternator mounting bolts. This repair is the envelope of fudging it with a socket. But I needed wheels and no tool stores in walking distance. It worked fine in my case.

That being said - Here is my DIY with pictures - all instructions are on the pics. I hope this helps.
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Last edited by garzonetto; 03-05-2009 at 03:13 PM. Reason: Updated and clarified photos - additional info
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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DIY: remove repair replace belt alternator and voltage regulator finish up

here is the rest of the story...
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Last edited by garzonetto; 03-05-2009 at 03:03 PM. Reason: clarification of photo
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:35 PM
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Great DIY JOB!!!

Thanks... I 'm going to do mine this Summer.

What was the mileage on your alternator?



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Old 03-05-2009, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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voltage regulator mileage before failure

My regulator had 90K on it - the brushes still had plenty of life left, though.
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:19 AM
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Thank for the good work.

Is this a Bosch or Valeo alternator?
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:30 AM
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Great write-up!

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Old 03-05-2009, 07:42 AM
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Great job. Thank for taking the time to post.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:47 AM
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My alternator has 120,000 miles on it and works perfectly, but I want to change the VR brushes before the embedded wire starts to score the rotator slip rings, which is somewhere around 140,000 miles...

What is the Part Number on your Bosch

VR? My alternator is a Bosch, but I cannot see the VR on the backside. Autohausaz has a Bosch VR for $27.00 with the part number: 1197311242

I sure hate to take it all apart and find out it is the wrong part!



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Old 03-05-2009, 08:48 AM
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Great illustrations!

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Old 03-05-2009, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitfreebie View Post
My alternator has 120,000 miles on it and works perfectly, but I want to change the VR brushes before the embedded wire starts to score the rotator slip rings, which is somewhere around 140,000 miles...

What is the Part Number on your Bosch

VR? My alternator is a Bosch, but I cannot see the VR on the backside. Autohausaz has a Bosch VR for $27.00 with the part number: 1197311242

I sure hate to take it all apart and find out it is the wrong part!

That would be the wrong one, (we have the same car). SF Benz sold me mine for just over $50 with tax.


garzonetto, this is a great write-up, but if I may add a couple of notes for others.

First, if you plan on DIY tasks for your car, buy a decent set of external torx sockets. You can get the Lisle set at Sears for under $20, better than using the wrong tools for the job. (Sears sometimes puts their Craftsman sets on sale and they are about $20 when they do so, $40 otherwise.) The bolts that secure the alternator are actually external torx, E13 if memory serves, which is a common size fastener under the 210 hood. (IIRC the same one fits the bolts to remove the AC Compressor to move it if you're doing the motor mounts.)

Second, if you have the newer tensioner design you don't touch the center bolt, rather there is a bolt head (17? 19?) that is used to release the tension. To my knowledge there is no reason to remove the pulley, all you need to do is release the tension and then slip the belt off (often it slides more easily off the idler pulley).

Third, a visual inspection is great on the alternator, but the actual diagnosis requires that you confirm the rectifier bridge is working properly (no dead diodes) and that there is continuity through the windings and no shorts to ground. Just having a light on the dash tells you only that there isn't sufficient system voltage, and while most often it's the regulator on the late model MB, it's best to confirm there isn't a problem with the alternator itself. It would suck to have to buy the regulator twice, once from the dealer and the one that would come with the replacement alternator.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg




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