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,