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I just finished a DIY on my alternator for my 2003, 76K miles, so I thought I would post some helpful tips and tricks for anyone else doing this on their own. All in all it was a pretty involved (but not terribly difficult) DIY project, and I got plenty dirty doing it. However, (and this is the important part) my total cost was around $325 and that also included new belts (I figured since I had to take one off, I might as well replace both).

I consider myself to be very handy and I have some automotive knowledge and a really good set of tools. If you have that, and the RAVE manual, do not fear attempting this project. I went REALLY slow, worked mostly alone, looked at the directions often, and the removal took me about 3.5 hours (a lot of that time is spent waiting for coolant to drain). Putting everything back together (including changing the A/C belt) took about 1.5 hours. If you do not have the instructions from the RAVE CD/Manual (provided below), I would NOT attempt this job.

Source your parts:
The hardest part for me was finding the proper wrench to remove the fan bolt (32mm). I tried Napa and Autozone (they rent kits to remove fans), but their kits don't have the right size wrench. I went to Sears and bought a nice 32mm open end for $26.00. If you have the time, they have the actual LR equivalent on e-bay, but none were local to me.

Next, the alternator - I called the dealer and was shocked by their price, and I found a guy on e-bay who is local to me and rebuilds these alternators on an exchange basis. He was even kind enough to bring it over for me. He charges $250 plus shipping. He sells under the name stonegateauto on e-bay, ( link here: http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/stonegateauto/ ) He was really friendly and seemed to know what he was talking about and they offer a one year warranty. Company name is UCP Manufacturing in Riverside, CA. His office number is (951) 353-0407. I would recommend.

The reman. alternator does not come with the rubber seal on the back. I would ABSOLUTELY recommend changing that to a new one before refitting (dealer item). I compared the old seal and the new one and the old one had stretched a bit and I did not trust it. I think it was $27. While at the dealer, I would pick up a couple of the little black alligator clips that hold the fan shroud to the radiator. I broke one of the 3, so pick up at least one if not 2 for $1.75 each.

Other than that, get a big tray from Autozone to catch your (very expensive) coolant, and a nice sized funnel. I had to buy another gallon of coolant to make up for some that was lost on the ground and by bleeding the system, but it was *only* $21 at the BMW dealer compared to $41 at my local RR dealer.

Besides that, read and follow the instructions in the RAVE CAREFULLY. The steps for the alternator are 14 easy steps. The steps that have to come before you can get to those 14 steps are the real work. Basically you remove the coolant from the block and the radiator (make sure it's not hot and that you remove the coolant cap), remove the top radiator hoses, remove fan and cowel, remove the belt and tensioner and THEN you are ready to start on the alternator.

Usually you find extra stuff that can be eliminated using the RAVE manuals. I did NOT find anything that could be changed to make the process easier or provide a shortcut. You are not gonna get the alternator out from the bottom or without removing the fan, I assure you. Just take your time, do all the steps, and do it right.

Disclaimer - this is how I did it. It is intended to help you, but not a guarantee of how yours may or may not compare. I am not a mechanic, so take my tips and instructions as those of a novice. If you have anything to add, I am sure any additional advice would be appreciated for those attempting this down the line.

Here are the pages from the RAVE Manual:








 

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Has anyone tried removing only the 4 bolts connecting the fan to the coupling instead of removing the big 32mm bolt?
I know this question is over a year old at this time, but just now (95,500 miles U.S.) had to replace the alternator.
The 4 bolts will not remove the fan/viscous coupling from the from of the water pump. They attach the pulley to the shaft, and the 32mm/1-1/8 nut attachs the fan to the shaft (not to the pulley).
My fan ended up not too difficult to remove, keeping in mind that it's a left-handed thread, so you have to turn the opposite of what you'd expect to loosen it.
As I understand it, Bosch does not make the alternator any more, but does refurbish returned core units (at least that's what many suppliers have told me). I ended-up going with a rebuilt unit from Bosch, through Advance Discount Auto Parts, on-line, for $399 - a $50 discount ($349) plus tax & $100 core charge, free shipping and 3-day delivery. Not bad. I did check many suppliers, our usual sponsors, e-bay suppliers & others like Rock Auto & Auto Parts Warehouse, but Advance Discount had the best price, local stores to return the core to, and nowadays seems to carry more reputable parts & brands than Auto Zone does now.

After my (and others I've heard of) '03 RR alternator failing at 95,000 miles, and none of my U.S. vehicles having alternator failure well beyond that, I can't see the reason for the BMW design of a water-cooled alternator that's so relatively hard to replace.
The longer I own this vehicle, the more I'm amazed that German Engineering is so highly regarded.
Anyway...
 

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I also recently had alternator failure and removed it using the steps in rave with relative ease . I disassembled the alternator to see if i could rebuild it my self which could be done but found the press fit diodes were spot welded in place, so unless you were to have access to a spot welder it would not be possible to rebuild However I found an old post on here where a guy rebuilt his with success. He did change some of the diodes but soldered his diodes in place rather then spot weld, personally I would not attempt this as diodes dont not like a lot of heat and fry out easily when soldering back in place.

Besides its very hard to source the original bosch parts and the cheap Chinese copy's arent to be trusted. I would only go for a manufacture(bosch) re manufactured replacement .
 

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...I would only go for a manufacture(bosch) re manufactured replacement .
I agree. There are several aftermarket new and rebuilt alternators out there that could very well have better reliability and longer service life than the Bosch OEM has proven, but for some reason I stuck with the Bosch.
Solder (including silver solder) melts at a much lower temperature than a weld, and I considered repairing my failed alternator, but then I considered other worn parts that would fail before long. A replacement alternator has new or replaced parts. The diode set I found was around $20 I believe; but for another $330 U.S., I opted to have a fully refurbished unit.
I removed the radiator & cleaned the front end of the engine while I had the cowl & fan off. Maybe I'll be able to spot what seals need to be replaced to stop some minor but messy oil leaks.
 

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Guys these diodes are just crimped in. Not spot welded. If you're going to replace the diodes just cut all the legs. Remove the diode bridge and open up the crimps. I did this by squeezing a screwdriver between the crimp with a pair of pliers. Press all the diodes out. They are 1/2 50amp avalanche diodes 3 negative 3 positive. Press new ones back in. Refit bridge. Crimp it with pliers and trim the tails. No solder to melt.
 

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The diodes were fused to the diode bridge on mine (factory sealed bosch). I did the same thing as locky in removal , Tho nothing to say you couldnt just crimp the new ones back in, I dont think this is a very good idea tho with the vibrations of the engine I'd be interested in how long the crimp job lasts.

I can provide pictures of the fused or spot welded in diodes as my alternator is still in parts on the bench, I decided i didnt want to risk a DIY on this one as pulling the alternator back out again would piss me right off.
 

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Just wondering locky how did you press out the old and press in the new diodes??? a photo of the press would be great
 

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Hi srgsaibot, I used two sockets and a vice to press them out. Oh and i don't think the crimp would come apart with vibration. It's quite thick wire as you can see on yours. When the bridge is all bolted down its all very secure. You could solder them. I don't think it would hurt.
The only awkward part to find when you are rebuilding this alternator is the bottom bearing tolerance ring. It's a plastic cup which the bearing sits in and it always breaks. Not too sure why they make it like this. Oh and there is not much apart from diodes and rectifier to go wrong in this alternator. The bearings are huge. Mine at 90k still felt silky smooth and the stator etc are pretty beefy as well.
 

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Hi, I am hoping for a quick response. I am in the middle of replacing my alternator and found that removing the fan bolt is not easy. biggest question is how do I prevent the waterpump from spinning so that I can remove the fan bolt. I don't have a second bolt to counter act against.
 

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I am adding to this post. I have just replaced my alternator and have a couple of helpful tips. Fist I have L322 RR 2005 HSE 93000 miles. To release the fan with the single bolt I used a large cresent wrench removing one screw from the fan side to get it in. My bolt was very tight and there is not really a way to hold down the pully. put the wrench on the bolt and with a hammer hit the top of the wrench that should sit just above the fan cowling. couple of good wacks and presto, bolt loose.
 

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Hi, I am hoping for a quick response. I am in the middle of replacing my alternator and found that removing the fan bolt is not easy. biggest question is how do I prevent the waterpump from spinning so that I can remove the fan bolt. I don't have a second bolt to counter act against.
In the past on another M62 motor I had luck by holding the pulley (wearing a leather glove) with my left hand, and whacking the wrench with a hammer. Remember these are reverse threaded so you remove it by turning clockwise!
But I have since spent a measly $35 for a M62 fan clutch removal tool kit off ebay. FAR easier!
 

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In the past on another M62 motor I had luck by holding the pulley (wearing a leather glove) with my left hand, and whacking the wrench with a hammer. Remember these are reverse threaded so you remove it by turning clockwise!
But I have since spent a measly $35 for a M62 fan clutch removal tool kit off ebay. FAR easier!
A LONG LARGE flat screwdriver can be wedged between the shaft and one of the 4 bolts to provide the necessary leverage - and a tap on the LONG 32 spanner with a hammer should free it. If you have a helper, even better.
Good luck, did my alternator ~2 weeks ago.

As an aside, I took it apart to see whether it was salvageable...the bearings are easily replaced ($20), but mine had some heat damage to the windings and the bottom bearing seat, and so I bought a replacement rather than take a chance.
Ian
 

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Hello All,

I know this is an old post, but I'm having issues getting to my alternator. I've drained radiator fluid, removed air box and various clamps/connectors.
The issues I'm having are:

1. How to remove the line going across the top of radiator shrod?
2. Both the top radiator hose (passenger-side) and lower radiator hose (driver-side). I release/pulled the
clips off, but can't pull the hoses off. The end pieces look to be on a specific way. I don't want to crack or break them off.
3. Don't know what to lossen on bottom to be able to lift radiator out.
4. Will the line on top of Fan shrod, Fan shrod and radiator all come out together or separately?

20141129_145552.jpg 20141129_160841.jpg

Thanks
 

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I'm getting ready to tackle this job on an 2004 range rover. So far I've ordered the below items, i'll also be picking up and replacing both belts. Is there anything else that might be needed?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/192008781449 BMW 32mm Fan Clutch Wrench Water Pump Holder Removal Tool

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161333850276 ALTERNATOR 4.4L 4.6L 5.4L BMW 540 750 X5 & RANGE ROVER 1999-2009
 

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I got this done over the weekend following the instructions within this post, the only thing that I found was missing was the instructions for removing the front undertray so i'm including them here
Untitled.jpg Untitled2.jpg
 

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I'm getting ready to tackle this job on an 2004 range rover. So far I've ordered the below items, i'll also be picking up and replacing both belts. Is there anything else that might be needed?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/192008781449 BMW 32mm Fan Clutch Wrench Water Pump Holder Removal Tool

http://www.ebay.com/itm/161333850276 ALTERNATOR 4.4L 4.6L 5.4L BMW 540 750 X5 & RANGE ROVER 1999-2009
The alternator has an o-ring seal that you'll need if the replacement doesn't come with it. I recommend using sealant in addition to the o-ring, due to vibration and heat.

If you're in there, I'd replace the belts if they show any cracks.
 

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The alternator has an o-ring seal that you'll need if the replacement doesn't come with it. I recommend using sealant in addition to the o-ring, due to vibration and heat.

If you're in there, I'd replace the belts if they show any cracks.
It did come with the o-ring, when I was in at autozone buying my replacement antifreeze they printed me out the technical bulliten about making sure that the o-ring didn't come loose in shipping. I didn't use sealant, but i'm not going back in there at this point unless there is a leak.

The main belt broke when my alternator locked up, and thankfully I replaced the ac belt also cause it was in pretty bad shape.
 
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