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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New (to me) 1985 300TD. Parked the car last in the driveway yesterday. This morning I was leafblowing and uncovered this where the car had been parked. I *think* it looks like a cadmium-plated German bolt and is covered with diesely looking oil, so I suspect it fell from my new car. The top of the bolt is marked KAMAX 10.9 and it has a 17mm bolt head. I can't figure out where it came from, because the car is running fine. If I HAD to guess, I'd say it looks like the kind of bolt one might find attaching motor to transmission.

Please help me identify this. I don't want my car to break in half or have the motor fall out at 80 mph. Any help?



 

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Any bolt over 15mm on a mercedes is a MAJOR mounting bolt. It can only go a few places. Alternator is one place. Other places include: Pitman arm, starter, any of the front belt driven accessories, lower control arm bushings and rear control arm bushings. But since it is so long I would lean more toward a belt driven accessory. Also the area's that are clean indicate that the bolt is exposed in some area's and open in others, which says it is a belt driven accessory bolt.


I can tell you this for sure, it is from a mid 80's Mercedes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow! That's some serious knowledge and deductive powers you guys have. Thanks!!!

Sure enough, it was the lowest mounting bolt on the alternator. And in the records from the previous owner, records for work dated 10/21/11 by a shop called German Formula in Portland, Oregon: "Install Alternator 65amp." Don't want to bash the place, but I don't think a bolt like this should fall out one month after the work has been performed.

I was able to get it in and tightened up. It does look like the electronics on the back of the alternator are suspiciously exposed and that the four brass bolts that protrude from the back of the alternator should be holding down a cap that covers those electronics. Is that right? Could it be that the same schmuck who finger tightened a mounting bolt also forgot to install a cap on the back of the alternator?
 
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