My battery light came on indicating the alternator is not
charging. Just for a laugh I called the local dealer who
want $350 for a new alternator and $250 labour to replace it.
Most people know the voltage regulator, held on to the back
of the alternator by 2 screws can be replaced and is 99% of the time the
problem and is about $60 CDN.
What fails in the regulator 9 times out of 10 is the carbon brushes.
I got a new pair
from a local starter alternator place for $5, and replaced them
and put it back on. Works fine now. I took pictures
at each step of the repair and will put up a webpage
describing in detail how to do it later this week.
I just love $5 repairs. Maybe I'll go to Paris with the $595
$60 CDN is still a bit expensive. I'd expect to pay only about $120
CDN for a full gauranteed exchange unit (alternator) from my local
Maybe I'm wrong, but there seems to be a shortage of this type of
place in the USA and maybe Canada. I know of at least 2 places within
5 miles of me, here in Blitey, who I could get parts from or an
exchange alternator from for the prices I've mentioned. The regulator
you mentioned costs about $40 CDN here. Similar for a diode pack, if
you want to do the soldering. I mean, the Bosch K1 was fitted to
everything European almost. Its tough as old boots.
However, that's just an observation (maybe wrong) on the availablility
of reconditioned/repair parts for this type of item on your side of
I commend you on your efforts.
As you state, its a straight forward repair, and since you can take
the regulator/brushes out easily and do the job 'on the bench', a nice
one to write up and photograph. I look forward to seeing this on your
Long live the $5 repair, and those willing to tell the tale!
Paris is nice. Bonne Journee
Hope for the best, expect the worst... and take what comes.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Richard J. Sexton (At work)) wrote:
Typical price here in Victoria at place that overhauls alternators was
about C$ 15 - 17. Put one in my 1989 Volvo at about 215k km last fall.
My price here for brushes was about C$9. Still very reasonable. My
1981 300SD with 240k km showed same symptom this spring. Like you, i
unsoldered the old brushes, resoldered new ones in place and reinstalled
brush holder in back of alternator. On 300SD i found it easiest if i
raised the right front end, placed axle stand in proper place, removed
the right wheel and accessed the brush holder from below. I think that
it took me about 30 minutes to do this repair, excluding removing and
remounting the wheel.
On my son's Volvo 1986 240DL wagon (450k km) i had to replace the
brushes as well (400,000 km). To do this i had to remove the alternator
to get to the brush
set. It is actually possible to do this repair on the Volvo brush set
by drilling out the original brushes, and soldering in new ones. Its
slightly different compared with the MB 300SD part. Both alternators
are Bosch brand.
I suspect, though, that most garages throw in a rebuilt alternator, or
worse, a new one.
1981 300SD, 240,000 km, A/C with 134a since Aug. 2002.
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